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Porto Portugal & Procrastination

I had the most magical long weekend in Porto. It was one of those experiences reminding me how exciting and memorable travel is. It was also a great reminder to be open to possibilities and whatever the universe, or an adorable city, brings you.

Porto is a few hours north of Lisbon and smaller in size. Last week I decided to go there and explore for a few days. Getting a cheap bus ticket (Europe really gets public transport!) I left just before sunrise. Not knowing exactly what to do, I dropped my bag at the hotel and started to walk. The first corner I turned to find a group of university students performing a Tuna on the street. The music was lively, happy and felt so incredibly authentic to Portugal. I thought I was personally welcomed to Porto!

For me, Porto was much more approachable compared to Lisbon. Being smaller it was easy to walk around and see different sights and neighborhoods. Interestingly, I had this mindset shift from how I was visiting Lisbon. For some reason in Porto I wanted to do everything and take it all in. I couldn’t get enough of what the city had to offer, even if it seemed silly or touristy. I feel like I’ve been holding back in Lisbon, thinking I had so much time. In Porto, I jumped into every opportunity I saw. I went on a gondola ride over the city, took a river boat tour, visited the port caves and did a tasting. I had sangria with olives and bread at the bottom of the hill then sangria at a bar on the top of the hill. I went to the local market and did some clothes shopping. I bought a beautiful, flowing summer dress that the shopkeeper told me I would break hearts wearing back in Massachusetts! I walked to so many churches to see the famous blue tiles, met new friends and was out past 1am. I woke for the sunrise, watched the sunset and in between enjoyed all the live music and architecture on every winding, cobblestone street.

Everything Porto presented, I just said yes to. I felt really open, connected and content there. I got to thinking, why was I reserved in Lisbon and in Porto I was diving in. In Lisbon, I think I have so much time, being here for over a month. Maybe I was putting off or procrastinating on enjoying it because of that? Or conserving my energy and resources, thinking there was always tomorrow.

Like everything, this became a metaphor for life. Why do we sometimes hold back from experiences? Closing ourselves off to what could be. Why do we sometimes have motivation and other days we are overcome with procrastination? Making excuses for not doing things, taking chances or making changes. Why do we think we have enough time? Time is the most limited resource we have.

If this is at all relatable to you, join me in some thoughtful questioning and journaling.

Do I use my time and energy wisely?

Am I taking anything for granted?

Do I wake up in the morning, ready to take on the day?

Do I limit myself and think "if not now, then when"?

Coming back to Lisbon I thought a lot about the differences in both my perspective and how I want to spend my time and energy, even beyond this trip. For now though…I have many more miles to walk and experiences to say yes to while in Lisbon.

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