I want to write this, first and foremost, for me. Because when I am in Portugal I want to be in my country and when I am here I realize that in Portugal. Despite all the shortcomings, it’s a million times better.
I write this so I can read it when I am in Portugal and think that life is not so special, to remember myself why I am in Portugal. Is it just me or we are becoming incapable to appreciate good things, extraordinary thing, in the second we got them?
Reason #1 – I can be outside
Right now, in my country, I am living my life in my house. I love my house and I can spend hours in front of the TV watching Netflix, but I really feel the need to go outside. As I age, I feel that if I don’t move around a little bit every day, I get sick. Maybe it’s because I read it on the internet and now my brain is obsessed with the idea, maybe I really am getting sick just laying around the house, I don’t know. But I am feeling physically sick if I don’t go outside.
In Romania we live our best life inside our homes, and this is one of the reasons why our house is so precious to us. Here I can’t go outside for so many reasons.
First, what you see (the grey block, the people always unhappy) is depressing. Second, you don’t have nice areas to walk as a pedestrian, only crowded streets. Third, it’s very cold outside! Firth, or actually the most important, is that people are not respecting the rules and the risk of infection is very big – this is why we don’t go to restaurants or any shows or opera.
In Portugal even the most boring day looks like this:
Vilamoura, 10 minute by car from where we are
I don’t know what kind of trick my mind plays! When I am in Portugal, Vilamoura, looking at this amazing multiple time awarded marina as the best marina in Europe, my mind goes something like: but you have seen this yesterday also! it’s not that special!
This is very disconcerting, it’s like I need bad stuff to happen to me in order to appreciate the good.
Well, if there is a New Year’s Resolution that I should really work on, is this: be more present, be more grateful, acknowledge what you have already!
Reason #2 – I can travel
Travel use to be the love of my life. I lived to travel, literally was my only reason to wake up in the morning.
The thrill of a new place, of a new experience, it’s not matched even by falling in love.
In Romania I can’t travel by car because every road is literally a death trap. We are, I think, the country with the most daily deaths on the roads. I don’t know the numbers, I don’t look at them because I cannot process and handle the information.
But I don’t go in a car here unless is very short rides and only in town.
I cannot travel by train either, because our trains are very dirty, slow and uncomfortable to travel. Most discouraging is that trains go only to main cities, so to get to any nice place in Romanian you need to go by train and the by car. So you cannot take the car out of the equation.
In Portugal, I remember the first time we came in Algarve and rented a car, Flavius was not allowed to go over 40 km/hour. Everybody was horning us and was annoyed that we go that slow. We also took the smallest and uncirculated roads, to avoid disturbing the traffic.
Slowly but surely we started traveling between towns in Algarve and then this year in April, on my birthday, we took a 3 days trip the south-west coast. Also in October we drove from Lisbon to Fatima and it was a really great experience!
Now I am thinking in 2022 we can venture ourselves onto IC (the main national roads in Portugal) and even on A (the highway). I feel I can do it and I am ready.
Portugal makes me feel safe, makes me feel free and gives me the world to play with! I have to remember that next time I think my house is too cold and damp. I have to remember to get out of the house and take that trip.
Reason #3 – Changing my circle of people
This is hard to write about with honesty and still remain “politically correct”. But I am going to do it because I think we should remember that not everything we feel is aimed to hurt somebody.
Sometimes what we feel is a reflection of us, not of the other people.
One of the main reasons I wanted to leave Romania are the people here. The mentality we have currently is not suited for me and felt that was holding me back. I felt that it’s to much work to go around that, to fight the system and mentality of each and every person around me, to explain myself daily. It’s easier to just go in a place where you can find people like you or very different then you, but who are ok with you or them being different. Actually looking for a little diversity in their life, like I am looking for it.
But I didn’t count on the fact that I am an 40 years old introvert. I didn’t realize I got lucky meeting a few people in my 20’s and 30’s and these people stuck with me, and me with them. Back then I didn’t do anything special to meet them, to be friends with them, it just happened. You meet somebody and 10 years later or 20 years later it’s still there. Somehow.
Now it’s not that easy. We work from home, we don’t meet anyone, especially because we designed our life not to meet anyone. I know, it’s crazy!
I came to Portugal to meet new people but actually I don’t want to do that. I need other people around me but want the process to be as simple at it was in my 30’s.
I am literally terrified every time someone says to me: let’s meet in person! I know that If I don’t take that relationship to the next level several things will happen:
- the person will move on to somebody willing to commit to a real life friendship (because we are not 15 looking for imaginary friends on the internet – I get that and I feel the same)
- anyone really, will think that I don’t like them for some reason and feel actually hurt and disappointed
- the person will think of me as a dishonest person with bad intentions.
So yeah, I have to get over myself and remind me that I came to Portugal to meet new people. And to just go there and meet them.
In my perfect world I would have my old friends back but not really them, them with new ideas, new interests and new way of life. Yes, it sound really bad, and something you should never write or say to someone – but maybe someone else feels the same and it will help them read this.
If not, it will help me reading this sometime next year, to remind myself to go do the things I changed my whole life for – and now not doing it.
This is a very personal experience and this was not written for engagement or SEO purposes. It was written in hope that putting my thoughts on paper will bring me a little clarity. And it felt right to write it. It’s always the right thing to acknowledge your feelings, especially if they are something you don’t want to feel. The first step to change. Hopefully!