5 Things I Learned in Portugal

//5 Things I Learned in Portugal

5 Things I Learned in Portugal

  1.  Portuguese: they’re just like us!  Consider me the typical ignorant American tourist, but coming here I pictured an underdeveloped landscape with no English speaking people.  How incredibly wrong I was.  Silly girl.  Nearly everyone speaks English here and the roads are some of the cleanest I have ever seen!  Certainly cleaner than my now-ex-home San Francisco.  Painted tiles fill the roads and cover walls and the local people couldn’t be nicer to their visitors.  I could stay here a while.  
  2. Meat and cheese, meat and cheese.  It’s typical for the Portuguese to eat ham and cheese for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.  At my hostel, our breakfast consisted of a dinner roll, three pieces of ham, provolone cheese and jelly.  Back home, us “basic” people live on cold pressed juice, iced coffee and donuts in the morning (unless you’re an overachiever and cook eggs or something at home haha). Breakfast here looks more like lunch.  Meat and cheese are the main ingredients in almost every dish we have ordered!  Can’t really argue with that.  Be sure to try Francesinha- basically a sandwich with different types of meat (sausage, ham, etc.) covered in cheese and soaking in a bowl of gravy.  Yummy.  Bring on the carbs!                         IMG_1039
  3. Chivalry is not dead and catcalling is cross-cultural.  Coming from my hometown in Northern California, I may have a skewed view of what chivalry means, but us Cali girls are just happy when a man even opens our door anymore!  Not only is it custom for the men to open doors for women, but they treat women like beautiful creatures to appreciate.  They admire women the way a tourist admires the massive sculpture in City Center.  Women of all shapes and sizes roam the streets getting admiring looks from the men with occasional catcalling- I guess the catcalling is a cross-cultural norm! haha I will say, however, they do it better here.  Never would you here a Portuguese man yell out his car window “Hey girl, how you doinnnn?”  Ladies, you know what I mean.  Instead, you will hear compliments about your beauty or your outfit, of course all in hopes you will take the bait and stay to chat.
  4. You can sleep when you’re dead.  The capitol of Lisbon never sleeps, I swear!  People stay out all night long, the clubs only start getting packed around 2-3 AM (long after the last call at a California bar) and food trucks serve up your favorite Portuguese dishes 24 hour a day.  If you have a night out at any Lisbon club (like I did), you’ll see just how late you can stay up!  That was one of the longest nights of my life.  Worth it?  Absolutely.  

    Thanks for letting me co-DJ!

  5. Coffee is Espresso, Espresso IS coffee.  Don’t try to ask for iced coffee.  Just don’t.  They don’t understand and do not want to.  You will get responses like “we treat coffee differently here”- surely with more respect.  If you go to Starbucks (which is only in Lisbon) and ask for an iced coffee, you will get four espresso shots over ice.  Whoopsies!  I’m awake now!  I. LOVE. COFFEE.  

    What’s that saying?  You can take the girl out of California…

By |2015-08-22T14:45:17+00:00August 22nd, 2015|From ___ with love|3 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? SheGoesGlobal.net is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. chris1957 October 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Really nice blog. Like it short and simple……..cute photos too…..one thing to add about Portugal that drove me insane was that hot food was never hot……everything was a shade of lukewarm……are you still travelling? Maybe we might share links on our blogs? Christopher

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