For many years now, our families and friends have gotten used to Kevin and I dropping our seemingly random/insane travel ideas on them.
It started with our decision to forgo a traditional wedding in favor of a small multi-day gathering on an island most of our guests had never heard of.
It continued with the time we told them we were going to spend part of our vacation visiting the DMZ in North Korea.
And we really ramped up the crazy when we told them we were quitting our very good jobs and leaving our very stable lives in order to go drive around the U.S. in an RV for a couple years.
“You’re gonna do WHAT?!?!” is kind of a theme, if you will.
And so it is with our latest plan: moving this little shindig across the pond to Lisbon, Portugal.
How did we get here? Well… basically because of a video on YouTube.
But, it’s a longer story than that, and I assure you it will sound a lot less stupid when I explain it all.
Luckily, I have this handy dandy blog where I can share my thoughts without having to face people while they stare at me like I’ve lost my damned mind, so let’s start with how we got here.
When we started this motorhome journey, our idea was to go see the country with an eye toward finding our next landing spot. We figured we would visit some particular city, fall madly in love, the pieces would fall into place, and we would move on to the next phase of our lives.
The only problem is: it never happened.
To be clear, we found lots of places we liked (San Diego, Austin, Tucson, Bend, etc.), but there was always some deal killer – usually climate or cost related, but sometimes it was some other issue that made us question whether we’d really want to live there. We knew we’d have to give up some of our desires – no place is perfect after all, but we wanted to make sure our overall quality of life would be high without tying ourselves to an unreasonable cost of living or a political situation that didn’t reflect our beliefs.
So, we kept looking and thinking and thinking and looking, but nothing was really coming together.
Until one day, I was looking at something on YouTube when I glanced over at the “suggested videos” list and saw a thumbnail of a young, smiling American family titled “Why we moved to Lisbon, Portugal.”
And I wondered aloud: “Why DID you move to Lisbon, Portugal???”
And what I learned in that video rocketed Lisbon to the top of our list.
If you had asked us back then what we were looking for in a home base, we would have rattled off a list of several things we were hoping for: a mid-sized city, nice climate, good healthcare, reliable public transportation, availability of an international airport, proximity to the coast, great food and culture, peaceful, safe, lots to see and do, a reasonable cost of living, etc.
What we quickly realized was Lisbon didn’t just tick these boxes; Lisbon knocked them outta the park! (I do love mixed metaphors).
Additionally, we knew moving to Lisbon would make the rest of Portugal – from its sun drenched coastline to its wild, rugged mountains – available for exploration. And, if that weren’t enough, we knew all the rest of Europe, with its centuries of history, its magnificent cultural riches, and its glorious – and I do mean glorious – culinary delights would be just a few hours away by plane or train.
Finally, and crucially, if we wanted to move, the Portuguese would, in all likelihood, welcome us – which is not the case for most European countries.
For the last decade or so, Portugal has been trying to attract immigrants to increase their population, so they’ve enacted friendly visa policies to entice retirees, digital nomads, and remote workers to come live there.
I’ll go into all of the details about these things in future posts, but suffice it to say, Lisbon suddenly looked like the answer we’d been searching for. The only problem was, ya know, it’s in another country. Buuuuut, it’s the westernmost country in Europe, which means a 7 or 8 hour direct flight to the east coast; not that much longer than if we settled in San Diego or Bend. Additionally, Lisbon is home to large numbers of expats and immigrants from around the world, English is widely spoken, and, as we understand it, the Portuguese people are kind, helpful, and welcoming to foreigners. We’ll see how that holds up when we repeatedly mangle their lovely-but-challenging language, but we’re hoping they won’t hold it against us.
Of course, the obvious question is: why are we doing this now? If we’re tired of traveling and ready to put down roots, why not settle somewhere in the U.S., even if it isn’t going to be our ‘forever home’? Why not take some time to just live a normal life rather than diving into a whole new challenge?
And I’ll tell you the answer.
The answer is: table lamps.
And couches, bureaus, and chairs.
We don’t have any. We got rid of the vast majority of our stuff when we moved into the motorhome (which came with all the furniture we needed).
If we sell our RV and purchase a house or rent an apartment somewhere, we’re gonna have to buy all that stuff again.
And we’ll have to go to the DMV to get new driver’s licenses, and change our voter registrations, and change our address with our banks and credit card companies and all the other places we do business with.
