About 15 years ago, we purchased a small “vacation bolt” in a typical town in southern Spain, where we’ve spent months each year enjoying a different way of life. Later, we added a property in a small Portuguese village where we now live—about a six-hour drive, door-to-door, from our home in Spain–and, this year, we added a second small home on the Portuguese border at Badajoz, Spain, reducing our drive to four hours.
On March 25, 2017 we departed our country of birth to live in another.
We no longer reside in the USA, but divide our time between Portugal and our home-away-from-home in southern Spain. Yet we still are citizens of the United States and care (cringe?) deeply about what’s happening there. We have chosen — deliberately — not to be embroiled day and night with all the political atrocities, crimes, and conflicts which have divided the country, estranged families, stolen from the people, alienated us from our allies, poisoned our environment, and brought us time and again to the brink of unthinkable disasters.
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My heart continues to cry for the beloved country and I will express disgust and rage at those who claim to represent us but actually profit and privilege from their perches.
I don’t regret the moves we made.
All things considered, our lives have been enriched by knowing people from all walks of life throughout the United States and around the world. Social media conveniently bring many together, enabling us to cross-pollinate the people and places we’ve known over the past 50+ years: high school classmates, college alumni … and dearly beloved friends in New York, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Spain, and Portugal.
We now face challenges of a different sort here in Portugal, the world’s third most peaceful country (following Iceland and New Zealand) and, reportedly, the friendliest and most popular one–especially for immigrants and expats.
In essence, we started from scratch … finding friends, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, hair cutters, food, and our way around … all in a language we couldn’t yet speak or quite understand. We needed to learn how to slow down, to enjoy the simplest pleasures of life, and trust that tomorrow will bring its own promises and priorities.
Thank you for taking part in our journey.
As “they” say, it’s not the destination – but how we get there – that matters most.
Shared here are personal observations, experiences, and happenstance that actually occurred to us as we moved from the USA to begin a new life in Portugal and Spain. Collected and compiled in EXPAT: Leaving the USA for Good, the book is available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook editions from Amazon and most online booksellers.