GUEST BLOG: Leonie’s new life in Lisbon, Portugal!

That’s it.

You sit all packed in an empty room, ready to head out on a whole new adventure in a foreign country you know pretty much nothing about, and a little bit of uncertainty kicks in.​ Your funds are limited, you don’t speak the language or know a single soul in the city you’re heading to. What if something goes wrong?​

At least those are the thoughts that went through my head after I accepted a new job in Lisbon Portugal on rather short notice when I was living on the other side of the world in Singapore.​ Yes, I moved countries before, but this time I felt more insecure due to how fast everything was happening and my tight financial situation at the time.​

Only days prior I googled what language was spoken where I was headed and realized, I had barely any idea about my destination.​ An adventure! I thought at first… but now that I sat on my bags waiting for the cab to get me to the airport I started questioning myself.​

Skip forward a bit and I arrive at my destination. I look on my phone where I noted the pick-up spot. I have no internet to help me navigate.​ After standing at the meeting point for 10 nerve-wracking minutes in which I started to panic and feel lost in the foreign airport, a man approaches me smiling and asks if I’m Leonie.​

My new employer has a welcoming program that is supposed to make settling in as convenient and easy as possible. Luckily it did.​ We met with the other new hires already waiting at the car and exchanged a few words, while we drive out into the unknown.​ Here we were. People from 5 different countries, all in the same boat (Or car in this case). The driver was going to drop us off at the new homes our employer was providing for us.​ It was night and I remember, when we were driving across the bridge with the giant Jesus statue illuminated in the background, the ocean under us and the lights of the city flickering in the distance. I was so excited.​

This is still one of the most beautiful views and most beautiful cityscapes I have ever seen in my life.

Looking at this one of a kind view most people only get to see on images online, it made everything feel so real. Like I was really here. Not seeing another landmark on my google results but actually viewing it with my own two eyes.​

Another worry I had faded away, once we arrived at my new apartment. Despite being a 40-minute transit from the office (I am lazy and impatient so this is barely tolerable for me), it was in a nice area with lots of shops and the apartment itself was clean and pretty.​ I was handed a leaflet with train details, a map, information I’d need for my new job and got to ask lots of questions.​ The guy who showed me the flat was joking since apparently, the most calls he got the previous week were from people who in their excitement of moving to a new country, went out to explore but forgot to note down their address and got lost.​ I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t one of them but also felt very assured, knowing that if something happened, I had someone ready to help.​

After I was made familiar with the house rules and given a number to contact in case something comes up, I connected to the free house Wi-Fi (Thank god for that!) and briefly met my new flatmate.​ A very cool dutch guy who filled me in on the in and outs of the area and recommended some nice restaurants.​ Throughout the year we would have many drinks and laughs together.​

In the morning, I opened the blinds to be greeted with a sea of colorful rooftops expanding in front of the ocean and the sound of seagulls.​ All of a sudden all my woes and insecurities were gone.​ I had a whole weekend to spend before training would start, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world to explore.

Leonie Hassfeld - MJW candidate living in Portugal

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About the author:

Leonie, better known as Luzi was born in Germany in 1992 and has since then wasted no time to live a fast, exciting and at times crazy life, in an effort to make the most out of every moment. She is an outgoing extroverted party animal with an eccentric style and no time for “what if’s”. Some of the biggest passions of hers include gaming, makeup artistry, fashion and cosplay. Other hobbies include cinematography, various sports, dancing and writing. Before starting her recent career in the tech sector, she predominantly worked as a photographer and photo retoucher. As a true citizen of the world, apart from visiting other countries, she lived in Germany, the UK, Greece, Singapore and Portugal, and plans on making even more countries her home going onward.

To follow her adventures, check out @saintluziver on Instagram.

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