Alternatively, if we jump right into this next big adventure, we can leave much of our American existence as it is – keep our Florida mail forwarding address and voter registration (many American expats actually “move” to Florida before going abroad because Florida is friendly to expats the same way they’re friendly to RVers and boaters), and keep all our online stuff the way it is. And if we move overseas now, our possessions will fit in a pile of suitcases rather than the huge pallet or shipping container we’d need if we were moving from a regular house.
In other words, if we ever want to try moving abroad, now is the perfect time to do it. And if we don’t do it now, it’s unlikely we ever will.
Relatedly, and most importantly, if the whole thing sucks, we can just come back and we’re no worse off. We’re not giving up anything we wouldn’t otherwise. We’re selling Barney no matter what, and we blew up the rest of our lives back in 2016. So… why not give it a go?
Now, will this come together exactly as planned? Absolutely not.
Will it be a complete debacle? Possibly.
Will there be a moment when we look at each other and say “What the hell were we thinking?” Of course there will be!
None of our crazy plans have ever come together as seamlessly as we hoped. See: that planned beachside wedding which had to be held inside because, on our wedding day, it rained harder than it’s ever rained in the history of the Caribbean islands. See also: our planned RV travels which had to be tabled before we even got started because I broke my leg in the stupidest way possible.
But, whereas many people would look at stuff like that and wonder whether the universe was sending them a signal to reconsider their plans, Kevin and I just punch the gas and keep going.
It’s worked out so far.
So, Portugal, Vamos fazer isso!
(That’s “Let’s do this” in Portuguese… That’s right. Y’all are coming along with us on a language learning adventure!)
PS: There’s a gift shop at the DMZ:
I just felt like someone other than me should know that.
Until next time…
We are soooooo excited about your next adventure – and this is one that we would actually seriously consider following! So you will be our Guinea pigs. Thank you!! ???
Yep, I think this one is gonna be a lot more your speed than the last one. Stay tuned!
Sounds very exciting! Looking forward to your reports from across the pond.
Thanks for coming along for the ride, Duwan!
Jim and I have the same feelings you do about not wanting to permanently settle for someplace that doesn’t make sense for us … and, like you, we’ve found places we love but haven’t stumbled onto a place that gives us that stayin’ feeling – whatever that is. Your list is pretty much the same as ours. So, this should be FUN!
Viagens Felizes Seguras
xoxo & hugs to Thor
In the past, these things have always just kind of come together and been obvious. With this search, I was really starting to think it wasn’t going to happen. but as soon as I saw that video, the lightbulb went off and it all made sense. I say just keep doing what you’re doing and the answer will reveal itself when it’s time. In the meantime… Alaska!!
Congratulations on the exciting new adventure!! Brad and I understand how you feel, 7 years on the road and still no place that fits our requirements. Maybe one day we will visit you!! Happy moving!!
Like I just said in the prior comment, we had almost given up looking for the perfect place until it dropped in our laps. Keep an eye out and it will come together when it’s supposed to. And if you find yourself in Portugal we’d absolutely love to show you around!!
So excited for you! Portugal is high on our list of places to move to once I can tear myself away from my grandson.
Just gotta bring the grandson with you! 🙂
Keep me posted on your European travel plans for next year. Even if you don’t visit Portugal, maybe we can come meet you somewhere else. We’d love to see you guys – on either side of the Atlantic.
Hot damn!! When you go, you go big! I can’t wait to read all about your new adventures. Viagens seguras e divirta-se!
Thanks, Laura. It still feels like the RV thing was a much bigger jump, but I’ll probably have to revisit that assumption in a couple weeks. 🙂 Glad you’re staying along for the ride.
Laura, Kevin & Thor:
So very happy for you and your “Portugal Plan”!
I was born with a desire to live in far away lands, experience different cultures, etc.
My career took me to 41 countries, living in several. I have retired now…but still searching for a “forever” place!
AnAmerican Expat friend that I met in Kuala Lumpur, told me long ago, that when he retired he would do so in Portugal! Of course, his wife is Portuguese…so he had visited there many times with her!
All the very best to you 3…I will keep in touch!
Thanks, Mark. Many years ago, Kevin and I talked about someday backpacking around the world, or living in Air BNBs in various places for months at a time. We figured it would be a retirement plan. Then, we decided to move the whole plan up, but since we had a dog and weren’t going to force her to fly all over the place, we hatched the RV plan. But the desire to see the world has always been strong and remains so today. Living in 41 different countries sounds like a dream. We’re doing baby steps here, but we unquestionably have that same wanderlust that you have. The world is big and beautiful and fascinating and I want to see as much of it as possible before I kick the bucket.
