I don’t know anyone who has applied for or attended a writer’s retreat–the kind where a writer or artist lives in a tiny cabin in the woods and shares meals with like individuals. They sound fascinating, perhaps a bit primitive, but who would have me, a relatively unpublished writer with no MFA? Maybe that is for another day when I have credentials or maybe not. So I made my own, this year in Lisbon.
I know I’m lucky. My husband is supportive of my adventures and I can swing a month long escape both financially and professionally without too much damage. I also have the necessary spirit of adventure, willingness to go outside of my safety zone.
This year I booked an AirBNB in Lisbon. I had a lovely apartment in a central location with a usable but not amazing desk to write on and excellent internet service. This matters because in Bari during a previous escape, my laptop crashed and I blew through all my internet data reinstalling Windows and other software. This caused a little consternation for my host but we figured it out. Fortunately, my Portuguese internet was stable and speedy.
The first week in Portugal was shared with my dearest friends who joined me from Chicago. We crammed in as many of the tourist highlights of Lisbon as can be accomplished in 6 days. We went to the Tile Museum (Museo Nacional do Azulejo), the castle, rode the tram, sampled the cuisine and walked until our joints hurt.
When they left, I hunkered down and started writing. Of course, nearly every day I was seduced by another ramble in the sunshine or an hour journaling at my favorite outdoor cafe or a trip to an amazing bakery for a treat.
In the next month of blogging, I hope to share some of the details. Enjoy.