Nicolas Blanc

Half Portuguese and half Swiss, Nicolas is connected to Faro because of his family and friends, and feels like there is always something going on in our city. He’s also saying that, if you want to feel like you’re on a holiday you can go to Praia de Faro.

Who is Nicolas?

I’m Nicolas. Also called by my friends Nick, or Nico. I’m half Portuguese and half Swiss. So that’s why I have a French kind of name. I was born in Switzerland and I moved to the Algarve when I was 4, and since then, I basically lived pretty much always in the Algarve, and since I was 16, in Faro. So, that’s basically half of my life in Faro.

I’m a marine biologist. I work in a Portuguese NGO called Sciaena. There, we work on marine conservation, focusing mainly on sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, marine litter and of course, environmental awareness. So, we do a lot of activities for the public, also in schools, in order to create a little bit of awareness about different issues in the ocean, such as overfishing, marine litter, pollution, those kinds of things.

Apart from that, I lived some time abroad as well. I was lucky enough to live in the Dutch Caribbean, for some months working there. I also studied in Lithuania, I studied in Ghent, Belgium. Switzerland is still a part of my life, I go there every year, I ski, I have family there. Also, my father moved there 10 years ago. So, I try to go at least once a year.

What would you like to do when you grow up?

As simplistic as it sounds, of course when I was little, as most Portuguese boys, I wanted to be a footballer. But that didn’t happen…for a lot of reasons…haha. However, my dream job at the moment is the one I’m doing: working for marine conservation. I’m very lucky to be working in the NGO that I’m working now. In the future, I hope to keep working in marine conservation and trying to do something good for the oceans.

What is the first thing on your mind when you think about Faro?

Basically it’s where my family and friends are. I’ve been living here for half of my life. I have part of my family here, I have a lot of friends and I’m lucky enough to be doing something different each week. There’s always some plan going on, because a lot of people that grew up in Faro generally want to go somewhere else because they feel like Faro has nothing left to offer.

However, I feel the opposite. I feel like there’s always something going on. Of course, we don’t have the same cultural offer as Lisbon or any other big city, but, for people that have been here for a while, we can tell there is a big difference in the amount of cultural events going on, the quality of the restaurants and the bars. Lots of aspects improved in the last few years. Basically, I feel happy in Faro.

What would be the soundtrack of your life story?

I think that I would have different styles of music for different parts of my life. But in these last few years, I’ve been listening mostly to Tame Impala, Khruangbin, The XX and Romare. Also, regarding Portuguese music, I really enjoy Bruno Pernadas and Capitão Fausto. All in all, I like the rock style, but also a bit of house music and even classical music, thanks to my father. These past years I listened to a lot of jazz as well. Contemporary jazz. For example, Nubya Garcia, Ibrahim Maalouf. So, it would have to be a mix of style, but the focus would be on rock, jazz and electronic music.

What is the place in Faro you are most connected to? Why?

Well, even though I never lived at the beach, I’ve had a lot of friends living there throughout the years. So, I think that’s the place I feel most connected to. Faro beach. I really like to go there because even though it’s really close to the city, and still in Faro, you kind of feel like you’re in a separated environment, which is really cool. You have the beach side, and then, you have the Ria side, and you also have a couple of cool places to have a drink and relax. It’s like you’re on a holiday, even though it’s so close.

© Photos by Alba Vallés.