A day in the life of a working digital nomad in Porto, Portugal

by gigigriffis
Porto balcony

Every so often, I document a day in my not-so-average life. It’s been literal years since I posted one of these (sorry!), but I’m back! Last time, I covered a vacation day in France. This time, you’re in for a peek into a very leisurely workday in early June in Porto, Portugal.


6:00 / As usual, I’m woken by the dog. She’s ready for pee breaks and breakfast and I climb out of bed and oblige.

Because I was up late last night finishing a movie, I decide to go back to bed for a bit and end up fading in and out of sleep for awhile.

7:45 / A bit of a late start for me, but it’s time to drag myself out of bed and into the kitchen, where I make French-press coffee infused with cinnamon and pour myself a bowl of cereal. While I make food and get set up for the day, I listen to a non-fiction audiobook to get my brain going (today’s book: Cultish). 

8:45 / We get a short window of sunshine on the patio in the mornings, so I take full advantage, setting up coffee and computer on the patio table and bringing Luna’s dog bed out so that she can sunbathe alongside me. I craft several important emails (one to my new Hollywood film agent – ooh la la!), draft some marketing emails for a client, and enjoy the feel of the June sunshine on my back.

10:51 / I complete my must-dos for the day early. This is mostly thanks to Past Gigi who decided to work on the weekend and get ahead on this month’s client work.

I take a break to do my physio stretches (which I forgot to do this morning, oops) because I’m still deep in recovery from this winter’s unfortunate neck and shoulder injury (an old injury that got re-agitated by overworking early in the year). I’ve progressed from neck, arm, shoulder, and back work into also doing a lot of hip and leg stretches to address some newly-arrived lower back pain.

Then I actually get ready for the day. Putting on proper clothes, a little makeup, etc.

11:16 / Time for my daily Portuguese lesson! As you may already know, I’m doing my own little course of study in Portuguese. No official lessons. No textbooks.

This weekend, I started a new practice that I’m loving. I bought a self-help journal in Portuguese (a translation of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck Journal) and every day I do one of the exercises. Sometimes this means reading a page or two and writing a page. Sometimes it’s reading four or five pages and writing half a page. Either way, I’m stretching my reading and writing abilities (especially because I’ve been reading kid books and this is the first time I’m being introduced to swear words and some more adult topics).

It’s worth noting that I read everything aloud to practice my pronunciation, and I still look up quite a few words in each session. I’d say this practice takes me typically 15 – 30 minutes per day, which is very doable even on somewhat heavier workdays. 

11:35 / After writing a little Portuguese essay on how I struggle with confrontation (ay, merda), I’m done for now. I move onto a little blog planning/drafting and photo editing.

12:40 / My lovely roommate and I head out to meet up with a friend’s mom for lunch at Sabores de Sebouh, a very tasty Syrian restaurant in downtown Porto. They have a big patio area, so we settle into the shade and stay, chatting and eating, until the sun drives us back home. 

On the way home, we manage to pass a man with his hands fully down his pants. [Insert vomit emoji here.] My roommate cries, “he ruined my lunch!” Men are cancelled again.

15:27 / Home and back out on the shady patio, this time with a sparkling peach water in hand, I settle in to do some travel planning. It’s been quite a long time since I took a real vacation and now that I finally have my residence card, it’s time to plan for some festivals and food tours! I’m fortunate that four of my friends just so happen to be in France in the same three-week period later this year and a couple other friends are within easy transit distance, so the trip will be full of catch-up sessions over wine or pastries.

19:00 / I hop on a call with a friend/colleague to catch up about all things life and work and try to convince her to join me in France later this year. This quarter, I’m only working with two clients and they are people I adore, so check-in calls are always a pleasure.

20:30 / After a little dinner and a chat with the roommate, Luna and snuggle up in bed to watch something and fall asleep by 22:00.


Now, to you: what’s a day in your life look like these days?

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1 comment

Amy June 20, 2022 - 12:34 pm

Could you afford to do your work in the US? I know, of course, that the cost of living varies dramatically, depending on where in the US you might live. It feels to me like health insurance would be too expensive. But I’m curious to know if this is possible for someone who doesn’t want to uproot completely. Thanks!

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