GuMPer Blogs

My favourite rooftop top bar. Although not sure I want everyone to know about it 😂

SpartanFX's Sarah in Porto & Lisbon

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

Bill & Marcus's beach clean-up

"Bom Dia Carl! Some pics of our visit at Praia do Osso da Baleia Beach yesterday. We met a guy picking up garbage. ️Curious if any Gumpers might be interested in meeting there for a clean up day?"

Includes bonus pic from their recent and wonderful Madeira trip (-:

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!"

Portugal house build update #8 - SUBSCRIBE

"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'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...

Sign up HERE


Right, where's that lightbulb?!


Indebted to (seemingly banned) Andy Capp for this illuminating and near-the-knuckle post at ExpatForum

Happy Solstice! from Cátia 'Beyond Lisbon' Lima

"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.

All these young people want, is to be able to grow old healthy...

For them Mushmore Co-op is changing for and for them, Evolution, our Agroecological support service, is also changing. For and for them we are starting a new cycle, opening up a new space for them, their parents and grandparents to meet, learn and participate in building a new beginning for all of us.

This is why we return to Environmental Education. This is why we put all our winnings into this Project Land, free from market pressures, corporate restrictions, but fundamentally open to all climate actors like entrepreneurs, polluters, politicians and all types of political, economic and social deciders.

No matter your background, no matter your past.

If Rwanda did it, we will too. If South Africans and Chileans did it, we will do it too. As the Palestinians and Israelis will, as Ukrainians and Russians will have to too.

We have no choice but to Unite. We have no other possible future but to achieve the impossible for science: the ability to survive ourselves, the superhuman power to overcome our greed, the higher spiritual purpose to go beyond our attachment to fear of losing.

Mushmore is embracing this course with all of its might, without looking back or turning back, burning all the bridges behind that would allow us to escape, regressing. Step by step, we will be More, Mush More, many more, day after day, winning each defeat, overcoming each obstacle. 

We have an incredible journey ahead of us, the ultimate Survival Journey and making the impossible a reality. With you, with them, one by one, million by million, until we finally become one Humanity only, with the Goodness necessary to achieve a Planetity only, in communion with all the Biodiversity of this Ecosystem all sustain us.


#educação #mudançasclimáticas #biodiversidade #ciência #biodiversidade #propósito #negociocomproposito #education #climatechange #biodiversity #science #biodiversity #biz2purpose

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)

Alongside the challenges of mass famine, climate disruption and global conflicts, the name for people moving from one country to another has long consumed the minds of social scientists, sociologists and those virtue signalling at dinner parties and in Facebook groups.

Thanks to a recent multi-million dollar research and development breakthrough at the United Nations, a solution to this age-old semantic battle is now in sight. A 927-page report has been published today that means someone seeking a new and peaceful start away from a war zone or looking to exploit a more advantageous cost of living somewhere sunny can now be united under a new and unifying banner.

William Gotheré, a macro-forensic anthtropologist based at Stamford University’s department of trans-global migratory patterning has been working with a UN multi-disciplinary team funded by The Rovex Corporation, the market leaders in human tracking technology.

Ima Wefman, CEO of said Rovex, is delighted with this 25-year long research project and has called this innovation the “DNA of migratory movement”.

“For centuries the lack of a catch-all term to lump all newcomers, foreigners and strangers in one box has caused untold social discomfort. And whilst there are pharmaceutical drugs available and underground organisations available to deal with the problem (in which we are also heavily invested), we believe this new addition to the lexicon of relocation will be a game-changer,” he added.

Project manager Gotheré and colleagues are celebrating today after their epic effort, and will later address the world’s media at a landmark press conference in 652 simultaneously-translated languages. At the event they will unveil the UN, NATO and Pfizer-backed term: ‘Homosapien undergoing movement across nations” or H.U.M.A.N for short.

“The problem of all this moving around to find a better life and what we call those individuals involved in it, makes controlling the world very difficult,” said project co-funder Klaus Schwab. “H.U.M.A.N. people can now be united under a single banner and be happy about it. We are. Especially now that each soon-to-be-released mandatory digital certificate of H.U.M.A.N identification lets us know where everyone is at any given time.”

Other notable Portugal blogs

Cátia Lima's Beyond Lisbon blog  ("because Portugal is more than Lisbon") 

Catherine & Bob's Adventures - Nice meetup mention (-:

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"