Lisbon ᛫ September 8 – 12, 2017
The reason to go to Lisbon on that date was the DNX, a Digital Nomad Conference for people who live and work location independently. Since that is exactly what I want to do, I knew I had to attend this conference, meet and learn from like-minded people.
I spent my last two days in Germany at my grandparents’ home. We celebrated my grandma’s birthday a little until I had to leave in the early afternoon. But overall it was a pretty sad day with lots of tears. My mom and sister drove me to the train which brought me to the airport in Frankfurt. One station before the airport, the train halted at the central station where I met my dad for five minutes. It was nice to also say goodbye to him on that day.
Arriving in Lisbon
The flight was only three hours and I arrived in Lisbon at 10 pm. Fortunately, I already knew how to get from the airport to my Couchsurfing host with public transportation because I had stayed with him before in October 2016. It was nice to see him again and to catch up. We hung out for a while, but I went to sleep pretty soon because I was very tired and had to get up early the next day. With the bus, it took me about 45 minutes to reach the location for the DNX at the LX Factory. It was a very cool place, an old factory that had lots of cute stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and art.
Day 1 of the DNX
I waited in line to go in and then got my name tag at the entrance. The inside was one huge room with a couple of hundred seats and a stage. While waiting for the conference to start, I talked to some nice people who sat next to me. Digital nomads and founders of the DNX, Feli and Marcus, opened the conference with a keynote intro. Then the presenter took over. She did some interactive “getting to know your neighbor” questions and a meditation with everybody. Afterward, the first speaker was introduced. There were four presentations before the lunch break. When they were finished, I met a girl that had studied with me in Cologne and went to a restaurant with her and some other nice people. I ate a delicious burger and then explored the LX Factory with a few of the people for a while.
After the break, there were four more speeches. They were all super interesting and inspirational. The speakers explained how they successfully build their location independent businesses, what mindset is important and ways how the listeners can achieve their personal ideal lifestyle. The tips were rather motivational than concrete actions. But of course, there are so many different people and possibilities that not everything could be explained in detail and everybody has to find their own way to do it in the end. One quote that could summarize the statements of many of the speeches and that I really liked came from successful entrepreneur Pat Flynn: “I’d rather live a life full of oh wells, than a life full of what ifs.”
Goodbyes and Nice-to-meet-you’s
When the first day of the conference finished around 6 pm, my head was so full of information that I probably couldn’t have followed another speech. But I was also glad about all the input I got that that. I took the bus back the same way I came. Unfortunately, I was probably dreaming and missed the right stop, went too far and had to take another bus back. As so often, Google Maps helped me to find the right way.
When I arrived at my destination, at last, I met up with two friends from Cologne who were in Lisbon for a vacation at this time. I didn’t have the chance to see them in Germany before I left so it was nice to chat for a bit and then say goodbye.
Afterward, I headed to the rooftop bar Ferroviário for the DNX After Show get-together. It was a beautiful location with a great view, but also a little windy and chilly. I got to know many new cool people and had interesting conversations. I didn’t stay for too long because I was pretty tired and wanted to be fit for the following day. The bar was close to my host’s place and I only had to walk for ten minutes “home”. He wasn’t there when I arrived but had given me the keys.
Day 2 of the DNX
The second DNX day took place in a hotel and started at 10 am. There were 3 – 4 workshops to choose from, happening at the same time in different conference rooms. Each was about one hour long and between 10 and 60 people attended. So it was possible to get more into detail than the day before and the speakers answered individual questions.
There were two workshops before and four after lunch. The lunch break I spent with nice people that I met at the workshops. We ate sandwiches at a small outdoor restaurant next to the street, talking about traveling and being a digital nomad. When we got back to the hotel, the workshops continued. I had to skip the third time slot though and took another break because my head was so full and couldn’t take in more information. I relaxed and talked to some people on a patio in the hotel and then had new energy to listen to the last workshop of the day. The workshops I attended were about the topics achieving productivity, blogging, freelancing, and finances.
Exploring the City
Afterward, I hurried into the city and up the hills to see the sunset. I reached the viewpoint Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen just when the sun was gone, but the sky was still beautiful.
Then I found a really good vegetarian restaurant (Graca 77) and was seated at a table with the owner who was also eating dinner at the time. He used to travel all over the world and told me interesting and funny stories including some conspiracy theories, warning me about the Illuminati and that I have responsibilities as a rasta girl to spread the truth (maybe mine differs a little from his though), positivity and make the world a better place. 😉
Back at the LX Factory and River
The next day, I went back to the LX Factory because one of the workshop speakers had organized a meetup in a restaurant. We were eight very different participants and each took turns asking a personal question about making YouTube videos. Then we would all brainstorm and answer the question. This meetup was very productive and I got a lot of important information, also from the others’ questions. The reason for going there was my plan to also start a YouTube channel besides this blog. But sadly, this goal has moved to the distant future for the lack of my time.
Afterward, I walked along the Tagus river. There was a nice breeze and the water looked beautiful. So of course, I took pictures of the Ponte 25 de Abril that resembles the Golden Gate Bridge and of the Cristo Rei that looked like a smaller version of the Cristo Redentor. San Francisco + Rio de Janeiro = Lisbon 😉
The last Night in Lisbon at a Rooftop Bar
From there I took the bus to another meetup at the cool rooftop Park Bar where many people from the DNX came. I watched the sunset over the city, met new friends and had more interesting conversations. In the end, I stayed longer than planned and took an Uber “home” because it was much faster than the bus or walking. Taking buses and/or trains is pretty easy and affordable in Lisbon. Although it costs more, I also really like Uber because it’s much cheaper than conventional taxis. And sometimes I’m willing to spend more money in order to get to a place faster than with public transportation. 😉
Since I had to leave the house early the following morning, I didn’t get a lot of sleep. After I had packed all my stuff I had to hurry because I was a little late (as so often). I took the subway to the airport and it was packed because many people were on their way to work. But I reached the airport in time, checked my backpack and ate some breakfast. At 10:45 am the plane took off and I left Lisbon, flying westbound towards Boston.
See more Pictures of my Time in Lisbon
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