You’re going to do what?!?!? That makes no sense at all. That is not the way one is supposed to live life. You need to fall in line, get a job, buy a house, pay your taxes and then die like the rest of the lemmings! This makes no sense at all!
I know, right? What the hell is wrong with us? We are never going to be happy if we don’t get serious about this ‘American Dream’ stuff! 🙂
I for one am thrilled that you are embarking on another blog-worthy adventure instead of settling down into a boring suburban lifestyle. I can’t wait to read all about it! So many people have a fantasy image of living in Europe, but I know that you will tell it like it is…. good, bad, and awkward.
I completely agree with you that now is the perfect time for an international move, with few belongings to schlep across the pond and all your financial/personal paperwork already set up for travel. I hope Lisbon turns out to be ideal, but if not you can always try something else that will terrify and/or scandalize the family. Best of luck with the move!
Thanks, Shannon. I have honestly found it shockingly difficult to find blogs about moving to Portugal and living there. There are a handful, but not the same quantity or style as in the RV community, so I am hoping to contribute something in that regard. And I will most definitely keep it honest. I think people appreciate hearing the unvarnished truth, and I personally find the unvarnished truth to be much more entertaining than the whitewashed version of anything. We already had quite a few near disasters brought on by language issues during our first visit. Stay tuned… 🙂
I know exactly the vlog you’re referring to – I know them from a finance group! Portugal is wonderful (though tbh Lisbon is not our favorite place). If Lisbon ends up not being a fit, consider Coimbra (college town!) or Porto. Both are an easy train ride to Lisbon, though Porto does have its own airport that sometimes has better deals than Lisbon (Porto also costs less, though the weather isn’t quite as ideal as Lisbon).
We’ve been to Portugal two whole times, so clearly we are experts. AMA. ??
I am really excited for you! There are tons of expats in Portugal and the timing is perfect for you. Thanks for taking us on your journey!
Yep, I think Youtube showed that video to a TON of people and it’s driven a lot of interest in Portugal. It’s crazy how a social media algorithm can affect something like this. But a lot of people are looking for the same things.
Speaking of which, my sense is Lisbon is a real love/hate thing. For us, it’s the obvious place to start because it’s convenient, there are a ton of English speakers, and it seems like a good fit. But we realize it may not be the perfect place for us and we’ll absolutely keep our options open over the longer term. Porto is unquestionably beautiful and a lot of people head there, but I cannot deal with gray and rain, so it’ll be a place to visit, but not to live. We definitely have Coimbra and some of the cities in the south on our list though. Lots to see and consider!
And if you have other advice on any of this, feel free to send it my way. Fun fact: You’ve been to Portugal more times than we have. LOL.
Really hope this pays out for you, looking forward to reading all the trials and tribulations. I will move vicariously through you since I have dreamed of moving abroad for at least thirty years but Precila wants nothing to do with it. A couple of months at a time she is fine with though. Wishing you the best in chapter four.
Thank you so much, Clint! There are benefits and drawbacks to any decision like this. Lots of people have no desire whatsoever to live abroad and others are completely drawn to the idea. As always, different strokes for different folks. We’re excited to try it out, but we’ll be keeping an open mind and reassessing as we go. I’m glad you’ll be sticking around for the next chapter!
We are SO excited for you guys! Your decision makes perfect sense, and you’ve chosen a gorgeous country for your new chapter. As you know, I’m thrilled for you, and I’m also going to be watching with great interest as your adventure unfolds. Because as I was reading your list and thinking about what boxes I can check in our current living situation, we’ve got proximity to the coast and peaceful covered, but…I’ll get back to you on the rest. We’re still adjusting to the Piggly Wiggly as our primary grocery store, LOL. And now we have a house full of furniture and assorted stuff. And a cat. So yes, GO NOW before it’s too late!!
I admire your courage and your willingness to color outside the lines to create the lives that you want. Cheers, dear friends!
Thanks, Laurel. As you know, we had already made this decision when we visited you, and being in your beautiful house in your gorgeous neck of the woods, and being around good friends was one of the many times I’ve questioned this whole plan. It’s exciting and adventurous, but there’s a price to be paid for exciting and adventurous and we’re going to be paying it. It’s all a tradeoff. But, I really do believe you can always change your mind. It might mean more work or expense, but there are few decisions in life that can’t be undone. So we’ll give a go and hope for the best and if it’s a total trainwreck, we’ll meet you for beers at Oyster City Brewing. 🙂
WOW! I didn’t see that coming! How exciting for you! I can’t wait to read your future stories and hear how all of this turns out. Congratulations. ???
