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Why Portugal?

Ok, so how did we decide? There are several layers to this decision, but, in a nutshell, my mother-in-law, Elsa is Portuguese and her father, Francisco Valente, lived in the bucolic village of Macieira de Cambra. Unfortunately, Seu Fransciso passed away several years ago and his house is now empty. Since we already have a roof in a house that could use some love, Simplicio has family and Portuguese citizenship, we have half the way practically paved!  Both Simplicio and I have grown up moving around and our sense of "home" is a bit abstract. We both love to travel, we love Europe and "the old world", and, despite our comfortable lives in Brasilia, we have been restless for change for several months. Originally we had planned this adventure for later, but a "why wait?" sentinent overpowered that plan.  We realize our decision  seems crazy. We lived in an adorable apartment we remodeled ourselves and hand-picked each detail when we got married. It is lovely, centrally located, modern and cozy, I love that apartment. Putting it up for rent has been one of the toughest parts so far. I owned a successful bilingual art studio, The Orange Tree Studio, where I worked with an amazing team and taught painting classes to children and adults (more on that story in a later post), I made my own schedule and have a good reputation with the expat community of Brasilia. Simplicio was a government employee with a fixed salary, benefits and job security. We owned an apartment, two cars, have friends, 3 adorable kitties, family, a church that we love and, for Brasilia standards, were living a comfortable life. As I describe it, I still get a little pang of "what the hell am I doing !?". But, sometimes you just need change , you need new challenges, sometimes we accomplish our mission where we are and it's time to move on (more on that revelation later too!).  Despite our seemingly "perfect" situation, there were some factors that were contributing to our growing desire to exchange comfort for something new. Brasilia is an expensive, landlocked city that drives most into a life of consumption and debt, it's expensive to travel anywhere even by car and we love to travel but were tired of getting sucked into endless payments. There's a strange "bubble" culture of disproportionate wealth, ostentation and status comparison.  Simplicio, like many Brasilienses, was working a job he didn't enjoy, that had nothing to do with his degree in international relations, earning more money than the necessary so we could buy things we don't really need to impress people we don't really like! Haha, that's an exaggeration, but it's close! Also, being inserted in a community of mostly expats or foreign ministry employees, we grew tired of constant "goodbyes" and longed for our turn to start over in a new setting.  So we jumped on this opportunity to start from scratch, have less comfort but perhaps more freedom to take our time to discover a different kind of life in a beautiful location with easy access to several interesting destinations! 

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