Monday, 20 October 2014

#34 Go to Portugal

So I actually got off my arse, booked a room, then the flights and got on a plane to Portugal. (Lisbon to be precise). I have actually been to Lisbon before, but it was ages ago and all my Portuguese lessons would be wasted without more trips to Portuguese speaking countries (plus it's so cheap!).

Quite sneakily the trip incorporate a few resolutions so I'll try and split up the posts, but otherwise I've also taken my Mum to Portugal. 

I wanted to take my Mum since, firstly I suppose, travelling alone is pretty intimidating, for me anyway. Secondly, my Mum is not very well and often doesn't get out of the house much. The trip was great in that both of us in this sense. Thirdly, my Mum's first language is actually Portuguese, and so it felt really nice to be learning from her, as well as taking her somewhere she enjoyed and loved equally. The downside to my choice though was definitely bringing her in winter, but I'd say we were lucky with the weather, and she agreed by the end of it (no really!).

I love Lisbon, although for some reason I seemed to fall out of love on the trip. I think this was mainly due to me constantly picturing myself living there, alone. An idea that terrifies me and also leads me to judge and asses the situation far too deeply. And so, in the few days we were there, in both rain and shine, Lisbon was seen through the grey tinted glasses which observed the fact that the Portuguese can be very serious (although also very funny!), that my language skills needs a LOT of work (true), that you can encounter some prejudice (meh) and even that there almost too many antique shops, bookshops and pastry shops (i love this fact now i'm back at home but i think at the time i just wanted some diversity-i regret my judgements now).

We ended up seeing a few galleries since the city is full of them, including many unofficial exhibitions inside ateliers, and generally explored like good tourists. I think my favourite moments were coming across random art shops and galleries and simply walking around - it's really beautiful.

We also got to stay in an airbnb flat, which is a website I couldn't recommend any more highly. I realise it's quite popular now but I'd literally never heard of it until the week before we booked. For anyone also in the dark, it's essentially a website to book a room, shared space or entire house/flat on your travels from other users (hosts). The website works on a rating system for both hosts and guests, and also allows both parties to verify their profiles etc. The best thing is probably that the rooms tend to be very unique and well decorated, but are also well priced. I really liked it.

Overall this is probably my favorite resolution so far. Completing the trip I realised how far I've come since starting the blog, even if the resolutions are very small I feel better with every one I compete (probably the mighty power of having a list).  I really really hope I continue to push myself even further, since the trip did make me want to travel some more. Let's see. 

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