In case I haven’t been spamming you enough with some envy-worthy Instagram posts, you may or may not know that I’m currently working from sunny Portugal instead of Cardiff. I’m on a remote work scheme for ‘Digital Nomads’ i.e. people who work in digital or tech industries who can do mostly everything from a laptop, allowing them to travel and work all at once. If you haven’t already check out my first blog explaining a bit more about the program.
I promised myself that I’d really start nailing this blogging so here’s a round-up of my first week!
I arrived in Porto late on Saturday 16th July after a slightly late but fairly straight-forward flight thankfully!
Sunday was pretty much spent adjusting, sleeping and attempting to cover every inch of my pasty skin with factor 50!
We had a little explore of the area – our (very 70s) AirBnb is right by the river and there’s a fab little viewing spot that looks out on the whole thing. Finished off with tapas and gelado all ready for work at the Porto office in the morning!
Monday is ‘induction’ day – at Hacker Paradise this is where we get a short intro into the community and the run-down of the week.
We get set-up in our office and also we spend a bit of time with the whole community (25-30 people at any given time) over group lunch. For me, I was also straight into work mode as this Monday there was a ticket release from Ignite Cardiff which means both a series of drip-fed Social Media updates as well as an email marketing campaign!
No rest for the wicked eh?
Tuesday is nice and chilled out, we’re starting to explore the city bit by bit and find alternative places to work too. Our office is adequate for work and there is dedicated space next door for private Skype calls etc but it;s great to also get out and soak up the city culture in coffee shops etc.
There’s a cafe called ‘Moustache’ which is fantastic both in terms of the Air conditioning (an absolute MUST) as well as hazelnut cappuccinos!
Every Tuesday on this program there are organised talks either by some of the Hacker paradise community or even by locals in porto who are in the tech scene here.
During the evening we went to see a talk on hypermedia APIs by one of the Hacker team at local start-up hub founders founders.
Wednesday is another normal working day, albeit the late eating and drinking culture here as well as the heat means my whole day has started to shift backwards. In Porto literally no-one eats dinner before 8pm, plus with a large group of people finding a large enough table can be a major issue.
Food is definitely a strange thing about remote working. A lot of the most popular places to work remotely or for ‘digital nomads’ have a very low cost of living. Porto is no exception, particularly for food and drink. Sadly this means that you tend to not take of yourself that well and places like ‘Mr Pizza’ really beckon. 2 whole euros for a massive slice of pizza? Yes please!
Thursday was probably one of my favourite days so far. Every other Thursday there is an organised ‘Reciprocity Ring’ by the facilitators here. The rules are that every person in the group must ask the group for help with something, this could be work-related if you need help on a project for example, or perhaps you’d like some guidance on the best seafood restaurant to visit. For me, I was adamant that my weekends would actually be spent doing real ‘holiday’ stuff so I asked if anyone knew of, or wanted to come along to, an outdoor pool nearby (more on that in week two!). I really like this concept and I think it would be a great thing for lots of organisations or even communities to embrace. You’d be astounded at the positive projects to come out of it!
Friday I spent doing research on full-service lead generation automation systems. Yum! But in all seriousness this was a project I’ve been meaning to start for ages – finding a system that builds landing pages, can host a membership site, send marketing automation AND integrate fully with my wordpress website. Productive eh? And you thought I was just eating ice cream the whole time! I also finished the afternoon with a Portuguese lesson that I have pretty much already forgotten…
With a well-deserved day off Saturday couldn’t be spent anywhere but the ‘Vinho Verde’ wine festival! I even found a Vineyard that was my namesake!
Vinho verde is a ‘green’ wine which s like a more fresh, young wine than normal whites. They usually also have a bit of sparkle. Sometimes you also get strange mixes of rosé with verde and even some reds come with it too. Personally sparkling red is just not ok in my opinion but each to their own!
Sunday is beach day! Sun, sea, sand and SPF!
We topped off a great first week with a trip across the River to the adjacent city Gaia. Pretty sweet view right?