Many of you have no idea about this yet, this was a change made without a big fuss from our end, despite the fact that it was actually a big one.. Not a huge one like we’re having kids, but a huge one like – I am moving away from Lisbon.
You might think “what’s new there?” however, this is not a move like the previous ones.. It is not like I am going away for a trip and coming back eventually when I am bored. It is also not like I am moving to Australia, Africa or South America, or any other country really..
I think this is what makes it huge: I am, for the first time, choosing another Portuguese place over Lisbon, and this is a bigger treason than any other 🙂
Now, truth be told.. I still love Lisbon or, in fact, the idea I have of Lisbon or how I remember it was back in the day. I am not old (depends on the reference, obviously) but I grew there so I still remember the old times when Lisbon was a place were the Lisboetas could afford to eat, drink and live. When housing was affordable (it was never cheap, if you think of the minimum wage) but we could afford it somehow – now we cannot. I fortunately was part of the exception, but every time I paid my rent I felt I was being robbed.
Note that my decision wasn’t mainly driven by economical reasons – other place/city/country would have won if that were the driver.
We moved to the countryside on the 22nd February. I have started my macrobiotics course more than three years ago and finished it last September. Since then I felt that even though I could make all the right choices (or manly) in Lisbon, being able to grow my own food and be more in touch with nature just made perfect sense.
We started working towards that goal and I am SO immensely happy and proud to have made it! We now live in a house (not an apartment) and to get to the nearest house you’d have to walk a bit. We have a lot of land to grow food, birds singing in the morning, no planes flying by all the time and.. I am having the more peaceful mornings I have ever known 🙂
I would like to note that in no way do I think everyone should do what I did or follow my footsteps. This is a very personal decision and I do not believe there are rights or wrongs here. This decision felt right to us – hence why we followed through 🙂 It might not be right for you – and that is perfectly ok! 🙂
Why did we move to the country?
- Every couple of days we could take off work, we’d leave the city to head to the beach, to the mountains.. anywhere outside the city really. We love the sea and if we could take our van for a couple of nights near a beach, it would feel like a week long vacation.
- Because we could! To be honest, it stopped making sense living in Lisbon. There was no reason for it anymore. I work remotely and leaving in the city made our lives REALLY expensive. It is also easier to find organic and higher quality food now – which is a big plus
- We wanted the experience of growing our own food. Do we plan on becoming farmers? Not at all 🙂 However, we did want to try and do it on our own (with some friends help, obviously).
The top advantages of moving so far:
- I have the best “first hour of my day” since.. ever! Well, small exceptions might be occasional holidays, when I wake up in the desert(s) or on an unknown city or beach. However, when I now wake up, after a shower, I cook breakfast and just head outside 🙂 I water the plants, if some need water, I move the seeds to a place where they can get more sun or I just stop and hear the many birds and roosters singing
- I am experiencing the happiness of growing food. It is something I knew I wanted to do but.. I didn’t think I would come to this so soon 🙂
- We have a much bigger house with an infinite terrace :p With practically no neighbours in sight. Privacy is no longer an issue, nor is noise (or noisy neighbours, like in our old Bairro Alto days)
- Evenings by the fire – well it’s been a while since I’ve done this and never did I do this daily. Winters are hard in Alentejo (our new region) and cold strikes hard, especially if you’re near the sea. However, a good fireplace, some good Aguardente and some cards or dominoes save the evening 🙂
- The beach is.. 10-15min away .. without traffic or traffic lights.