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Random Early Research

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

How does one start researching a place they may want to retire to? Google, right? Obviously.

Actually, first I received a brochure from the UNC General Alumni Association (UNC GAA). I've been on 5 other of these tours and LOVED them! This caught my eye as a great way to get an overview of the northern parts of Portugal. I love traveling with other Tar Heels and these tours always include great stuff without a lot of waiting in line! I bought a couple of Portugal travel books also. ASIDE: The first travel book I ever bought was Frommer's Guide to London in 1986. It was terrific, Irreverent (read BRITISH humor) and interesting. I think I still have it.

I had Scott take a look at it and it interested him enough that he agreed to go on the trip! Yippee! I signed us up as soon as I could. Then came the waiting. We're still in the waiting, but not too much longer!!

My Facebook friends mostly consist of childhood, high school and college friends as well as girl scout camp and church friends. Earlier this year I saw that a camp friend posted photos from Portugal! I emailed her immediately to tell her I'm considering moving there and asked all about her trip. She sent me fabulous information, including the important tidbits that

  1. Cobblestones abound and are no joke to walk on.

  2. Much of the food could use some salt and they don't always provide any on the tables.

I have taken steps to mitigate these issues! Thank you Claudia!

At almost the same time, I started seeing posts from my APO big brother (sibling (female). I commented and asked questions about her fantastic photos! She (Emily) told me she had contacted a woman who helps people plan itineraries for traveling in Portugal. She had an hour-long paid conversation and received what she believed was VERY helpful information. She recommended the lady to me. She was Julie Fox. #juliedawnfox

I contacted her, too and had a conversation. She listened to me talk about what sort of place I was looking to settle in. She described most of the cities/towns of the Algarve. I feel certain that we will chose one of the places in this area. It's the warmest place in the country all year round. LOTS of sunshine!! I've nixed the towns she identified as having the most tourist population during the season. I lived in Washington, DC and as well as Chapel Hill, NC where the whole feel of the town is different when school is in session.

Julie also recommended a woman she knows who does some webinars designed to help you figure out what you want and also make the most of your "scouting trips(s)". Her name is Deborah Dehab. I did take one of her webinars and I have a conversation scheduled with her this coming Wednesday! BTW, both Julie and Deborah currently live in Portugal. Both ladies offer some helpful downloads and newsletters. Deborah also has a Facebook page

Scott frequents a local coffee shop called Cathy's Coffee. He mentioned our trip to Cathy and it turns out she's a member of this group

WOW. There is a ton of information here and lovely, friendly woman more than happy to answer questions. Some have already relocated to Portugal and others are in various stages of doing so.

There is tons more to learn about and MANY resources! Beyond excited that we'll be enroute soon! Our fabulous garage apartment tenant will be taking care of the dogs.

We'll soon be underway. If there is anything you think we should see or do or any information you're wondering about, by all means POST IT!!

I have a big dilemma. All the luggage that is never reuniting with its owners is freaking me out. I'm not keen to take carry-on only for a 15-day trip, but it seems smarter to do that. What do y'all think??

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