I happen to be lucky, no privileged. I am able to travel and spend my money on travel. I know this comes with a CO2 cost and weighs on my mind at times, but this is my environmental vice. What am I to do? I can’t imagine not travelling and exploring new places. Our planet is truly amazing and I want to see all of it. I also want to help preserve it, so I am in a catch-22. But I have yet to figure out how to travel guilt-free. This is a guilt-full travel post.
A few weeks ago, my family and I flew to Portugal for the week to spend time with my aunt who lives there. As we were descending into Lisbon, the captain announced that it was 28 degrees and sunny. Oh how excited I was. The weeks leading up to the trip, I had been obsessively checking my phone for the latest weather updates, crossing my fingers that sunny vacation would be in my near future.
The next week I laid on the beaches of Estoril and Cascais, ate delicious food, and drank lots of Portuguese wine. I also went for some short dips in the ocean. It’s quite crisp in the water as it is that Atlantic. But that surely has never stopped a Swede before.
We also had two lovely days exploring Lisbon. It truly is an amazing city. We stayed in Barrio Alto, which is known for its restaurants and bars. It was lively and wonderful. We were in small, boutique hotel on quiet street in this happening neighborhood. During the day we walked up and down (literally up and down) the streets of Lisbon exploring all it has to offer, eating Mozambican food, and inhaling artisan ice cream. At night, we visited some the bars and restaurants that in the Barrio. I was not feeling my best the next day, a rare occasion, which was 100% worth it.
If you are planning a trip to Portugal. Do it. You will not regret it. My sustainable tips for travelling in Portugal are eat, drink, and sleep local! Visit local produce markets on the weekend. Try traditional Portuguese cuisine and local fish, but stay away form the Bacalhau as it is imported cod from Norway and Iceland. Yes their numbers are increasing, but there are still more sustainable, local options to choose from. Stay in locally run hotels rather than large chains. Travelling this way may be a bit more expensive, but it is more authentic and adds to the experience. It’s also a way of travelling with a less guilty consciousness.