MEET THE EXPLORER is a series where stories are shared by people who come from the Caribbean and have decided to explore beyond the Caribbean lines and find themselves in other parts of the world. Or stories from the ones that explored for themselves within the lines of the Caribbean and established themselves at the place where they found peace and adventure for themselves.
Let’s start off with one amazing woman that I have worked with on several occasions: KORRA JULIANA. One thing I also loved about her was her willingness to see the best in you and also pull that out of you. She challenges you to look even deeper inside at your greatness. As a frequent flyer, she set the tone of greatness for herself by taking a new adventure in Portugal. Let’s take a look.
1. Before establishing yourself in Lisbon, have you already traveled to Portugal? Why did you choose Portugal for a new adventure?
Honestly, Portugal wasn’t even on my radar until lockdown hit. But during those months, I found myself daydreaming and researching like crazy. I craved a European adventure in a place that was new and exciting, with a warm and welcoming climate. Safety was also a top priority, especially as a solo traveler. Luckily, I stumbled upon some amazing YouTube channels featuring people who had moved to Portugal and were absolutely smitten with the country. Their enthusiasm and joy piqued my curiosity, and I knew I had to see it for myself.
And let me tell you, Portugal did not disappoint. From the moment I arrived in the capital city of Lisbon, I was swept away by its rugged and authentic beauty. It may not be the most conventionally gorgeous city, but it has a raw, unfiltered charm that is impossible to resist. And the vibe! It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. There’s a palpable sense of life and energy here that’s infectious.
But the real highlight of Portugal is its people. The locals are so easy-going and friendly. I’ve never once felt out of place or unwelcome here. In fact, I’ve met some of the most interesting and diverse people from all over the world. It’s amazing how many of us came to Portugal with no intention of staying, only to fall madly in love with the country and its people.
And after half a year of exploring every nook and cranny of Lisbon, I made the bold decision to stay. Who knows how long I’ll be here, as I’m always eager to keep exploring new corners of the world. But for now, I’m happy to call Portugal my home. It’s been the perfect remedy for my soul after a tumultuous time in my life, and I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead.
Dancing is my ultimate passion! And let me tell you, coming to Lisbon took my love of dance to a whole new level.-Korra.
2. Coming from the Caribbean, what are the steps to work and live in Portugal?
My Dutch passport made it a breeze to stay in Portugal. All I had to do was register myself after three months to get a CRUE – the Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia. For EU citizens, this is your golden ticket to obtaining a five-year residency permit in Portugal, with the option to apply for permanent residency down the line. Those who do not have an EU passport may possibly need a visa.
The whole process, in my case, to obtain the CRUE was surprisingly straightforward and easy. Of course, if you’re planning on sticking around for longer than 183 days, things start to get a little more complicated. You’ll need to figure out the tax implications and seek legal advice, depending on where your income comes from. You can get assistance from a relocation partner like me to guide you in this process.
3. You have mentioned the term Slomad. Do you consider yourself one?
First, let me explain what a slomad is, as this is a fairly new term. Unlike digital nomads, who tend to bounce from place to place, slomads prefer to linger a little longer (as long as 3 to 6 months). They want to soak up all the local culture and lifestyle has to offer and are usually a bit older than digital nomads, who tend to be in their 20s to 30s.
That being said, I’m not really a slomad myself. Right now, I’m just happy living my best life in Portugal, where I’ve been for over a year now. I’m still working out the kinks of being a global lifestyle consultant on the go, but I’m getting there. Last year, I focused all my energy on exploring Portugal, and it was one heck of an adventure.
But this year, I’m ready to take things to the next level. I’ve got my sights set on some seriously epic destinations—Spain, Dubai, and Bali are all on my radar for the next few months. I’m excited to see what kind of trouble I can get into (the good kind, of course) and what kind of people and experiences I’ll encounter along the way. Life is too short to sit still, and I plan on making every moment count!
4. You have co-founded ‘Happy In Lisbon’. Could you tell us a bit more about that organization?
Happy In Lisbon, is a community of 5000+ expat and local women founded by my friend Kaja Otto from Germany and me in February 2022. We had a burning desire to create a community that could connect women from all over the world and fill a void we noticed in the Portuguese market. We started with our first meetup to gauge interest, and the response was incredible! 35 women from different parts of the world attended, craving connection and community.
Our events are curated with a monthly theme, and we create icebreaking exercises to make it easy and practical for ladies to connect. It’s a winning formula that works, and we now host an average of 8 events per month. Our members love it so much that we have plans to expand and add more offerings, providing even more value to our members. We’ve already launched Happy In Madrid and can’t wait to see how that community grows!
I also recently launched my own Youtube channel called Global Life by Korra. Every Sunday, this channel releases new interviews that feature captivating conversations with a diverse range of guests with a passion for exploring the world. These inspiring conversations offer valuable insights and advice on how to lead a global lifestyle.
5. They say if you speak Portuguese, you might understand Papiamentu. Are there some similarities between Portugal and Curacao?
Yes, there are some similarities between Portuguese and Papiamentu. Like in Curaçao, the Portuguese also adore bright and lively colors on their buildings, live life at a leisurely pace, and greet each other with the warmest of hellos – “bom dia, bon tardi, bom noite” – just like we do. It’s incredible how many Papiamentu words have Portuguese origins, such as “ainda/ainda, bai/vai, balante/valente, basora/vassoura,” to name just a few. Although the way the locals pronounce their words and phrases can be challenging to comprehend at times. The Brazilians’ Portuguese accent may be easier to understand compared to the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. However, I am astounded by how many people, especially in the main cities, speak excellent English. Communication is a breeze, and they prefer you to speak in English rather than Spanish. It’s a sensitive topic here, as they do not want to be compared to the Spanish.
6. What are some great tips for exploring Lisbon, when traveling to Portugal?
Lisbon is the perfect place to start. This enchanting city offers a plethora of sights and activities, both day and night, that will leave you breathless. However, keep in mind that Lisbon’s sidewalks are paved with cobblestone, so make sure you bring comfortable shoes to navigate through its winding streets. The city is also built on seven hills, so expect to do some climbing and stair-climbing, but don’t fret as public transportation is readily available. From trams, buses, metro, Uber, and tuk-tuks, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when you’re tired of walking. Here are ten must-see attractions that you simply cannot miss:
- Embark on a journey to explore the charming streets of Alfama.
- Visit the iconic Praça Do Comércio located along the Rio Tejo.
- Savor the scrumptious Pasteis De Belem while visiting the Tower of Belem.
- Take in the panoramic view of Lisbon from the Miradouro de Alcantara.
- Snap photos of the stunning fountain located on Rossio Square.
- Take the train to Caiscais to explore its charming beaches and landscapes.
- Enjoy the Sunday market at LX Factory for some unique souvenirs.
- Indulge in typical Portuguese meals at a local tasca.
- Take a tram ride for an authentic Lisbon experience.
- Venture to the enchanting town of Sintra for a day trip that will leave you mesmerized.
- Experience the African in Lisbon tour. This is a great tour, especially since you’re from the Caribbean.
FUN FACT: When I hit the dance floor, I’m unstoppable! I could groove for hours on end without even breaking a sweat. Dancing is my ultimate passion! And let me tell you, coming to Lisbon took my love of dance to a whole new level. I learned how to move my body to the sultry beats of Kizomba and Forró, and it’s been an absolute blast!
Global Lifestyle by Korra
Find Korra on LinkedIN.
Website: Global Lifestyle by Korra