Porto bound and surrounded by American travelers

After the last bits of gallivanting around Lisbon, we boarded a train that was Porto bound. In just a couple hours, we’d be in the city famous for port wines, or, really, old rich white men’s after-hour drinks.

While getting situated into our seats, I noticed a number of Americans on the train with us. One group was three generations of a family: a husband and wife, likely just a little older than us, with their five-month old son, their 5-year-old daughter, and the husband’s parents. We made some small talk; I found out that the husband and wife lived in D.C., while his parents lived in upstate New York. They loved to travel and didn’t want to stop when they had kids, so they’d bring their kids with extra gear with them to every place they wanted to go to. “It’s just a little extra to pack — that’s all!” the husband said to me, smiling, while holding his young infant son. He’d also sold his parents on the value of traveling during Thanksgiving given that many Americans get both Thanksgiving day and the day after off, so they’ve been using this time to explore internationally. And his parents seemed fully bought in. “In so many places, it’s low season, so it’s not only less crowded, but it’s cheaper!” the husband’s mom said to me. “I don’t know why we never thought of this before! But now we’ll be doing this more often.”

I did notice a lot more American tourists in Lisbon with us. While I’m all for the less common American route of traveling during Thanksgiving, I do not necessarily want to hear American accents and English while I am traveling abroad much. But I do commend them for taking the road less traveled and traveling, especially during a period when most Americans would never even think to do it.

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