Thanks, Tami! We’re excited to see if we’re making a huge mistake too. LOL. 🙂
Oh….This is gonna be good!!!! Sign me up!
Oh…This is gonna be good!! Sign me up!
We’ve already started teaching him “Leave the cat alone” and “Stop barking at the squirrels” in Portuguese. I’m sure he’ll be just as much of a punk over there as he is here. 🙂
Congratulations! I can’t wait to follow along on the next leg of your adventurous life journey! As someone who lacks all natural aptitude for languages, I highly recommend Duolingo for learning a new language. It breaks down learning in a fun game like fashion and provides all the game encouragement to keep you practicing listening, speaking, reading and writing. Thank you so much for sharing! Your writing is engaging anf your photos are terrific.
I 2nd the recommendation of Duolingo!
Thanks Suzanne! Interestingly, and unfortunately, while Duolingo is supposed to be great, they teach Brazilian Portuguese which is actually different than European Portuguese. In fact, many big language learning platforms focus on Brazilian because there are so many more Brazilians than Europeans. but there are a couple European specific ones and we are working on those. So far, I’ve made good progress on reading and speaking, but understanding native speakers is VERY difficult. It’s going to take a long, long time to get to any level of competence, but we’re looking forward to the challenge!
Congratulations! You guys are awesome! We always look forward to your next post and to see what you guys have been up to. We will look forward to hearing more in chapter4travels. Congrats!
Thanks Joe! I appreciate that people still want to read this nonsense after all this time. It’s nice to have folks along for the journey!
Awesome! That sounds great!!!!
Thanks, Judy. We’re excited! I hope you’re doing well too.
This sounds like a really great next step for you! Do you plan to stay there long-term (assuming you like it) or is it a short-term plan? I can’t wait to hear more about your move and your new life there! I haven’t been to Portugal, but it looks beautiful!
So, assuming they approve us, the initial visa will be good for 2 years. We can then apply to renew it and assuming there have been no issues, we should be able to get an additional 3 year visa. We can then continue to renew the visa at regular intervals or, at the 5 year mark, we can actually apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
So, at this point, we’re committing ourselves to the first year – part of the visa process is we have to sign a one year lease at an apartment – so we’re definitely staying for a year, and then if we like it, we’ll stay longer. If it doesn’t work, we can move on to other things. We’re hoping it will be a long term landing spot, but with so many unknowns, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.
Don’t forget to follow the rules applicable to Thor…I know from previous experience!
And…I am sure Thor will be in quarantine for a bit.
Thanks, Mark. There are definitely quite a few rules for bringing Thor, but, fortunately, there is no requirement to quarantine him. We just have to have him checked by a vet here, get a European compliant microchip, and file a bunch of paperwork and then he has to be checked by a vet who works at the airport when we get there. Assuming everything looks good, he’ll be released to us and we’ll all go on our way. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly!
Makes total sense to us! Congrats!
Thanks, Kristen! Much appreciated!
I’ve heard a lot about people moving to Portugal. It’s definitely a must to visit place for me, and wouldn’t be in the idea of living there someday. We shall see! Exciting end it will be more fun than settling here in the US. I finally settled in Tucson after almost 6 years of full-time RVing. It’s not perfect because of the summer obviously. And I miss grass. There’s definitely no perfect spot in the USA. Lots of reasons to look into living elsewhere!
Yep, we’re definitely not the only ones with this idea. The Portuguese government has already tweaked some of their visas in order to address some of the problems that were creeping up. It’s an ever changing landscape, but still a really appealing one at the moment. You’re right about there being no perfect place. We really, really enjoyed Tucson and love the sunshine and blue skies, but yeah, those summers would be tough. Though, I guess if you’re willing to jump in the RV and head out, it’s a solvable problem.
Get a place with at least one spare bedroom. And send the address.
Done!!! You know you will have a place and a tour guide any time you want to visit!
Your logic makes perfect sense to me. What will happen to Thor? Will he have to be quarantined for a time before being reunited with you?
Thanks! Fortunately, there are no quarantine requirements for dogs and cats in Portugal. He’ll need to be checked out in the U.S. before the trip and we’ll have to file some paperwork, and then he’ll be checked out by a Portuguese vet at the airport when we arrive, and he should be good to go! It is a huge relief because a quarantine would be a no-go for us.
Awesome!! Sounds like a great time to give Lisbon a try. Looking forward to your address there.
