>Country 1: Portugal

>We land in Portugal after a shortened night on the plane, where the sun rose almost as quickly as it set a few hours prior. We search for our guide Brigitte, one of FDI’s best friends from high school. They finally find us and whisk us back to their home in Cadaval, Portugal, 40 minutes outside of the city.

I feel unreal. I haven’t slept in more than 24 hours, and I am staring out the window onto a Portugese farm. The trees are different, the vegetation is different, even the sky looks different. Here I am, it’s surreal, I’m in Europe! A dream I held tight for over five years began with a single step. It is this small moment that reawakens the faith in me that I have in myself and my ability to do anything. Anything.

There have been several moments like this that changed my life because I knew then and there I was bigger than I’d ever been before. That I was capable of so much more than I’d ever imagined – that I am Neo in the Matrix, making it bend to my will. One of those moments was passing my lifeguarding test and over-coming my fear of the water, something I’ve been simultaneously in love with and afraid of for much of my life. It was also because for the first time I had true faith in my physical body that I’ve never had before, to do what i want it to and when I want it to. I passed! There was my first full day at Lush, selling products to customers, when I gained faith in my own ability to speak. I knew then that my words could affect others. And now finally there was this, a trip so many miles from home, I did what they said couldn’t be done, and I was all the envy for it. I stared impossibility in the eye and told it I’d win. So what if I “don’t have the money,” so what if there are so many risks involved, so what if I don’t have the time. I made it happen, and that’s when I gained faith in myself to know that every dream I’ve ever had will come true. And for that I can revisit the portrait of my future life entry and know that everything I write there will some day be real. Not because of luck or fortune, but because I made it so, and sometimes that positive energy attracts good luck and good fortune your way, because the universe wants you to have what you want!

I thought of all this as I looked out the window, and proceeded to enjoy my four days there. Discovering Obidos, a castle town in a fortress; visiting wineries, drinking the local beverage Ginga in an old underground dungeon, walking the hot streets of Lisbon, prancing through cold ocean water on the coast at Nazare, and enjoying farm fresh produce daily! A complete reconnection with food and what it should be like, and that stuck with me. I’d never known where much of the fruits I eat come from, yet here in Portugal they grew in Brigitte’s backyard! We carted bags away for our train ride a few days later to Madrid.

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About Erica Robinson

I'm a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Kinesiologist, and in my second year of Naturopathic Medical School in Toronto, ON. My background is predominantly in kinesiology & health science with a focus on fitness assessment, neuroscience, physiology, medical anthropology, natural nutrition, and paleolithic/primal nutritional principles. I look at health, healing, and the world in a wholistic manner, keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences our actions have on our personal health, and the health of those around us and our environment. I invite you to take a cool, refreshing sip of this rare outlook on life! And perhaps I can show you why it is so much more critical that we all gravitate toward this way.
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