Sense of Wonder

19/07/2015

Arrival

“If you are young in heart and the sense of wonder still stirs within you.”
– Intro to Flatland

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Lisbon on my ‘maiden voyage’ digital nomad trip, was a familiar ‘blank slate’ feeling. I had experienced this before several years ago when I moved to San Francisco for a five month university exchange program. That first time, I had felt quite overwhelmed, like a writer with writers block, something completely new before me and no idea where to start. Experience had enabled me to be much more prepared this time. Instead of allowing myself to become paralysed by fear, I embraced the sense of wonder and set out with a more clearly defined sense of purpose. I needed to be used to this and in control of my thoughts, because every place I ‘nomad’ in will present this same challenge: an empty page with a new story to be written.

One of my main goals for the first few days, was to begin applying a similar day structure as I had been used to in London; thus building a sense of familiarity into what was a completely new environment. With this in mind, on my first full day (Thursday) I sought out the co-working office space that I would be using. This would enable me to start working immediately on the following day; I am glad I decided to do this because it was hard to find, and I had a call with a client on the Friday morning, which I could have missed. In the evening, I went and found a climbing wall which would be a place to exercise.

The next day (Friday), I went to the shared office space for my first remote working day and began as usual. No problems there. People in the space were friendly and we had some interesting chats, including about the political situation in Europe. Saturday, the beach (didn’t get burnt, need to avoid being a stereotypical northern European lagosta suada, i.e. ‘sweaty lobster’).

Regarding living, I am in a very central apartment with four other people: two have been here for a while, another for a few weeks, and another arrived yesterday, so a good social vibe and everyone seems friendly. The only gripe I have currently is a parrot which lives in a nearby house (outside my window) and seems to enjoy squawking at length starting at 6am (my earplugs do nothing to combat this). Other than that a good few days in Lisbon so far!