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In 2012, Melissa, one of my closest friends from childhood and I visited my sister while she was studying in Madrid, Spain. The three of us took a jumper plane to Lisbon, Portugal for a few days to explore this beautiful country. It is a diverse and welcoming place with a rich history of art, beaches, delicious food, and a music scene that changed my perspective on music.
We wandered the streets and explored the hillsides visiting museum and cathedrals. We also stayed at the #1 hostel in Europe, Home Hostel. "Home" was one of my favorite places throughout our entire adventure in Spain and Portugal. We met fellow travelers there and the staff was incredibly accommodating. Mamma, the owner of Home Hostel makes a traditional meal for the guests every Thursday night, that enriches the traveling experience ten-fold. Also, everyone speaks English, which helped! We spent time with the staff discussing politics and living in America, food, and of course music. One evening we stumbled upon an open-mic night in an apartment building. We could hear people singing Fado, the traditional folk music of the Portugal coming from a 6th floor apartment building while walking along the tiny cobbled streets on our way back from a local clown school, Chapito. I loved exploring Portugal, the contemporary street art continues to inspire my design work today.
While flying to Europe the person sitting next to me on the 9 hr. flight stressed the importance of making it to a little town named Sintra, which I'm so glad we did. A tiny beach town with many castles including Palácio da Pena, which was said to be one of Walt Disney's inspirations for the famous DisneyLand. We found Piriquita, a famous pastry shop that the locals praised up and down. I made sure to bring some home to share with my family and friends. I will never forget this experience with two of my favorite women or the wonderful hospitality of the Portuguese people and their inspiring culture.
Travel light, open and often my friends,
Peace + Love,