So here I am presently, living in Lisbon, Portugal. The women I met back in October, that set such an impression in my mind, are exactly the kind, smart, funny, talented and real type of people that I suspected I had found. The type of group that made me want to pack up my life and move to another country. They make up the studio called PANDO, and now I am a part of it as well...
The women of PANDO have welcomed me with wide-open arms and I couldn’t imagine experiencing moving to Portugal without having this little community.
I have found sisters.
I lived in NYC for over 13 years and moving there out of college, I had never lived anywhere else as an adult. I had a wonderful full-time job and good friends, but for a few years I was on a rollercoaster ride in my mind, of when to leave and where to go. New York City isn’t an easy place to be, but cutting the cord and leaving it is a hard decision, too.
Check out Joan Didion's 1967 essay, "Goodbye To All of That" A timeless and relevant piece on the topic of leaving NYC.
I wanted to step-out on my own as an artist and designer, and finding an inspiring location, an energetic and welcoming artist community and low-cost of living, was a difficult criteria for me to pinpoint in America. I just didn’t feel strong enough about any place. And then I found Lisbon, but more over, I found PANDO.
My idea was to come here for the trial period of what an EU tourist visa would allow, to see how it felt to be in the Portuguese culture, around the language and get to know people, to work in an art studio here and to attempt a life as an expat. I wanted to do some traveling on the side to feel that solo-travel inspiration again.
Fortunately and amazingly it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life with no end in sight.