In just two days I will be flying into Bhutan to start an exchange with one of Quest’s partner universities, the Royal Thimphu College. Until then I am staying in a hostel in Lisbon, Portugal and am having my first european experience. I have been here for seven nights already and a few days ago I finally figured out how to work the door to my hostel so I feel like I can say I am really settling in.
Having never spent time in an area that is not primarily english speaking before I was definitely feeling some culture shock at first. I am learning however that most people speak english if you ask, and that pointing at things is very effective if they don’t.
Lisbon has many different districts to explore, and easy day trips to neighbouring towns. My highlights so far have been my trip to Cascais, a neighbouring costal town, and seeing the city’s nightlife with people from Germany, Poland, Amsterdam, France and Lisbon itself. I have been lucky enough to meet some european students who spent time in Lisbon previously through Europe’s Erasmus exchange program, a program that allows university students to study in different countries. They have shown me some of the less touristy places in town and have generally been great.
Tomorrow we’re going to visit Sintra, with multiple castles and Europe’s farthest west piece of land. It will be one of the more remote places that I get to see while I am in the country and I am looking forward to it!