Hi, I am BeckyB of 'It caught my Eye in Portugal', and my husband and I are lucky enough to be able to spend the winter months in southern Portugal. The rest of year and for the occasional winter weekend we live in England.
1. Why did you move abroad?
It all started as multiple and frequent short breaks in the winter months to escape the British grey skies, then a neighbour's extended (and still ongoing!) building project encouraged to extend those frequent breaks into a proper winter sojourn. And we've never looked back as a Portuguese life is so much more relaxed and healthy than a British one.
2. How do you make a living?
We do not work in Portugal as we are far too busy birding, walking and photographing. Oh and going out for lunch too!! We do however have various work projects and commitments back in England, which is why we split our lives between the two countries.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
Daily with my Mum by text or email, and then everyone else it is a case of random texts, emails and telephone calls.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Portugal?
The food, the people and the countryside. Portugal is a stunning country, with so many hidden gems. I just wish we had discovered mainland Portugal decades ago.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Portugal?
Our failure to get to grips with the language!
6. What do you miss most?
My cat as to date he has stayed behind with house sitters.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
Blogging has enable us to meet so many people who have moved out here too. We also have our favourite restaurants which has enabled us to meet and get to know some of the locals. If we lived here full time I would join more groups, and probably seek work as well.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
We have found it difficult to shrug off the northern European habit of turning up dot on time! By the end of our winter sojourns we have got a little bit better and adopted the much more relaxing and enjoyable approach to Portuguese time keeping.
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
Everyone says Portuguese is difficult, don't think it is really. We simply have not spent enough time learning the language and it is very easy to get by with the basics. If we continue with our extended winter sojourns though then we have to get our act together.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Much much lower although Brexit has had an impact on how far our English income goes. Food in particular is incredibly cheap, and best of all it is is mostly local and the quality is superb. Fresh fish and quality vegetables are one of the things we miss most when back in England.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Always make the time and effort to learn the language, and stay off the tourist tracks when you eat out. Go where the locals go and you'll always have a much more interesting and delicious meal.
12. When and why did you start your blog?
It began life a few years ago after I realised I was taking so many photographs that I could never fit them all in a photo-book. It had a slow beginning but once our winter sojourns had extended to 6 months it became part of my Portuguese life.
BeckyB's blog, It caught my Eye in Portugal
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