Just wanted to say hi! The wife and I have finished up our first week of our month-long Portugal scouting trip and are having a wonderful time.
We landed in Lisbon and spent 4 days there and we're finishing up 4 days in Tavira. We're heading up to Leira tomorrow to meet up with Doc Thompson and introduce ourselves in person.
We didn't rent a car and we've been doing "ordinary people" things. Taking public transit everywhere....train, metro, bus, trolley, walking. It's been super easy to get around, barely an inconvenience.
You read about how nice the Portuguese people are, and it's no lie. Everyone has been so nice and I'm not just talking about the people waiting on us. We have spent time in grocery stores, visiting malls, and just trying to do every day people stuff and the people we've bumped into have just been so nice and courteous.
It's amazing, really. The best word I've found so far to describe is that the people are just damned civilized. Just really...civilized. The atmosphere is so relaxed and people are just so...I don't know, content? Easy going? Mature?
It's sooooooooooooooo different than in America. It's amazing, totally opposite.
We met a shop keeper who was third generation owner of his shop where we bought somethings from. We couldn't speak Portuguese, he could spoke a smidgen of English. It. Just. Didn't. Matter.
We found a way to communicate and it was such a joyful, enriching experience.
It's amazing how peaceful Tavira is. It's amazing how peaceful Lisbon was. I think I could count on one hand the number of times I heard an ambulance and/or car horn.
Just an amazing experience so far.
One of the main missions we had coming on this scouting trip was to find some reason, some event that screamed at us that we were crazy to be considering a move to Portugal.
We simply can't find one. Yes, it's only been a week, but there's nothing here saying we're nuts to come here. Maybe that'll change, but I doubt it.
Everything we need is here, the public transportation is easy to use, cheap, and extensive.
Tons of people speak English and they really appreciate when we try to speak some form of broken Portuguese with them. They laughed, we laughed. We were laughing together. It's just a joy.
I've been working remotely using the internet here, and ZERO problems.
Prices are what I expected, EXCEPT for the electronics. Research told me everything is sooo expensive here. Honestly, I'm not seeing it. Barely at all. Maybe _slightly_ more on some things, but TVs, appliances, even the cell phones are pretty close.
I mean, there are a few things that are, but there's a lot of things that are a lot cheaper, and we were buying stuff in the super markets and malls. I understand it's cheaper in the community markets.
Honestly, I'm trying to find a reason not to come, and we can't find one. So far, the country is living up to the hype and all the years of research I've done.
We're going to be meeting up with some expat comrades on Wednesday and can't wait to meet in person.
The wife agrees there haven't been zero show-stoppers so far.
If I get time, I'll post follow-ups in this thread. So if anyone is curious, here are our experiences so far!