When bucket list travels keep getting sidelined for other travel opportunities, there comes a point when you just know you have to finally cross that dream trip off your list. That’s how our traveller of the week, Chantal Pigeon, finally made it to Portugal.

Read on for more on that epic trip to Portugal, what she’s learned about herself through solo travel, and where she plans to go next.

6 Questions with Chantal

What do you love most about travel?
Picking one thing I love most about travelling is difficult as for me it is a combination of reasons.

Travelling is about discovering a new location, enjoying unfamiliar grounds, and experiencing aspects of different cultures. It is about expanding my mind and perspective on the world and meeting people from other places. It is also an opportunity to take time to get in touch with myself, be present in the moment, and escape regular life.

What’s the most memorable trip that you’ve taken?
Every trip offers its own memorable moments that are carved into my heart and mind, however, I would have to choose Portugal as my most memorable because it was my first solo trip.

What inspired you to take this trip? What did you love most about your trip to Porto?
Portugal had been on my bucket list for the past 5-6 years, however, other travel opportunities presented themselves and I found myself travelling elsewhere. Still, Portugal always remained at the top of my list of destinations to explore. In June of 2017, I had this overwhelming need to get away, to take time for myself by myself, hence, Portugal was the perfect destination for the kind of experience I was looking for.

In addition to Porto being absolutely beautiful, what I loved most was the sense of freedom I felt while travelling in Portugal. Portuguese people are warm, kind, and generous. I felt very safe and welcomed.

    Any advice for solo travellers?
    Trust yourself – being with yourself is awesome! Traveling solo is an entirely different experience. Enjoy this time to fully experience the moment without distraction.

    What is your biggest takeaway from this trip?
    My biggest takeaway is that I have come a long way. Twenty years ago, I would have never imagined I would travel alone, or even want to travel alone one day. This trip gave me confidence in myself and confirmed that I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to. It completely surpassed my expectations and has left me entirely fulfilled.

    Where are you planning to travel next?
    It’s a toss-up. I would like to travel to Asia, possibly Thailand or Bali, solo or accompanied. I also dream of traveling to Spain and Morocco.

    Every trip offers its own memorable moments that are carved into my heart and mind.” – Chantal

      Flytographers Luis & Marta in Porto

    Flytographers Luis & Marta in Porto

    See more: Porto – solo traveller – traveller of the week