For the entire month of December, I was traveling, starting with Lisbon, Portugal.
When I was planning this trip to Europe many months ago, I asked around to see if anybody could come with me. I asked friends, family members, and my husband to come along, but nobody could get the time off from work, or they didn’t have the money. Not that I was necessarily desperate to have a travel partner, I just knew that it would be out of my comfort zone and I was a little nervous about that.
After Portugal, I’d be heading to Sintra, a town outside of Lisbon, then Paris, then Sweden.
I wasn’t really nervous for Paris, since I’m so familiar with the city, and I wasn’t nervous for Sweden, since I would be meeting my husband Erik there to spend Christmas with his family – but just the idea of leaving for another country all alone is a little scary, even if I have done it before. Also, this past year has been mostly about hibernating inside my house, so to get out of that zone so suddenly and intensely was a shock to my system. I cried on my way to the airport. My Uber driver noticed and handed me some tissues. When I touched down in Paris for an overnight “layover,” I could feel that I was on the verge of panicking, from exhaustion and being overwhelmed, but I was able to calm myself down by breathing, taking a quick shower, and focusing on the the task at hand: seeing my friend Laura from Ciao Amalfi! We had planned this reunion perfectly – I couldn’t get a direct flight to Lisbon, so I booked a connecting flight in Paris, and it just so happened that Laura would be in Paris at the same time! I was so tired that by the end of our apéro, I was having trouble keeping my eyes focused, but I’m so grateful I got to see her. We’ve only been in the same city at the same time about 4 times in the past 3 years that I’ve known her, but it feels like I see her all the time. She lives in Italy, so it’s been a long distance friendship from the beginning! And if you’re wondering how we met: we used to work together remotely for Paris Perfect. At our brief Paris meeting she gifted me one of my favorite teas from Mariage Frères, and I gifted her one of my Paris calendars that I designed last-minute for my Etsy shop (they’ve since sold out).
Wait a minute, HOLD UP – this blog post is supposed to be all about Lisbon! …Let’s get back to the subject!