Crafting Community and Connection with Louisa

Kalie (03:36.298)
Luisa, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast because for our listener, if you haven't seen on YouTube, we have a couple videos where you and I chat about the most important things of Portugal on the YouTube channel. But now we have you on the podcast just to have a follow-up. It's been a couple years since you've been on the channel, so how long have you been? I know, gosh, we're gonna have to have you back on. But for those who haven't seen you on our YouTube channel, just let our listener know how long have you been living in Portugal?

Louisa Tanner Munson (03:45.587)

Louisa Tanner Munson (03:53.347)

Louisa Tanner Munson (03:57.628)

Louisa Tanner Munson (04:05.951)
just over six years. So we've just had our sixth year anniversary, I guess. Yeah, it's gone so fast. It's really hard to keep track of it, in fact.

Kalie (04:14.602)
Yeah, that's exciting, six years. And can you just let us know where you moved from and who you moved with?

Louisa Tanner Munson (04:21.719)
Yep, I moved with my husband and two children. And then within about 14 months, we had another child in Portugal. When we first came out here, we didn't know where we were going. So we rented a place for about a month and a half, just on the outskirts of Tamar.

And we used that as a crash pad so that we could drive around and get a real feel for where our new spiritual home was going to be in Portugal. And the funny thing was we just couldn't decide. We just drove around and around and around. And then my husband was doing some work with a guy, like quite an exciting social media project, and he was required to move to the sort of greater Lisbon area. And so from tomorrow, we...

Kalie (04:55.158)

Louisa Tanner Munson (05:12.751)
headed down to Arauera, which is just south of the river, a really cool place. And so we lived there for about nine or 10 months. And then by that time, I was quite pregnant and we moved. We did some house sitting back in the Tamar area. Then we moved up to a place called Korea.

which gets mixed up with Korea quite a lot. You know, people are like, wow, you've lived in Korea. That sounds really exciting. But it's just like very small town in between Avaeru and Queenborough. And we really loved there. We were there during the pandemic. And yes, we were there for about 18 months or so. And then from there, we moved to the Silver Coast.

Kalie (05:40.299)

Louisa Tanner Munson (05:59.859)
just inland, not far from Caldas to the Reina. And then we've been residing in San Martino de Porto, which is right by the sea. We've been there for two years. So it's in the Silver Coast, 11 kilometers south of Nazaré and about 45 minutes drive from Lisbon. So it's really cool.

Kalie (06:16.994)
So I think that's interesting because when a lot of people look to move to Portugal, they start with Lisbon and then Porto and then maybe Braga, Coimbra, Algarve, those places come up. But you stayed away mainly from those big hotspot areas. Why was that?

Louisa Tanner Munson (06:22.207)

Louisa Tanner Munson (06:25.831)

Louisa Tanner Munson (06:30.671)
Um, yeah, it wasn't exactly deliberate. I mean, Lisbon, um, yeah, I mean, we had the chance to actually live in Lisbon, but like when we visited, first of all, I had a push chair. Um, our youngest was coming up to two, but not really a strong walker. And so we stayed in Lisbon for a short while and used a stroller. I think that's what Americans call it. Isn't it a stroller, a push chair? Um, and.

Kalie (06:55.308)

Louisa Tanner Munson (06:58.307)
Yeah, it was really, it was really treacherous. It was really difficult. There's so many hills and we weren't used to the Kalsardish, the kind of pavements they had.

Kalie (07:00.226)

Louisa Tanner Munson (07:06.155)
Um, and I hadn't got used to wearing pumps or sneakers, whatever you call them in the state. I was still in that stage of wearing my DM boots, my Dr. Martin long boots, which I loved, but actually proved really slippery on the calcardish in the winter. And so it just felt a little bit difficult, you know, maneuvering. Um, you know, she was just out of the sling stage where I used to wear her. It was easy then, but with a push chair, a stroller, it was so hard to get up and down the curbs and, and so it just didn't feel very practical.

So when we went to our area, it was very flat and really easy to maneuver and it was so easy to get into Lisbon. It's a fantastic area in fact.

Kalie (07:43.899)
and you have more space there, it's a bit more open.

Louisa Tanner Munson (07:47.267)
Yeah, yeah, and there's a lot of life. There's a lot of really good beaches, you know, for people that do want to live in and around Lisbon. I really recommend the South Bank, you know, like the other side. Not many people look there. You know, most people go to Kashkash and all those like really glamorous areas. But south of the river, you get a bit more. I think you get a bit more choice. It's a bit more chilled. The coast of Caparica is really quite lively as a coast.

