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Moving To Portugal – Expat Story 3

 

We thought it would be helpful to have some Q&A’s from real people who have made the move already. Some are newly arrived, others have been here for much longer, meaning you can get a broad range of experiences from people to get a real feel for what it is like to move to Portugal and start living your dream!

Today we meet Pam and Mark Tipping who found themselves in Portugal in 2012 after they had left UK in 2011 with a Land Rover Defender, a roof tent and no real plans!

How did you find Pure Portugal? Did you know of us before moving?
We heard about Pure Portugal after we had bought the farm. We had not heard of them before, as we had not come to Portugal to specifically search for a property.

What made you decide to move to Portugal?
We had not planned to settle down but when we were shown the farm that we ended up buying, we fell in love with the land, abundance of trees, stunning granite rock formations and on a whim decided this is what we will do next! It was very affordable and we didn’t want to return to the UK and go back to working a 9-5 existence! We had given up our jobs and rented out our house. We had joined Workaway, an online resource where you sign up with a profile of your skills and then link up with hosts who are looking for help and in exchange for a few hours work a day you get free board and lodging.  We had arranged to go to Italy for our first Workaway experience. The plan at that time was to drive down to Africa but we never made it. We spent the year exploring Europe and eventually were invited to Portugal to help a family in Aljezur. That was in March 2012. We fell in love with Portugal and ended up buying a farm in Central Portugal en-route to returning to the UK to renew our MOT. That was in July 2012, a year after we had left the UK.

Have you lived in any other countries before moving to Portugal? 
We had both travelled a great deal in our youth and lived in Zimbabwe and the Cayman Islands when our children were young. These experiences gave us confidence that we could live more or less anywhere! The landscape of Central Portugal really reminded us of Africa. Mark is very practical and had the necessary skills to renovate and create our off grid life.

Did you visit Portugal many times before buying/renting somewhere?
No. We did 2 Workaway positions in the Algarve; in Tavira and Alejezur. We then travelled up through Alentejo into Central Portugal, camping as we went. Prior to this neither of us had been to Portugal.

Is the property you purchased/rented what you envisaged you would live in when you first dreamed of moving to Portugal? How does it compare?
After living 5 years on the farm we decided to move to the coast. We now had 2 grand children and the farm and animals we had accumulated were a tie. We loved it dearly but wanted more time and freedom to spend with family. We sold the farm in March 2017 and moved to Nazaré where we have a Bed and Breakfast (click here to see more) So to answer your question… from no plans to where we are now – would not change a thing. We have had the best of both worlds and the journey continues!

What is day to day life like now in comparison to your old life?
We lead a busy day-to-day life here minus the commuting! Working for ourselves is far more rewarding than working for someone else.

Does Portugal feel like home yet?
We have been here 6 years. I attend a free language course (including culture) 3 evenings a week and feel I am gaining a reasonable grasp of the language. We will never be completely integrated but to be honest we are happy here and for now it is home.

If you could give one tip to someone still thinking about making the move what would it be?
Learn the language (or at least try). It makes a huge difference to the response you receive from people here.

What is the most difficult thing about living in Portugal?
The challenges at first with the quality of goods and services and the erratic driving!

What is the most positive thing about your move so far?
Freedom (within reason) to live the life you choose in a beautiful country with kind and gentle people.

If we had just one day in the area you have moved too what would you tell us is a must do/see?
Walk down to Praia do Norte (North Beach) 10 minutes from here and then head along the beach to the Farol and see where the biggest wave in the world was surfed.

One thought on “Moving To Portugal – Expat Story 3

  1. during your time in Portugal have you met very many people from the US.? The we were in Portugal in 2015 we were surprised at the lack of people, tourists and expats, from all part of North America. Do not understand why there are so few NA’s visiting Portugal. Your thoughts?

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