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Could This Be The Place For Us?

Making life decisions is not something to be taken lightly. That said, sometimes we tend to act on a gut-feeling or on a whim and it ends up being the best decision we ever made.

Before buying our last house in Canada, I was unable to go see the house with the real estate agent. So, my wife went without me and she decided that was the house she wanted. I gave into her enthusiasm and we bought the place. Just before moving in, I had a chance to go see it. The first thing I realized was that the photographs made the place look much bigger than it was in reality. Sneaky estate agents. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. But the decision had been made and Bridget looked and seemed ecstatic at her choice. So I swallowed hard and went with it. Also, the entrance and the basement didn't seem like usable spaces to me, at the time and my disappointment just grew. I wasn't "sold" on the place, so to speak, but it was too late to change my mind.

However, all that aside, I now miss that house more than anything, as far as missing material things goes. I grew to love that space and enjoyed what it offered, which as it turns out, was a lot. My wife saw what I didn't at the time, and she made the right decision for us. We decorated it, fixed what needed fixing and loved it back to an excellent state and it was our home. We felt like we had finally found the place that we'd be in for the rest of our days.

As it turns out, life sometimes just wants to teach us important lessons before moving us forward to something else. In this case, we ended up having to sell our wonderful home, which today, even though still heartsore, we now see as a blessing in disguise. If we were still there today, we might not have been so fortunate. We were able to sell everything (almost: we gave a lot away) and move to another part of the world, leaving behind everything we had built; work, careers, friends, family. However, today we are happier overall and have a new adventure in front of us.

Our old back yard (in Canada) was regraded and upgraded and Gevalia loved it more than us, I think.

Arriving in Portugal, we've come with a plan, new hopes and dreams and we're in a position we've never been in before, financially speaking. No, we didn't win the lottery and we haven't cashed in everything. But we can start again and make our small dream a reality. It still needs some finesse and careful planning to go ahead. But we can do it. Taking risks in life is necessary, or you'll never experience what your true potential amounts to. Our dream is just to have a little slice of heaven we can call our home. 'Little' being the operative word.

We don't need to live like mindless consumers wanting the biggest and best of everything. We can use our imaginations and build something with our own hands, and craft our lives into an everyday existence that has purpose and meaning and is filled with the joy of our own labour. Sharing in the beauty of each other's accomplishments.

So, I can hear the question on your lips already. "Where are you going to settle down?" We have decided to start small and clean and close to the beach. Where exactly? Well, that will be our secret for now.

The land is flat with great soil, very workable and manageable and is in a great location near everything we love about Portugal. It's a clean slate. Gevalia will finally have her own back yard again and an amazing beach really close by to go run on and chase birds.

We've also met our future neighbours and they are a wonderful couple from the U.K. and are looking forward to having English speaking neighbours.

So now, the process begins. As you know, in Portugal, getting things done takes a little longer than what Westerners are used to. There is a process to everything and not everything is customer service driven. We have to be patient and wait for the ducks to congregate before we can start putting them into a row. The process with the city council is underway with regards to securing the land. In the meantime we have to draw up an amendment to the approved house plan that came with the property. Bridget and I have gone over what we want more times than I can count and we're finally happy with this plan. That said, we do have a back up plan should things not turn out exactly as we want. We are happy with both ideas, so it's a win win for us... let's hope.

Our old house in Canada. Lovely views of the neighbourhood from those upstairs windows.

Gevalia doing zoomies around the backyard in the winter time. She misses the snow, I'm sure.


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