My favourite rooftop top bar. Although not sure I want everyone to know about it 😂
Delightful shots from Sarah's January trip to Portugal, a veritable photo safari featuring the country's awesome blue skies and world-renowned booze, it would seem!
Down by the port houses has a nice vibe and I fell in love with white port
Welcome to Portugal! (Aviva arrives in Madeira)
It took a lot of work to get here and anyone who has gone through the D7 or another type of visa process, is member of a new club. You are now an “expat”.
When you first arrive in Portugal there are several things that are certain to happen. You will become more tired than you imagine, you will feel a bit disoriented, you will eat out more frequently, and spend more than you planned.
I reside on the island of Madeira. I came in January, and I can’t think of a better place to be in Portugal during the winter. It is warm here, even at night. There are gardens and flowers everywhere. I am captivated by the flow of daily life in this very special place.
I don’t have a car yet and encourage you to hold off buying one when you first get here. If you are American, you will appreciate walking again. It is a great way to experience your neighborhood.
I must admit, I don’t know much Portuguese and am learning as I go. Most people have been very kind and patient with me. I think if you try to use a few new words each day, this can help you feel more comfortable.
There will be the necessary tasks such as getting a bus pass that become a day’s project. You are not doing anything wrong; errands will take more time. Have patience and allow yourself space to adapt. You will need to catch up with the culture shock you are experiencing. Life here is different and you can’t be on automatic like you were before. Now, everything requires your attention.
Stay mindful, appreciate the beauty that is around you, let go of expectations, and allow the magic of your new life unfold.
Congratulations! You have arrived.
See also in Madeira
Carpe Diem making good progress with the house build
"It's starting to come together, thanks to the great team at RFArraiano!"
"Timber frame, insulated floor and walls. Clad in cork on the outside, plasterboard inside. Solar electricity with fallback on battery or grid and UFH.
Still need to design a rain harvesting system but only if there is sufficient funds at the end!"
Lloyd on The Lima: 'Flow. Be Like Water'
Enjoy Owen Lloyd Martin's (YES, our very own 'Food Alchemist') recent studies of the River Lima, in the North of Portugal - where the water is so clean, otters are happy to make their home there!
(Click on the images for a slide show / carousel of Owen's wonderful photos)
How many expats does it take to change a lightbulb?*
*The question I really wanted to ask was: "How many stages are there in a successful migration?", and my answer to that is three.
As far as expats and lightbulbs go, I can't better the screenshot below, so have a good chuckle and then come back to find out about the three stages.
OK, let's get back to how to move successfully from one country to another...
The three stages are:
What now?, and
What's what is very straightforward. It's the nuts and bolts of what you need to move from A to B. And this applies whether you're moving to Portugal or anywhere else in the world. From any A to B or A to Z.
For the nuts and bolts, what's what stuff, we recommend Expats Portugal. Having worked closely over the last couple of years with Gerry and Astrid at Expats Portugal, I am pleased to recommend their carefully-curated set of top professionals and resources, basically a little black book of all the contacts and information you need for a successful migration to Portugal.
The next (and what has become fascinating to us) is the what now? stage, (which I also call 'Peak Pastel de Nata') where, after a while of being in the new country, there comes a point where - and it varies from migrant to migrant and their circumstances - they wonder: "What now?"
This of course is not limited to moving from one country to another. This is likely to happen with the realisation of any major life goal whether it be marriage, a promotion or the acquistion of precious material objects. All that glitters, to coin a phrase, may not always seem like gold!
Back to migration, and there may well come a point in the new country, that was once in so many ways the 'promised land', and now the land of 'what was I thinking?'.
Let me say that I'm not knocking migration. Travel broadens the mind; a change is as good as a rest, and Portugal IS an amazing destination for so many reasons! I'm just pointing out that there can come a time where once your goal has been achieved, there can be something of an anti-climax (and non one likes an anti-climax first thing in the morning, right?!).
Furthermore, the question of what now? can become a vicious cycle or circumstance in which the trials and tribulations of daily life can undermine the original mission, compounding or leading to poor health, depression and the contemplation of quitting.
It's really important at this stage that we have the presence of mind not to turn on ourselves and feel like a failure. Similarly, let us not turn on the country of our choice, saying "this place is a nightmare!", when prior to arrival it was our dream destination.
It's good to know therefore when you've got to what now? And best to deal with it before WTF? sets in!!
It's here when what next? can pull us out of the downward spiral that can see the honeymoon period turn into the relationship from hell.
What next? is a new focus or passion in life. Didn't a wise person once say "Without vision, the people perish"? Expats, migrants, movers and shakers are people and I will stick my neck out and say that the happiest, most fulfilled foreigners are those that have dreamt up a new purpose, a new focus, ambition or desire to serve - in the new place.
What next? is not rocket science then, just a natural thing for human beings. What now? is the mental, emotional or spiritual realisation that I have seen from observing my own journey and the journey of many other people. What next? is the onward and upward motion of the merry migrant!
For us, with our Portugal Club project, it's very exciting to help people who move to Portugal live extraordinary lives and continue to do so as they get engaged with others in local or special interest communities and start new projects. It is perfectly natural for human beings to quest, and to develop and to evolve. And it is our joy to facilitate and witness this.
Interestingly, retirement is in so many ways is the opposite of what we are looking at here. Retirement can so often be the mindset of 'I've done my bit'. In fact research seems to back up the fact that when people retire mentally, as well as physically or in terms of their career, they do themselves an injury, possibly even entering a fatal downward spiral with meaning and purpose absent in their lives.
The long-awaited climax of the 40-year plan and other dominant ideologies, retirement goes against our human nature in so many ways. What we are seeing is that the most fulfilled migrants, possibly the most fulfilled people in life, are the ones who get to what now? and transform it into a tangible and inspiring what next?
We leave the what's what? to the experts in visas, health, insurance, real estate and currency (find them here). Our thing is helping YOU preparing for your what now? and supporting you as you develop your compelling, life-enhancing and exciting what next?
Whether you are coming to Portugal or are already here, we'd love to support and empower you to live your best, most inspiring life in Portugal
Migrating is a hero's journey for sure. When you are migrating, it helps to have a community, allies who only want the best for you, and mentors who will encourage you through the tough times and celebrate your successes.
Let us be your community, your allies and your guides...
Right, where's that lightbulb?!
"No ciclo eterno das mudáveis coisas
Novo inverno após novo outono volve
À diferente terra
Com a mesma maneira."*
"In the eternal cycle of changeable things
New winter after new autumn returns
To the different earth
In the same way."*
After the longest night, the sun will rise again. Everything flows, nothing lasts. Happy Solstice!
* by Ricardo Reis, one of Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms. The translation is my own.
Fa-la-la-la-la ... Another Perspective of the Holidays by James 'Senhor Slug' Holley
Martin and Jojo's trip to Torre da Serra da Estrela, Central Portugal & The Douro
Mushmore (inaugurating the Evolution House) starts a new beginning...
Next Saturday Mushmore inaugurating the Evolution House starts a new beginning. Life is made of new beginnings, made of cycles recycling the best of the previous, towards a new even more powerful.
These are difficult times. Carl Sagan predicted the probability of human self-extinction about 30-40 years ago. Stephen Hawkins, Frank Fenner, Edward Wilson, Paul Ehrlich, Guy McPherson and so many others have been saying the same thing for the past 10 to 20 years.
Nuclear warfare, artificial intelligence, climate change, mass collapse of natural resources due to extinction of biodiversity.
We live in the days of the #OccupySchools movement. Here in Portugal, most of the public opinion says they are exaggerated. Fossil companies profits don't seem to be exaggerated, massive pharmaceutical profits with pandemics like cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases don't seem exaggerated, massive political and state corruption doesn't seem exaggerated, the massive pollution of Air, Water and Soil, nothing seems to be so exaggerated like some desperate boys glued to the ground, hoping to live to the same age as today's decision makers.
When the Portuguese went to Spain: 'BairrAndy' and the 'Spanish Fatima'
Here are the highlights from BairrAndy's recent trip to Spain and Santiago de Compostela, Tui, Lanzada, Isla de la Toja, where he visited the soap factory and sailed in a glass-bottomed shellfish boat.
"Santiago de Compestela is the 'Spanish Fatima," says Andy. "We had an absolutely fantastic time the whole weekend."
"Absolutely everything including hotel, coach, boat, disco, all the booze, the guided tours, the food....every thing 75€ each! Unbelievable, don't know how they do it!! All we paid for was a Santiago de Compestela fridge magnet for 2€😆."
(Click through the slide show)
Lanzada Cove: "If you put your feet in the water you'll get pregnant!" 😲
Expat or Immigrant? (UN PRESS RELEASE, 01.04.22)
Other notable Portugal blogs
Cátia Lima's Beyond Lisbon blog ("because Portugal is more than Lisbon")
Oh My Portugal! - "See Portugal through the eyes and lens of expats from all over the world"
Our Portuguese Life - Netty and Wayne’s journey to live in Portugal
Our Farm Portugal | Nossa Quinta Portugal - Marc's quinta quest that began in 2022
Salt of Portugal - "all that is glorious about Portugal"