Community & Knowledge
In 2005 Expats Portugal started as a mission-based organization with the sole intent of helping people move to and settle in Portugal. The outcome was a network where friendships were made and a community was created.
Today that community, under the leadership of Gerry Lawler and Astrid Fridenberg, has evolved to include over 12,000 Expats Portugal forum members, a team, and a group of professional experts who share in Expats Portugal’s values of integrity, honesty and passion for this beautiful country. Today, we are the most experienced and knowledgeable company that focuses exclusively on Portugal.
Our mission is reflected in our community of expats who vet all of our professional experts. This is the kind of objective information you won’t find anywhere else. We offer a calendar of meetups, local and online events. Our webinars are designed to give you the latest information on the requirements to relocate to Portugal and for you ask your specific questions directly to our experts. These webinars also allow you to get to know these professionals before using their services. Our social webinars are hosted by volunteers and are designed to be fun, make friends, and also be informative and educational about life in Portugal.
Our Moves to Portugal
Gerry Lawler was born and educated in Ireland and spent 40 years working in international shipping, the last 18 years of which as CEO of a global company with operations in UK, China and USA.
For many years he had a holiday home in the Algarve region in the south of Portugal. It was there that he first fell in love with the culture, people and the lifestyle of this amazing country. He realized it was like his home country—Ireland but with added sunshine. In 2015, he decided to make Portugal his permanent home.
He now lives near Tomar in Central Portugal. He thoroughly enjoys the peace and tranquility this rural area has to offer. The scenery is beautiful, the roads are quiet, the food is prepared from fresh and seasonal ingredients, and the friendliness of the people never ceases to amaze him.
Attracted by its mission, he acquired Expats Portugal from the founders in 2019 and expanded the organization from mainly an online forum to include both educational and social webinars, along with growing its services for its members. This has been accomplished while staying true to the original mission of the organization, Expats helping expats through community. Many friendships have and continue to be formed through our organization, including for him personally, which is the most enjoyable aspect of what we do.
In 2004, Astrid Fridenberg traveled to Europe from her native Australia for the very first time, visiting France, Spain, and Portugal. It was Portugal that truly captured her imagination and where she met her to-be future husband. She loved the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people. For many years she had been working in the Australian media industry. It was in 2012 she and her now Portuguese husband realized that they desperately needed a change. She always had the dream to one day live in Europe, and so the family moved to Portugal and bought a small farm (called a Quinta) in Castelo de Vide in the Alto Alentejo region. Her husband and two daughters spent the first 5 years living the “rural” lifestyle. She now calls Cascais her home.
What sets Portugal apart from any other country she has visited in Europe is how easy it is to navigate and make new friends. English is spoken widely, perhaps because American movies and TV programs are not dubbed as they are in the rest of Europe. She has many wonderful Portuguese friends and found that meeting expats is also easy as they are likely in the same situation as you are so immediately you have something in common.
Like many expats who volunteer their time and knowledge, she loves the mission of Expats Portugal, and feels fulfilled knowing that every day she is helping someone create a new life for themselves in this amazing country.
Jacqui Acevedo had been a consultant with National Public radio in Boston. She moved to Cascais in Portugal in December 2019 with the idea of retiring early and had just a few months to enjoy this beautiful country before being under lockdown due to the pandemic. She feels it was definitely a strange time to move to a new country. Though the pandemic was a global tragedy, she felt that it gave her the opportunity to experience the true character of the Portuguese people. Under the circumstances of a pandemic, she learned how lucky she was to have a community in her apartment building who helped her in every way, from buying food to guiding her in the process of obtaining residency.
What she loves about Expats Portugal is it’s a community open to anyone who has all the same questions she had. She knows first hand how important community is when one is making a life change like moving to a new country. She feels incredibly lucky to now be in a position to help others like she was helped.
Carl Munson is a very happy expat husband, father of five, and big fan of the Portuguese way of life, who’s been here since 2017. His journey began in a camper van after an unexpected job redundancy gave him and his family the push they needed to emigrate. The camper van broke down and left them stranded in beautiful San Martinho do Porto, which was the ideal introduction to the Silver Coast, to where they have recently returned – after spending time living and working in Lisbon, Central Portugal and Aveiro.
What makes our site different?
Portugal has always had an appeal for people looking for a new country to call their home – whether it is for the relaxed lifestyle, affordable cost of living, amazing weather, beautiful coastlines and countryside or welcoming locals. But over the past few years, Portugal has seen an exceptionally strong increase in foreigners immigrating. It is now reported that out of a total population of around 10 million, more than 900,000 expats are living in Portugal.
For these people making the move or already living here, we know they are hungry for information and to find a sense of community, and often the best way to do this is from other people’s stories. We are not a “fact” based site with pages and pages of hard information, but instead a site sharing stories and wisdom from those in the know. Our promise is to:
- Offer visitors a lively forum where you can read other peoples questions, ask your own or and offer your advice
- Recommend friendly experts for all your moving to Portugal needs
- Find real-life stories shared by others so you learn from personal experiences
- Browse our What’s On Calendar for local and online events, webinars and meetups
- Research our Business Directory for companies servicing the English speaking community in Portugal
- Explore amazing properties on our Expats Portugal Real Estate section
So enjoy our site, join up as a member and get involved with our online community.
A directory of companies, business, and professionals servicing the English speaking community in Portugal.
Expats Portugal Forum
Community Knowledge Since 2005
Do you have questions about being an expat or permanently moving to Portugal?
Browse our forum community for your answers and meet our community.