You’ll be more than welcome any time! We’re looking forward to playing tour guide – once we figure out our way around. 🙂
How exciting! I was just yesterday saying to my husband that it seems like everybody is going to Portugal right now….on vacation though! Living there should be very exciting and interesting! ! We were there in 2018 and really enjoyed the climate, food, wine (Duoro region is great!) culture and beaches. There is a bridge in Lisbon that looks just like the Golden Gate Bridge. I really liked Lisbon, but I loved Porto! The Algarve region is paradise and has wonderful beaches. The language however! I speak a little Spanish, but Portuguese sounded so foreign to me and nothing like Spanish even though the countries are so close together. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it though. I know you guys aren’t close to being seniors, but I follow a blog called Senior Nomads that has lots of info on affordable places to visit, live, etc all over the world, and I know Portugal is a popular place. You might want to check it out. That and your past US travel blog are wonderful guides for me as I ponder and plan future travel both here and abroad. Thanks again for providing all your sage advice and humor! I look forward to reading your Portugal blogs.
Thanks so much, Nancy! I will absolutely check out the Senior Nomads blog. I am basically reading anything I can get my hands on these days, so all suggestions are welcome. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Porto and the Douro Valley, and we’ll make our way up there as soon as we get settled. The Algarve also looks gorgeous – and might be perfect for an offseason winter visit. I like the idea of sunny skies and deserted beaches in February.
As for the language, you are not kidding. Portuguese is known for being a difficult language with unexpected pronunciations and a native habit of dropping half the syllables in any given word. The flip side is, at least in Lisbon, most people speak English. That will make it easier on a day to day basis but tougher to learn the language. It’s going to be a big challenge, for sure, but we’re looking forward to it!
Perfect!!! Why would you do anything conventional.. I mean really. Who needs table lamps and all that crap??
Portugal .. you totally nailed it. Just back from a three week trip and we LOVED it. Not only is it beautiful but then there’s he food, the wine, the climate, the history (they totally like to diss the Spanish – lol).
Can’t wait to keep up on your European Escapades!
That was pretty crazy that we decided to move there at the same time you decided to vacation there. I’m glad you enjoyed it because if you told us it sucked, that would ruin my whole day. But your impressions seem to be in line with many others. Everyone just seems to LOVE Portugal. I mean, any country that created Port wine must be doing something right, huh?
And yes, the Portuguese have a long, not-great relationship with Spain. Supposedly they get real irritated if you speak Spanish to them. Better to speak English than make that mistake.
And I’m looking forward to following your Escapades on “Escapade” too!! 🙂
Perfect! Now we know somebody in Portugal that will guide us when we visit the country! By that time you should be talking and acting like a local. We can now say we have friends that live in Portugal and France.
Wish you the BEST of everything and hopefully you will manage to navigate and overcome any challenges along the way.
Thank you so much, Mona Liza! While lots of people say they want to travel, not everyone is willing to get on a plane and really go for it. You two are definitely among those folks who are truly adventurous and never miss an opportunity to get out there. I truly hope you make it to Portugal at some point and we get to take you around. You can just hit up Nina and tell her you’ll be at her door a couple hours later. 🙂
Good for you! This is exciting and I’ll really enjoy reading about your transition — but what’s the scoop on your dog and quarantine?? Hopefully, it’s minimal. And now I know why you are friends of Sue Bank’s — her motto: “jello plans.” Clearly, you guys have mastered that strategy and you are decades behind them in age!!! Well done! (I’m sure I’ll hear from Sue about last comment!) Anyway, have fun and we’ll enjoy learning all about it. Cindy
Decades Cindy? You hurt me to the quick! You’re forgiven.
Haha… I am NOT getting involved in this fight!
Anyway, thank you, Cindy. I think there is much to be said for keeping things flexible and going wherever life takes you. I’ve always liked the popular quote that starts: “20 years from now, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did do…” I firmly believe that’s the truth. Just go with it and see what happens.
As for Thor, no quarantine required. Just vet checks on both sides of the pond and a whole bunch of paperwork. Phew!!
I am so excited for you two and am looking forward to reading about your new adventures! My 25 year old niece, who is an American, Canadian, Spanish and French citizen (Spanish mother, American father, born in Paris, family lives in Canada), moved to Lisbon a few months ago and just loves it. Unfortunately, she was hospitalized recently in Lisbon with an acute illness and will probably stay in the hospital for another month or two. Her parents are in Lisbon now, and my brother says the health care is excellent and my niece is getting great care! He did say that she registered for healthcare insurance in Portugal when she first arrived, selected a doctor, and registered with the relevant embassies. All that has helped tremendously when she became ill. It’s reassuring to hear that the healthcare is so good in Portugal for citizens from other countries.
