The time has finally come to announce our new permanent place of residence: Lisbon, Portugal! We will be departing at the end of this week and going on a road trip with our two kitties in the backseat! Our few day drive will take us through Southwestern France to Barcelona to Madrid to Cáceres and finally into Portugal and ending up in Lisbon. We figured we might as well take our time and see these beautiful parts of the world.
If you’re just tuning in now, read my original announcement on moving to Europe to understand why my husband and I moved abroad and why our plans changed from originally moving to France. We ultimately were up against the issue of not being able to work right away with the type of visa we were granted and half of the reason why we wanted to move abroad was to expand our businesses. But because we’d been researching places in Europe to live for quite some time, we became well versed in the various processes and requirements for each country in order to reside and/or work. Going back to look at them all a second time, Portugal became a no brainer.
After going through a recession a few years back (like much of the world), Portugal decided to take a new approach to boost their economy: to welcome foreigners and foreign entrepreneurs and give them a clear path to business visas and permanent residency through sensible requirements. The Portuguese government is betting that new business from foreigners will help local economies. One of the ways you can be granted a business visa in Portugal is by investing a reasonable amount of money into either a residential or commercial property, which is perfect given Dan’s background in real estate.
I should also mention that neither Dan or I have ever been to Portugal! However, over the last few years, we’ve had dozens of friends who have visited and fallen in love with Lisbon and it’s northern sister, Porto. So far, nobody has had a bad word to say about the city, the culture, or the food (very important!). And my husband happens to speak Portuguese, something he picked up when living in Brazil for a year, which will come in handy as we navigate the business world. All in all, we decided on Lisbon because as young entrepreneurs, we want to be in a place where we can actually make our dreams a reality. Getting any business off the ground or trying to expand in a place like New York City is incredibly difficult and expensive. In an up and coming country like Portugal, the sky is literally the limit. We can play with our ideas, be ahead of the trend, and build something from the ground up. While we were looking for a life change, ultimately what was driving us to Europe was new opportunity and we were very limited in other countries with their strict immigration laws. We are hoping that at the very least, Lisbon becomes a jump off point into the rest of Europe. Another positive aspect to their visa program is that you only have to reside in Portugal for one week per year, meaning if we want to try out somewhere new, we can—all the while keeping our ability to work in Portugal. Right now, being flexible, having the ability to start new businesses, and still being in a culturally important city—with great weather—is what’s important to us. This is just the first start in our new life abroad!
The last few weeks in France have been wonderful, particularly because of how inspired I’ve been. My mind has been churning out ideas left and right of projects to start when we go to Lisbon. I can’t wait to share with you all what those are! In the meantime, continue to follow our journey on Instagram.
If anyone has tips or has contacts in Lisbon, let me know! Would love to make some new friends!
We also have an exciting feature this week, Leszek Golabek, who is a consultant for Bain & Company, one of the world’s top management consulting firms. Leszek lives in Williamsburg, New York. I am thrilled to have Leszek on the site—he has all the qualities you’d want in a friend (and I promise you’ll want to be his friend after you read his conversation): interested and interesting, super fun, cultured, stylish, and has an Australian accent that’s to die for! I believe that Leszek has all of these wonderful qualities because he is a true global citizen. He was born in Poland, raised in Perth, Australia, and has been living stateside for the past few years while working for his current company and getting his business degree from Columbia University—which he says he doesn’t regret one bit. I find it inspiring that Leszek has taken chances to explore the world and hope I can do the same!
We posted your new September Horoscopes this week, so start planning your month accordingly!
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