Summer Closures

August in the Iberian Peninsula means holiday and travel season. Many shops, restaurants and cafes are closed for the month, while much of central Europe is slowly easing back into the regular routine. Things will only normalise in September, and that is the time when everything changes and business will rush towards the last quarter storm. Goodness, in my mind I barely just began 2022 and here we are at the threshold of the final part. For once I know exactly where all my time went, and I have to smile when I compare it to the past four years.

A friend told me several years ago it takes six months to fully adjust to a new country, during which you are still finding your way around town and getting to know the host culture. In the past I was usually settled by the forth month, but things were very different back then. I had a full household staff and infrastructure to work with, but this time, it is solo flying all the way. So I have had to make some critical choices, figure out when to pull the brakes, and trust my instinct because I no longer had a soundboard to bounce ideas off. It is refreshing and intimidating at the same time to make life-changing decisions entirely for myself and by myself, but on the other hand, I have been handed the opportunity of a lifetime to start over from carte blanche.

My six months are coming up and with it, the time to fully detach from Germany and make more permanent roots in Portugal. I still haven’t figured out how I feel about this, as I am still in an interrim phase, working out some administrative details. It annoyed me that the inability of some people to communicate clearly has messed up some of my plans, but at this point, I am not going to waste too much time on them and simply move on. Having said that, it safe to say that big change is coming my way for September, and I am looking forward to it. My days of tansient dwelling are over, and I can finally set things in motion here.

Getting all your residency requirements in Portugal is a test of fortitude and patience. It is a bit of a domino effect because you cannot skip to the next step without having completed or acquired the basic registrations. Steps A, B, and C are a piece of cake if you are gainfully employed here, meaning the tax account number, bank account and social security. But for everything else you need proof of address, meaning a permanent residence and utilities. Well dang it, I have been living in an AirBnB flat all this time, which doesn’t count, so I have not been able to move forward with anything else. Ah, but in a couple of weeks this will be a wild roller coaster ride for the better.

What lies ahead? ©FrogDiva Photography

It has taken me much longer than I expected and envisioned, but looking back, the universe had a plan for me all along. There was a reason I had three failed attempts to find a flat, because the perfect place was waiting for me all along in a completely different direction! This was a reminder that sometimes we insist on certain things in life, when our true destiny lies elsewhere, and if we are not open to the ideas, we miss it completely. So what if the journey takes a little longer? As long as you never stop travelling!

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