Five years. Five years since we publicly announced we were moving...it's almost impossible to get my head around. So much life has happened in those five years, as it has for everyone reading this. Our oldest son finished his military service, our second son has found passion in blacksmithing, and our youngest son is set to begin adulting as an auto mechanic, leaving C and me empty nesters. There have been good things (friendships, trips, weddings, graduations, and almost-citizenships) and some sad (deaths, pandemics, businesses that went bust) and through it all, Valencia has been our home.
These have been some of the best years of my life despite the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns. We've learned so much about ourselves, about the Spanish culture and language, and about the world at large outside of the USAmerican POV. Valencia will always have a piece of my heart.
Last weekend, we had some news come in that was as disappointing as it was infuriating. After thinking through our options, C and I chose to complete our adventure in Valencia.
Stirring the winds of change is always an adventure. Where the adventure takes you is the journey that can determine who you are. ~ Faith Tilley Johnson
Portugal has long been on our radar as a possible long-term home country. There are many reasons to love Portugal: the people, the climate, the history, the food, and the culture. It helps that the time zones are a bit closer to our families in the US, that most Portuguese speak English, and that the weather is mostly temperate. There is a decent vegan scene and the Jewish communities in Lisbon, Cascais, and Oporto (all up for consideration) are growing rapidly. We also know people both personally and professionally throughout the country, so we have a small but mighty support network in place. As for a timeline, we will leave as soon as we are ready. Ever hopeful about Spanish bureaucracy, we are hoping to be there by mid-June; however, there are pragmatic tasks to finalize with my Spanish citizenship and C's long-term residency before we jump...it will make the paperwork requirements much easier for us on the other end. I will spend some time here on Spanglish Y'all as I go through the process of moving countries again. I'm optimistic that this time it will be easier emotionally and mentally to rid myself of the things that don't make sense to bring with us. I've already begun to pull the artwork off the walls and put things in the orange donations bins that won't be making the move. I'm far less attached to my belongings at this point, but those I keep are much loved.
Below are a few of my favorite snaps from Lisbon over the past few years. Of course, there's nothing that compares to having all your senses tickled, so if you want to come for a visit to hear, smell, and taste Portugal, send me an email or DM me on Instagram and we can chat about when we think we'll be there.