I find myself sat in front of the computer screen at 9am on a Sunday morning. In the background the low pitched rumble of kids and dogs…cereal packets rustling, television humming and an imminent fight ensuing over which channel to pick. From the corner of my eye I see removals boxes a small reminder that we are once again on the move.
A year ago we packed up our lives in the UK for what we hoped would be the perfect solution to the constant rush that was London life. The plan was to open a bar and café in a little town in Central Portugal, give our children a slower pace of life, more freedom and nurture the values the Portuguese hold above all-family, friends and community. I am pleased to say we accomplished all of the above and so much more. We were welcomed with open arms by the Portuguese and considered family almost immediately. We were taught about traditions and encouraged to participate at every opportunity. The Portuguese enjoyment of life is infectious. They indulge in all the things we are told to enjoy in moderation -food, wine, coffee, cake, music…2 hr lunch breaks are the norm! Everything shuts-the bank, the council, the post office…EVERYTHING! As idyllic as all of this sounds we were unable to make the business work financially and once again we find ourselves in a place of excitement and uncertainty-for lack of a better word ALIVE…tingling, inspired, determined and ready to move forward. We have decided to sell all we have, to let go of our material possessions, to buy a motorhome and to travel the world with our 3 children and trusty Portuguese ‘street dog’, Alfie.
We plan to volunteer wherever we land…helping everyday people with things they need doing in exchange for experiencing their way of life. It’s hard to put into words the emotions I feel whilst typing these words…of course, we can’t just ‘up and go’ so we plan to base ourselves in the UK for the next year to save some money for fuel, insurance and emergencies. We plan to start our volunteer projects there…weekend, half-term and longer school holiday projects and just as soon as our travel fund allows we will set off on our adventure. I invite you to come along for what promises to be an unforgettable journey.
Until next time….