Feeling at home in Lisbon and the world

Meet Ana, a true citizen of the world. Born in Angola and raised in Portugal, she is the daughter of an Indian father and European mother with a great-grandmother from Macau. Having visited over five dozen countries so far, it’s no wonder her Instagram page and Blog feature a beautiful collection of eclectic memories and moments.

photo: @ying.yang.photo

Her photos are more than just eye candy. She often posts tips, insider knowledge, and insightful quotes from travel essays about each place she experiences. Whether she’s enjoying a glass of wine in Santorini or exploring the ruins of Ta Prohm in Cambodia, it’s clear that she feels at home just about anywhere. Plus, she is an expert at traveling light, staying comfortable, and always looking well-dressed for the occasion.

We caught up with Ana to ask about her travel philosophy, the fashion scene in Lisbon, and how she packs for her favorite places around the world.

TRAVEL STATS:

  • Insta: @thetravellightworld 
  • Blog: www.thetravellightworld.com 
  • Current city: Lisbon 
  • Country count: 64
  • Languages: Fluent in Portuguese, English; speaks some Italian, French, and Spanish 
  • Current travel style: extended weekend getaways
  • Kids/fur kids: One cat named Vicky Cristina Barcelona after the Woody Allen film
  • Travel fashion style: casual chic 
  • Loves: art, history, architecture, and animals 
  • Can’t travel without: black denim pants and my iPod. I have a soundtrack associated with every travel destination! 
  • Trip style: generalist. active, outdoors, cities, museums, remote 


Ana's favorite places:

Klein Curaçao in Curaçao. For me it embodies everyone’s fantasy of a tropical island getaway. 

South Africa Pilanesberg National Park. I was riding in a similar balloon when I took this photo.

Singapore is one of my favourite cities. I love how they were able to combine technology with nature in the Gardens by the Bay.

 

Nyaven, Copenhagen, Denmark. I was in the harbor to have dinner in one of the nice restaurants when I saw the balloons flying over. It was really special!

A water gardener looking over lotus leaves in Cambodia.

TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY 

Anywhere: Why is travel so important to you?

Ana: Travel is important to me because it allows me to connect with my history, my cultural heritage, and helps me on my personal development. You learn something new on each trip. It's the best education you can have. Plus it's fun! 

Anywhere: Name your top three favorite places in the world. What makes each one special to you?

Ana: Excluding my own country Portugal, my three favorite places in the world are:

1. Japan – because of its culture, I love everything about it! The friendliness and politeness of the people, the food, the animation and manga style comics, the beauty of the Japanese gardens especially in the Spring when the cherry trees blossom, the cleanness of the taxis and the honesty of their drivers. The list goes on and on...


2. Italy – For obvious reasons:  the food, the history, and the art.


3. Chile, Peru, and the Maldives. Sorry I couldn’t bring myself to pick just one more place: the first two because of the breathtaking landscapes and the third because of the amazing marine life.  The National Park Torres del Paine in Chile is one of the most magical places on earth for me!

National Park Torres del Paine, Chile.

Anywhere: What is your dream destination or experience and why?

Ana: Right now it’s Zambia, because I can’t wait to experience the Devil's pool. This natural pool is created each year at the fringes of Victoria Falls, when the dry season reduces water levels to create what has been called by many the ultimate infinity pool.

Anywhere: What is something about travel that you didn’t read about or know about until you experienced it firsthand?

Ana: Many times you imagine that some land mark sites or places are huge in size and when you get there you discover they are not. I remember visiting Disney World Paris for the first time and being so disappointed at the size of it.

Anywhere: Do you have a favorite travel memory? What makes it stand out to you?

Ana: Dominican Republic. This was special to me because it was the last family vacation I took with both my parents. Shortly after, my father passed away.

Anywhere: Out of all of your trips, what place felt the most far away or foreign to you?

Ana: The road through the mountains from the Dead Sea to Petra in Jordan. I could not understand what was written in the road signs and felt really insecure.

THE LISBON FASHION SCENE

Anywhere: What is the fashion like in Lisbon right now?

Ana: In today's world, when it comes to street wear and fashion it's very hard to distinguish between cities, especially in western countries because you find the same stores and brands everywhere you go. Fashion trends tend to be very similar whether you are in Paris, Madrid, New York, or Lisbon. In Lisbon, people tend to dress well and in a conservative way. It's a smart- casual style.

Ana’s scarf is reversible, with a blue pattern on one side and black on the other.  The blue reminds her of traditional Portuguese blue tiles. She told us when the temperature is mild, not to cold, not to hot, this is ideal to pair up with a simple pair of jeans and white shirt or long sleeve t-shirt. You can add a hat for effect and there you go -- you look super trendy! Girls in Lisbon play a lot with these kind of accessories right now.   

