One reason I know the universe has tricks up its sleeve is that it decides your 12-hour layover in Lisbon will actually be a 24-hour stop that coincidentally falls on the night of the country’s biggest street party of the year.  It couldn’t have panned out better.

Liyam, a grad school friend, and I planned our itinerary en route to Ghana to have a brief stop in Lisbon for a few hours of exploration.  With one flight a day to Accra, we knew our time in Lisbon was limited.  When we found out that our flight that afternoon was canceled and we’d have to wait to fly out the next day, we were beside ourselves in excitement because that meant we could partake in the local festivities.

We parked ourselves at a really cool hostel situated above the city’s train station. Somehow, we made friends quickly and became a little family for the night – making sure we all stayed together and got equally as drunk.  It was a night filled with dancing, eating, and laughing all with complete strangers.  The city came alive and everyone was out and about having a great time until the wee hours of the morning.

That crazy night will definitely be to blame for my eventual move to Europe.  The natural gusto that lives in the streets and smiles of Lisbon is contagious and embodies a lifestyle that I find remarkable – one that I hope to live myself one day.