Hi, I’m Brooke. This is my family Kyle, Sofia, Leo, and our dog Bailey. I’m originally from California and Kyle is from Oregon. We met in Colorado and eventually decided to move to Florida. For a long time, it was just us, our two dogs, and our cat. We really fell in love with traveling during that time. The more we traveled, the more we wanted to travel and see the world.
In 2018 Sofia was born. I had always wanted to experience living abroad, and when we had Sofia we decided that we would move abroad before she turned 5. We moved abroad a month after Sofia turned 3, so we reached our goal. Yay!
It took us a while to find the place we wanted to move. Originally we looked into Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. My top priority was a lower cost of living, so that I could work less and spend more time with my family. My second priority was to live somewhere walkable with decent public transport so that we wouldn’t have to buy a car.
At some point, I read that Spain and Portugal are pretty cheap compared to the rest of Europe. I had always wanted to live in Europe but thought it wouldn’t be possible. I honed in on Spain pretty quickly because I speak Spanish. I also started researching Portugal. Each country has its pros and cons obviously, but the visa process seems easier in Portugal. Also, in Portugal, you are eligible for citizenship after 5 years (Spain is 10), and Portugal allows dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is definitely a goal of mine, so Portugal had a big draw there. Ultimately, the deciding factor was Leo.
While we were trying to decide which country to live in, we moved to South Carolina for a change of scenery, and Leo was born soon after. I revisited the Spanish and Portuguese visas and realized that with a fourth family member, we no longer met the income requirements for Spain, but we did easily qualify for Portugal. That was not the only reason we chose Portugal, but it definitely factored in.
We originally planned on moving to Portugal in 2022, but unfortunately, we had to put our older dog, Raina down in February 2021. She had an amazing life and lived to be 15.5 years old, which is great for a Golden Retriever. Just over two months later we had to put down our 18-year-old cat, Ash Junior. Losing them both so closely was really difficult, and we decided that it was time to leave. There was nothing keeping us in South Carolina anymore.
The pandemic hit just a few weeks after Leo was born. At the time I was working full time from home. Since we were stuck at home for so long, we were able to plan our move quicker than we had anticipated. We applied for our D7 visas in July 2021, got approved in August, and moved in October.
Prior to moving to Portugal, we had never been here. We did a lot of research and decided it was worth it to move sight unseen. We knew right away that it was the right decision. Portugal is a beautiful country with great people. We look forward to exploring more and really getting to know the country.