Granada is the City of my European Summer Dreams

Even when it's only March.

To all my travel-lovers: do you ever wonder exactly why you love traveling? Is it the cultural immersion? The history? Maybe just the food and drink aspect?

Although tapas and vino sound like the best reason to visit Spain, for me, there's a huge factor that keeps me coming back to new places like this one. Just like fashion, traveling to new cultures has transformative effects. So if you were to ask me why I would drop my entire life and responsibilities and travel, I would answer with this: living in a foreign country for just a few days has the ability to make the impossible possible. It's got powers that make dreams come true! Sounds cheesy, yes, but let me explain:

If I'm feeling a lil' blue, I always turn to fashion to up my mood and transform into something better that only style can fix. Its healing powers are why I constantly fix this one part of my life if all else is falling apart. Or simply, if I wish to embody a certain feeling that can only be performed through fashion, I do the same. Lately, this has been me with an easy breezy summer, one that is obviously nowhere to be found based on cold temps and far too many responsibilities but is surprisingly easy to produce with the clothes I put on my body. This longing for summer for 16 months straight is where travel comes in, especially Granada. Being in this town for only three days, even when it's been raining and chilly for 80% of the time, makes me feel just like I'm in summer, but particularly my '80s summer dream that I've been dreaming of nonstop ever since I watched Call Me by Your Name for the first time (then again and again for four more times, plus the book twice). Was I in Italy? Nope. Was it summer? Definitely not, as it poured rain for two out of the three days I was there, and it never reached over 55 degrees. But did I feel like I was living in that European summer dream that I immediately travel to when I hear the first notes of Hallelujah Junction, aka the opening song of the aforementioned film, which I also watched on the plane ride way there? Absolutely.

The minute I was placed in Granada I saw several orange trees on every street corner, and I immediately thought of those infamous peach trees that instantly allude to a sweet summer. Walking through the tight alleyways that acted as roads and looking at bright but faded buildings and noticing sleepy streets one minute and lively ones the next transferred me to a place of zero responsibilities, of summer siestas (which happen year-round in Spain, btw), and of a summer love that can transcend all other romances. Did I fall in love in Granada? Absolutely not, I was there for three days. But could I fall in love in the way that summer romances go if I lived there? Maybe, maybe not, but I know I did fall in love with the town. Shouldn't that be enough?

Throughout my summer fantasy, I realized it would be even more effective if I dressed the part. Sounds easy, no? Well actually, no—as I mentioned earlier, it was raining and nowhere near summer temps. If only I could wear denim-cutoffs and breezy button-ups with espadrille slides, or maybe even ditch the shoes altogether. But the strange March weather (the friend I was visiting said it never rains) hindered on my summer dreams, making me have several fashion-related mental breakdowns. But alas, they were cured when I decided to work in summer (and CMBYN)-esque vibes into my looks that were typically covered with a rain jacket and consisted of pants instead of shorts. For exhibit A we have...

Button-down by Urban Outfitters (similar here). Strapless top (under button-down) by Tobi. Levi's are vintage, from The Break. Shoes by Veja, in collaboration with Madewell. Leather jacket and raincoat not shown, but definitely needed to keep me warm and dry when the sun wasn't out for ten minutes when this photo was taken.

I attempted to style my favorite button-down at the moment, aka one coming from the men's section and that has nude sketches, because why not, in a way I had never done before—completely unbuttoned, tied at the waist, and with a taupe tube top that I typically wear alone or under a blazer, not under button-downs. Even sans pants, I already felt like I fit into a Spanish summer, and if it were feasible, I would slip on my Levi's cutoffs and call it a day. The no shoes were intentional. But to fit with the weather, I slipped on full-length Levi's, aka the next best thing to the desired shorts, and my newest (and now deemed favorite) sneakers from Veja, which is a 100% sustainable sneaker company based in Paris. Felt like a perfect compromise with the weather, as I would still wear full-length Levi's in the summer, and these Vejas perfectly match those unmistakeable shoes Armie Hammer constantly wears in the film. Me standing under this orange tree is resembling of Elio picking a few peaches right before the scene (if you've watched the movie, you should know what I'm talking about).

Shirt bought from an Angel Olsen show last December that are (unfortunately) unavailable. Pants are vintage, also from The Break. Jacket by Madewell. Shoes by Veja. Sunglasses by Lisa Says Gah.

On this day, the sun was actually out all day long. I took this weather to my advantage and pulled on breezy trousers in the most perfect shade of dusty green with a tee displaying a photo of Angel Olsen. For a look perfect for Elio (or Yorkie from San Junipero), I used my newest denim jacket, a staple I will never stop buying more of, as my (only!) layer, and that was it. No neck scarf, no extravagant jewelry, nothing. And that's what summer should be about—straightforward and simple, accessories not needed. I felt like I had just gotten off of a bike in Crema, ready to grab a drink or bite of food, which I actually did right after these photos were taken, sitting outside on the cobble-stone streets facing the beautiful city of Granada. Surreal is an understatement.

Will I ever stop talking about Call Me by Your Name on this blog? The answer is unknown. But I do know that even when summer is full-blown come this May, I'll never be able to have this feeling unless I'm in the European summer city of my dreams. Until next time, Granada.

First photo taken by me, other photos taken by Averie and Maddie.

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