Freya, Ewout and Tjack
What are your future
Our plans for the long term future are very open and flexible at the moment and could include anything from a mini campsite to running courses in sustainable living to an organic watercress plantation! In the short term we are concentrating on designing and rebuilding the house, creating a garden and settling into the property/Portugal. We are living off savings at the moment but hope to start soon generating an income by offering our services doing land clearance and maintenance and helping people with choosing and installing small-scale renewable energy systems. We also try to live as cheaply and simply as possible - something that is much easier and accepted here than in the UK or Holland.
Hopes and fears about
bringing Tjack to Portugal to live?
This should be a wonderful place for Tjack to grow up - space to play, healthy natural surroundings and time for the things that truly matter. And we hope that later he respects what we are trying to do for his (and everyoneīs) future in terms of using as few resources and producing as little waste as possible. Heīs young enough to integrate well here, he can start at the local Jardim dīInfancia in September (if I ever manage to decipher the forms!). And heīs already coping brilliantly with learning Dutch and English at the same time so I suspect that he will soon speak much better Portuguese than us. If he yearns for bright lights / big city when heīs older weīll have to deal with that then!
What did your family think about you moving?
Of course itīs a long way to the UK and Holland so thatīs hard for everyone. But in general our families are relieved that we finally have a place of our own and understand the reasons why we chose to come here. And of course lifelong free holidays in sunny Portugal isnīt too bad either!
How have you found the move?
We planned the move in great detail but it was still pretty stressful! But we made it and in general all of our experiences since arriving have been very positive. "Neighbours" (from up to 1km away) are incredibly friendly and generous, people literally go out of their way to help you, there are loads of small shops, cafes and (super child-friendly) restaurants in the local towns and weekly markets with fresh food, cheap tools, gardening equipment etc. Being vegan/vegetarian isnīt TOO difficult - the markets have tons of fresh fruit and veg and a great selection of dried pulses, whilst bigger supermarkets have things like Soya milk and vegan spreads. But donīt expect the sort of vegan "ready-meals" you can get in the UK, and they donīt have the same labeling system here so you improve your Portuguese by reading a lot of ingredients lists. Restaurants are tricky - there is usually a vegetarian choice but vegan is as always almost impossible. The hardest part has been our lovely neighbours - I certainly donīt have the heart to turn down a present of home-made goats cheese or freshly laid eggs. In conclusion we canīt imagine a more warm, friendly, open, honest and light-hearted place than rural Portugal.
Learning the language ..any comments! We tried to get started before we came but arrived with almost no Portuguese. But people are very kind and more likely to giggle at mistakes than get irritated. It means everything takes longer and we never go out without the dictionary but weīre improving gradually.
If you would like more info on their services, please email Freya or Ewout at: