Hard to know exactly when the dream began. Sometimes it feels like it was always with me. Bored with my job, which nevertheless paid the bills, I watched season after season of ‘A Place in the Sun’, each week convinced that this was the place for me. Perhaps not Benidorm, and never, ever a do-er upper, but almost anything else was fair game. There was so much world to choose from!
Early on, I discounted Florida. Too far from family, I rejected the notion of becoming a snowbird and, silly as it sounds, I hate alligators. I am thoroughly European and, though I might want to wander further, my natural habitat was always going to be on our continent. Italy was a front runner. With all those delicious miles of coastline and inspiring culture, how could ‘La Dolce Vita’ be wrong? There was the allure of Croatia and its island jewels. Greece with its ancient history and azure seas. France seemed logical. I had A level GCE in the language, and that whole unknown country, almost on my doorstep. The Canary Islands, a contender too. A nomadic life between islands and an agreeable climate would always appeal. One place I didn’t consider was Poland, though in retrospect it could have been an interesting choice.
Portugal was quite low on the radar. I’d never been, and knew little of it. A week’s holiday swiftly changed that, and I came home the joint owner of a house. Fortunately my husband loved it too. The adventure of furnishing our home began. Our first visit, 4 frantic days, was spent buying beds, a boiler and light fittings, and arranging for the fitment of a fireplace. Two bright yellow, folding chairs doubled as indoor and outdoor seating. The bare essentials of life. We gazed in wonder at our ‘place in the sun’. Tavira filled us with pleasure each and every time we ventured out.
The years ticked by, and holidays came and went. The love affair didn’t wane, and we began to hope for the day when we could make the Algarve our permanent home. Dad died, and there were no longer any serious impediments. The youngsters would be able to visit us whenever they chose. Time to put the English house on the market. Much scrubbing in corners (having first emptied those corners!) ensued. No doubt about it- the house needed decorating. Should we strip everything for that blank canvas look? Or go out and enjoy a ravishing English summer, potentially our last. I bet you know the answer!
Silly question, wasn’t it? As summer wanes, we now have some choices to make. With a few viewings but no serious offers at the moment, at the end of September we will fly out to Faro. No point yet in emptying the house and driving down, with as many memories stowed in the car as we can manage. We will need to come back, for at least a week or two, to keep an eye on the house, our old friend of 29 years. The family are already booked to join us to celebrate another significant birthday in early November. It would be rude of us not to be there, wouldn’t it? Until then, we’ll keep on anticipating… and preparing.
All set to see Cathy off on her next great adventure, ours has yet to begin, but it’s getting closer. Join her at Wander.essence for Anticipation & Preparation. I hope you will love the path she has chosen as much as I do. Wishing you safe and happy travels, Cathy!