Finally in Portugal! Last thursday was an emotional day, because it was my time to leave to Portugal for my new job and my new life. After a very emotional bye-bye at the train station in my home city Tampere, I finally started my long journey towards this new adventure.
Moving abroad has always been a tempting and exciting thought and that it has been also as an experience, but it also includes many new challenges. Traveling during this pandemic also adds some extra obstacles, because you will have to be taking care of many important things, such as a negative Covid-19 test result (in english language) and other related quidelines and rules that you will have to check before traveling. For example, you will have to prepare yourself to wearing a face mask the whole journey through and you should also carry more than one mask with you, so you can change it. A face mask adds obviously extra discomfort to the trip, but you will also have to wear a mask in the country of destination (you need to check these guidelines before going, obviously).
THE CHALLENGES OF COVID-19 DURING TRAVEL
Challenges regarding the pandemic were visible already before my departure in Finland. There were no more direct bus routes from my city to the airport as there has been before, but luckily I found a good train line with only one change in between. I hope that this lack of of direct bus routes will change for the better again at some point now, that traveling will slowly but surely increase again, little by little. There were no direct flights from Finland to Portugal either, so I had to book a flight with one change in the middle. My change was in Amsterdam and everything went smoothly in the end, even though I was a bit nervous about it and I had to wait in the Amsterdam airport for over five hours before my connecting flight to Lisbon took off. Usually I don’t support connecting flight routes inside Europe, because the distances aren’t that long anyway, but this time there was no choice. Lucky for others, it has already been announced that TAP Air Portugal and Finnair will start their direct flights again at the end of June this summer, so thumbs up for that!
At the airports (Helsinki, Amsterdam, Lisbon) were a lot of information about hygiene and how to take better care about your personal hygiene during this pandemic and while traveling. They were also very strict about wearing a face mask and you will have to have your negative Covid test result with you at all times. That it very important and mandatory for traveling right now, so be aware of that. You can also only take your face mask of when you are eating or drinking something.
The flights went smoothly and KLM was a good airline, so I was happy with my choice. They offered free drinks and snacks during both flights and that was a good way to breathe for a while without the mask, so even if you don’t feel hungry, take advantage of this time. The snacks didn’t really taste that delicious, but it was worth it to get breathing break, haha. I can also warmly recommend the connecting flights of KLM, it was not a bad choice at all.
NEW HOME, NEW WORK, NEW AMAZING CITY
I arrived to Lisbon very late in the evening, so I had to spent my first night at a temporary accommodation at a hotel, but the next day I was able to go to the office and take care of some important work-related things and then they drove me to my new apartment, my new home in the center of Lisbon. My first impression of my new apartment was nice and I was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t lived with roommates in many years, but my roommates are all very kind and helpful people, so I am happy about that and I feel lucky. Now I have also started the training for my new job and I am excited to see how it will go. Hopefully well!
I have been getting to know the city a lot and I have done a lot of walking around and exploring. Lisbon seems like a fantastic city and it has a great vibe. It is also easy to walk around everywhere, but I do recommend to use the public transportation also, because there are many big hills and you will get tired of all the walking after a while.
So far I have explored Bairro Alto, which means the “high neighbourhood”, spotted the old yellow wooden trams around, enjoyed the sunny sceneries of the old town Alfama and watched the people in the beautiful Plaza de Comercio square. The different neighbourhoods of Lisbon are all unique and they have their own specialties. There are also lots of amazing cafes and restaurants all around the city and my favourite part is, that there are also fantastic places for vegans! I will be posting more about these later on, when I get to explore them a little bit more.
I will be talking a lot more about my life in Lisbon and all about what this beautiful, new city and country has to offer. I will tell you about the many fantastic cafes and restaurants, but first I will need to get to know them a little bit better. Lisbon has so much to see and do and I can not wait to explore all its beauty!
Stay tuned for upcoming posts and updates and feel free to follow my Instagram for real time updates as well at @tiinajohannaaa. Have a lovely new week!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR AND KNOW ABOUT LISBON? SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS AND YOUR PERSONAL TIPS FOR THE CITY IN THE COMMENTS! 🙂
<3: Tiina Johanna