Our trip to Porto was dedicated to meet up with our good friend Liliana whom we know from our days at sea. As I am currently working on a new book project where I portray girls (or probably better said ladies) who have been or are working at sea, I grabbed the chance and interviewed Lili.
Last time we visited Porto was for her wedding; we both did not have kids yet and the program was slightly different than the current one. We didn’t visit any playgrounds and the relaxation factor was higher last time around but we still managed to get a good chunk of “dolce vita” into our stay. Thanks for all the seafood, margaritas, mojitos and wines, Lili! You sure know where to get the best view with your drink. Or the best drink with your view 🙂
As mentioned, we have been to Porto before so we did not plan any major sightseeing. We mainly went with the flow, enjoyed strolls around the old town, passed the beautifully tiled churches, sat down for some coffee, writing and brainstorming when the kids fell asleep, the kids chased pigeons along the Douro river, we wandered through parks, tested most playgrounds and played at the beach site.
Beach and kids turned out to be a good combo. We spent some time at both the beaches in Matosinhos which is North of Porto’s city centre as well as in Granja, a village a few kilometres south.
One thing is for sure: Portugal is extremely family friendly. The infrastructure for kids might not be as sophisticated as e.g. in Scandinavia, but children are welcome anywhere. We had so many beautiful encounters with strangers who interacted with our kids – they tried to talk to them, blew a kiss from the other side of the road or played with the girl and boy whilst we were eating at the restaurant.
Besides conducting the interview (and treating ourselves to Portuguese wine and food), we wanted to find out how we are doing on working whilst being on the go, meaning traveling around. Below our experiences (The exact gear and all other links you can find at the end of the post):
Apartment: The apartment we rented was close to perfect for our current needs. Separate bedroom for the kids, reliable Wi-Fi, dish washer and washing machine were all there. Plus, it was located very centrally, right next to the cathedral. We had grocery shops, restaurants and bakeries in walking distance. As a goody, we were picked up from and dropped to the airport. Not a necessity but a nice extra.
Luggage: We travelled with two medium sized suitcases, two small backpack as well as a diaper bag. In addition, we took our double stroller which was a good decision as we ended up walking a lot. And sometimes they both napped at the same time in the stroller which is nowadays as cool as winning in the casino 😉
Travel: We flew from Zurich to Porto with Swiss. As we currently live in the Swiss Alps, the trip to the airport took about as much time as the flight. The kids did great and we actually found it to be very easy and comfortable.
Food: Our apartment had a well-equipped, big kitchen. We ended up eating at least half of our meals at home. We love grocery shopping around the world and trying out local ingredients. Eating at restaurants was also pleasant, so far the kids eat pretty much anything so that makes it easy. Plus; all the places were super kid-friendly (as mentioned above).
Routine: We both agreed that we have not found yet the perfect routine in order to get the maximum amount of work done in limited time. We got some work done like the interview, some filming for a virtual summer reading I did for my book and we attended to the most urgent work related to our clients. It somehow was hectic to organise ourselves work-wise. Definitely room for improvement.
Duration of the stay: One week was okay. In order to get into a routine however, we feel this is the minimum we currently need in a location in order to still be productive (or semi-productive -> see above). Relocating to a new place and getting settled does take some time.
Even though it has been our second time in Porto we feel there is still so much more to discover: a river cruise, exploring the Douro valley, port wine tasting … the list goes on.
So Porto, we will be back! And we are very excited to further tweak our digital nomad lifestyle. Stayed tuned as we set off to our next stop: Ireland!
Gear and other useful links*
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