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Damian's gap year: working and living in Lisbon!
"Lisbon now truly feels like home to me. The street parties, the incredibly friendly people, the evenings at the beach, and the charming city center: Lisbon is an amazing place to live and work." Damian experienced life in Lisbon for over a year. A real expert, one might say! Curious about his story? You can read it in this blog!
The start of my gap year abroad
When I had to make my study choice, I decided to postpone it for a while. At that time, the prospect of my university years consisted of a lot of online classes and therefore few new connections. That's not how I envisioned my student life! Together with my best friend Jesse, we started looking for other options. Very quickly, we decided to live and work in Lisbon! And July 2022, it finally happened: I moved from the Netherlands to Portugal!
Despite never having been to Lisbon before, I had few nerves. From the moment we got into the taxi and were greeted by the sun, the clear blue sky and the palm trees, I knew for sure: I belong here for the coming year. One thing that still surprises me is that you can just lie on the beach here until early November. The weather is fantastic!
During the first month here, I stayed in an apartment arranged by the employer, but after a month, I decided to search for my own apartment with my best friend Jesse. And we surprisingly found our apartment quickly. Within two weeks, we found an apartment in one of the nicest locations in Lisbon. Just a 10-minute train ride from the city center and 15 minutes from the beach. So obviously after work, I head straight to the beach to enjoy the sun!
Lisbon truly feels like home
I've only been living in Lisbon for a year, but it feels like I've been here much longer. In this year, I've experienced and learned so much. The combination of the vibrant city and moving out on my own with my best friend has brought me many beautiful moments. Of course, there have been challenging times too, which have taught me valuable lessons.
Lisbon now truly feels like home. I've gone out a lot, explored stunning areas, and had a blast at the beach! Lisbon is such a cozy and welcoming city with plenty to do. It's filled with "Miradouros," special viewpoints where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city (or parts of it). The rooftop bars are also amazing. The city is so accessible for foreigners to live in. You quickly feel at home here!
My tip for you!
Look for a sports club or something else that allows you to connect with locals! During my time in Lisbon, I didn't seek much contact with locals. It was only in the last couple of months that I started connecting with locals. I definitely regret not doing it earlier! In these months, I've realized how many more amazing places you discover and how many more exciting things you do when you're with people who've been living here their whole life. I've been to incredibly fun clubs, restaurants, and other locations that I didn't even know existed without these people.
I absolutely recommend everyone to live and work abroad. I've had so many enjoyable moments and learned a lot. I believe that (almost) everyone would have a similar experience during a period abroad like this! If you want to live and work in Portugal for a year, just like Damian, check out all the job vacancies right away!
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