I’m sorry to hear about your niece and hope things continue to improve. I am very glad to hear that her experiences have been consistent with what we’ve been told about the quality of healthcare there. In fact, it is one of the things that drew us to Portugal in the first place. There are public and private systems. Both offer great care, but, as is usually the case, the public system involves long waits for elective care. We’ll be required to have private insurance and we’ll use the private system in order to not add to the burden in the public system, but it is available to anyone who needs it. And overall, the cost of any type of healthcare is a tiny fraction of what it is here in the States. That’s a good tip to register with the embassy, too. I know there’s a program for that and I’ll certainly look into it before we move. Again, I wish your niece all the best.
I believe, because she has EU citizenship, she is on public insurance. Thank goodness. I cannot imagine how expensive a two month hospital stay would be!
We are super excited for you! Funny…last week, I told Chris that (hopefully) next year when we visit his brother in Barcelona, we should plan to pitstop and see you. We’re in (if you’ll have us). (Raising a pretend glass of a lovely vinho verde) Here’s to living life! Saúde!
You should DEFINITELY visit Lisbon on your way to or from Barcelona and we would absolutely love to have you guys! Just keep me posted on your plans and we’ll figure out the details. That will be so much fun!! I’m raising my glass right back!! XOXO
You’re so cool. You’re so brave. Will your blog (you’re keeping up the blog right? RIGHT?) be Chapter4?
Awww thanks, Mark! I wasn’t sure about the blogging thing because it’s not as much of a social thing there as it is in the RV community, but I do enjoy it and I think I’ll continue, at least for a bit. In an ideal world, I’d change the name to… Chapter 4 Expats? International? Abroad? I dunno. But… that would require a new domain name registration and lots of changes to the site. so, for the time being, I’m just going to leave well enough alone.
It makes perfect sense. Wishing you both the best of luck, health, and adventure!
Thank you so much, Russ! I really appreciate it!
What an exciting new adventure, and I totally agree with your reasoning … now is definitely the best time to do it 🙂 I am so looking forward to following along on your new adventure!
Thank you, Maxx! We’re looking forward to it and happy to know you’re coming along for the trip!
Nothing to lose, right? I was in awe when Nina and Paul pick up stakes and moved so far away (in miles and culture) and now I’m in awe of you….and Thor! He’s made a long journey already. I’m looking forward to following along with you, chapter 4?
Thanks, Sue. I thought it was awesome when Nina and Paul headed to Europe too, but just assumed you had to have some European connection or a job offer in order to head over there. Now we learn that there are actually several European countries that will grant long term visas. Who knew?
As for Thor, yep… he started in California and now we’re gonna take him all the way across the Atlantic. Maybe we should just keep going east and make him an around-the-world puppy??
Wahoo!! You go for it! You only live once so why not make it full of adventurous adventures!! And if you don’t like it, you can come back as you said. When we sold our house and moved into the MH, people thought we were crazy. What if you don’t like it? Dah! We’ll sell the MH and buy another house! I feel badly for people stuck in the same spot all their lives. So sad. Happy next Chapter!! Congratulations!
Pam!! You get it! You REALLY get it. This is exactly our approach. Our time is short, life is uncertain, and there’s a great big world out there that’s full of cool stuff to see and do. Why sit around over thinking and worrying when you can go do the things you want to do? And if it doesn’t work out, who cares? Just do something else. I don’t ever want to regret not taking advantage of opportunities when we had the chance. So, thank you. I’m happy to hear other people get it and get us. Speaking of which, I hope you are having a fabulous time on your trip!
Wow, wow, wow!! This is a fantastic next chapter. I’ve never been to Portugal (yet) but wanted to go for years. Hmm… If I actually make it to Berlin in 2023 (my goal), it’s not *that* far to Lisbon… Anyways, sounds like the plan has indeed come together for y’all and the adventures will be so fun to follow. Well done, congratulations!
Thanks, Annie! We’re excited and we’re looking forward to being tour guides / incompetent translators for any and all friends and family who want to visit Portugal, so consider yourself invited! I’m thrilled to know you’ll be sticking around for the next chapter. 🙂
It’s crazy as it seems… I feel like I could have written this blog. We are in this exact same position trying to find that next spot and guess what? Portugal is on our list because of me the reasons you mentioned. Who knows we might be neighbors in the near future… Looking forward to reading about your adventures.
Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Long term nomadic travel always raises the question of where to settle down and, these days, the political climate in the U.S. is causing lots of non-nomadic people to consider destinations and lifestyles they might not have otherwise. I think it’s always worthwhile to keep your options open. So yeah, we might very well be neighbors one day. If so, the first round’s on me!
So excited for you! Though I have not commented before I love your [email protected]
We ordered a 2019 36 LA and picked her up in June of that year. We ha e done a fair amount of travel but we have lots still on our bucket list! We are getting g our house ready to sell and will get back on the road full time, finally, once house
Please keep up the blog…Will love to read about your new adventures! My family comes from Ireland and I have been 23 tines. Thought of moving there but just never did…not as easy as Portugal I think.
When will you be arriving there?
Wishing you all the best!
Thanks so much for your comment, Patti. I’m happy to know you enjoy the blog and I’m excited for you to be heading out fulltime in a 36LA. I know I’m a little biased, but I happen to think it has the perfect layout for long term RV travel. It has served us well and I hope it works out for you, too.
Ireland is way high on our must-see list, so we’ll definitely be heading up there as soon as we start traveling again (likely several months after we get there…). It’s such a stunning country, but yes, probably not nearly as easy to move to as Portugal. Speaking of which, if all goes well, we’ll be heading to Lisbon in early August. Fingers crossed things go smoothly.
Thanks again for your kind comment. Good luck with the house sale and safe travels to you!
I follow a Canadian couple who kind of did the same thing you did. They explored their home country, The US, Mexico and other countries. They sold their “very old” RV and bought a new one in Germany. Once they were allowed to travel to go get it (Pandemic travel woes), they now are exploring across the pond. I have learned so much from them and their travels, places I would have never even thought to go to. I am really excited for your next chapter and to follow you and your adventures, as well as humor in describing life’s happenings. Sounds like a wonderful adventure. In the meantime, we are continuing to look for a home base in the summer (sticking to the USA), as AZ is a bit to sizzling for us, although I did need a light sweatshirt this morning.
I’d love any recommendations for good European travel blogs. I still follow Nina from WheelingIt and I check in on the Chouters blog every so often – they’ve been traveling around Europe for several years in a van. Theirs is unquestionably a “nice to read about, but wouldn’t want to do it myself” lifestyle at this point. We’re ready for a home with walls! But I love reading about new places we can go explore once we settle in, so if you’ve got suggestions for good travel inspiration, I’d love to hear them.
Finally, as much as we loved Arizona, I cannot imagine how brutal it must be in the Summer. Fortunately, there are so many beautiful cool weather places available. I’ll be interested to hear what you guys find!
Oh, sure, you make it sound really good, but NO JALAPENOS.
You already know I’m very excited for you and eager to keep following along virtually, especially if you’ll promise to photograph as many critters as possible. I hope it’s everything you need it to be and then some. Here’s to the continued adventure!!
Thanks, Joodie. I’m glad to know we’ll still be following each other virtually as we both start new chapters. Lots to look forward to! I’m not sure about the critter situation in Lisbon, though. Word on the street is there are few squirrels and rabbits to be found – which will make walking Thor so. much. easier…. but maybe not give me the best Joodie-friendly material to work with. I’ll report back what I find soon!! 🙂
Ummm. How have we never talked about your trip to the DMZ in all these years?
Right?? And why are you the only one who even cares? It was SO cool… and SO weird! And we thought maybe it was just a tourist thing at this point, but a couple weeks after our visit, a North Korean soldier tried to defect and was shot, so it really is as tense as they say. Anyway, it was cool and now I wish I bought a souvenir hat or t-shirt so everyone would know I totally went there!
Wow–this is a plot twist I did not expect! Your new adventure sounds amazing, though, and I am sure we will be reading some fun posts soon. I always enjoyed our overseas time when my husband and I were in the Air Force, so I am also a lttle jealous. Looking forward to hearing more!
Thanks, Robin! One of the things that inspired this whole idea of international living was Kevin’s background as a military kid. He lived in Europe for 9 years with his parents and really appreciated the experience of living overseas, traveling around, and changing things up every so often. It might have been hard at the time, but looking back, it was a great opportunity. We’re hoping for more of the same with this project. We’re looking forward to it!
This is awesome! Good for you both to make this decision. Here I thought you were moving to Washington DC… But, Lisbon is so much cooler and more interesting. I have never been to Portugal and it has been high on my list. If you’re there long enough – multiple years – maybe we will finally meet on European ground. 🙂
Like you both, we have been roaming North (and Central) America, thinking we might stumble on the perfect place to settle one day. For the same reasons as you two – climate (political and atmospheric), cost of living, good food, great vibes… – and like you, we have not found it (also for the same reasons). So, now you have me curious about Lisbon. I know Portugal is a popular country for expats. But we will explore South America first.
