Before I was married and had a child, I relished in being spontaneous, so spending 24 hours in Lisbon seems perfectly normal to me. I love to travel but I also love to share the gift of travel with others and especially to show them how to reduce the barriers that stop them living fully.
Travel is one of the most magnificent gifts that we can give to ourselves. Many of us work and then escape on a holiday once or twice a year but never really feel as if we went anywhere. So what if you could dip into travel in an easier more efficient way? One that helps you connect to your Self more, connect with others more, connect with the global community more?
I experimented with the idea of doing a day trip to meet up with some previous retreat clients who live in Lisbon. We were encouraging them to come over and visit the rest of us in London but then I thought, why don’t we just go to them? So a couple of us did and it was one of the naughtiest, most exhilarating trips I’ve ever taken.
It was great to be able to be Puja again. I wasn’t being a coach, I wasn’t being a mum or a wife. This 24 hours in Lisbon, I was only doing what sets my soul on fire and it felt so so good. My travel companion from London felt equally naughty. Sarah loves to travel and travels on her own a lot, so to have some company is always a welcome change.
We are both low maintenance and embraced every single experience we had with a sense of calm and curiosity – including a diverted landing on arrival back to London. We didn’t plan for it but it happened. The day was so immensely good, we didn’t let it bother us and just added it to the story of our experience.
In that one day in Lisbon, we had a beautiful lunch in a local deli and were given a bag of treats to take home with us. Our friend Ana was our fantastic chauffeur and travel guide for the day, who drove us around three different districts. All the while, she ensured to point out historical points of interest and local information. We stopped for some photos of the river, the churches and the trams.
We then drove to the BEST patisserie for pastel de nata. There was a line around the block of people trying to get a hold of their delights. Sandra decided to jump out of the car, skip the queue and go inside to get some for us all to enjoy. There was no way she would let us leave without a taste of these beauties! We devoured warm, melt in your mouth pastries at the side of the road and had some to take home with us.
Our flight delay home gave us an opportunity to visit another district which was starkly different to the main town. Beside the expansive river, we walked under the night sky in the breezy warmth together, arm in arm like a friendship scene from Sex and the City. We were just so grateful that we got to spend this special day together. I was then time to pop back to the airport for our epic flight home.
The whole day was absolutely delicious!
Our hosts treated us to the most spectacular experience of 24 hours in Lisbon and this trip has become one of those that we’ll never forget!
Travel has always been very special to me. I usually shed a tear before we take off in anticipation of what the destination we’re flying to will bring. Every time, I get so overwhelmed with the flight itself because I still can’t fathom that we literally FLY (defying both nature and gravity). And then we land in another country on our beautiful planet!
I love a ritual and when flying anywhere, I always send messages to loved ones or have a call. Each flight, I take time to sit quietly and contemplate the magnitude of air travel and am thankful for the engineers who made this all possible. As soon as the captain speaks, I am thankful to them, their co-pilot and all the staff on the aircraft. I then look out of the window and calmly say a prayer that we all travel and arrive safely. Then once we’ve landed and the fasten the seatbelt sign has been turned off and the engine begins to power down, I clap quietly and say thank you. Even as I write this, I feel tearful. Tears of joy for something that I find incredibly magnificent.
Travel is immensely special to me even before we land anywhere. Then, when we land, I want to immerse my energy into the new culture I’m experiencing. I smell the different air, I listen to the different languages, I watch people going about their day. For me it’s all about being present and quiet, just absorbing all that this new destination can provide until I reach my hotel. Once at the hotel, I step outside on the balcony (I always have a balcony), take a deep breath in and then out and I begin my trip.
Slowing down like this helps me to connect with the place I am in. It helps me learn if I’ll come back. I get to embrace the new culture and try to do things their way. It shows me that I’m the luckiest girl in the world who gets to travel to distant places and truly experience our global community and connection that we all have to each other – often lost as we strive merely to get through our day.