Farewell Boston

This is a post by Jenny.

After a very busy, overwhelming 3 months back in Boston, we head out of the country again today. This time, we head to our ancestral roots – to Portugal, Italy, and Spain (neither of us have Spanish roots, but I speak Spanish, so that has to count for something!). We fly back into the U.S on September 6.

A lot of people have said “have a nice vacation” or “wow, that’s a long vacation!”. I might be arguing about semantics here, but I really don’t think of this trip, nor our trip to Asia, as a vacation. Granted, we are traveling and not working, which might be the definition of vacation, but it’s also about a mindset. If we were to spend these two months like a vacation (overindulging, splurging, being lazy), we’d come home fat and broke – which I guess might happen anyways! We more think of our trip as moving temporarily, or a leave of absence from our regular lives. When we discussed what our goals were for this trip, or why we were going, the top two that came from both of us was to meet local people and experience the local way of life, and eat a lot of good food. The second goal will be easy but the first will involve a lot more effort, since neither of us are particularly extroverted. We’re hoping to meet a lot of people through hostelling and CouchSurfing – either by staying with them, or just connecting through message boards and going out together. We’re not sure how, but we want to make this trip less about where we go and what we see, but about that we experience.

This trip will be a lot different than our Asia trip in that it’s not quite as exotic, and significantly more expensive. This trip also starts off with a week with my parents, my sister and her husband visiting extended family that we’ve never met. This should be exciting, but also adds another layer of anxiety and pressure (will they like me? will I have time to do what I want? will people judge me for wearing the same clothes all the time?). I’m hopeful to make some lifelong connections with extended relatives that allow many more follow up visits!

Thank you for your support, and look forward to more frequent, interesting updates. If you have any requests for posts you’d like to see, let us know. We enjoy hearing form readers. Lastly, if you have any connections to the areas we are in, please let us know – we love to meet up with people we “know”.

12 thoughts on “Farewell Boston

  1. Well, Jenny and David, ALAS I have no connections in Europe :o(. Now, I would call what you are about to experience your “European Immersion”. And, Jenny…as long as you look and smell fresh (which may not always the case where you will be travelling) I’m sire you’re hosts will appreciate that you didn’t bring “the kitchen sink”…..also, it will keep them guessing about how long you will stay ! Have a great time. Looking forward to ‘travelling’ alongside of you.

    1. We are tentatively going to Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre, Sienna, and maybe San Germiano. David’s dome more of the planvning planning than I have..it’s all tentative! For all we know, we might like Portgual so much we end up staying there and skipping Italy (if we ever get to Portgual – at airport now with 4 hour flight delay..)

  2. Jenny – what part of Portugal are you heading to? Staying on the mainland or the islands? Enjoy your trip! An experience you will never forget…. Melissa

    1. Melissa, we are currently on Sao Miguel in the Acores. We´re in Ponta Delagade until tomorrow, when we head to Capelas. Next week we fly to Lisboa, then will most likely head to southern Portugal, to the Algarve…if you have any recommendations for anywhere in Portugal, we´ll take them – nothing is set in stone!

      1. Hope you had a chance to go to the Furna’s in Sao Miguel where the hot springs are and try some cooking. The churches are beautiful in Sao Miguel. If you can get to Faial it’s a port town and you meet alot of people who travel by boat that cross through. It’s the stopping point for the transatlantic. It’s tradition for all sailor’s to place their insignia along the docks including the Titanic. However I didn’t find it while I was there. It was once considered a whaling town and Peter’s Cafe is a bar and museum that is a local hot spot. I will update you on Lisboa. My friends daughter has been living there for quite sometime and will find out some local hot spots to check out in Lisboa and possibly Algarve

      2. Wow Melissa, thanks for all the informations! We haven’t had much Internet and are leaving Sao Miguel today. We loved it here – its so gorgeous and all my spectacular family that we hadn’t met til last week took us all over the island and fed us delicious food. Cooking in the caldeira was fun (and delicious). We head to Lisbon this morning. Hopefully a few blog entires to come about Sao Miguel soon!

      3. Lisboa:


        1. Bica do Sapato (International cuisine)
        2. Pinóquio (Shellfish)
        3. Delidelux (Brunch)
        4. Adega da Tia Matilde (Portuguese cuisine)
        5. A Parreirinha (Portuguese tapas with fado shows)

        Places to go out at night:

        1. Pensão Amor (Bar/art gallery/concert venue)
        2. Lux Frágil (Disco)
        3. Tamariz (Disco/Bar on the bech)
        4. Urban Beach (Disco)
        5. Bleza (African style dance hall / Live concerts)


        1. Largo das Portas do Sol
        2. Quinta da Regaleira
        3. Portinho da Arrábida
        4. Palácio da Pena
        5. Bairro alto and Principe Real (neighborhoods)


        1. Oasis Hostel (considered one of the best in the world)

  3. David & Jen
    Truly love your blog. Cant wait to read about your adventures through Europe. Becoming part of the ” community” and learning about their true day to day life is what traveling is all about no matter if you travel oversees or in your own back yard. With all my work.travel to PA this year i make the time to explore and learn about PA culture and how divers this state is from the city of Philly to the farm lands and the Amish community which I’ll be visiting at the end of July.

    Wishing you both a great adventure and looking forward in becoming becoming part of the “community” through your eyes!

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