There are quite a few popular places for expats in Central and South America too, so I’ll be interested to see if you end up exploring any of them (most recently: Columbia, Panama, and Ecuador). I think it’s a good idea to keep an open mind about these things and just realize we don’t have to stay in the country of our birth forever. There’s a great big world out there and you never know what might be appealing. So… go check it out!
And yes, maybe we’ll have to go all the way to Europe in order to finally meet. 🙂
Well congratulations!! What a TOTALLY brilliant idea. Funny, we head to Portugal on Wednesday and have spent a month in Lisbon before and been to the South as well and loved all of it. Great place, am sure you will love it, hellova lot cooler and more interesting that staying in the U.S. !!
Just wondering how you are getting visas? I have a friend who moved there three months ago but has to leave because she couldn’t get a visa, other than investing in property with some big bucks which she doesn’t have.. so I am curious as to how you plan to do that?
Anyhow best of luck to you both. Exciting new adventure.
How cool that you’re heading to Portugal this week! I’ll look forward to seeing your (always stunning) photos on Instagram.
As for the visas, tell your friend to google the “D7 Visa.” It’s a residency visa that anyone can apply for. You basically have to show you have enough money – either through retirement funds or employment income – to support yourself in Portugal. They want to ensure you’re not going to become a ward of the state. Other than that, there’s a criminal background check, a personal statement showing why you want to live there, a one year lease or property purchase (to show that you’re actually committed to living there), a requirement for travel insurance, and some other minor bits and pieces and that’s it. It’s really not that onerous. She would need to apply from the U.S. though. You can’t apply for it while you’re in Portugal.
Feel free to send her my way if she needs additional information.
Was it Our Rich Journey? We were actually considering this and that’s why we went to Portugal for 2 weeks in March. I had even gotten a quote to transport Jack. We still might decide to do it but, we are considering something else come November. I will be interested to see how you handle the income portion for the visa. We live off of savings and it’s my understanding that the authorities want to see guaranteed amounts each month. We found the Portuguese to be very kind and excited to share their culture.
Indeed, it was them. I’m telling you, they’re the reason half the planet is moving to Portugal. That was a convincing video. LOL.
It’s funny that you were thinking the same thing. Now I want to know where you’re going! There are a couple big expat locations right now, but Lisbon really spoke to us because it would permit us the exact lifestyle we want.
As for the visa, we’ll be living off our investments which provide pretty steady income. Other people in our situation have gotten the visa, so we’re hoping there won’t be any issues, but one never knows. This whole plan could crash and burn. So, fingers crossed for now!
Ha! I knew it! We may consider just (just) traveling internationally full time. We already have something big booked for February.
We feel like we need to stay here past the election. I really think every vote is important in Texas. Not ready to give up on a chance for change.
I’ll be curious to see what happens with the visa. I got mixed messages about whether disbursements from savings (as opposed to dividends) was enough. I think the rules have tightened some since they moved there. I know you have to have a 1 year lease now and not just Airbnb bookings but, you can get out of a year less at 6 months. Lisbon was too much city for us but, I loved Sintra.
You might want to check out Always on Honeymoon. They moved more recently.
Excited for you.
Somehow I completely missed this comment when it was left and I have no idea if you will see this, but if you do, and you have any questions about the process, feel free to reach out to me via email. We have a lot more information now than we did when we started and may be able to answer some of your questions. Sorry again for the (very) late response. Best wishes!
Hmmm. Been following y’all for a minute but just saw the title of your recent post about the plane trip to Lisbon. For a few months I’ve been thinking Portugal might be a good option. And here’s your blog! A sign maybe?! Looking forward to reading about your experiences. And my furry Australian Sheperd child – Finn – will be interested to what Thor’s opinions and take on the whole thing!! Safe travels!!
Thanks for your comment. We’ve had our hands full since we got here so I haven’t been blogging much, but I’m hoping to get caught up in the next few months. In the meantime, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Portugal has definitely become the “it” place, and, not surprisingly, that is good and bad. My guess is things will continue to change as the government adjusts to all these newcomers and the economy faces significant pressures from multiple directions. But, overall, we are really enjoying it and hoping to be here for a while. And Thor seems to be enjoying it quite a bit too. There are adjustments, for sure, but overall, he’s done really well.