It’s launch day! Everyone told us how much work starting a business would be, but just like you can’t really understand Niagara Falls from a photo, we didn’t really understand until we felt it up close and personal. But with some grit and a lot of patience mixed in with plenty of fun we made it to Day 1. So what do you do after a long, hard journey? Well, that’s easy, you go on vacation of course! And that’s what we did.
A few weeks ago we took a much needed trip to Portugal. It was Paulo’s Grandfather’s 95th birthday and they had a big family reunion, and I mean big. He’s one of eighteen cousins so you can imagine it was a large affair, but pretty typical of families in the north. They tend to be close-knit and always fun to be around. Never turn down a family party in the north, it’s never a dull affair.
It had been a while since we were both in Portugal together, well over 2 years, so we wanted to make sure we got in as much as we could. Between visiting family and friends it’s easy to get lost in the wonderful chaos, but one must never forget the power of alone time. When I moved to the U.S. many years ago nothing quite prepared me for the competitive culture and work environment. From school to professional life there only seemed to be one speed, and that speed was GO! But being back in Portugal I always realize just how much I miss the slow pace of living, the laid back culture and the long days of soft sand and ocean waves. Nothing can ever replace that.
So after visiting family we took some time for ourselves and started off our journey in the Douro Valley. They say this is what Napa used to be like years ago before it was discovered. Here, you can still find a lot of quiet corners in this part of the country. There's nothing quite like opening up a book you've been waiting to read, popping open a bottle of wine and looking out over the serene landscape below.
Up next for us was the Algarve region, the very south of the country. Known for its great beaches and English expats this area is a popular getaway destination within Europe. But if you look hard enough there are still some amazing, undiscovered spots to explore. Here, I always look forward to a crisp beer to drink and lupini beans as a snack while I dive into a lifestyle magazine to find some inspiration or a lighthearted read. And nothing like a topping off the day with some grilled fish while listening to the ocean waves crash nearby.
We eventually made our way back up to Lisbon, my hometown and the place I never really leave behind no matter where I go. To me it’s my safe space, my home base, where I feel most grounded and most loved. Whenever I come back my mind is put completely at ease. I think we all deserve a place like that.
As we traveled from north to south we realized just how important it is to recharge one’s batteries. Taking time off to enjoy life shouldn't be seen as a burden, but instead an essential part of seeking fulfillment. Sometimes in the hustle of our busy lives we forget this... So lets take a page from the Portuguese and stop forgetting.