1 year in Portugal!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of our arrival in Portugal. I can’t believe it has been a year already. And what a year! We have seen a lot of Portugal and even a tiny bit of Spain. It has also been an entire year since I have driven a car, which feels so weird. Also a year of walking at least 100% more than before, so my heart is probably healthier now than a year ago.

Thinking back to everything that it took to get here is kind of overwhelming but definitely worth it. The first few days arriving in Portugal were probably the hardest because we were super sleep deprived and didn’t know anything yet. We didn’t know how to say anything in Portuguese, how to order coffee, or even how the get groceries. I’ll always remember our first grocery trip in Lisbon.

Kyle and I constantly remind ourselves that just the first time is hard. The first time grocery shopping was hard because I didn’t know the questions they ask at checkout or even how to use the bank card yet. But the second time I did know. And now it’s easy. The first time eating out was hard (mostly because we hadn’t slept in 30+ hours), the first time withdrawing cash at the ATM was hard, the first time using multibanco to pay a bill- all of those were just hard the first time but now they’re easy. There are still firsts that we go through, but it gets easier and obviously the firsts aren’t as frequent as they were a year ago.


We have met some great people and had a lot of fun the past year. We still plan to move to Braga (or Guimaraes) next year, but it gets harder to leave Leiria as we meet more people here. We just found an amazing vet who speaks English. Our neighbor genuinely loves our daughter and vice versa. Even though we will end up in Braga (where I wanted to move) I will never regret living in Leiria.

Living here we have gotten to explore so much of the Silver Coast. We will go to the Christmas Market in Obidos this year, which I’m super excited about. We couldn’t go last year because of Covid restrictions. I also want to go to Nazare next month to see the huge waves. I have been to Batalha a few times and I love it there. We still need to go to Tomar and Fatima. We wouldn’t have done any of this if we had moved straight to Braga.

My favorite time of the year is coming up. Last year we were still pretty new and trying to figure things out, but this year we plan on seeing tons of Christmas lights and Christmas markets. For sure Obidos, Lisbon, and Belgium (Brussels and Bruges). I’m so excited to see all the lights and Christmas decorations! I’m excited to spend another year here. I wonder what the next year will bring. Definitely more adventures.

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