Next stop: Portugal
A new beginning on the Portuguese Coast
The Journey before Portugal
We had a great job in what is considered one of the best companies to work for in the world in what is also acclaimed as one of the best countries to live in the world. Wow, how lucky and privileged are we?
More importantly, our family is happy and healthy, thriving. My husband and I not only love each other, but we are in love. Our kids are awesome, full of light, curiosity, and energy.
The main thing we can complain about is that we should be sleeping more. We are often tired, especially the youngest of us.
So why, why, would we want to change this?
Well, we were accumulating money and exhaustion. Whenever we asked ourselves what we wanted for our future the answer was always around: health, active life, nature, time as a family, see the kids grow up, do something good and meaningful. It was never let us get more money, another promotion, or get a bigger gadget.
Work, that brought my husband and I together, and that was always such a big part of our identity, started becoming more a source of wear and tear, anxiety, disillusion. Yes, the work was important and meaningful. It was just not aligned with what we wanted more and more for ourselves, and those around us.
Slowly but surely, it became clear it was time to leave the golden cage. A cage that gave us so much, that I am inclined to call it a golden greenhouse instead. There we grew up, we got stronger, learned a lot about technology, people, ourselves.
Having said that, scary as it was, we realized it was time to step outside and go build the life we want.
First I stopped working
A few years ago, I stopped working, so we could focus on ourselves and have kids. Yes, I gave up my career to stay at home with the kids that weren’t even born yet. Maybe there are some people out there asking themselves “why, oh my, would you do something like that? Don’t you have any ambition in your life?”. I sure was asked that in different ways by different people back then. My answer remains the same: yes, I have ambitions – and mine is to have a meaningful life with a family.
Leaving my income behind was obviously a very brave thing to do, a very scary thing to do. But that decision only brought more richness into our lives: I had more time to do other things, to support my husband’s career, to figure out who I was beyond a worker at a certain company, and then to live my first pregnancy fully, and build our nest. Believe it or not, this brought more into our lives: better/healthier habits, a pregnancy soon after leaving, surprisingly more money, more contentment.
And then my husband
The more we looked at the balance between time and money, the more we it was clear it wasn’t going in the right direction. We started reading about sustainable living like Permaculture, but were living in a way that was the antagonist to it. Living in a pandemic was not only locking us at home, we were actually locking ourselves away from Nature, movement, connection.
It was time. We looked at our finances and decided our savings would now become an enabler to the life we want to live. Our location was amazingly rich and beautiful, but it was time to go somewhere else, more in line with what we wanted. There was a lot of talking, “coaching exercises”, and eventually we decided we were moving to Portugal. Not only it is my home country, it is a combination of all the things we value.
We decided to trust in an abundant mindset: we have skills, we have passion, we have each other, and we have our savings. With this, it is possible to create so much more, for us and for others.
And that was the kick off the journey of finding our new home in Portugal, going through the bureaucratic processes, relocating, involving the kids, saying goodbyes…and the most definite part: leaving our golden greenhouse and source of income.
Our home is now in Portugal. We are in Nature, have a comfortable place to live with a small plot where we want to create a food forest.
Suddenly there is time to dream and start doing things around the garden. There are already some fruits, and we seeded some food in January that we will very soon be able to eat (a smoothie with Spinach, anyone?)
The bureaucratic process is not over yet, and my husband is still processing what it means to have left his job. We are still tired, very tired, and slowly recovering.
There is a lot of work ahead of us, that is for sure. Probably more, and more difficult, than we can imagine. However, it is energizing work, meaningful labour that is bigger than we are. The challenge is the beauty and the driver of all of this journey in Portugal.
Looking out the window, though, there is an immense sense of gratitude, and hope for the future. We are doing the right thing for us, for our kids, and hopefully for others too.
What is next?
What we want is a simple adventure in Portugal:
For our family: a healthy, active life
To support Nature: we want to grow a food Forest, based on Permaculture principles
Caring for Others: we want to inspire other families, to help them believe that there are more ways of living, and they might be just what they need.
You can follow our story at Alo Land, although it is still mostly empty. There we will post things around raising children, gardening, sustainable living, etc. For now, it is mostly empty.