A digital nomad view of Praia da Luz (November 2020)

The November blog of Luz Life for Ocean Villas Luz in Praia da Luz.  View of the sea taken from the one bedroom apartment

A brief recap: Fed up with the incessant negativity that surrounded me in London, I realised that I deserved a little happiness and accidently adopted a Digital Nomad (ish) lifestyle in the delightful town of Praia da Luz in Portugal. I hadn’t planned on staying longer than a week but I grow increasingly glad that I did.

They say that ignorance is bliss. Well, if that’s true, then it appears that I must have dived head-first into the ‘ignorant’ pool. I gave it some brief consideration but concluded that other than skydiving and Thai food, I’m pretty much open to doing anything. In fact, I don’t think I’m an ignorant person at all. Yet, life here in charming Praia da Luz is nothing short of bliss. If this is me being ignorant then so be it.  

Over three months have passed since my arrival and my feelings about this lovely town have not changed. The Autumn is peaceful and equally as alluring as the summer, perhaps more so. The days are long and the sun still shines with a gratifying glory. I have decided that I have no intention of leaving Luz this year. Thankfully, Ocean Villas Luz have some great long-let offers that I have gleefully accepted. If your life allows it, then Praia da Luz is the perfect place to work remotely. 

I woke, as always, to the sound of the sea and the sight of the sun edging gently out of its bed. I did likewise and sat on my balcony to view daybreak. I wouldn’t normally label myself as a morning person, but a Luz sunrise is persuasive enough to suggest that these ‘morning people’ might just have a point.  I began my daily routine and ambled the four-minute walk down to the main beach. It was already a pleasant 17 degrees and a few surfers had assembled to catch some pre-breakfast waves. I recognised a couple of faces and we nodded or smiled accordingly in our socially-distanced but friendly way.

I wouldn’t normally label myself as a morning person, but a Luz sunrise is persuasive enough to suggest that these ‘morning people’ might just have a point.

There’s a pleasant and cordial community here in Praia da Luz. It’s a mixture of affable locals, smiling tourists (with adjoining camera phones) and a small batch of contented remote-workers like me. Though each group is separate, there is a comfortable chemistry that connects us all. As I reach the golden sands, I break from my amble and accelerate into what has now become my ‘9am beach jog’. I run along the shoreline, weaving in and out of the oncoming tide. I pass another jogger coming towards me and we give each other a nod of encouragement. To my right, a family of cormorants dive deep in search of breakfast. Other jogging companions have included turnstones, egrets, a school of dolphins and a magnificent Griffon Vulture.

Below me, something glints into my eye. I stop to pick up a battered-looking shell and pop it into my pocket, before taking a welcome and reinvigorating swim. A 5k run is enough for today. As it is every day. I sit on a rock and watch a young family jumping the waves together, creating precious memories. Their infectious laughter echoes around the beach. I take out the shell from my pocket and give it a good clean in a nearby rock pool. It shines up beautifully. My ugly duckling shell transformed into a swan. Much like my journey thus far, It took a little effort, but I managed to salvage something positive. I throw the shell back into the sea. Hopefully, someone else can enjoy my swan on another day.

With my lungs full of sea air, I attempt to make sense of the world from my little rock, here in the western Algarve. I contemplate the secret behind the happiness of Praia da Luz. Perhaps it is those remarkable sunrises that break into long, lazy, dreamy days (after all Praia da Luz means ‘beach of light’)? Or maybe it’s the balmy evenings where I sit on my balcony, glass of Alentejo wine in hand, staring at the spread of stars? Maybe it’s the pace of life, or the people, or perhaps the surfing or the coastal walks? The truth is I’m not sure. It’s probably a combination of everything I’ve described and a whole lot more that I haven’t. There is one thing that I am sure about. It was taking the decision to come here in the first place.  

Ignorance may well be bliss, but by no means does bliss have to be ignorant. I understand what is happening around the world. I see it every day when I look at my phone or turn on the television. But the fact is I choose to stay in Praia da Luz. I’ve looked at all the options and life on my balcony at Ocean Villas Luz is exactly what I need right now. Sometimes, we all need a little bliss. Perhaps this December is your turn?

Anyway, I’d better go as I’m booked in for a skydive and a Thai meal. I don’t want to come across as being ignorant.

More news next month !

Digital (ish) Nomad
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