Caroline Dougherty, 24, Washington D.C. (United States)
I have lived in Paris, France, for the past three years, but I am about to start a new adventure: I will move to Lisbon, Portugal, on Friday.
I planned it last January. It’s always been a dream of mine, but when coronavirus happened I wasn’t sure if I’d still be able to do it. Now that regulations are being loosened up, I think that it makes no difference if I stay here or if I go there since I have already signed a contract for an apartment.
By the time I get to Portugal, bars and restaurants will be open, which I think is crazy. I won’t even have to quarantine for two weeks, although I will do so. It’s the best choice: we all need to be respectful of others. I don’t want to take the risk of being an asymptomatic carrier and infecting someone. After my quarantine, I will start an internship and focus on learning the language.
I have already been to Lisbon four times, so I am familiar with the city, and I am also very used to moving: I did it 14 times. It’s because I was a professional ballerina. When I was 21 years old, I however decided to end my career and come to France — I was ready to launch myself into something new. I cannot believe it’s already been three years! I loved my time here, but I am also very excited for Portugal. I will be there for four months: I am doing my bachelor’s degree and I have just finished my final exams, so I won’t have classes until next October. I like to make the most out of my summers.
My two-week quarantine in Portugal will be an opportunity to recharge before I start my internship in June. I will study Portuguese and catch up on reading. The past months were very intense as I had to balance studying and working. It will be nice to have a break.