Time for a Change | The Favourites - continued | The Differences | The Downsides

Part 2 of a 4-part series on being an expat

Istanbul, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, London, Provence... all places that held an exotic, if remote, place in my brain before leaving Canada. Add in Lisbon, Lithuania and Malaga - respectively, two places I never thought I'd see and a place I'd never heard of, and, well, I've been very fortunate. More photos to come later this week.

Above - within minutes of arriving for the first time in Malaga, a place I had honestly (shamefully) never heard prior to four months before arriving. A late afternoon in March brought with it a warm sun, beer, and pure simplicity. And it's become an all-time favourite and somehow a place where I will end up, sometime.

Below (2) - more Malaga, more simple perfection.

Above - a favourite piece of art from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Europe fulfills every cliché in the book, in the best way. You breathe in more culture here, and appreciate the finer things. There's a lot going on in this painting, as a young man goes off to war.

Above - Amsterdam's Leidsestraat. A burst of sun every 2-3 weeks or so seems to serve like a massive magical eraser for the wintry gloom. Ditto below, in London's Kensington Gardens.

Below (2) - Barcelona's La Boqueira market and a Gaudi building. If northern Europe is all to grey and muffled in the winter, Barcelona (and Spain in general) is the antidote - full of colour and energy.

Below - April in Amsterdam. No one shakes off a long dark winter like Amsterdammers, and the plants and birds are in on it too.

Istanbul (3) - on the Galatea Bridge at sunset, and more. Amazing history in this city... but, with the tourist trap feel and constant hustle, overall it seems somehow better suited for the camera than the soul.