One of the unintended upsides of unemployment is that it frees you to explore other avenues in your life. And may mean finding a job or starting a business that will allow you to travel the world untethered. And if you get that chance, one of the first places on your list should be Lisbon, Portugal.
When I first moved abroad, I was in search of a permanent new home. The main criteria were that it needed to be cheap, yet, was highly accessible should I choose to travel more. Suffice it to say, Lisbon more than fits the bill.
Lisbon has everything you could possibly need to feel fulfilled–a vibrant nightlife, cheap digs, and a chill vibe. It is also within minutes of some of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the world. So in the summertime, you can take off work and go take a dip in the ocean. What could be better than that?
If you are worried about the language barrier, don’t be. While it is true that Portuguese and Spanish are not mutually intelligible, so don’t expect your high school classes to come in handy there, nearly everyone in Lisbon speaks English. While this is due in part to the high number of tourists and expats, the local population itself has learned the language to a level of near fluency. As a result, you’ll be able to speak to anyone, anywhere about anything with little to no hindrance.
The Portuguese are also extremely friendly and open to visitors but don’t worry about making friends. They will be in ample supply. Why? Well, the city is already filled to the brim with others of your ilk. That’s right. There will already be a community of like-minded and like-lifestyle people ready to welcome you in.
Portugal has a long and interesting history, so there is no shortage of local history and culture to absorb. From Sintra Palace to the Monastery of Belem, there is plenty to do, see and explore. So if you happen to find yourself in the unemployment line, don’t fret. There may be adventure and community waiting for you on the other side of the pond.