I’ve been living in Lisbon, Portugal for almost three months now, and boy do I have tonnes to share. There have been some very difficult moments, but as always, there have also been some incredible ones too. I’ve been settling into this new country and new way of life, travelling around Portugal a bit and also looking for jobs and trying to establish some sort of work routine and income for myself. In this post I want to share why I chose this place and why i’m choosing this life.
I’ve never spent so long away from where I grew up (Australia), and I feel privileged to be able to immerse myself into a new culture this way and live and feel like I belong here. I’m from a big city back in Australia which means the energy there is often go, go, go and fuck is that exhausting. I’m a recovering perfectionist and control addict, so this new life in Portugal has been like a fresh, new start and a chance to be more of who I aspire to be. I know I didn’t have to come all this way to change, I truly believe that our internal environment and the changes we make internally, can have a big effect on our external environment. And i’m definitely not encouraging physically running away, but being in a different place and shaking up my usual, similar routine and surroundings is what i’ve been craving. So badly.
I love the way of life here in Lisbon for several reasons, the way of life here is something very different to what i’m used to. The best way I can probably explain it is this: it’s slow. Things get done slowly, when you’re standing in line for something the que moves VERY slowly (because… patience), people have lunch slowly, sip their coffee slowly, enjoy walking in the park… slowly. It’s really nice and quite refreshing. I’m trying to embrace this pace of life and it’s resulted in me being more aware and present. It’s helping me cultivate more stillness and this is always a good thing in my opinion. When I become still, when thoughts stop racing around in my head, i’m able to actually listen. I’m able to actually listen to what the person sitting across the table from me is saying, and I’m able to put my head down close to my heart and listen inwards. I’m a big believer that all the answers to all our confusion and questions can be found inside of us because I believe that we all are inherently wise. So lately i’ve been doing a lot of listening to my internal compass, especially when I don’t know where to go or what to do next. Because truth be told, some days I wake up and don’t know what the fuck i’m doing and I feel scared and unsure. But as soon as I let it all out (in the form of journalling usually), have a good cry and find stillness through meditation – everything feels lighter.
Also I fucking love Portuguese food. I am going to need to do a separate post about this, otherwise this post will be massive. I promise you I will, their food is something else and i’m shocked that more of the world hasn’t caught onto it. I also love that Portugal hasn’t changed their pathways from cobblestone to concrete (majority of walkways are still cobblestone) and I love that you can still find one dude spending half a day replacing a couple of broken cobblestones. Simple living.
Because I have very basic Portuguese language skills, I’ve started a new career here as an English language teacher. I did a brief training course for it back home in Australia and am now doing freelance english teaching which is something very different for me, but it’s been interesting, challenging and rewarding so far. It’s been a gradual process getting more students, and my finances aren’t what they used to be back home, but i’ve been practising patience, manifestation and working hard to get more students. I’m learning that this is the price one pays when they start something new and scary, and that’s okay because I know it’s worth it. I know that i’m finally listening to my heart’s longing and cultivating the life that feels right.
The price is high, the reward is great.
Love from Lisbon,