Portugal – The Low Down Adventure
It happens pretty fast. It feels natural. That’s the norm when writing the monthly Low Down. Not so for the STMT X Portugal sourcing trip. I struggled, damn, I’m STILL struggling to figure out what I want to share about Portugal. Words keep slipping, nothing wants to stick.
The crazy thing is that the trip to Portugal was super rad. It felt like a vacation! It WAS a vacation. We got lucky – we scored the goods early in the trip. So it afforded me time to vacay… like, full-on vacation. I visited castles, I laid out in the sun, I ate cockles by the sea… I got to relax and breathe deep.
Before RAD AND HUNGRY, I envied consultants that had clients in exotic locations – actually any location that wasn’t Seattle. I would ask eagerly what type of things they got to see, what restaurants they dined at, the cool bars they hit. Everyone said they didn’t really have time to go out and explore the city. Maybe one dinner out, usually an invitation from their client. I didn’t believe them. Surely they managed to go out and explore even if it meant breakin’ night. Even the most responsible people occasionally break night during work trips, right?
But I get it now. Hate to bust the bubble, y’all, but our sourcing trips are not one big fantasy vacation month after month. Yes, they’re full of amazing, rad, bootyclappin’ moments – but there’s equal parts work, HARD work.
A major difference between the normal hustle and the Portugal trip? How we traveled. It wasn’t a series of nonstop sprints. We rode the same modes of public transportation – trains, buses, metros – and one not-as-same mode: passenger ferry. We didn’t worry about the ferry schedule – I kinda knew when the last ferry departed, but I didn’t lock it down in my memory. When we showed up, we watched the ferry pull away. But Lady Luck was definitely on our side – there was one last ferry run for the day!
Have you ever traveled on a ferry? It’s a different kind of trip. Traveling by sea forces you to go slow. You push push push to get there – then you meander. Between two spots of land, you be in limbo. It’s a different mode, not right or wrong or better or worse. It’s different. The slower travel, the slower pace… the calm before the storm.
Back in Seattle, at RAH headquarters, it’s been months and months of massive change. I love change, I do. But more than change, I love routine. Somehow I’ve managed to live the past six years where I have moments of routine all while living a very nomadic lifestyle. Now we find ourselves navigating new waters, building new routines, finding the normal in the new.
The Portugal trip kicked off a few months of introspection, taking a hot sec to step back and look at the big picture of where we be. It’s been an intense last 16+ months. And shit is brewing. Always.
What’s in store? You’ll see. See by Sea.