±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!



We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Expat Experiences

Portugal > Expat Experiences

Portugal

Sarah Hendrickx, Algarve

Posted by: Scar on Thursday April 28, 2016 (11:38:10)
Sarah Hendrickx
Sarah Hendrickx

Who are you?

I am Sarah Hendrickx, a freelance writer, book author, autism specialist and expat blogger. I do all of these things in Portugal – some remotely and some on return trips to the UK.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

My partner and I explored many countries and regions looking for somewhere to relocate to before deciding on Portugal. We moved here in February 2015.

It has frequent access to the UK with a short travel time, great climate, low cost of living, low property prices, wonderful food and lovely people. We had always wanted to move overseas in the future, but a combination an offer of voluntary redundancy and a potentially life-shortening genetic disease diagnosis made us re-evaluate our priorities and make the move sooner rather than later.

What challenges did you face during the move?

None at all really. We did a lot research and planning and it has all been very smooth and stress-free. Either that or we have blocked out all the trauma and are in a state of denial. Portugal is an easy country to move to as so many expats have paved the way before us, plus every younger person speaks wonderful English, which helps.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Yes, lots. Many live on the coast, but there are also lost up in the hills where we live. Most are older than us and looking for a more relaxed lifestyle in their retirement so we don’t have much in common with many of them. We have tended to seek friends who enjoy the same things as we do, such as growing vegetables and cycling.

What do you like about life where you are?

It is so peaceful. My work in the UK involves a lot of travelling and sitting in traffic, whereas Portugal is so quiet. Obviously, the weather is a big plus – to be able to be outdoors all year round was a major factor in our choice of location. I also love the fresh food in the markets and how much time people have to chat – no one is in a rush. And geckos, we love them.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Only that I can’t speak better Portuguese! I am trying, but it feels very slow. Oh, and the mosquitoes seem to love me all year round. I was hoping they had time off in the winter, but it seems not.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

No one carries paper cups with coffee in – they sit down at a cafe and take the time to enjoy it. The coffee is far better in Portugal for a fraction of the price. I’m sure there are bigger cultural differences, but that one pleases me very much.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Just do it, but plan it well. Life is short and the future is not guaranteed. Sounds a bit sombre, but it's true. We thought we needed many more years of planning and financial security before we made the move, then we did it anyway. Turns out we were wrong: we're fine with what we have.

What are your plans for the future?

To stay in Portugal and develop new opportunities for working as a writer, and to grow more broad beans.

You can keep up to date with Sarah's adventures in Portugal on her blog, Bicycles and Biscuits.

 
Link  QR 


Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.