Portugal insights?

We haven’t decided where next once things open for Canadians to travel, but we have been putting serious thought to Portugal as a (re)starting point. Since we’re nomadic but need to deal with Schengen visa limitations, we’re even considering residency there so we have more freedom to travel Europe. All speculation at this point, but we would love to hear about your experiences–house sitting, favourite locales, challenges–whatever you’d be willing to share.

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We know a few TrustedHousesitters members who have moved to Portugal and taken residency… hopefully some of them will be on the forum and can give you some feedback. I know they are like us and see a future in house sitting across Europe for a while as an alternative to the continual international travel we’ve been used to. I will follow this with interest too as it is a country neither of us have visited in Europe and was on the list to spend time in had things not changed last year. It’s good to speculate… it’s a form of action, and as we’ve found can lead to the most unexpected outcomes :slight_smile:

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Hi there,

We did a road trip through Portugal and wrote a post about our favourite places. It may give you some inspiration :slight_smile: Campervanning in Portugal: Your Ultimate Guide - Lifejourney4two

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Thank you, @lifejourney4two, I’ll definitely check that out!

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This might provide some more information about Portugal too from other THS members and full time travellers at AboveUsOnlySkies… they spent time in Portugal last year and wrote 4 insightful articles on their stay there:

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Thank you, Vanessa. I will definitely add Above Us Only Skies to my resource list!

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I’m here in Portugal housesitting. I’ll be in Porto for three weeks in Aug 2021 then 3 week in the Algarve and a month long sit up near the Estrella mountains in October.

@lifephasenext Let me know if there is anything I can help you with :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much, @Luise. We’ll defintely check in when we start planning. Your sits sound lovely.

Hi Luise,

I am very interested in visiting Portugal as an option to relocate. Once the COVID situation is stable and International Travel opens up, I will plan a trip 2022. I was wondering how long it took you to set up multiple sits before your trip? I would only be allowed to stay for 90 days, as I live in the U.S. so housesits would help with cost of travel. I speak English, can manage to understand some French and spanish but not very well. Any ideas/experiences are appreciated. Thank you in advance.

We spent a month there in 2017 and fell in love with the country. We visited the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and many nooks and crannies in between.
We will begin the process of pursuing a D7 visa at the end of 2022. The visa process must be initiated in your home country and that is the soonest that we have any desire to go back to the US for a bit. This visa will allow us to become residents of Portugal after 5 years. We don’t plan to ever live in the US again.

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Fantastic! I want to explore the same. I don’t know when I will be ready. I am waiting for COVID to stabilize. I am looking for a new adventure, and have been watching some Youtube about places in Portugal. Did you get by with just English or do you speak Portuguese? Is vaccination and testing a hassle? I like to prepare. I also read that if you have an EU/Schengen passport you don’t need a visa. Just Fact checking. Thank you for your patience.

Thank you Provence. My ‘real question’ is can someone get by speaking English in Portugal. We North Americans seem to feel that the English language is dominant everywhere. The opposite is true of Europeans. I was in Copenhagen in 2019, and many people spoke English. Thank you for your response.

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Hi @evag008 I’m going to tag @Therese-MembershipService to answer you on this one and the main reason is she lives there, working remotely for TrustedHousesitters.

Therese is from South Africa, speaks English and will be able to help. She will pick this up when she is back online.

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RE your question about whether Portuguese people speak English? In my experience, yes, in an near urban areas anyway. Far fewer people speak Portuguese than they do French or Spanish, so people from Portugal are more used to speaking English.

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I would love to hear what you learned. I am in the same set of mind. Get residency that i can forget Schengen rules.
Thanks

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To give you a little insight into my experience. I also fell in love with Portugal many years ago, and I now live here, in Cascais, which is outside Lisbon. I have been here, on and off for about 3 years, and am a resident. It was fairly easy for me though, as I am on an EU passport.
You can certainly get away with only English in the bigger towns. The younger generation happily converse in English. Many of the older generation (in the little villages) do not speak English at all, but they are all so friendly and generous and love it when you make even a little effort in Portuguese. I know only the very basics but sign language can go a long way to understanding to each other. I see a big presence of US and Canadian people coming here and applying for visas/residency, so as to make their base here in order to travel the rest of Europe. What a perfect spot to settle. :wink:

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After watching Youtube videos, articles I wish to start with with Portugal because cost of living, and ease of access to other countries like France, Italy, Spain, etc. Travel seems to be more affordable once you are in Europe. Coming from U.S. is costly. Currently, US travel is limited. Portugal seems to be the safest at this time.
I agree that with civility and, kindness most people will assist you. In Copenhagen I kept getting turned around. So I approached a friendly face and asked if they spoke English. Most do in Copenhagen.
I am still trying to decide if I should completely cut ties travel freely. Thank you for your insight.

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I do have regrets now that I did not make a better effort to be multi-lingual. I guess I can start learning some Portuguese on Duolingo. I probably will try to start my travels with urban areas. I will see how it goes. Otherwise, there’s just throwing yourself into it! Thank you.

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HI Evag008
I didn’t plan a trip to Portugal. I live here. Many of the sits I have got the owners have said they wanted someone already in Portugal and picked me over people coming from overseas. So I’d suggest getting your first sit and applying for the rest once you are here.

I’ve been here nearly a year and still can’t speak a word (not for lack of trying). It’s very doable only speaking English.

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