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To Portugal

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To Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
October 2007
Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com

Arriving by sea to Spain from Morocco only presented me with one real option: Go to Portugal. I had previously traveled in the north of Spain and I did not visit Portugal. I feared that if I were to travel across the Spanish Mediterranean after not finding a strong urge to return to Morocco without visiting Portugal, it may be a long while before I return to this region of the world. I had to go to Portugal. This I knew.

Long term travel is a funny endeavor. After a while it is as if you are painting, rather than traveling, the globe. A big shaded in spot goes over the countries and regions that you have travelled through, while the other places remain blank. Symmetry figures in highly in all arts, and painting this global picture is no different: to travel through a part of the world and leave one space blank is to leave an annoyingly empty blemish on the travel canvas. It is as if you have a great experientially derived mental picture of the world, and any gap in the midst of this conception is like a chain that is missing a link- it just does not go together, like a puzzle with a couple of pieces gone. I do not have an extreme attraction to Southeast Asia, though I have traveled there twice, but I get a little annoyed that I have been in all of the countries of the region except for Cambodia and Myanmar. I wonder what is in these blank spaces so much that I know I will travel through this part of the world, that is not nearly my favorite, yet again just to fill in these blank spaces. I do not know why, but unvisited countries in regions that I have before traveled extensively seems unsymmetrical to me.

Therefore, from here on out, I propose to travel through regions of the world in sweeps rather than paths. I will approach the world as if it is made up of geographical regions, rather than mere countries. I do not like national boundaries anyway.

So like this, Mira and I headed out to Portugal. But an obstacle stood in our way: the tickets from the port city of Algeciras to Lisbon were 59 Euro (around $80) a piece. $160 for both of us would be more than a flight. We stood in front of a kid at the international bus ticket booth as our spirit slipped away from us. “Lets go talk about this,” Mira said. We went outside and sat on a bench.

Mira had a tear in her eye as she told me that she did not have the money to take the bus. “You go and we will meet back up here.”
No way. “Do you love me?” I asked. “Give me a kiss.”

She did. I got up and ran back into the station and emptied all of the money out of my pockets for two direct bus tickets to Lisbon. I then ran back out to Mira, waving my spoils in the air.

She smiled.

We were off to Portugal that night. I have had an affair for Portugal ever since I stumbled upon a picture book of the country many years ago in a Salvation Army. I also have an affair for picture books. Now I was off to live the romance that I had yet only imagine on gloomy Sunday afternoons of staring into the images on the pages of this book. Portugal You are in my dreams.

  • Portugal
  • Europe
  • Bus Travel
  • Europe Travel
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Filed under: Bus Travel, Europe, Portugal

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3131 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Zhushan Village, Kinmen, TaiwanMap

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