The view from St. Jorge Castle where Ana loves to read and relax a little. The castle is always full of tourists, but the gardens have a few secluded and quiet spots. 

Ana’s coat, from Stradivarius, is currently popular on Lisbon streets.  Her bag is from Portuguese designer Ana Salazar, and the belt around the bag has a Portuguese coat of arms.  Here is Terreiro do Paço, a square that overlooks the river Tagus. The Tagus River is connected to many important moments in Lisbon’s history and its people.

WHAT TO PACK FOR LISBON 

Anywhere: What should Lisbon visitors consider when packing?

Ana: When packing for Lisbon the most important item you must bring with you is comfortable shoes. The cobblestone streets and hills of Lisbon are sometimes very steep and can become slippery when wet, so pack shoes that are comfortable to walk in. Tennis shoes or sneakers are good, and if like me you are a girl that can't live without heels in the city, then consider bringing shoes, sandals and boots with wedge or chunky heels and rubber / non slippery soles. Stilettos are not a good idea. The heels can get stuck on the cobblestones and make you fall.

A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also a must. Lisbon is sunny for the most part of the year. In the summer you should bring shorts, t-shirts, tops, shirts, and light summer dresses. In the winter pack an umbrella, a rain coat, and a good jacket as it can get quite rainy and a bit chilly.

No matter the season, when you are visiting Lisbon layers are always a good idea. The weather has been so crazy lately that we can have all four seasons in one day (literally!) so bring light clothing that you can easily layer with something warmer like a cardigan sweater, a pullover and jacket or just a scarf or a pashmina.

Always keep the cobblestones streets of Lisbon in mind when packing because maneuvering a big suitcase in the streets can be difficult, and there may not be a lift if you’re staying in a budget accommodation or a hostel, so pack light and take a small carry on suitcase or a backpack.



SECRETS OF THE CITY

Anywhere: What is something people don’t know about Lisbon?

Ana: If you visit Lisbon in September you can do an underground tour of the city and see Roman Galleries which are more than 2,000 years old. These galleries are only open for three days of the year and are free to go inside, but you have to book in advance.

Another thing that might seem obvious, but a lot of people, including locals, don't know, is that one of the best views of the city, and the perfect place to watch the sunrise, is Praceta D. Fradique, next to Belmonte Palace. The Palace itself is a Portuguese National Heritage site, built in the 15th century and was recently restored and turned into a luxury hotel. It has a unique collection of tiles and was chosen by the German director Wim Wenders to shoot his film "Lisbon Story."

Cais das Colunas, where the Portuguese Navigators departed to discover new worlds

Anywhere: What would you advise visitors to experience in your city?

Ana: Ride the number 28 tram. This vintage yellow tram has a route that goes through the city center, crossing many touristic attractions, while navigating along winding and very narrow streets. It's a really nice ride!

Go to a fado house to experience the soul of Lisbon. Fado is a form of song that was born in the 19th century in Mouraria and Alfama, two of the city’s oldest districts. To get a feel of the traditional fado go to Bairro Alto. Walk around the streets and check inside the Tascas (small restaurant/bars) to find the real Fado.

Go to one of Lisbon's terrace restaurants/ bars. There are many beautiful ones in the city and there you can try the best food, best wine and enjoy some of the best city views ever.

PACKING LIGHT

Anywhere: What does traveling light mean to you?

Ana: Traveling light to me means two things: security and practicality.

Security: When you travel with a carry-on plane-sized suitcase, you can take it with you everywhere you go because it fits anywhere. It fits in the luggage rack above your head on a train or bus, in the overhead compartment of an airplane or between your legs on a ferry boat. This means you can keep an eye on it all the time and not worry about anything being stolen, damaged, or lost by airport handling services or worry about your luggage being tampered without you knowing.

Practicality: You save time when you travel light. You don't have to check your luggage at the airport, you don't have to wait for it when you arrive at your destination, and you feel more comfortable if you have to travel by public transport and carry your luggage through the streets and in and out of buses, trains or subways. With a light suitcase you can start to enjoy your destination immediately!

Anywhere: How do you choose what to pack?

Ana: I take the following points into consideration:

  • purpose of the trip (business, beach holiday, mountain holiday, etc)
  • number of days spent in the destination
  • weather
  • culture (in some cultures it’s advisable to cover yourself more and avoid shorts and tiny tops)
  • events planned during the trip (If I have booked a 3 star Michelin restaurant or a night in the opera, I want to dress appropriately)


For more inspiration, check out Ana’s pages at www.thetravellightworld.com, @thetravellightworld on Instagram, and follow us @anywhereapparel

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