Last week in Portugal was insane. Honestly still recovering and trying to give my body the rest and attention it needs. BUT all good things! Left Madeira, started new job, said bye to sister, stayed up all night until the sunrise, and left a city that I really, really loved.

Cultural Notes:

  1. April 25th is a national holiday in Portugal. It commemorates the day that the dictatorship ended in 1975, and is called Freedom Day. Annnddd they celebrate with parades that apparently start at 8:30am outside my apartment window…
  2. A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without a meal at an illegal Chinese food restaurant. Yes, these are apartments converted

    Can you spot the lanterns?

    into under the table restaurants. They are unmarked, and the police probably know about them but turn a blind eye. My sister, her friend, and I went to one on their last night. You go down this little dark alley and enter a door only noted by two Chinese lanterns hanging outside. We walked up three flights of stairs and entered what was literally a gutted studio apartment filled with tables and chairs and people eating Chinese food. The best part to me was the paper signs reading ‘Cannot Speak too Loud Please’, accompanied by the shhhs from the restaurant owner. Anyway, the food was delicious, large portions, and really cheap!! Would highly recommend.

  3. Saudade is a word used in Portuguese that has no direct translation in English. It’s used to describe a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia. A beautiful word and quite applicable.

Week Summary:


  • Morning in Funchal, doing some last minute shopping and taking in some of my favorite views of the city, my sister rode the famous sleds in Monte, too
  • Final lunch with the family, my favorite vegetable rice, and said goodbyes
  • Much smoother flight out and jumped directly into work upon my return
  • Night out in the city at a Remote Year favorite bar Pensao Amor

Those paper signs got me


  • New job begins! Mostly just setup the first day and getting situated with my new supervisor alongside me
  • Transitioned over the rest of the week out of my existing role, while also balancing this new one
  • Dinner with C&T at illegal Chinese
  • Stayed up late packing. Didn’t think it would be possible for them to leave with more than they came with because of all the gifts they brought, but man, they did.


  • C&T take off. Sad to see them go, but really thankful for the time we had together.
  • Long work day, really liking the new job though! A great new challenge.


  • Morning run along the river to clear my head a bit, beautiful promenade
  • Work

My amazing roommate of the month and TACOS


  • Gym, work. Kind of nice to have a normal day after 10 days with my sister running around.
  • Last night consisted of late night tacos, lots of bars, pasteis de Nata at 6am and the sunrise before finally getting to bed.


  • Said goodbye to some new friends and Lisbon. Of course it was a beautiful, sunny day.
  • Frantically packed in 30 minutes. The beauty of Remote Year is that you know exactly what has to get into the suitcase, just a matter of putting it all in there. I may have been over weight limit this time, but oh well, didn’t pay.
  • Flight to Valencia, Spain!!


  • To come with Spain post 🙂

The fact that I’m 25% through this journey blows my mind. With that, I am starting to realize the value in self-care and slowing down. I was just chatting with someone recently about how a year is a long time to be on vacation, it really has to be a year of living in other countries. You could tell me that all you want, but until I figured it out on my own, wouldn’t have mattered. It is true though, I am writing this on the first day in three months that I did nothing, interacted with no one, and grinded out some work. Feels really good, and I know it won’t be the last. I think I also needed to process leaving Lisbon. Because the last week had so much transition, I never had a moment to breath and reflect on how amazing it was to be in Portugal.

Obrigada muito, Lisboa! Saudade.