It was one of those rare, perfect weekends in Old London Town. With 25 deg C and solid sun in an idyllic park in Wimbledon, I think at one point I actually said the words, “if it was always like this I wouldn’t need to move.” Obviously it was only temporary, a couple of tube journeys since soon put paid to that nonsense (does it never occur to anyone that if you don’t stand aside to let people off the train you’re not going to have room to get on yourself?)
Back to the point. As moving time gets closer, my contrary mind does kick in at certain points, doing things like making me suddenly appeciate things about the UK that I have taken for granted for years. These thoughts are shortlived, but it made me think that perhaps I should document the “I wonder if…” questions that come up and then revisit them after 6 months or so in Portugal to see how it turns out. So this is what I am doing. I will come back to this after that time and give an honest assesment. I would also be very interested if anyone who has already made the move would like to tell me what they think the answers will be!
1. I wonder if I’ll miss everyone too much? – with Facebook, Skype, MSN and email, coupled with the fact that our spare rooms appear to be booked by friends and family for most of the first 10 weeks, I think probably not!
2. I wonder is I will miss the changing weather in England? - an odd one this, but it hit me yesterday. One of the main reasons for moving to Portugal is for the weather but will I come to take the sunshine for granted?
3. I wonder if the locals will accept us? Almost everyone we have met around Portugal has been great and WE are nice people and very respectful of the culture……but what if we are the second English couple to move into our street and the first were your typical “expats from hell.”
4. I wonder if I will I actually get bored of fresh fish and healthy living? Too tough to call I think!
5. I wonder how much I will miss London? Note that I said “how much” and not “if.” I know I will miss the place. Anyone who has ever lived here for a long time knows that they will always have a strange love/hate relationship with London. I am really curious HOW much I will miss it though. By way of a prediction for when I revisit these questions I think I will probably have odd pangs that will be it.
6. I wonder if it will all be as wonderful as we hope? Well I have researched to a massive degree and think I am prepared for the things that aren’t going to be great, but who can really say. All I can say is it’s going to be a grand adventure and I can’t wait to report back and answer these questions.
In conclusion for now, jitters is probably too strong a word really – as we certainly don’t have any actual doubts, it’s just odd how these insecurities kick in as it gets nearer. I have no doubt that it is time to leave the UK and I am CERTAINLY ready to be away from London now. When I ranted to my wife the other day about the people not standing clear of the tube doors she said, “well it’s London isn’t it, they don’t care that you want to get off the train as it’s not their problem. THEIR problem is thet they want to get on.” If people in Portugal, us included, have just enough extra time in their lives to be more considerate and less jaded than the average Londoner, and the sun gets it’s hat on then I think we are going to be just fine.