Unleash the wanderer in you! If there’s one thing we realized with the pandemic onset, it’s how much we were taking exploration for granted. However, here’s looking into how our celebrities have been unleashing the wanderlust spirit despite the COVID-19 mayhem. Let’s take inspiration from their travel diary and learn about new places and cultures right from our homes. Presenting:
SD: Was Portugal always on your bucket list for exploration?
Yes, it was. We had always wanted to visit Portugal, which is the oldest country in Europe as the climate is great, the Portuguese food and drink is excellent. There is a diverse terrain and the Portuguese hospitality is known to be extremely inviting and warm.
SD: How was the flight route and how many hours did it take to reach the destination?
From Pakistan, it is just under 10 hours flying time with one stopover in the middle so entire journey is 11+ hours. We took Turkish Airlines but there are so many options such as Qatar, Emirates, Oman Air etc
SD: What was the weather like and what kind of wardrobe you packed?
We visited for 11 days end of May so the weather was at its best. Not too hot and not too cold…mid 20s which is just perfect. The evenings can get chillier so while you can pack a summer wardrobe, some light jackets and cover ups are recommended this time of year. And lots of sunscreen!
SD: Which places did you visit and how long was your trip planned for?
We stayed for 11 days and split the trip between Lisbon, the trendy capital of Portugal, and a baby/kid friendly resort in Sagres which is located near the Algarve and is also the most southwesterly tip of all of Europe, known as ‘the end of the world’. This is because west of this tip there is just the Atlantic Ocean.
SD: The most memorable location from your trip?
Honestly, both Lisbon and Sagres were amazing in their own ways…the old city of Lisbon reminded me of Kings Landing from Game of Thrones (enough said!) beautiful architecture; friendly people, yummy Portuguese food and the oldest running bookshop in the world! The hotel we stayed at had an incredible rooftop and we enjoyed the best views of the city.
In Sagres we mostly stayed at the resort which we chose especially because it is known for being very child friendly and the design is catered for families. There are multiple playgrounds and kid friendly swimming pools all over the large resort; restaurants with child care services and kids’ menus, kids’ clubs and babysitting…a parent’s dream come true!
SD: The best thing you had experienced while there?
Aydin enjoyed himself thoroughly and it was a great pleasure watching him splashing in the pools and enjoying all the facilities. Faris, my husband and I managed to get away to do a 40km bike ride through some incredible terrain with gorgeous views so that was extremely special.
SD: Were there any setbacks you had to face?
Not really; the trip was kind of perfect! We were very lucky.
SD: Your absolute three items to have in your carry-on?
Now that I’m a mother it’s all about the baby…so nappies, snacks and new toys!
SD: Any funny incident that took place while you were there?
SD: How was it to travel during the pandemic?
The planning was hectic because we wanted to make sure we covered all our bases and wouldn’t get stopped anywhere plus with the governments changing travel rules every few weeks there was a certain level of uncertainty with everything which is very stressful. Having said that, the travel itself was very smooth with no hiccups.
SD: Your top3 favorite dishes which you indulged in?
Peri peri chicken of course
Different types of fish &
Pastel de Nata (a traditional Portuguese egg custard tart pastry)
SD: According to you, the best time to travel to Portugal would be:
I’d say May/June or Sept/Oct. I believe July- August can get extremely hot
SD: According to you, how much should a person be prepared to spend in order to have a decent holiday in Portugal?
This really depends on the individual’s budget. Portugal is cheaper than Spain and has many cost-effective staying options so it is definitely a great destination for people on a budget.
SD: Sight-seeing, shopping or satisfying your appetite with new flavors- which is your top priority?
Sight-seeing and food!
SD: Travelling in a pack or doing solo exploration- which one do you prefer and why?
I have never done a completely solo trip before and would love to try that one day…when Aydin is older. Perhaps a yoga retreat. I like to travel with my husband or a few close friends. When it’s fewer people you can make more meaningful bonds and special memories. Having said that, big destination weddings are super fun!
SD: What souvenirs did you bring back from your trip?
We bought some book from the oldest bookshop in the world and got them stamped.
SD: Do you plan to go back?
Yes! There is still a lot of Portugal left to explore; we want to visit Porto, Duoro Valley and go back to the same resort for Aydin.
SD: Your top 3 suggestions for making travelling safe for yourself and passengers around?
Always wear your mask; make sure you have fulfilled all the traveling requirements and please get vaccinated if you aren’t already.
SD: Do you feel travelling is a great way to bridge gaps and create mutual understanding of one another’s cultural stance?
Of course! I always feel that the exposure that travel provides makes people much more inclusive and more open minded towards others and appreciative and accepting of our differences.