Eliana

That started a while ago. I was studying abroad, in Madrid, for 6 months. During that time my parents came to visit me and wanted to come to Lisbon. I had always wanted to come to Lisbon too. So, we came and I really, really loved it. Later on, like two weeks later, I came back. Because I liked it so much! And after that second time I said: “I’m going to live here some time”. That was in 2011. Then, as I was going on my last year of the university, I decided to take Portuguese. So, I took Portuguese and started looking for jobs in Portugal, and one of my professors was, actually, helping me, but I didn’t find a job then.

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So, I went to Chile for 9 months with the winery that I work for, plus I worked in another startup company in Chile. There I met my boyfriend, who is Italian. He was going to come back to Europe, so, I decided to leave Chile a little bit earlier, and I said to my boyfriend: “I’m going to Lisbon, you can come there, if you want”. So, he came here and we were here for a month and a half, and then we had to move. So, he went to Italy for 7 and a half months, and then I moved back to the US for like 6 months. And then he moved here, and then we met here in June of 2014. I finally made it here, hooray!! It was a long and convoluted journey, it took me around 2 years.

Why Lisbon? I liked that it was such a beautiful city and that it’s so bright. There is a lot of light, it shines. It’s a european capital city, but it’s still sort of… not perfect. For example, Rome is pretty chaotic, but it’s much more polished and more crowded. There is a different sort of an atmosphere, it’s kind of rough around the edges, and I really like that. I like that it’s not perfect, but it’s still so super beautiful. It seems like it’s under-appreciated.

Now I know more about the city, about its history, because I took classes in my last year of the university: about the discoveries, Camões, and I feel like it helped to fill a lot of the gaps. I feel like now Lisbon makes even more sense: the way it is, the history and what it became.

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I don’t know, if I will stay here forever. I definitely think that I could live here for… I think that I could live here forever. But I don’t know if it’s going to work out so easily that way. I travel to a lot of places, but, honestly, I can’t think of any other city, where I would rather live right now. I’ve finally got to my goal, which was to live here, so it doesn’t seem like there is any point in going somewhere out. But even if I leave, I will come back at some point.

Another thing that’s amazing to me in Lisbon is that, unlike the other european capitals, people ask me: “Why would you come to Lisbon?”, and I’m like: “Are you serious? Because it’s amazing, beautiful and it’s such a cool place”. It’s so funny, maybe it’s the humility that the people here have. Even compared to Madrid, where I lived before, it was so shocking, because people here are so nice. After leaving Madrid, I was asking myself: “Is this real? Are these real people? How is everyone so nice?” It is shocking, but I love the people here. Sometimes, it’s sad, because they should be more proud of their city, but it also makes Lisbon that sort of casual, so into themselves sort of a thing.

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