Personally and as a country...
Nancy, always love your thoughtful perspectives.
Friend material” is pivotal ... and how to go about finding that! So often the choice, when first landing in a foreign land, seems to be a kind of “speed dating” at a bar or restaurant. That can spin a lot of wheels.
So for people in the western Algarve (greater Lagos area) I created a facebook page called “Lagos Portugal Conscious Community & Events” in order to create an easier entry to meet kind, respectful like-minded people who want to discuss more than the weather and when they got their residency permit.
Among other goings-on, I have regular gatherings at my home where we check in on whatever is on our heart and head and then do a short meditation together. Lovely connections. Maybe you’ll have the opportunity to join us sometime :-)
Being comfortable with oneself and spending time alone is not necessarily loneliness. The SG's observation is specific to what's happened in the US and I've little hope it will improve. The atmosphere in Portugal is one of calm and acceptance and why I've chosen to live here. I look forward to connecting with people who share this peaceful place.
A great way to combat loneliness is to volunteer for a charitable organization. You meet other likeminded people in the volunteers and also those who may be in a whole different class and have a different set of needs. But choose your organization to fit your interests and skills.
Brilliant! Your words today, good medicine Nancy. Thank you. Indeed, in my experience, loneliness is the existential ailment of our species. And social connectivity the antidote to individual and planetary healing. On this topic, Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, in collaboration with the work of Deb Dana, might be of interest. Both provide an accessible and powerful biological lens to healthily and sanely navigate these chaotic times. Which, as we know, they too shall pass!:-). Até logo.
In light of the recent mass shooting here in Jacksonville, Florida, where we increasingly fear public gatherings, the environment you describe makes me long for the day we finally can call Portugal home.
Another great topic. This hits home for so many people. We are still here in the US, and will be until 2027 when our son graduates from high school and we make our move to Portugal. We see and feel how these impacts of loneliness have polarized our society and I know how I feel differently when I am in Portugal, and in other parts of Europe. There seems to be more 'connective tissue' and it comes from these interactions, big and small that take place in these 3rd spaces that are not our homes, not our work space; but rather public spaces at cafes and parks and public events. Yes they can't afford not to, and I wish we did more of it here in the US.
Fantastic post. I share your observations and thoughts and try to permeate our culture that is riddled with hate, distrust, envy and greed with random acts of kindness!
Spot on, as usual! We live in Porto, in a neighborhood in the city, and it is so affirming to walk along and see the butcher and the shopkeeper out for lunch and they say hi... and to stand behind a little old lady (!) watching her buy that day's piece of gourd, and the checker-outer taking a loooong time to weigh and bag as they talk. Social connection, every day. One of the absolute BEST things that we love! ...and PS: I love that you think of these things to mention and then write about it... obrigadissimo!
Thank you Nancy. The profound sense of community is what we noticed first here. It also is what we realized we did not have at home. Not since the 60's its so sad to have realized it is gone
Kindness is such a gift, the value of which so many fail to realize. Love your post. I do not live in Portugal but the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my time there is the kindness of the Portuguese people. I shall never forget that.
Once again, another wonderful piece - thank you.
We are minded of last year's New Year party in Lagos. Streets teeming with families, calling out to friends, smiling at strangers and a band playing on the outdoor stage. Portugal has so much money that at midnight, as well as the firework, mortars blew up into the air thousands of (miniature, non-legal tender) 500 Euro notes that came down on the crowds like confetti. Riches beyond compare!
We went to Dias Medievais last night. I’m sure Castro Marim doesn’t make a dime off of it, but it is a wonderful event celebrating heritage and bringing people and families together. The latter is also something I find more prevalent in Europe, the emphasis on family and multigenerational connectedness.
I love reading all your posts Nancy. This is one of the best ones! We are still trying to decide on Portugal or Italy. Rental prices just seem so high in Portugal. Community and friendship and being part of something is so key to us. We will put great effort into language learning, although I know my better half will always speak more fluently than me 😂
I believe there are still "pockets" of communities here in the U.S. that still have a sense of community/family like VRSA. I think the smaller the community/village, the closer its residents are is pretty universal around the world. Unfortunately, here in the States that sense seems to be eroding quickly, at least from my perspective.
One of your best and thank you for writing it. Thoughtful comments as well.
Lovely piece, thanks for your words this week!