The Travel Dispatch

I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling 22 … In Lisbon

This post was born 16 Jun, 2015 12 Comments
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Ok, let’s get real and talk about Taylor Swift for a hot second (or for the next 547 words because let’s face it – we all know I have rambling tendencies when it comes to blog post intros).

Let’s admit it, she has us all hypnotized the second the play button’s pushed. Her songs course through our headphones seeping into our brains and then BAM – suddenly she’s Pavlov and we’re the dog.

T-Swift song = conditioned response of the “singing-at-the-top-of-our-lungs-while-dancing-as-white-as-possible” variety.

I swear, we’re worse than those annoying children whose choruses of Let it Go make their parents’ seriously contemplate going all Thelma & Louise in their minivan.

But seriously, what is it about her that makes us act this way?

While I’m sure the male persuasion can put this question to bed by simply using the star’s own words and blaming it on that red lip classic thing and good girl persona stuffed in a tight little skirt, the ever contrary female chromosome argues towards a different route known as the relatability factor.

OMG look at all the cats. Clearly we are twins separated at birth.

Taylor Swift bravely pens lyrics to paper that encapsulate every single juvenile thought the female brain has EVER had.

Listening to one of her songs is like watching a highlight reel of your life as every substantial scene drudged up from the past comes crashing back right before your eyes (which I’m pretty sure is a song lyric in and of itself):

We are never EVER EVER EVER getting back together  – Fade into view to that first ex after college. The first EVER is for locking me out of the bar he worked in at 3am. The second is for when he admitted that he sometimes watched me on the security camera at the neighboring bar to see if I hung out with any other guys. And the third and final resounding EVER is for that time he called me a ‘trifling ho’. Because really, who uses the word ‘trifling’? 

Now we got problems and I don’t think we can solve them – Flashback to that painful ending of the hot and heavy Google Maps relationship. It was all mad love until that wrong turn in Miami caused bad blood. Rerouting it said. Rerouting…Rerouting…Rerouting. Abandonment soon follows as the app goes blank and well, band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.


And then of course there’s that time someone compares your actual behavioral penchants to an entire Taylor Swift song like when my best friend Chad said “Kristen – I just heard the new Taylor Swift song. Oh my gosh you have to listen to it. It sounds JUST LIKE YOU. It’s called Blank Space. It’s basically about a crazy, psychotic man-eater.”


“No no hear me out. Love’s a game and she likes to play, which lets face it – you LOVE the game. She’s young, reckless, has a long-list of ex-lovers, and takes things too far and stuff. She even mentions something about a passport and think of all the international love affairs you have stamped into yours.

OMG. Stop talking. Stop talking now (as my subconscious argues the undeniable validity of his point).

Then there’s that one song where you hit a wall (and the Lisbon part of the article) – Hey, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.

I am not 22.

Nope, definitely not.

I have trouble relating to anyone near the age of 22 for reasons that are three-fold:

  1. I have a thing for 6am. As in, I like to be awake (and not from the night before).
  2. To maintain this lifestyle, I basically tuck myself in by 10pm.
  3. Hangovers – The. Kind. That. Last. Forrreevvvveeeeeerrrr.

Boring and lame – I know – but I compensate by owning happy hour so at least I have my day drinking to sustain my social life.

Unfortunately, Portugal (and Lisbon in particular) has a thing for those summer nights meaning to truly immerse myself in the local culture, I have to channel Taylor Swift and free my inner 22 year old.

22 Ways I’m Feeling 22 in Lisbon


1. Staying at a Hostel

Sharing A/C free rooms with smelly strangers, unwanted vermin, and dorm-style bathrooms – last time I partook in this insanity, I was an actual 22 year old.

2. Paying only 5 Euro for the communal hostel dinner.

Much like those campus AYCD nights at Bullwinkles (shout out fellow Seminoles).

3. Befriending an actual 22 year old at said dinner.

You’re still in school? That’s so adorable. DON’T EVER LEAVE.

4. Lying about your age to said 22 year old.

‘Cause who wants to be the oldest person in the room?

5. Signing up for a pub crawl.

Only to avoid blowing my cover.

6. Pre-drinking upon the realization that it doesn’t start til midnight.

How else am I supposed to keep myself awake til then?


7. Wearing a blindingly bright hot pink dress.

Because what respectable career woman dresses head to toe in neon?

8.”Accidently” bumping into the cutest boy in the group.

Because the only time you ever innocently bump into an attractive guy is in that fictional place Hollywood invented to sucker money off hopeless romantics (aka delusional women).

9. Befriending the I-have-no-filter token gay guy who publicly (and very loudly) calls you out on that not-so-much-accidental-but-rather-manipulative bump.

Because no matter where in the world you are – there is always THAT guy.

10. Taking a shot of tequila.

The cheap and warm kind because that is a VERY 22 thing to do.

11. Finding out cute boy is actually 22.

Hmmm I’m not quite cougar age yet. So would that make me a puma?

12. And that he JUST graduated from college.

Did I already mention I have an established career?

13. Taking a second shot of warm tequila.

In the hopes of erasing the years between us.

14. Hysterically laughing at the promoted drink sizes below.

Is it really that funny? Yes – because I just took my third shot of tequila.

Lisbon nightlife

15. Watching boys everywhere pee in the street.

Because apparently that’s a thing here (she says in the bitter tone brought on by penis envy).

16. Watching the clock strike 4am.

I’m officially a trooper.

17. Blurry drunken selfies with my new besties.

Because we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way.


18. Skipping the line at the nightclub Jamaica.

And waltzing in free while the boys pay cover.

19. Sucking face with cute boy while on the dance floor at Jamaica.

Because I’ve lost count of what number tequila shot we were on.

20. Comforting a stranger in the disgusting bathroom who was too drunk to understand me.

Or maybe I was too drunk to realize she only spoke Portuguese.

21. Getting drunk munchies at 7am.

While watching men in suits run in and out grabbing breakfast before work.


22. Finally making it back to the hostel and putting the below outside my room before promptly passing out.

LIKE A BOSS…well until the next morning (err…afternoon).

Seems I can party like a 22 year old, but recovering like one is a whole different ball game.


 Where have you felt younger than your years? Let me know in the comments below!

Why Suffer From FOMO When You Don’t Have To?

Taking on the classic “round-the-world” route, the next Travel Dispatch journey kicks off Nov 15 as I travel east to west, looping the globe over a period of 12 months with $25,000. Now’s your chance to get in on it from the very beginning!

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12 Comments on "I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling 22 … In Lisbon"

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Seems like you had fun playing 22. Glad to hear it. I think I’ll stick with playing 45 (admittedly, prime cougar age) and avoid the hangover. It takes me 3 days to recover now. P.S. Stay hydrated.

Bruno B @ Geeky Explorer

Seems like fun!
It’s good to once in a while go back in time a bit and pretend you’re 22. Or 18. Lisbon is a very dangerous city to make it happen! I miss my BUCKET of morangoska for only 5EUR!


Hahaha, hilarious article! But so true.
If you travel around with all these young guys it’s a bit hard to explain your own lifestyle, the career and the fact, that you’re still a child 😉

Ashley and Alex

Seems like an amazingly fun night but I am sure the hangover was killer! Sometimes I like to pretend I am 22 and then I find myself dancing on a table and all of a sudden I remind myself, that no I am not 22 and have not been for a while and then I get down. But sometimes you just get caught up in the frenzy of it all! We certainly did a few times in Reykjavik!


I am 31 but I remember 22 fondly! Looks like you had a great time!


Sounds so fun and looks like you had so much fun! 🙂
I know what you mean in that it takes SO much longer to recover now haha!
Simone x