As you may have seen in my previous post about our Portuguese lessons, there are now five of our family seeing a language tutor on a weekly basis.
A few of us are going to Lisbon for a few days soon, so it became necessary to reschedule a class. Several of us reached for our smartphones and Outlook diaries and it was actually quite difficult to find a slot when all of us were “available.”
This got me thinking. I imagine all of us thought when we moved abroad that we would end up with far more time to enjoy life – I certainly did. Well, here’s the thing. It’s all a myth.
You would think that once you’ve eliminated the London commute, left behind your social circle and arrived in a place with a well-documented slow pace of life, you would find loads of spare hours to fit things in. Well, it doesn’t really work out that way.
The social circle soon gets replaced by another one. Instead of commuting to the office, you commute to Spain and to the other end of the Algarve to buy essential hard-to-find groceries, and the slow pace of life is contrasted by frequent, hectic trips back to the UK for meetings, weddings and other commitments.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Our new but equally busy life is a lot easier to deal with in almost constant sunshine, and the long journeys are memorable for views of sea and mountains instead of city stress and road-rage incidents. But time is NOT in any more abundance here than it was back in England.
Work often means that a weekend tan has faded by the following Friday, a last-minute trip to London often means our home reaches distinctly grubby proportions before we have time to clean it, and there are still plenty of days when we reach the end too frazzled to do anything but order a takeaway.
So don’t move abroad expecting there to be more hours in the day – you may be disappointed.
This is the first in an occasional series where I dispel common moving abroad myths. The next in the series will be posted when I have time ☺
Want some more reality about moving to Portugal? I highly recommend this book: (and not only because I’m in it 😉
Buying Property in Portugal (second edition) – insider tips for buying, selling and renting