Could you leave everything behind and start a new life in the sun?
Have you ever been on holiday abroad and wondered what it would be like to live there?
Alyson and Dave Sheldrake did. They fell in love with a little fishing village in the Algarve, Portugal, and were determined to realise their dream of living abroad. They bought a house there, ended their jobs, packed up everything they owned and moved to the Algarve to start a new life.
Follow them as they battle with Portuguese bureaucracy, set up their own businesses, adopt a rescue dog and learn to adapt to a slower pace of life. Laugh with them as Alyson propositions a builder, they try to master the Portuguese language, and successfully navigate the ‘expat’ world.
Part guidebook, mostly memoir; this is a refreshingly honest and often hilarious account of life abroad.
Living the Dream describes the experiences of Alyson and David Sheldrake as they began a new life in Portugal. It includes amusing anecdotes, useful information for prospective residents and delightful descriptions of this beautiful locality. At this point I should declare my personal interest. We have a holiday home in the Algarve and we seriously considered becoming permanent residents. Eventually we rejected the idea for family reasons, but I still yearn to be there now.
So why Portugal? Alyson tells her readers how a short holiday captured their imagination and after returning several times they couldn’t resist buying a property in Ferragudo in the western Algarve. Of course the weather is a plus, not just the sunshine, but also the fact that there are seasons with spring flowers and cool damp winters. As well as the tourist resorts there are quaint villages with beautiful old churches and traditional customs and best of all, the warmth and friendliness of the Portuguese people.
The practicalities of their permanent move abroad were time consuming but achievable and they soon settled into a mainly Portuguese community. Alyson’s efforts with this difficult language were appreciated even though she sometimes made some amusing mistakes. We share her experience in adopting an abandoned dog called Kat and laugh with her over the eccentric driving in the area. Those who need more information about day-to-day life will appreciate the details on healthcare, cost of living and entertainment and even if you just go there for a holiday, the chapter highlighting some of the best beaches is superb.
You will find this an easy to read book, in the style of a friendly blog, which is enjoyable even when you are locked down in an English winter!
Living the Dream: in the Algarve on Amazon UK
Alyson Sheldrake Artist and Author