Living in Portugal – A Recap

We may earn commission from companies mentioned on this blog, however our praise cannot be bought!

STOP PRESS:

Since writing this post we have published a book about moving to Portugal:

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

If you are in the USA or Canada you can buy it here.

Last week I looked over my past posts and realised I have now been blogging about moving to Portugal and living in Portugal for nearly two years. It occurred to me that for new readers arriving at the blog, it might feel like switching on the TV half-way through a film, especially now we have completed the move and lived here for a while.

As well as a way of looking back over this exciting stage of our lives, I like to think the blog will help and inspire other people planning on living in Portugal, and provide useful information, so to this end, I thought the start of a year would be a good time to do a bit of a re-cap post, highlighting some of the most significant and / or well-received posts of the past two years.

Praia da Rocha - The start of our obsessions with Portugal
Praia da Rocha - The start of our obsession with Portugal

For regular readers, I apologise, as this is going to seem like one of those annoying episodes of “Friends” with nothing but flashbacks and no new material. Normal service will resume very shortly.

Moving to Portugal – Before the Move:

So Why Portugal? – exploring our reasons for choosing the Algarve

Broken Britain – A rant about why we left the UK. Looking back I find it hard to believe I used to be so cross all the time!

The First Few Months:

The First Day, and the night before – The day we left for Portugal

Cultural DIfferences – The first things we noticed

What Do We Miss (and Don’t We Miss?)

The Weather Outside is Frightful – Bad times in our first house in Tavira, dealing with rain and mould problems!

Getting Settled:

Moving Swiftly On – Moving to a modern Algarve apartment

Learning Portuguese – Experiences with learning a new language

My Wife’s View – A very popular guest post from my wife, describing her new life in Portugal.

Red Tape Rant – Hassles with bureaucracy.

Life in Portugal

Six Month Review – Looking back over the first six months

Positive Life Changes – Benefits of living in Portugal

Resources

The following posts will be of use to people planning a move of their own:

Portugal Web Directory – A huge list of sites that have helped us.

Finding Work in Portugal – Investigating the employment situation in Portugal

Cost of Living in Portugal

Books

There are a few absolute must buy books for anyone planning to move to Portugal:

Live & Work in Portugal
Au Revoir Angleterre: Making a Go of Moving Abroad
Buying Property in Portugal


Share This Post

8 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Dear Ben,

    I have been reading through your posts again, and decided to give you a small present, it’s also a challenge for your portuguese learning.

    The British ambassador in Portugal, Alex Ellis,has left is position in Portugal to go to another place, as is common in his profession. However, before leaving, he wrote in his blogue: http://aeiou.expresso.pt/um-bife-mal-passado=s24971, a short post that I think you should read,is written in Portuguese but for sure you can understand.

    “Coisas que nunca deverão mudar em Portugal
    9:55 Segunda feira, 20 de Dezembro de 2010

    Portugueses: 2010 tem sido um ano difícil para muitos; incerteza, mudanças, ansiedade sobre o futuro. O espírito do momento e de pessimismo, não de alegria. Mas o ânimo certo para entrar na época natalícia deve ser diferente. Por isso permitam-me, em vésperas da minha partida pela segunda vez deste pequeno jardim, eleger dez coisas que espero bem que nunca mudem em Portugal. 1. A ligação intergeracional. Portugal é um país em que os jovens e os velhos conversam – normalmente dentro do contexto familiar. O estatuto de avô é altíssimo na sociedade portuguesa – e ainda bem. Os portugueses respeitam a primeira e a terceira idade, para o benefício de todos.

    2. O lugar central da comida na vida diária. O almoço conta – não uma sandes comida com pressa e mal digerida, mas uma sopa, um prato quente etc, tudo comido à mesa e em companhia. Também aqui se reforça uma ligação com a família.

    3. A variedade da paisagem. Não conheço outro pais onde seja possível ver tanta coisa num dia só, desde a imponência do rio Douro até à beleza das planícies do Alentejo, passando pelos planaltos e pela serra da Beira Interior.

    4. A tolerância. Nunca vivi num país que aceita tão bem os estrangeiros. Não é por acaso que Portugal é considerado um dos países mais abertos aos emigrantes pelo estudo internacional MIPEX.

    5. O café e os cafés. Os lugares são simples, acolhedores e agradáveis; a bebida é um pequeno prazer diário, especialmente quando acompanhado por um pastel de nata quente.

    6. A inocência. É difícil descrever esta ideia em poucas palavras sem parecer paternalista; mas vi no meu primeiro fim de semana em Portugal, numa festa popular em Vila Real, adolescentes a dançar danças tradicionais com uma alegria e abertura que têm, na sua raiz, uma certa inocência.

    7. Um profundo espírito de independência. Olhando para o mapa ibérico parece estranho que Portugal continue a ser um país independente. Mas é e não é por acaso. No fundo de cada português há um espírito profundamente autónomo e independentista.

    8. As mulheres. O Adido de Defesa na Embaixada há quinze anos deu-me um conselho precioso: “Jovem, se quiser uma coisa para ser mesmo bem feita neste país, dê a tarefa a uma mulher”. Concordei tanto que me casei com uma portuguesa.

    9. A curiosidade sobre, e o conhecimento, do mundo. A influência de “lá” é evidente cá, na comida, nas artes, nos nomes. Portugal é um pais ligado, e que quer continuar ligado, aos outros continentes do mundo.

    10. Que o dinheiro não é a coisa mais importante no mundo. As coisas boas de Portugal não são caras. Antes pelo contrário: não há nada melhor do que sair da praia ao fim da tarde e comer um peixe grelhado, acompanhado por um simples copo de vinho.

    Então, terminaremos a contemplação do país não com miséria, mas com brindes e abraços. Feliz Natal

    Alex Ellis”

  2. well I’d just like to say that I am very glad of the recap – have only just found your blog – and it’s great!
    we’re 4 months away from the BIG MOVE! can’t wait – but scary too! so glad to find someone else who felt the same way… we are looking forward to having pasteis de nata & uma bica in the local square! and living a nice simple way of life…

  3. Hello – just stumbled across your blog and its making very interesting reading. My OH and I are seriously considering a move to Portugal with our two children… I know the Algarve very well after many happy times there and its a place I do believe we could make a life for ourselves.

    I wondered whether you had children now and how life is bringing up a family.

    We are planning on a summer holiday to Lagos this year to have a good look around… Albufeira I know like the back of my hand… and just weighing up whether to return or try somewhere new…

    I shall keep reading….

  4. Hi CcoR,

    Thank you for that great post. I had actually seen it on his blog as someone posted on one of the expat forums. Wonderful words which highlight lots of the reasons we wanted to live in Portugal.

    Thanks again and best wishes, B

  5. Hi Aly,

    Welcome to the blog and the best of luck for your own adventure. Stressful though if may be, things don’t get much more exciting so try to soak up the excitement of it all – I kind of miss that now we’re settled!

    Best wishes
    B

  6. Hi Nancy

    Thank you for reading and welcome to the blog. We don’t have children yet, but they’re not far away. You may also find this other expat blog interesting – they do have children that are going to school here.

    http://handsinportugal.wordpress.com/

    Best wishes
    B

    PS. Don’t overlook the beautiful Eastern Algarve 😉

  7. Thanks! Yes exciting and scary – and very busy! About to start scaring my husband with lists!!
    Have handed in my notice and it feels great now people know we’re really going to do it!!
    We’ve had our house near Ferragudo for 4 years already so we know where we’re going – sure that living there will be different to long holidays there … But can’t wait!!

Post Comment

*