Emblems of Home.

 If you ask a hundred people to describe what ‘Home’ is to them you are guaranteed a variety of responses and that’s simply because we all see an element of ‘Home’ in different things throughout our lives and within our surroundings. In a city as old and as culturally detailed as Lisbon, it’s easy to imagine all the wonderful things people would consider to be their emblems of ‘Home’. Here is an account of the various things I have seen throughout my time here so far that I would regard as examples of cherishable things linked to Lisbon as a ‘Home’:

HOME IS THE PEOPLE.

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It’s young love found crossing a busy street in Chiado. It’s the humble musician/vendedor sharing his talents with the community. It’s the locals who fill the coloured houses with teracotta rooftops. It’s the Castelo that can be seen proudly flying a Portuguese flag so prominently at the peak of the hill.

HOME IS TRADITION.Image

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It’s the typical Fado music of Lisboa. (those are real people btw :P)

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It’s the cheeky little old neighbourhood women who sit outside every afternoon and gossip the day away.

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It’s the humble artist who’s too engrossed in captivating the essence of the city to know he’s being watched.Image

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It’s time taken to appreciate all the finer details of a beautiful landscape.

 HOME IS UNDYING LOVE.Image

It’s being able to share a simple, meal in the simplest of café’s with your best friend, your lover, your other half. It’s having years of milage with the old ‘ball and chain’ (lol) and still being able to laugh together. It’s specifically choosing to sit beside each other to feel close. It’s an aged love that still appears so novel. (Seriously guys this married couple were just far too cute, they had to be included in this post! They were sat so closely together the whole time just laughing like teenagers at everything, even people passing by outside LOL! Love love to them! :’)

HOME IS COMMON TRANSPORTATION.

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It’s the ringing of the trams, it’s the beeping of impatient drivers. – (The driving here is actually ridik! If I make it out of here without one accident I deserve a prize and will definitely count my lucky stars! If you’re thinking of visiting Lisbon be very aware that the drivers here pay NO attention to pedestrian crossings or pedestrians in general for that matter lol)

HOME IS THE LANDMARKS.

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HOME IS CELEBRATION AND ELATION WITH A FAMILIAR FACE. 

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 It’s the way everywhere looks congested with playful colours and buildings at different heights and sizes but still feels so bright and open. It’s the way the sun neglects the streets at sunset and highlights all the beautiful houses and monuments. It’s the people who gather in the shadows every evening to watch the sun fall to sleep behind the River Tejo.

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HOME IS YOU.

When I think of home, I think of you. And when I miss home, every part of me misses you. For so long you’ve been my home away from home and without either of you I’m at a loss.   Just like you used to get home sick every time we’d leave and I was there to keep you sane, I’ve needed that too. I saw home in you because anywhere with you was safe. Anywhere with you was joy. Anywhere with you was wholesome. It was companionship. It was warmth. It was authentic. It was……right. That it was.

Lost and Not Yet Found.

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It feels so strange being here on my own. I know it’s only been three weeks so this feeling is completely natural but I’m so used to being surrounded by people I know and hearing police cars from my bedroom window late at night and hearing foxes and cats making weird noises in my back garden lol, sounds like a mess but anything beats the silence here tbh.  It’s all so different now. There are people here that I know, but who I’m yet to regard as ‘friends’. How can I best describe what this experience currently feels like? Hmmm.. It’s kind of like purposely losing yourself on your own far out at sea with no lifejacket and trying to see if by God’s grace you can make it back to shore. Only, I just feel like I’m floating and probably in the wrong direction at that lol. I’m going through the motions really like I’m here, but I’m not here here (for those of you who know me you’ll know what that is and I love you for that! lol) Maybe I’m closed? because all I can think about is getting back home to London, which is crazy because I know once this is all over I’ll probably be saying “wow what a great experience I want to go back!”. I don’t really know what I was expecting from Portugal but I’m here now and I feel kinda stuck. Maybe it has to do with the space I’m in right now within myself or maybe I’m just being ungrateful? I don’t know. It will take time to settle I know that. I just didn’t expect home to feel so far away.

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I can find my way around here fairly easily now, but I still get lost quite a lot actually lol,  I’m still yet to master my ‘street wise’ skills. A lot of the houses and mews look the same so it’s so easy to take a wrong turning. To be fair it’s very touristic around here as I live near Graça which is considered one of the ‘trendy’ areas in Lisbon. Not to mention the large number of tourist attractions ranging from monuments to Fado Houses to famous bars and restaurants, to jazz clubs etc. (pics of those coming soon) During this time of the year there are many foreigners here like myself which keeps this area rather interesting and busy. I feel like I should be liking it all. But I just feel stuck. The 9to5 life is definitely a challenge as I’ve never experienced working it before. It’s a great opportunity to see how the ‘real world’ works I guess but it can become difficult to stay consistently motivated when your mind and heart are longing to be elsewhere at times. Nevertheless, this is not a holiday as my boss keeps reminding me haha. I just have to keep my eye on the prize. I’m here to create more opportunities for myself and my future so for now I guess you could call these my doors of opportunity. 😀

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Lisbon is a perfect place for two, there are so many interesting things to do and places to explore that are just kind of awkward if you try and do on your own – unless you’re a photographer or a self volunteered lonely backpacker.

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There’s so much that can be seen taking a tram (n.28E) from my house right up until the Basilica

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Oh and I can’t forget their House of Parliament!…

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It’s even more stunning and huge in person!

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There are various other forms of transportation tourists take to go sightseeing such as the big red bus…

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And last for this post but certainly not least, there are a large number of gift shops around here, it’s literally like being in Piccadilly or Oxford Circus. They’re all pretty much the same but they all offer lovely gifts, hats, mugs, t-shirts and postcards etc. you know the essential ‘bring back home’ pressies for the family.

Looking at postcards afora da uma loja de recordações (a gift shop) at the CasteloImage

More posts coming soon…