Loving Life In Portugal
If you’ve read our most recent blogs, you’ll have noticed we’ve been concentrating a little on moving to Portugal, shedding light on what there is to see and also how to get started if you’re thinking it might be where you hope to begin a new life in the sun.
But let’s say you’ve made The Jump already and you’ve just settled in your new villa or apartment; what can you expect from your first few months “in country”?
Park The Holiday
First of all, we’d recommend you set a little time aside – and a bit of budget – to get out there and explore. Go and meet people – both locals and expats in Portugal – and try to get a feel for the lie of the land.
If you’ve holidayed in the area before, it may be tempting to make a beeline for the familiar places you got to know during your stay but try to remember you’re not a holidaymaker any more. You’re not going to get a feel for what your new life will truly be like if you insulate yourself against the realities by sticking with what you already know.
Step out of your comfort zone and use the local shops; try to stay away from the tourist areas for a bit and save them for a Sunday or as a reward for progress. You’ll need to sort out a bank account too and there will be other formalities to finalise. You’ll probably want to familiarise yourself with utility providers, find tradespeople you can trust, arrange a mobile phone contract or perhaps you’ll want to lay your hands on a car… Listen to what other expats can tell you and, if you can, try to learn a little of the language. It can make a big difference to how locals react.
A Life Less Ordinary
And what will “normal life” be like? Well, in Portugal, expect it to be that little less ordered. You will be among demonstrative people renowned for their spontaneity and, of course, their love of music and dancing.
Wall-to-wall sunshine in the summer also brings people outside and they’re not usually shy about shouting – either in anger or bonhomie – and, of course, they may be more direct with their opinions than you’re used to, whether it be about your weight, your clothes, your home or your car.
And then there’s all the kissing. Not many greetings will involve a simple handshake anymore; in social environments, it’s a peck on both cheeks every time, whether you know them or not.
But your first winter will bring a whole new set of challenges too – some related to your property; central heating is not as ubiquitous as it is in the UK and you may need to be creative about keeping warm.
If you have a pool, the dark art of maintenance will need to be learned from an old hand, unless you intend to pay for the service and get a man in. After months of fun in the sun, it may also take a little time to readjust and equip your home – and your wardrobe – to stave off the storms sweeping in off the Atlantic.
Of those who begin a new life overseas, the most successful tend to be those who learn to roll with the punches and can let unexpected setbacks wash over them. But, if you’d like any more help either with finding property, the paperwork or the logistics, why not give us a call or drop us a line. We have a selection of villas and apartments available in Portugal and we’re ready and waiting to show them to you.