It reminds me a bit of some of the resorts we had in the UK. Some of our sort of Kiss Me Quick type, you know, that you get, I don't know if you have Kiss Me Quick hats. I don't know if that's just something that you have at a beach in the UK. It's kind of like, it can be seen as a bit tacky, you know, there's lots of gimmicks. You know how beaches get, do you have gimmicky beaches? I'm sure you must do.

Kalie (08:30.938)
Oh, yeah, mm-hmm. We do, yeah, we do. Like beach towns, I guess. You know, on the East Coast and such.

Louisa Tanner Munson (08:36.787)
Yeah, I mean, yeah, Costa Caparica is a very sort of like beach town, you know, it's, it's quite densely populated, lots of bars and things like that. Um, but we were just a little bit further south from there, but the motorways, the roads, it's all so easy. And the train just went straight up to Lisbon really, really quickly. So it was a great location, but yeah, you're right. We've, we've, we've kind of stayed. Um,

Kalie (08:59.616)
Yeah, that's perfect.

Louisa Tanner Munson (09:04.231)
from the coast to central and we've been really from just south of Lisbon up just a little bit more north than Queenborough and we just tend to stay in that little location. I don't know, we just really like it. Yeah.

Kalie (09:13.398)

Kalie (09:17.502)
Yeah, you like it, yeah. Does it feel like there's just less tourists or less people in general, more local? Like what do you like about it?

Louisa Tanner Munson (09:25.751)
Um, well right now, I mean, we're actually in quite a busy tourist area. Um, there's loads and loads of English speakers, you know, our Portuguese has not come on very well. There are loads and loads of experts where we live. Um, and the Portuguese are quite used to us. Um, and they often speak English. Um, lots of them speak French and of course, lots of, um, European settlers often speak French as a second language. So, um, it, yeah, it's, it's quite a good mix.

Kalie (09:35.644)

Louisa Tanner Munson (09:56.307)
Like our beach town has just gone really quiet now and it'll be quiet now for about another three months or so and it'll start to liven up again. But yeah, I mean, that's really busy. And then we've got Caldash, Larenia, where we met you actually, you and Josh and your lovely daughter. And Caldash has a lot of expats as well. But then when we drive around and about, you know, you get a bit more of a taste of Portugal.

Kalie (10:10.486)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (10:23.027)
So yeah, it's not as Portuguese as we'd like it to be, probably, like we went recently on a bit of a road trip and we went inland and we went to Torre Esfé, I can't remember which one it was, Torre Esfé, I think, and it felt like all of a sudden we were in Portugal. It felt foreign and it doesn't really feel foreign to us where we are, it is quite, it's not as busy and densely populated as the Algarve, but it's...

Kalie (10:42.127)

Louisa Tanner Munson (10:51.143)
Yeah, it's getting more popular, the Silver Coast.

Kalie (10:53.962)
Yeah, that makes sense. A lot of people are asking about the Silver Coast area now as an option, a place to move to. Would you say any of these places are not family friendly or all the places that you've lived, have they felt family friendly since you were moving around with your family?

Louisa Tanner Munson (10:57.735)

Louisa Tanner Munson (11:07.375)
Yeah, I mean, we tend to pick places that have got the... Like when we were in Korea, we were living down the road from this amazing park. And so I used to push the kids, walk the dog, and we'd like go to this park, and it had loads of places to picnic and stuff, so that was great. Where we're living now, we can walk to the beach in 20 minutes. We could walk a bit quicker if we weren't walking with the kids. We could drive or cycle in about four or five minutes. It's really, really close.

Kalie (11:29.788)
Yeah, always.

Louisa Tanner Munson (11:36.307)
We've got a choice of three beaches, in fact. We can just walk up the road and onto the cliffs to... So we've got loads of sort of beachy type adventure things. And then even closer, about three minutes up the road, we've got some, a little bit of forest, and they've put a forest park in. You know how the Portuguese love to make these lovely little park, the merendez, you know, where people can meet and there's picnic tables, barbecue areas.

and a little park. So we've got lots of things that we can walk to. We've got a train station we can walk to and hop on a train which goes everywhere. So yeah, it's really perfect. Like, you know, our eldest is 12, our youngest is turning five next week. They're getting to a stage where they want to explore a little bit more, have a bit more freedom, but not get like completely lost in it. So like when we go to Kaldash, which is a much bigger town.

Kalie (12:12.034)
That's so nice, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (12:32.775)
We play in the park and we're really aware of where our kids are. Because it's a much bigger place, but where we are in San Martino de Porto, it's a small little town and everyone kind of knows each other. Even though we get loads of tourists, we get lots of people like waving at us and saying, Oh, hello. And it's such a small scale. So it feels like our kids have got a really great space to grow into without them getting too, you know, I don't know, without it being too dangerous.

