"No matter how hard, the task may seem, Don't give up our plans, Don't give up our dreams"*

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I really hope it all works out for us is Portugal – because I really don’t want to move house and country ever again! In past posts, I have mentioned it is all a bit of a roller-coaster ride – well, now, every week that happens makes it seem like the previous one was a walk in the park by comparison! It doesn’t help that I have bitten off a whole load of work just before moving – absolute lunacy in terms of stress-levels, but (I hope) worth it as the money will bring us some additional financial security when we get there.

The rollercoaster is still is motion, just faster and crazier than before. It seems as if we can experience euphoria, despair and panic, each several times in the same day! At the same time though, when we do hit a moment of calm clarity I can look back over my multicoloured diary in Microsoft Outlook and see how much IS getting done. So, here are some of the things that are now done, that weren’t done this time last week:

The beach at Isla De Tavira - not long now
The beach at Isla De Tavira - not long now

1. My wife and I now both have proper Portugese debit cards for accounts with some money in them!

2. We both have new passports that don’t expire for 10 years!

3. One-way flights are booked, as is car hire for the first few weeks of our arrival, and a hotel for the night before our early Easyjet flight.

4. Removal booking should be confirmed tomorrow.

5. Cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, stacks of trainers etc. are being reduced / recycled / offloaded as appropriate.

6. It looks like we have a buyer for our beloved car – it will be sad to see it go but the steering wheel is on the wrong side!

7. The first of the boxes are ACTUALLY PACKED.

It may not sound like a huge amount but we have fitted it in around 12 hour working days! This morning, at least, I feel like we are getting somewhere – that doesn’t mean I won’t have had another “mini-meltdown” by the end of the day though (probably when I see the Ebay pile in the dining room which is getting bigger rather than smaller!)

* The soundtrack to our rollercoaster ride has been a fantastic Michael Jackson tribute mix by a DJ called Chris Read – a free download I found some time ago which hasn’t left my Ipod since – for anyone interested it can be found here – http://www.musicofsubstance.com/html/mp3-downloads.htm The post title is from “We’re almost there” by Michael Jackson – RIP.

32 days to go 🙂

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10 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Can you tell me a bit about the cost of living in portugal – cheaper than the UK? If its not too nosey could you say how much your rent would be? Food costs etc? Will your standard of living be the same as here or will you be budgeting?

  2. Hi Ben

    I totally get what you are feeling. What a crazy roller coaster we seem to be on. One minute we have an offer on our house, next minute something comes along that may have screwed it all up. Have been on tenter hooks all weekend and today, just waiting to see if they are going to pull out. It will break my heart if we lose our dream home in Portugal.

    Oh, and you say, the first boxes are packed, best hurry up 32 days will fly by! Good luck with every thing

  3. Hi Dreamer,

    Be as nosey as you like! Cost of living is not that cheap really. Some things are cheaper, some things are not. Food can be cheaper if you eat as the locals do – I think if you go out there wanting to “eat English” then it would be vastly more expensive – the same as if you tried to “eat Portugese” here in the UK! Wine is vastly cheaper, so is public transport. Eating out CAN be a lot cheaper (though less so than a few years ago,) but can also be quite expensive if you go to the more up-scale places.

    House rental is hugely cheaper, but we currently live in a nice part of London and it doesn’t get much more expensive than that! One big difference for us is that while renting we don’t pay any council tax in Portugal which is currently £200/month here in London. Motoring and cars are a LOT more expensive. Utilities much the same. Your overall tax burden is slightly greater than the UK (though not for long I suspect!)

    Our rental on our first house is 625 euros/month – that is for a 3 bed townhouse over three floors with a lovely roof terrace, heating, air con and all the mod-cons. Suffice to say that is less than half what we pay for an inferior property in London!

    Standard of living: depends how you measure it. With how hard we both work here in the UK, money has never been much of an issue, but we will have to budget and be more frugal once we get to Portugal, especially while we get established. That said, a lot of the reason we are going in the first place is to trade some of the money for time and space – in fact that is pretty much the whole point 🙂

    I’ve rambled on a bit there, but that should answer your question pretty well!

    Best wishes, B

  4. Hi Jen,

    I have my fingers firmly crossed for you! It has taken us about 4 years to get to this point and it still often feels like one step forward and two back. I really hope your house sale goes though!
    Best of luck


  5. Thanks very much Ben for all of the info – it sounds like you’ve got a lot of house there for 625 Euros.

    Best of luck and keep us updated.

  6. Hi Ben. I was passing by your blog. Good to know that your fulfilling your dream and coming to sunny Portugal. Today the weather here in Lisbon is 32º more or less so it feels like the summer don’t want to leave.
    Tavira and all Algarve is one of the most beautiful parts of Portugal, but please don’t neglect north of Portugal which can be quite marvellous too.

    I would like the opportunity to ask you if your money transfer needs from UK to Portugal are being satisfied, as I’m Portuguese working for a money transfer company in UK. You you ever need any advice or just a free quote for you to compare with the option you already have, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Best of luck with your moving to Portugal

  7. I’m new to the site and haven’t read everything yet, but my question is what are you doing about work – or are you retired?

  8. Hi Tony, and welcome…My main job is in IT which I do remotely and on trips back to London and I also do web design. My wife works remotely for a UK company – both of these things have helped considerably in getting us started out here!

  9. Ah, that’s interesting – being able to work remotely make things a lot easier. Thanks!

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