My Portugal Experiment began in September, last year, though it seems like life-times ago. Conclusion: travel not only broadens the mind, it swells the heart. I, we (wife Louisa and our two children), have fallen for Portugal.
Rewind to Spring 2017 in the UK, and unexpected redundancy from my beloved job, brought ten years of tantalising speculation about trying life in Portugal into sharp focus. My job was my life. For the whole family, it had been seven years of immersion - home on-site, married there too, children born and a community built. Work, but not as we know it, which was going to take some improving upon.
Our rusty, but well-loved Bongo camper van - now a burnt long-boat and another story - proved itself a worthy means of escape. It seemed only fair to take the kids with us, and along with other indispensables (like a guitar, hand-cranked juicer and the yet-to-be-used foraging book) packed in around them, we sailed to Spain, then sauntered steadily from Santander to Tomar.
Geres, San Martinho do Porto, Alcobaca, Gois, Arganil and a rambunctious, Flemish-run campsite all made their mark on us - each a Portuguese charm whispering in our ears, blowing through our hair, leaving a kiss on our reddened skin - as we grew used to the new, warm air, bright blue sky and quiet friendliness of our new home.
I'll write more about all of these places in time. And you'd best get used to my repetition of the phrase quiet friendliness, as you'll be hearing it a lot. But for now, I wanted to say we're happy here and will be sharing our experiences - as well as those of others who are creating a new life in Portugal - in this blog, and on the all-new "Good Morning Portugal!" Radio Show.
Almada, South of Lisbon, is currently home. We came here to be in the best position for my new job as Community Builder for OurNet, which you can find out more about in the video below. OurNet is more than a 'job'. Thankfully, it has surpassed and built upon my last position and most everything I've ever done, as I assist CEO Michael Brodie in manifesting his vision. He too has chosen Portugal as a base to develop his long-awaited dream as well as his daily reality.
I know I'm blessed to not only be working largely on-line, as we explore Portugal whilst developing the community-enhancing social network that is OurNet, but also deeply grateful to be engaged in something that I hope will help the world work a little bit better.
Alongside OurNet, I'll be producing and presenting the "Good Morning Portugal!" radio show and podcast, which will tie up closely with this blog. So do stay in touch if you have any interest in this journey, this country and creating a world that works. With that in mind, I intend this website to be a useful and inspirational resource.
Please let me know if you think there's anything I should be looking into. I'm interested in all things Portuguese from Abragão to Zebreira; nailing NIF numbers; tackling toll-roads; learning the lingo; buying, selling and planning buildings; growing food, children and community life; Portugal's unique set of pastries and coffees and of course loving local life...
Do stay in touch. Finding me online is not difficult, try here
Read my first Steemit article about Portugal here: steemit.com/portugal/@carlmunson/a-letter-from-portugal
As well as hosting the "Good Morning Portugal!" Radio Show, I write about this wonderful country - the places, people and the lovely experiences I'm having here.