My WFA Adventure in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon was the third and final destination on a three-country trip in Europe spurred by my daughter’s study abroad stint in Germany.
As soon as I arrived at the Humberto Delgado Airport, there were noticeable differences from Barcelona.
I stayed at an Airbnb located in Belém, a district in Lisbon located along the Targus River. Because Barcelona and Germany are in Central European Standard Time (six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time), I had not considered that Lisbon was in another time zone—Western European Standard Time (five hours ahead of EST).
I had four meetings scheduled on the day I arrived in Lisbon so I immediately pulled out my laptop, jumped on the WIFI, and started a Zoom meeting with a prospective client. I also hosted and recorded a webinar for Ready Set Go Consult.
I was finally able to leave the apartment to find something for dinner around 6:30pm.
Client and other work completed in Lisbon
Here’s an overview of some of the client work I completed while in Lisbon:
- Participated in my first meeting with a publisher that organized a live training I provided later in the year in Denver, Colorado
- Hosted the first Ready Set Go Consult webinar
- Hosted a webinar to promote the Federal Grants Simplified Bootcamp
- Participated in a meeting with a client that later hired my company to provide training to its 100+ cohort organization members
- Provided technical assistance to a client as they were preparing a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement proposal
- Hosted a meeting with the language translation company my company hired to translate training we created for a large foundation.
Exploring the sights and sounds of Lisbon and Sintra
As I shared in My WFA adventure in Barcelona, I enjoy visiting local cafés so I can people-watch and enjoy a good cup of coffee. The next morning, I had a tasty breakfast at Versailles, a corner bakery café that is a few steps from nearby museums and the Palácio Nacional de Belém.
After breakfast I explored the district. I found Miolo, one of the best breakfast and brunch spots I’ve ever dined it, and vowed to myself that I would go back the next morning. I also found Padaria Portuguesa, the bakery that had the best gluten-free bread I've ever had—its GF pumpkin, poppy seed and pumpkin seed bread.
The following morning while I was dining at Miolo I met and had a great conversation with two other women—one was a young university professor and the other just finished her MBA and had already traveled to 19 countries.
They reminded me about the great resources offered by the Blacks in Portugal Facebook group so I quickly accessed the link and found a co-working space.
After I left the co-working space, I headed to Time Out Market Lisbon. It is a bustling collection of restaurants and bakeries, including fish, meat, fruit, and flower vendors.
Before I left the US, I’d booked the African Lisbon Tour, a four-hour walking tour offered by AfrikaLisbon and hosted by Naky. It was life-changing and sobering. I also enjoyed the company of the others on the tour. I was already aware that Portugal was the first European country to transport Africans to the Americas. It also transported the most Africans from the continent to the Americas--look no farther than Brazil’s Black population for proof.
During the tour I shared that I had a few days left and wanted to explore another district or town and someone recommended Sintra, a town in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains.
I chose Sintra as my next destination since it only required a one-hour train ride and guaranteed more train-based sightseeing.
While I was in Sintra, I visited Pena Palace and felt very uneasy so I left soon after arriving.
I’d also wanted to visit the Castle of the Moors, but the day was quickly coming to an end, and I wanted to return to Lisbon while there was still daylight.
Overall, Lisbon was a fantastic destination. I was able to ride its trolleys, sightsee by train, take long walks along the riverfront, enjoy amazing food in the food hall and several local restaurants, and, interestingly, learn more about African history.
- Triple check the time zone of your destination in relation to where your clients are located.
- Never schedule meetings on the day of travel.
- Be like a digital nomad and explore your destination by finding a nearby co-working space in a safe part of town.
- Schedule 2-3 days of no-work sightseeing.
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