Travel, like daily life, will in our eyes become boring if everything is planned and a big part of the adventure is having challenges and face them along the way. Many of our greatest adventure and interesting experiences has come from leaving our comfort zone and trying something different.
One of out favorite authors, Rolf Potts, wrote a book, Vagabonding, in which he describes the phenomenon of random traveling and how it will lead you in to interesting experiences in just a matter of time. We did some random walking yesterday and explored the amazing countryside outside central Porto. We got a completely different take on the city, and we instantly entered the curious exploring mood that we love so much. We also happened to stumble upon a paper mill that Chris former company had a collaborating with (pretty random, not like there are paper mill industries all over the place!!) and finding our favorite store Decathlon. We bought basically all our equipment for our bike trip from Decathlon one and a half year ago and have had great memories from all stores we passed along the way.
Another time that we were also doing some random exploring was when we cycled in Dali, China. In a village not far from the center, we saw middle age men wearing big hats and preparing a huge pot of food. Curious as we were we had to stop the bike and check it out a bit closer what was going on. Turned out it was the Bai people (Chinese minority group) that celebrated the birthday of their one year old house. We were invited and joined their celebration, a memory for life!
To travel randomly is also very fun to do by metros and buses too. In Shanghai, China, we have done this a lot since the metro stations are endless and increasing every year. We had so much fun with the metros and are always looking forward to our next visit to do some more exploration of the new lines. We have discovered many places by randomly finding treasures from the metro with sometimes great results and sometimes less exciting. That what makes it interesting too. We plan to discover Porto in the same way. We don’t have the same approach every day but this way of traveling surely add colors to our life.
What’s more these strategies can be used anywhere to find interesting places, no matter bus or metro, by foot or by bike, you can even do it in your own hometown!
Couchsurfing is a great place to meet new people when traveling. For us, we plan to stay here in Portugal for in total five months and we would like to meet interesting and amazing people.
So far Porto is a very social city with the event going on a couple times a week. Yesterday we joined the event Kitchensurfing, an inspiring event created by a Ali who does this for his vacation and has done it over and over for about six years. Pretty amazing and a very inspiring quest! You can find more information including a tour schedule on the Facebook group or on Couchsurfing. Check it out!
Yesterday we were also introduced to the best place to go out for drinks. We met many digital nomads, both intentional and unintentional nomads:)
Great times and cool people anyhow! One thing is really true.. You never know where you’ll meet a nomad!
Today is one and a half week since we landed here in Portugal and arrived to our new home.. We didn’t have high expectation and we were ready to explore Portugal thoroughly.
After we landed safe and sound we were quiet surprised a really nice woman came and picked us up, Grace. Her English was great and she was so open! She drove us around the city approximately one hour and we saw her favorite spots of the city such as an street with with only fish BBQ restaurants and the old part of the city that is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
For us, the car ride and the introduction really made our curiosity awake and slightly worried. Driving through the city we saw a lot charming houses and abandoned buildings. We both were a bit nervous on how our room might be like in the reality.
Fortunately for us our room was light and similar to the pic from internet. The house contains 9 rooms for people to rent from 28 days to longer period of time.
Right now it is just us and 3 other girls having one room each, a local girl from the area and one girl coming from Colombia and one from Brazil. Soon there will be more people moving in here in September.
This house is very spacious and since we work and study from home during working hours it is very quest and peaceful here. We enjoy eating breakfast in the garden and walking barefoot in the sand, enjoying the nice flowers, eating some grapes and feeling the warmth of the sun.
In the evenings so far it has been nice too, after discovering the city and spending some hours outdoors we can come home and talk to our roommates over some glasses of wine.
To be transparent this is probably a great time before the new students arrive through ERASMUS programs. Although we do like to get to know new people and don’t want to judge anyone we feel it could possibly cause some more problems in this paradise:).
That day in Porto made us think about about many things. One is how diversified the architecture are here. When you stroll about the city center you’ll see everything from Baroque to Gothic styled buildings. History surely left its traces on this city. Add modern apartment complexes and brand new metro transport system to the equation and you’ll start to understand how diversified the style of the city center really is. We love the contrasts and they are almost everywhere in the city!
Are you searching for something fun, interesting and alternative to do in Porto?
If that is the case we would highly recommend preparing for a long and nice day of discovering Porto by foot. It’s is amazing how many charming, narrow alleys there are and such unique houses with lovely tails, mixtures, hens, and everyday life is going in here. You will never know what unexpected might be and surprise you around the next corner.
Our other recommendation would be to discover Porto’s amazing Street Art. The first week in Porto had so much eye candy to offer that we had to share it with you guys. It’s amazing how huge urban cities can almost turn into art museums, or at least turn out to something like a small art gallery. The atmosphere of a city can become so warm, empathetic and colorful with just the creativity of someone expressing their feelings in the public domains. This picture from a telephone booth that someone decided to tell a story and create something mystic with, just lovely!
We decided to start sharing more from our journey of interesting things we stumble upon and will share it both here and on Instagram. Hopefully, we can come with inspiring and interesting perspectives from Portugal and around the World:)
Two nomads arrived in Porto, Portugal and so far loving it. This is a lively place! We found much we like here and everyday we find more to discover. Its not an exaggeration, there is really A LOT to explore. There are so many divers back street with small restaurants, cafes and niched shops such as a Bonsai store. We love colorful places! Porto is literally colorful and pretty nice actually.
//C + E
Did you know anywhere you go, any tiny little place on this globe, from northern Canada to French Polynesia, there are totally unique and amazing treasures awaiting you and all you need to find them are an open perspective and a curious mind?
Whats more, did you think about that your “boring hometown” has totally unique weird, special and totally crazy people and places?
If you don’t believe me that’s just fine!
This blog is here for you and we will do our best to exchange this perspective of the world and prove to both us and to you guys that everywhere there is uniqueness and amazing perspectives. Your neighbor much likely is a specialist in something, even the smallest skill matter, and the people you thought were just dull might have something very interesting to say!
How about we develop our mindset together for a more open and curious tomorrow?
Keep on reading the blog and while you are at it, check out our lovely inspiration at Atlas Obscura.
Ciao from two Swede’s soon in Portugal :)
/Chris and Elin
Creating a nomadic lifestyle can be both exciting and challenging! We found some websites that are pure gold and has had a helped us a lot lately. Maybe you find it useful too?
The Best Nomad Sites We Ever Found
First is Nomad list that is your Go-To website for all nomadic needs. It’s insanely useful! Compare travel destinations and learn why some countries are better than others for digital nomads.
2. Nomad Forum
Here you can ask questions and get answers from many nomads and aspiring nomads. It’s very easy to follow since every thread only discuss one well-defined question. People share and are very open with their answers, a great place to gather information and you will most likely leave the website a bit wiser.
Instead of saying Airbnb like many of you might think we would recommend Uniplaces . The place is not only housing for students but an easy-going website including great support for anyone looking for a flat or a room/ short-term stay. This site is great for finding a room/apartment in major student cities across Europe, however, note that some countries have lots of options where other ones are fewer and more expensive.
In general a site especially if you are going to Portugal like us:)!
Check out the websites! Totally worth the time!
Photo credit: Chris Ford