Updated: Jul 25
Scouting a location for our soon to be new home.
This story began shortly after retirement, about 5 years ago, when Mary and I were discussing our post-retirement travel plans. Wouldn't it be great if we could live in Europe as a base for travel to avoid the long flights from the US.
The answer is yes we can. We started the process by securing my Italian citizenship through family lineage as a method to gain residency in a European Union country. In early 2020 my Italian citizenship was approved and we began narrowing down where we wanted to reside in the EU. Our top choices were Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and after further research, we landed on the final selection of Portugal. We have traveled through Portugal on a few earlier trips and felt that the environment was the best fit for our Journey.
Fast forward to late 2021, after the Pandemic chaos began to lift we booked a scouting trip to select the location for our first home abroad. Portugal checks a lot of boxes for us in addition to its beauty, great food, and friendly people, the ease of residency status for Mary, great healthcare, favorable Tax treaty with the US, low crime, and low cost of living helped solidify our decision.
We focused our scouting efforts on areas South of Lisbon on the Southwestern coast and the entire southern coast of Portugal known as the Algarve. Landing first in Lisbon, we spent a few days scouting the areas around Cascais, Setubal, and the coast south through Sines. The bulk of our time was spent in the Algarve where we stayed in Salema on the western end, Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the Eastern end, and Estoi in the middle. We chose to focus on the Algarve mainly due to the mild weather. The weather in Portugal varies with Porto in the north having weather similar to Seattle, Lisbon similar to San Francisco without the fog, and the Algarve similar to Southern California.
So many great areas, each offering its benefits. We looked at mostly coastal regions with varying locations from small historic centers, several of the golf resorts built in the coastal foothills, and countryside villages. The good news is that where we choose does not have to be the place we call our forever home, we can easily change locations as we please.
During this visit we narrowed our choices to the small fishing village of Salema (western Algarve), the Lisbon Coastal region, Vila Real de Santo Antonio/Tavira region (Eastern Algarve), and an area in the foothills of Faro near Santa Barbara de Nexe (Central Algarve). We'll plan our next trip back in early 2022 to secure a place to live, we'll rent for a least the first year while looking at real estate and considering options for purchase should we choose to do so.
The next steps are to finalize the requirements to receive our resident status, bank accounts, tax IDs, a place to live, etc... Our goal is to make the move before mid-year 2022.
Photos from our time in the Lisbon area.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio/Tavira