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!


  1. Rob

    September 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Glad to see you back on the road. It’s where you belong, I dare say!

    Congrats again on your masters, I get a migraine just thinking of the workload.

    *golf clap*

    • Larissa

      September 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      I believe it is where I belong as well though I am really starting to miss Dexter (never tell him I told you that). Wouldn’t be doing this without you, sir – thank you and hope to see you out there somewhere one of these days.

  2. Megan

    September 18, 2012 at 2:37 am

    having no plans is exciting and exhilarating. wish you the best of luck in the future months miss master of europe, and thrilled to be able to follow along your journeys in portugal and beyond!

    • Larissa

      September 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      It is, it is 🙂 Thank you so much, I never thought I’d see the day. Master of Europe on paper, now just need to master it in my passport 🙂

  3. charlie

    September 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Congrats on knocking out that thesis and finishing your Master’s. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Portugal.

    • Larissa

      September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you, Charlie! It was rough but I guess it makes this new found freedom much sweeter. Happy to hear you will be following along!

  4. Heather

    September 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Welcome to Portugal and congrats on finishing your Masters. You should try to pop across and visit our lovely island of Madeira!

    • Larissa

      September 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you so much and guess what – Madeira is on my itinerary! Really looking forward to it!

  5. Jan

    September 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! I just returned from Portugal a few weeks ago…wonderful country! I just found this blog & am looking forward to looking around as I plan my RTW trip.

    • Larissa

      September 20, 2012 at 2:21 am

      Thank you! Yes, Portugal is an absolutely gorgeous country. Almost can’t believe I waited so long to get here! Good luck with your planning – how exciting!

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