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!


  1. Exciting times Jo – do hope your house will sell reasonably quickly I know these things can take some time. Our daughter loved southern Portugal when she went on her surfing trip to Sagres recently (she had previously been to Portugal a couple of times). Her photos were stunning – so beautiful and peaceful and not unlike Perth in some ways (maybe both on the edge of an ocean on the west side of continents).She loved it so much that she now has “plans” to move to Lisbon at some stage – we’ll see she has lots of ideas!! She dislikes London though as she’s a real outdoors person but Europe is where she needs to be work wise. Portugal is on our radar for a trip maybe in the next couple of years. Very best wishes with the move xx 🙂


    1. Thanks, darlin! Lisbon is a very vibrant city and I would think might present her with the opportunities she needs. But it’s a big world, and she’s young… 🙂 🙂 I wish her the very best too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jo – we’ll be happy when she’s sett;ed but that may not be for some time…! Apparently Lisbon is going to be the new Berlin where the artists, musicians and creatives will go to live and work. She has a good job in London but it’s not the city she wants to settle in (or can really afford to put down roots in) – she has some Portuguese friends and contacts so we’ll see! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing much happening on the house sale front, Debs. We’re going out 30th Sept for 6 weeks then back here for a week or so, depending how it’s going. Probably Christmas her and New Year over there if there’s still no progress. Eventually…. 😦


  2. I truly enjoyed reading this post, Jo. Portugal has been on our list for ages and I loved your pictures from your earlier posts. Leaving a familiar place for a new adventure is truly remarkable. All the best and I hope you’re able to pack your bags quickly and live the life you’ve been dreaming about. 🙂


    1. Many thanks, Cheryl. 🙂 🙂 I don’t think we’ll ever be completely able to leave this country behind. Family and friends have too strong a pull. But we do want to sell up and become Portugal based.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Jo. What a wonderful dream! I am thrilled for you and hope that it becomes a reality very quickly. We have sold quite a few homes, and it’s always so tension-provoking. But hopefully, you’ll be living in the Algarve full time before the end of the year (or sooner)! Best of luck with the sale. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Patti. 🙂 🙂 It seems more complicated now than it did when we bought this house but we’re not worrying over it. There are many worse problems in life than having 2 homes!


  4. Having recently gone through two house sales in the last 4 years, I most definitely relate to your angst. My realtor kept reminding me that it only takes one! (that right buyer to come along) Here’s hoping that happens sooner rather than later. What a wonderful move that will be. Hoping you’ll be as happy with the new location as we are here! 😀


    1. Thanks, Gunta! 🙂 🙂 Yes, we’ve heard that a number of times. There are a lot of new builds in the vicinity now and they are stiff competition. Can’t do anything but hope.


  5. Huge move, especially with the uncertainty of life for us all after Brexit. But all so very exciting at the same time, maybe you can lease your northern home? In the meantime really really pleased you are going to be there until November at least, looking forward to a few adventures together 😀


    1. Life is going to be uncertain whichever of the countries we end up in, isn’t it, but getting between the two might be more tricky. Time will tell. For the moment we can afford to run both houses, and there are a couple of family problems so we’ll play it by ear. Looking forward to a hug, Becky. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh I’m sorry to hear of family problems . . .lots of hugs planned, and maybe a couple of glasses or two xxxx

        PS And yes I agree living between the two is going to be tricky, but fingers crossed all the scary and unresolved stuff will be resolved before the end of March.


  6. Anticipation is such a key element of life, of this next adventure for you. I hope you get a serious buyer soon.
    It’s amazing the journey, twists and turns that our lives take. All part of the fun of life. Perhaps i’ll see you in the algarve one day. Your posts have certainly tempted me.
    Lovely photos, Jo. Many more to come from your new home, no doubt.


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