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Life Reimagined

Here we meet Jack and Hannah who, after travelling and testing out life in Canada bought a beautiful property that they found here on the Pure Portugal website to create a sustainable eco resort in the Algarve.

How did you find out about Pure Portugal? / Did you know of us before moving to Portugal?
When we first started looking for a property we were living in Canada and so we began scouring the internet. Initially we wanted to move to the Provence region of France. However, after searching and searching we realised that we could make it work for the budget we had. That led us to surch farther afield in Spain and Portugal. We knew we wanted to create a permaculture farm with an ecotourism business, so adding these into google led us straight to pure portugal. We spent months looking and refreshing until we found two properties that we wanted to go look at – oneß of which we eventually put an offer on.

What made you decide to move to Portugal from your home country?
There are several reasons why we decided to move to Portugal. First of all the climate. We both love sunshine and enjoy being outside, so Portugal and especially the Algarve are a great choice for sun-lovers like us. But we also really like how welcoming and friendly the Portuguese people are. So far we have always felt welcomed and have always been met with kindness. Another big deciding factor was that land and property are still affordable in Portugal. Especially compared to most other areas in southern Europe that offer a similar climate and a similar standard of living.

Have you moved to any other countries before moving to Portugal?
Yes. Jack is originally from the north of England but has left England about 10 years ago to travel the world. Since then he has lived in various places such as Australia, New Zealand, Austria and Switzerland before moving to Germany. This is where he met me and together we moved to Vancouver, Canada and lived there for about 4 years.

How does life in Portugal compare to living in another country you’ve lived in?
We don’t yet live in Portugal full time but we have spent three months there last summer and have just been there for another month. One of the biggest differences compared to Germany, where we live currently, is the pace of life. Everything moves a little slower. That can be frustrating at times, for example when you are waiting for planning permission, but it is ultimately also a reason why we want to move to Portugal. We find it enables us to slow down and focus more on the things that are important to us.

Did you visit Portugal many times before buying/renting somewhere?
Actually we didn’t. I had spent a couple of days in Lisbon and Porto about 10 years before we decided to move there. Jack had never been to Portugal before we went to look at some land in the Algarve. When we first started looking for land, Portugal wasn’t really on our radar. But as we learned more about property prices in other parts of southern Europe, we learned more about Portugal and decided to look at some land there. And it is fair so say that we fell in love with the Algarve region immediately.

Is the property you purchased/rented what you envisaged you would live in when you first dreamed of moving to Portugal?
Right now the land we have purchased definitely isn’t what we envisaged we would be living in when moving to Portugal. But this is because this plot of land has been neglected for many years. It has a small ruin, which is not habitable at this point and the land is very overgrown. However, we have big plans on how to transform it and had the opportunity to start from scratch to build what we’ve always dreamt of.

If you could give one tip to someone still thinking about making the move what would it be?
Our number one tip would be to do your own research. There is a lot of information out there regarding buying or renting in Portugal, which is great and definitely has been useful for us. But as we learned more about the process of buying land and all the legalities around it, we have also come across a lot of false information. So make sure you do your own research, speak to people who have moved there, invest in a lawyer and use trusted resources. We would also encourage you to go and spend some time in the area you consider moving to. Rent a place for a few months or a year and see how you like it. If you don’t, you didn’t lose anything and can just move back home. But if you do, you feel even better about your decision. Lastly, we would say, if you are thinking about buying or renting something in Portugal, do it sooner than later. Who knows how much longer property will still be affordable here…

What is the most positive thing about your project so far?
The best thing about our project so far has been the purpose and the motivation it has given us. We’ve spent the last five years saving up in order to make the move and realize our dream in Portugal. We had to readjust our priorities and make sacrifices in order to save up enough money. Having a clear goal in our mind and knowing why we are doing what we are doing, has helped tremendously in keeping up with the life decisions we made. It also has brought a lot of joy, happiness and most of all excitement to our lives. Whenever we feel down or have a bad day, we think about how close we are to moving to Portugal and about all the plans we have down there and we immediately feel better.

If we had just one day in the area you are moving to what would you tell us is a must do/see?
We are moving to Rasmalho, which is in between Portimao and Monchique. One of the things we would tell people to do, is to take a walk along the beautiful cliffs on the coast. Especially around Sagres and on the west coast it feels as if you have discovered the end of the world. It is hard to describe that feeling, you need to experience it for yourself. Monchique is also worth a visit. The little village on the hill has a very special feel to it and you can enjoy some stunning views all the way down to the sea. Another must do, especially if you are into food, is to visit the local markets. You will find them in most bigger towns, usually on Saturdays and it is amazing to see all the fresh produce from the area. Grab some things for a picnic and head to your favourite beach to enjoy it!

Find out more about the project at Monte Calma here.

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