Olá From Portugal, SHABL!
Sorry for my absence but trust me when I say I have been quite the busy bee!
Right now I am coming at you live from the Algarve in Portugal after a couple weeks of craziness. Before I fill you in on that, I have to mention – you are reading the written word of an official Master of Europe. It was looking a little doubtful at one point that I would finish in time, but 2 weeks ago I handed in the infamous thesis that I’ve been struggling with and now I am as free as a bird! Would just like to take this opportunity to thank Rob for all his support and encouragement over the past few months – he has been seriously awesome.
A few days after I was finished school I was off on my first blogger press trip to the region of Poitou Charentes in France aka Cognac Country. It was four days of beautiful old towns, amazing cuisine and of course glasses and glasses of cognac. Much more on that trip soon.
From France I flew directly into Porto, Portugal
just in time to hit up Travel Bloggers Unite, my first ever travel blogger conference. I’m really glad I decided to go. Not to sound like a broken record but these things are the really the best way for travel bloggers to connect not only with each other but also with industry professionals. This is especially true if you are more social by nature as the entire weekend presents the opportunity to just network and network, whether it is during the conference or out at 4 in the morning pounding shots and listening/dancing to karaoke versions of your favorite 80s pop.
After the conference all of the attendees had the option to choose a two day press trip organized by the Portugal Tourism Board to another part of the country and so I chose the ‘Green and Authentic’ one. The trip actually turned out to be green, authentic AND awesome – again, it was another great opportunity to bond with some other cool travel blogging people while discovering a really beautiful part of the country. We stayed in Braga and from there explored the Peneda-Gerês National Park one day and Guimarães the other. If you are into nature, go to Northern Portugal! It is stunning.
Now that leaves me where I am at present – the Algarve in Southern Portugal. The Blonde Gypsy and Skyscanner
, Europe’s largest flight comparison site, have teamed up and as a result I will be traveling around here for the next few weeks doing some live Instagram/Twitter reporting of what I’m up to. You can follow along on both spaces by looking up hash tag #BlondeGypsyPortugal or me – @theblondegypsy. I’ll be seeing the sights, staying in all sorts of places from Couchsurfing
, hotels, hostels
, private accommodation by countless providers and more.
Now that I filled you in I hope from here on out my updates will be as exciting as Roberto’s since I am essentially giving this whole “traveling-and-writing-for-a-living” a go which, to be quite frank, doesn’t fit very well with the high cost of living in Sweden. What does that mean? Well it doesn’t mean that I am giving it up as my base, I’ve got far too much there that I care about to leave for good. It might mean more extended trips though like this one I am one.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve taken off without indefinite plans and let me tell you – it is still really, really scary. No matter how many times you’ve done it and it’s worked out and no matter how well-traveled you are, you can never predict what is going to happen. That is scary but of course also what makes it so exciting and the reason that it’s what I have decided to do.
A new chapter is beginning here SHABL and I have no idea where it is going to take me but one thing is certain – you will be coming along for the ride!