Living the Dream- in the Algarve, Portugal

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Sounds familiar? A dream that many share but, though we chose the same country, my story and that of Alyson are very different. I was excited, and very nervous, to meet Aly not long after I started blogging, by invitation to their wonderful home in Ferragudo. I had been following Algarve Blog and comparing notes and experiences, because she and husband Dave lived almost at the opposite end of the Algarve from Tavira. They were lovely hosts and Alyson showed me her artist’s studio with great pride. It was to become key to their new lifestyle, and the development of Alyson’s own very individual style of painting. Me and Michael were plied with banana bread, and regaled with stories of how ‘living the dream’ became a reality for them. Some funny, some more of a warning for what we might face in our own pursuit of the dream.

Little did I know then that I was getting a foretaste of the book she was to write. What we share is an enormous enthusiasm for the Portuguese way of life. Its kind and generous people, who welcome us into their homeland, and tolerate our wilful ways, with little more than an occasional roll of the eyes and a gentle shrug. Alyson has done her best to integrate into the community, and she and Dave give back wherever they can, fund raising for the bombeiros, the crucial fire fighting service here, and Madrugada, for those who need a helping hand. I know from personal experience of Alyson’s generosity with her time and expertise. I struggled mightily with the technical aspects of running a blog at the outset, and she would often offer help. Her artistic flair was never in doubt, and I take great pride in the logos she designed for me, which I still use on Six Word Saturday.

I don’t really need to say more, do I? The book is a wealth of experience for anyone considering the move to a new country. It’s also a travel guide with many enticing recommendations. And it’s a darn good read! I’ll leave you with an early example of Alyson’s art work. I hope she won’t mind.


  1. Hi restless Jo
    The book sounds so great and I like hearing more of the backstory and your connection
    Hope your summer is going well and that you are healthy and all are well


  2. That’s incredible when we (portuguese) see other people (from other countries) loving our country and changing their lives for Portugal. Like this situation, someone living in Portugal, and, after that, publishing their passion into work, photography, books and more.
    So nice! πŸ˜€

    Best from the Azores! πŸ™‚


      1. Having children was the best thing that ever happened to me and for you too I imagine and I can feel your pain at being separated from them for so long. Hope they are able to get over to see you soon or vice versa.


  3. Love the lighthouse by Alyson. Looks like another excellent book recommendation! I’ll have to see if our library has it. I gave up buying books long ago… packing and moving books got to be far too much of a chore ultimately.


  4. Aha! I had no idea you knew Alyson when I stumbled across her book on a Facebook page we are both members of. I could have guessed. πŸ™‚ I immediately thought about you and sent you the title of her book. It’s so much more interesting to read a book about content of which or by a person whom you are familiar with. Contrast and compare. I hope you’re both still β€œliving the dream”!


  5. Love Alyson’s art work and I’m sure her book is just what prospective movers to the Algarve need. I have passed the details along to a couple of friends who are considering the move next year. She sounds a perfect friend to have in a new country but then you would be as well.


  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful article. I had forgotten you had banana bread when you came to visit! It has been such fun watching your blog grow and grow, and it’s all down to you and your fabulous articles and view of life. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my book xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree. Jo is a brilliant blogger and a good online friend to many of us. Good luck with your book, I’ve sent the details to two friends who are considering the move – A.C!


    2. I remember you being pleased with your baking. Like me you’re not a natural cook. We really enjoyed your hospitality, Aly, and I’m glad it worked out so well for you two. Hope we get up to Aljezur one day to see the new place πŸ€—πŸ’•


      1. I could cope with that. Hummus first perhaps 🀣. Just back from a pleasant walk around Pechao with friends and a superb restaurant, Gunther’s. It’s on Facebook. Off to the roof terrace to collapse πŸ€—πŸ’•


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