Updated: Sep 15
As I write this, I’m on a Flix bus leaving Porto, Portugal, and making my way via Santiago de Compostela, Spain en route to Galicia, the northwest portion of Spain and a small village in what is known as the end of the world.
I just finished a week in Lisbon with a group of women who have one thing in common...we all love to travel. Our group of nine included one lawyer from Germany, a film producer from the U.K., and six Americans with a range of skills and talents. The host of this week was Siobhan Farr, founder of the Facebook Group DIGITAL NOMADS Beyond 50 Network with over 2,000 members. This was her second co-work/co-live experience. The first was in Medellín, Colombia and she is planning more in the future. Siobhan has been a digital nomad since 2019. You would never guess her age as she looks 20 years younger than she is and is full of energy and enthusiasm for sharing this location-independent lifestyle. She is a resource for those considering a nomadic life and the driving force behind these week-long retreats. The week included her Digital Nomad Beyond 50 LifeMap program with guest speakers in four key areas:
· Logistical readiness
· Financial readiness
· Physical readiness
· Emotional readiness
These sessions were informative, and the knowledge shared within the group was invaluable. I am feeling much more prepared and confident about my solo travels ahead.
Co-live/Co-work at 1865 Intendente, Lisbon Portugal
In addition to a welcome dinner and farewell dinner, we also had time for several fun social events including:
Guru walking tour—Many big cities offer free walking tours and our guide Beatriz was informed and entertaining. One of the biggest challenges of being a digital nomad is loneliness, so Siobhan makes it a habit to always ask the guide for a restaurant recommendation and then she invites everyone in the group to join her for lunch. After our Lisbon tour, we were joined by Marlon from the Philippines and made a new friend.
Cooking Class: In this fun cooking class, we learned how to make Portugal's famous custard pastry, Pasteis de Nata with Chef Filipe at Cooking Lisbon.
Fado Food & Wine dinner at a private home: This amazing AirBnb Experience was hosted in Andre’s beautiful home and included traditional Fado musical performances, delicious food, and wine. Check out AirBnb Experiences for some truly unique local activities. There were 30 guests from all corners of the world and all were friendly and eager to share travel stories.
17 Tastes of Lisbon Food Tour: This was a great way to explore the city, find local restaurants, and taste a variety of Portuguese food.
Meeting new people while travelling is easy with walking tours, cooking classes and AirBnB experiences.
In our downtime, we explored many of the city's cool and quirky neighbourhoods:
1865 Intendente: This is where our co-work/co-live house was located and an eclectic neighborhood.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte: the best sunset lookout point.
LX Factory: one of the coolest neighborhoods, it was old industrial complex for textiles, and is now a creative, artsy village.
Belém district: We rented bikes & scooters and made our way along the waterfront with a medieval tower and Monument of the Discoveries.
Alfama: One of Lisbon's oldest neighborhoods with narrow, steep, and winding cobblestone streets. Be prepared for a steep climb up up up stairs.
Exploring Lisbon Belem, LX Factory
When Siobhan first learned that I was a forest therapy guide, she asked if I would be interested in hosting a walk in Lisbon and introduced me to Ushi of Jezebel’s Feast an expat from the Seattle area. Together we planned a day in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and explored many of Ushi’s favourite places far from the typical tourist hotspots. A highlight for me was walking the beach at Praia Grande and the fresh seafood dinner at Restaurante Adraga.
Forest therapy in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, finding a secret beach at Praia Grande, and lunch at a renovated windmill restaurant with epic views Moinho Dom Quixote
Through open and personal sharing throughout the week in a safe space held by Siobhan, our group of nine nomads bonded and supported each other with compassion and love. I leave Portugal with much more than I could have ever imagined--new friends, a heart full of love for the country, for the people I met along the way, and for myself.