What would compel a successful couple, blessed with many fabulous friends, living in a world-class city with a little wine country getaway, to hit the pause button and head out to Portugal? We’ve been asking ourselves that exact question for a few weeks.
A year and a half ago, when G and I were book-ending our trip to Azores with stopovers in Lisbon, we noticed an electricity in the air. There was a palpable energy there — from the prolific construction and renovation of old buildings in the city center to the vibrant night life. We both noted that the vibe was dramatically different from the previous time we’d been there.
The impact stayed with us, and we have been researching and reading more about this resurgence of this city that sits on the edge of Europe. The more we read, the more we are convinced that Lisbon is having a moment, and we want to be a part of it.
Lisbon is buzzing.
(Forbes, February 2018)
We are not exactly new to the Lisbon party, with the increased international attention focusing there and a host of celebrities now calling Lisbon home. The question of “now” is about both Lisbon and ourselves.
There is plenty of media coverage about Lisbon’s resurgence as the “it” city.
The bigger question is about us and where we are in life. There’s really no good reason to leave here. I have a thriving business, a nourishing community of friends, a comfortable home (two!). Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
Yet, something beckons. As the saying goes, “If not now, when?”
And although she was not talking about this kind of thing when she said it, I like Brene Brown’s quote:
Lisbon is Western Europe’s oldest city, predating Rome, Paris and London. It has been the capital of Portugal since 1255.
Like Rome and San Francisco, Lisbon was built on seven hills. It enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and has one of the warmest winters of any city in Europe.
As with many ancient cities, Lisbon’s long history is a mixed bag. Its leadership in global exploration and discovery, the so-called “Age of Discovery” in the 15th through 17th centuries, also brought slaughter to Muslim and African populations.
Portugal was at the center of the European financial crisis and obtained a bailout worth 78 billion euros in 2011. Those debts have been paid off and the economy has been growing. There has been a surge in public and private investment, generating an energetic ecosystem of start-ups.