Big Decisions!

When we moved to Portugal (now approaching five years ago) we never really intended to tie ourselves down to one location.

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Our vague plan was to try renting in a few different areas prior to buying a property. As it’s turned out, we’ve ended up staying in the same area since we arrived, and have been in the same apartment for over four years.

On the surface, at least, this suggests that we are happy where we are, and to a large extent we are. However, at least a couple of times each year we start getting itchy feet, and begin to find living in a village of just over one thousand people rather claustrophobic, having moved here from a city of millions. At these moments, the temptation is to move closer to Lisbon – to somewhere “commutable” – not for work, but for culture and a little more life.

We’ve just concluded one of our “itchy feet” phases. To cut a long story short, we have decided to stay in the same village, but we will be moving to a far larger property in the coming months.

The decision was a tough one, so the past few weeks have felt rather unsettled. Although there is no real shortage of rental properties in our area, the kind of house we need is surprisingly rare for a long term let. This is essentially because three bedroom houses with gardens and room for a pool are very desirable to tourists, and many owners prefer to take their chances on good occupancy to make more money each year.

So, when an ideal house came up after months of searching, we obviously felt compelled to take it. However, we then faced a crisis of confidence in our decision, wondering if we’d done the right thing by choosing to remain in one place rather than discovering more of the country.

The need to make a quick decision (coupled by the fact that our recent new arrival now means we have more to think about than just the two of us), sent us into a bit of a tailspin—one that resulted in us doing a quick reconnaissance trip to the Lisbon suburbs.

We quickly managed to cross various potential areas from our list – some were too expensive, some too crowded. We also fell in love with a place called Alcochete, which faces Lisbon over the river estuary. Had the house we saw online actually been available I could be writing a very different post right now.

But some things are not meant to be. After lots of soul-searching and evaluation we’ve concluded that we’ll never find the same standard of property closer to Lisbon for a similar sum, and knowing so well the local area, the people and the infrastructure is too much of a benefit to give up when we have such a young baby.

We’re very excited about the new house now, especially because we took that trip to Lisbon and dispelled our doubts. I’ll no doubt continue to have my occasional wobbles about staying in this small town for such a long time, but the money we will save on living expenses should facilitate short trips to the big city when the urge strikes.

One day we may live near Lisbon, but for at least the next couple of years we’re staying put. It’s a relief to have finally made that decision.


Further reading for Living In Portugal

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Finding work in Portugal

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in Portugal.
Read more...

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Social life in Portugal

The best way to get settled in Portugal is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
Read more...

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Heathcare

One of the first things you need to do once you arrive in Portugal is find out where your nearest hospital is.
Read more...

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Education in Portugal

Are you emigrating to Portugal with school-age children?
 

Read more...


Latest news

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Big Decisions!

We’ve just concluded one of our “itchy feet” phases. To cut a long story short...

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Schooling in Portugal

If you plan to move to Portugal with a family, thinking about schooling for your children should be a top priority.
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Make ownership costs manageable

It’s not just the purchase that costs money, but once you’re a happy owner, you’ll need to cover on-going running costs too.

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