Farewell Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

5:20 pm

The last day for any journey is always a bit sad, at least for me. Regardless of how eye-opening or adventurous my momentary being in another time zone was, saying goodbye never gets all that easy. Maybe it's because the older you get the less sure you are that you'll have the chance to return. The possibilities and potential places to have your passport stamped seem inexhaustible in your youths of youths, but gradually feel more fleeting as the years since your birth day pile up with the responsibilities brought on by true adulthood. Still, Portugal is a place I can say with near certainty I will see once again. Some day. Some way.

I hopped on the 9:21 am train from Coimbra this morning. Truth be told, it actually arrived at 9:26; a friendly reminder I was not in Tokyo if I needed one. I fell asleep for most of the ride dreaming, escaping, and hoping. About, from, and for I don't know exactly. But it was nice.

Upon my return to Lisbon I roamed the streets with an extra bounce of confidence in my step. I know this town, I thought to myself. Been here, done that. A few hours after my proclamation all I found was myself lost.

Thankfully the people here are remarkably kind and I seem to lack the bravado that much of my species possesses, especially when it comes to asking for help with navigation. I found my way home, which somehow turned out to be only two blocks away. Another reason I'm convinced everything just sort of works out in Portugal.

When I look back on this journey it will no doubt be with good cheer. I'll think of the winding cobble-stoned streets of Porto, the cool ocean breeze in Lisbon, and the beautiful fado music of Coimbra. I won't remember the unrealized dreams that crept up from my heart, my mind's relentless and aimless wanderings on good and bad, or the bouts of self-imposed loneliness that not so subtly weighed down my buoyant spirit.

Instead, I'll look back at Portugal like the view to Porto from Gaia, the glittering lights showing me the way home as I savor the final moments of my view from the bridge.

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My name is Nick Maccarone and I was born in Hong Kong, raised in Oakland, California, and have spent nearly half my life in New York. For many years I was a television, feature film, and theater actor. Before deciding to take a break from my pursuit of acting professionally, I decided to  develop my love of traveling into an experiment. I wanted to add value to the lives of others by sharing what I learned from the many fascinating people along my journeys. I hope you'll find my stories honest and interesting. I am confident you'll discover what people had to say compelling and take great solace in knowing just how similar we all reallly are. Thank you for reading!
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