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Portugal > Expat Experiences

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Julie Dawn Fox, Moura Morta

Published Sunday September 02, 2012 (20:40:11)
Julie Dawn Fox
My name’s Julie and I’m a writer, a traveller and a teacher as well as being a serial expat. I’m originally from the UK but have lived abroad for over ten years now.

I had something of a mid-mid-life crisis in my late twenties which resulted in me trading the depressingly dull job I had in a bank in exchange for a backpack and a seemingly incurable dose of wanderlust. After 16 months of travelling, I came back to the UK and quickly realised that I didn’t want to live there for the rest of my life.

I had to find a way of sustaining a new life abroad so I set about getting myself a degree and training to teach English as a foreign language. I did the teacher training course in Barcelona in 2002, fell in love with the city and stayed there for two years. I’ve lived in several countries since then including Tanzania, Venezuela and now Portugal    more ...


Peter Calder, Gois

Published Friday August 10, 2012 (17:43:01)
Peter Calder
My name is Peter F Calder and on the Expat Focus Portugal Forum I am known as PETERFC, yes him!

This is my story from when I first wanted just a holiday home to the decision that it was to become my home for life.

My story started in September 2007 on a warm sunny day here in Liverpool. I had asked on a Forum I am a member of for somewhere to stay for a week at the beginning of September. I replied to one invitation from a couple who lived in Gois, Dianne and Terry. After looking into where they were, I decided that it may be good to try there first. That week during my stay I travelled out each day in a different direction looking at various places with a view to perhaps moving there, but no matter where I went I kept going back to Gois - not just because I was staying there but because it had something all the other places had not. So Gois it was to be.    more ...


Derek Harper, Tomar

Published Sunday December 04, 2011 (18:53:38)
Derek & Nicky
My name is Derek Harper, I am originally from Scotland and now live in Central Portugal with my girlfriend. We never set off to move to Portugal it just sort of happened, you know the way these things do.

Way back in 2002, New Year's eve to be exact, my girlfriend Nicky Carter and I were having a conversation over a few drinks about the coming new year and our future plans. This conversation eventually got round to talk about places we would like to visit for our holidays in the coming year, we generally tried to fit in a couple of last minute holidays each year even though we both had busy work lives. I was an After Sales Manager at a multi-franchise dealership in the North of England, Nicky ran her own Marketing and PR company, working mostly within the motor-sport industry.    more ...


Wendy Manning, Central Portugal

Published Sunday December 04, 2011 (13:56:40)
James & Daniel Manning
Hello, I am Wendy Manning and I live in Central Portugal with husband Paul and children James (9) and Daniel(6). We moved from the UK towards the end of 2007, like many others it seems. We just decided that we had had enough of working to live and keep a very expensive house and mortgage so we sold up and decided to move to Portugal.

Portugal was an easy decision as we had been visiting The Algarve for a few years, my husband has family there. We liked Portugal but we agreed we could not live in the Algarve - too British and commercial, oh, and expensive. The move here was quite straightforward - the children were still young, one started year 1 in our local village school a week after we arrived and the other started Jardim de Infancia a couple of months later. They both picked up the language easily, but it has not been as easy for Paul and me, that bit older you see!    more ...


Robin & Shirley Hepworth, Western Algarve

Published Sunday December 04, 2011 (13:45:39)
Robin & Shirley Hepworth
Robin & Shirley Hepworth. I’m a 48 model ex IT Manager; Shirley is a coronation special and a Maths, Chemistry and Biology teacher. Plus Nellie our 2002 Doberman x German Shepherd dog.

In 2007 we sold up and moved to the Western Algarve, Portugal. Why? Many reasons - better quality of life, less stressful living, nice people, good food, wine & Medronho! We first visited Portugal in 2001 to take part in a sponsored ride from Alcoutim on the Spanish Border to Cape St Vincent in aid of RDA & PSP. I was riding and Shirley part of the support crew and as a result we saw parts of the Algarve most Algarveans never see. We came home feeling that the Lagos area would be a great place to live.    more ...


Diane & Eric, Bemposta

Published Sunday December 04, 2011 (13:27:22)
Beach near Portimão
We are Diane and Eric. We are both trying marriage for a second time... so far! We are both former Devonians although my wife was brought up in Cornwall. We met through our work at a local newspaper and after knowing each other for eight years and having both been divorced for ten years we decided that we could make it work. That was back in 1991. So far, so good.

I have to say that it was Diane who had been hankering to get out of the U.K. She had been trying, unsuccessfully, to do so since 1960. Her first marriage and the places she was trying to emigrate to, mainly Canada and the US, were her obstacles. When we met, Diane had her own property in Spain, (Almogia, Andalusia), and I had my own place in Plymouth, U.K. Both properties had mortgages.    more ...


Emma, Central Portugal

Published Thursday December 01, 2011 (04:39:59)
Emma from Australia here. After 20 years in the film industry in Sydney I had had enough of 80-hour working weeks and wanted to get a life. I had planned to be travelling for a few years but I fell in love with Portugal as soon as I arrived. When I saw charming ruins for sale at my kind of price, I decided to buy here.

The visa process for a non-EU citizen was an epic challenge and I couldn't live in Portugal while I waited for my residency to be approved. At the same time, my house-buying process was also an ordeal, as the house is old and the paperwork way out of date. So between Portuguese lessons, I battled the embassy, the vendor's lawyer and the architect working on my project plans, via email and phone from Berlin. After 9 months, with the help of my Portuguese teacher and the local Câmara, I had the deeds and visa in hand at last.    more ...


Dave, Aveiro

Published Wednesday November 30, 2011 (19:59:08)
Dave's wooden house
I'm Dave. An aged hippy who managed to pretend to be a successful I.T. consultant for much of my working life before I morphed into Mr Odd Job for three years before moving to Portugal. Nowadays I am much happier playing with lumps of wood than with computers, so no techie questions please.

In July 2008 I moved to Aveiro, just south of Porto from Southampton. It was never my intention to live in Aveiro for any length of time but I had a friend who works at the University and it was a good place to base my search for the right property. The move was prompted by the split from my partner of thirty years. We had got to the point where we wanted too many different things which were not compatible, like my desire to live abroad and her desire to be close to her grandchildren. The split was amicable and we are still great mates. Much better that we are good friends, than aggrieved partners. A long time ago I used to visit Portugal to visit my son who did much of his growing up on the Algarve. If the Algarve was still as it was then I might have been tempted to move there but I wanted something less spoiled and Central Portugal seemed to fit the bill.    more ...

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