20190828_172934.jpgSince the beginning of the Coronovirus pandemic, I have been planning to finish writing about our time in Portugal. However, the writer’s block that I have experienced has led me to a better understanding of saudade, one of those words with no direct equivalent in English. It’s a term that is an important component in the literature, music, and soul of Portuguese culture.

Among the many definitions of saudade, most express a melancholic nostalgia for something that may never happen again, but it also carries a sense of something that possibly has not happened.

My dilemma was that I would be writing about the wonderful experiences of Portugal that we had, before the pandemic occurred. But now, the world has changed. And with those changes, the Portugal that we experienced may never exist again, and trying to write about it brought me face-to-face with saudade.

WCF_7315.jpgWhile I know that that everything changes, that niggling saudade kept creeping into my attempts to share something that is no longer able to be shared, certainly for the near future. But we did experience that pre-pandemic Portugal and though it may not be the same as it was when we were there, we still want to share the places we visited. Both for those who may never have the opportunity to travel as we have been so fortunate to do, but also to inspire others to take the leap, to travel beyond their comfort zone when it’s safe to travel again.

I have always said that this Slow Nomads blog is for us, and we allow others to follow along without reservation. And one day when we are older and our memory begins to fade we will read these words and look at all the photographs of all the wondrous places, and we’ll say, “I wonder who these lucky people were? They certainly did have a grand adventure!”

The most important reason that I must continue writing, however, is that this is our record of our adventure – without melancholy, without sadness, and without saudade.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Saudade de voce 🙂

  2. There is a welsh term – hireth – the longing for home or somewhere that you know you can’t go back to – your childhood home, for example. You can’t go back in time to what it was, but you still miss it. so – hireth – a combination of nostalgia and homesickness that there isn’t a direct equivalent for in English…

    1. Hi Gay, it is great to hear from you, and to know folks still look at the blog. Who knows when and where we’ll go, once travel is an option in the future. Thanks for sharing the term from your world. For all the differences from country to country, some things are the same, though labeled differently.
      Stay well and happy; we hope to see you again.
      Jeannie & Chris

  3. It never is the same is it? When i travel back to places over time, the changes always make me nostalgic for what was gone but then it’s exciting to see what is new too. At the same time, I do feel this has accelerated the change and not just in things but in the culture. Thanks for sharing. I hope we see you one of these days.

    1. Who knows when we can travel again, but it would be great to align destinations and schedule. It will be interesting to see how much things change in the months ahead. Enjoy each day, wherever you are!

  4. I love that I had never heard of saudade before, but now I have learned something new. And you explain the concept very clearly. We can all relate because I believe everyone experiences saudade.

    1. It was great that we learned the term while visiting the place of origin. Yes, it can be experienced by all, at some point, in some place.

  5. We’ll meet again … don’t know where, don’t know when, but …

    I feel confident we’ll get through all this, a vaccine/cure will be found, and we can all start meeting again some sunny day. Maybe with some new-found consideration about how to minimize riscs (I’m probably not going to travel without hand spirit again, for instance), but we’ll get out there.

    Until then – thanks for all your thoughts, tales and pictures.

    1. It’s been great to meet on so many of our trips and share experiences of new places. Once we begin to plan another adventure, let’s try to align time and place. Until then, find joy and love where you are.

  6. The note once played, goes on forever. The same with adventures. They can never be undone. The place may change once you leave, the people may not enjoy the same freedom to gather safely, but the memory of the place and the art of your many passeggiate, will remain, never changing.

    1. So true, our memories will last, even longer than the blog that we share. We look forward to sharing more…

  7. The journey that you two are on is indeed external AND internal. For me, that is why what you share here about your travels, in words & photos, keeps the world timelessly relevant.

    1. You are in our heart and travel with us. We look forward to traveling together in spirit again.

  8. Thanks for sharing, I believe we all can relate to your feelings during these challenging times.

    1. Good to hear from you, and hope to see you once life is less constrained.

  9. Very thought provoking. Makes me wonder if and when I can go to Germany again what it will be like. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Oh my goodness! Just after reading the first sentence of this recent post, I started crying. Thank you so very much for sharing this. For three weeks I’ve been a little bit in a funk as far as getting back into writing again. We must have been on the same wavelength. Very beautiful writing! Thank you!

  11. Thanks!

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