July 3, 2020

woman with sunglasses in poppies field. Rolling with life punches in Portugal
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Another exciting blog post finds me chatting with my friend and ex-pat in Portugal. Some long time readers of the blog might remember Anita and her husband Richard from one of my first “podcast with ex-pats” interviews four years back. As the saying goes, “the only sure things in life are death and taxes”. Anita returns solo to discuss life in Portugal after the loss of her beloved husband.

Expat in Portugal: Rolling with life punches:

couple by the sea in Spain
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couple by the sea in Spain
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The lovebirds in Mojacar, Spain, June 2016

I originally “met” Anita online. Sharing past lives as pharmacists in Texas gave us a special connection and we both understood the immense happiness of being away from that once great profession, but one that had become more about corporate greed than patient care. She had joined her husband who had retired previously. Selling their possessions and heading for a nomadic lifestyle which took them to several countries in Latin America, before eventually finding their “home” in Portugal.
Federico and l were fortunate enough to meet up in real life when we visited Lagos, Portugal. We actually stayed with them for over a week as we explored the area and then went on to Lisbon. It felt like we had known them forever and had a wonderful time bonding over food and love of travel. This is one of the many wonderful advantages of online presence, meeting people from all walks of life, and making lasting friendships.
Rolling with life punches. Woman posing with foggy background Vietnam
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Rolling with life punches. Woman posing with foggy background Vietnam
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On a solo journey to Vietnam.

They in turn visited us in Valencia, and once again, it was a fabulous time. I was glad to spend time with Richard because he walked slowly, like moi..haha! while Anita and Federico would be a mile ahead of us. He had great stories of their travels and Fede and l still crack up when we think of how one of our dogs almost ate his pizza because he had been intently focused on the TV (soccer), and he looked like easy prey to our drooling beagle.
rolling with life punches-couple in Peru on a bench
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rolling with life punches-couple in Peru on a bench
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Just one of their many destinations.

Rolling with life punches podcast highlights:

  • Deciding on Portugal.
  • Doing the hard things first.
  • Richard’s COPD diagnosis and the resolution to enjoy life.
  • Disaster preparation, including choosing a contact person, wills.
  • The unexpected, final hospital visit.
  • Building a “family” in Portugal and their help in coping with his loss.
  • Remembering Richard and their hippie days.
  • What she did with his ashes.
  • Living in a co-sharing situation.
  • Her cost of living in Portugal. (definitely higher than you’re led to believe!)
  • Covid-19 and how it was handled by the Portuguese government.
  • Her prediction for the future of travel.

Listen to the Expat in Portugal rolling with the punches  with Anita podcast here:

You can find Anita and Richard’s blog archives here where they show their life in Portugal, including detailed instructions on how to get a non-lucrative visa for Portugal and visits to other wonderful spots in the world.
Other podcasts of interest:
                                                     Make sure to subscribe if you are enjoying the podcasts.
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One of the many advantages of being close to the border of Spain… loads of visits.

Valencia Life Post Quarantine:

The flood gates have been opened! We are now open to visitors from the rest of Europe. We’ll see what effect that will have on the virus infection numbers soon enough. No use guessing now.
Just like l predicted on the last blog post, it looks like we are indeed going to get a tax hike of sorts. I knew it. Every country is suffering and it’s always one of the quick trigger responses to raise money. A lot of restaurants and cafes are also starting to add a Covid surcharge (usually a euro to the bill), and already some people are complaining. I see the restaurants full to maximum capacity allowed so they seem to be recovering well enough.
Gyms are still not open, not that we would go back anytime soon. Nightclubs and discos can be open, but there is no dancing allowed. How enticing that is that? The buses are definitely still emptier than before, and in my neighborhood, the streets feel less dense than when we first came out of lockdown. I am guessing lots of people have taken off for their family homes for the summer.
statue of bull in Burgos Spain guide with the best things to see and do
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statue of bull in Burgos Spain guide with the best things to see and do
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We will be bullish on Spain for a while.

We’re still not making any travel plans for the foreseeable future. Day trips to nearby places maybe. If we do venture further, it would be towards the north, where it’s a bit cooler. My Spanish class will resume in September and the city is giving us students the first three months of classes free to make up for lost time. Imagine! The whole class cost 25 euros!!!! It’s insane how generous they are being.
Our morning walk in Valencia:
Here is one of my latest videos showing highlights of our daily morning walk. It would be awesome if you could subscribe to the YouTube channel if you like it. I have decided that what the world needs is me finding yet another avenue to spew more crap! :-).
What about you? Are you ready to be a social butterfly again? Or are you still being a hermit and staying home? I think l have found the sweet spot in between.