Kalie (12:45.454)

Kalie (13:02.506)
Yeah, it's a safe space.

Louisa Tanner Munson (13:03.951)
Yeah, and like the Silver Coast, as the coastline goes, it's not a great place to swim in general. There are some very terrifying beaches where people do lose their lives. In fact, just like 11 kilometers from us, there's a stretch, no, five kilometers up the road, there's a stretch where there's a really ferocious kind of riptide.

And of course, if you're foreign, you might not even know that, but all the locals know not to go swimming there. But in, on the coastline, there's this tiny little, and it looks like a little seashell or a little croissant. If you were to blow up the map, it looks like there's this little semi-circle and it's a tiny little bay. And so we live in the bay and so all the wild water is kind of outside. And then there's this little inlet, which goes into a river.

So it's really, really safe. And all three of our children have learned to swim in the sea rather than in a pool. And we go there sort of every couple of days. And we don't go when it's really hot. We wait until about four or five in the afternoon. So it's a bit calmer. We don't lose them on the beach. We can see them all the time. And they've just been learning to swim in the sea and in the ocean. I never thought that was gonna be possible. Yeah.

Kalie (14:05.634)
Yeah, that's great.

Kalie (14:14.158)
I'm going to go to bed.

Kalie (14:22.11)
Yeah, that's amazing. So then speaking of weather, what does the weather get like if it gets hot and busy during the summer, but you're talking about how it's gonna turn into a bit of a sleepy town now that we're approaching winter. So what's the difference?

Louisa Tanner Munson (14:33.291)
Hmm. Wow. I mean, it's like we recently went back to Aruwaira, just south of Lisbon. It is definitely warmer there. And that's only an hour and a half down the coast. It's definitely warmer. But during the summer, we get really nice temperatures in the early thirties, probably late twenties, early thirties. If we drive into Caldashtorenya or further inland, maybe to Tamar, that temperature goes up from say 33 to...

38, this gets really hot. Because we're on the coast, we've got this beautiful Atlantic breeze, which keeps us cool. So you don't realize just how hot it is. It feels bearable. Whereas when we're in Arawaira, it was too hot for me and my coloring and our kids. They were wilting, it was a bit too hot. Yeah, it's like, you know, we... Exactly. And it's like, we wouldn't probably go to the Algarve in the height of summer. It's not for us, but it's great in the winter.

Kalie (15:03.798)
It can get hot, yeah.

Kalie (15:20.182)
Yeah, turning into lobsters. Like you can't get the sunscreen on fast enough.

Kalie (15:31.522)

Louisa Tanner Munson (15:32.755)
But in the winter here at the moment, it does get very damp. You know, we are on the Atlantic coast and sometimes you get this big fog that comes in. But usually around about 11 o'clock in the morning, if it hasn't already, you know, the fog will suddenly like the sun will come out, the clouds will go, the fog will disappear. So right now, it's a little bit overcast in the mornings and then mid morning it brightens up unless it's going to rain for the day.

And then the evenings are cooler. You know, we've already started putting on our dehumidifiers, which obviously I spoke at great length. I'm known as that woman that moans about the damp. Do you know, so many people have asked me about that, Kayleigh. They've said, oh my God, you're the damp woman.

Kalie (16:12.591)
Yes. Yeah. Okay, so for our listener, just to give a little reference, we got in a really long conversation about the dampness and what that does to your sheets and your clothes and mold and everything on our video on YouTube. So if you wanna really dig into that and you haven't heard that.

Louisa Tanner Munson (16:25.199)
Mmm. Yeah.

Kalie (16:35.326)
then check out that interview. It'll be really similar to this but you know in the style. But yes some people some people say that you're the damp lady. It was such good information though and we get asked that all the time. I mean especially in the northern part you know everyone's always worried about humidity and mold and what that's like on the inside. So what can you do to make sure that you know it doesn't happen to you?

Louisa Tanner Munson (16:35.375)

Louisa Tanner Munson (16:44.169)


Louisa Tanner Munson (16:51.036)

Louisa Tanner Munson (16:55.527)
Well, we've already started. So we've already started to spray down our windows at the insides of our cupboards with neat, like clear vinegar. You can buy it in all the cleaning sections. So don't look for it in the vinegar section in your supermarket, because you won't find the right kind. But if you go to the cleaning section, there's always the vinegar. Some of them even come in spray bottles and you just spray it around you. I mean, don't spray it onto, I'm not taking...

responsibility if you spray it on some don't do it onto wallpaper. But if you've got painted surfaces, which thankfully for us, all of our houses have got some kind of white paint. We just lightly spray it and then sponge it down just with a slightly damp cloth, wipe it off, all the mold disappears. And you might do it a couple of, a couple of times a year, like in, in other areas, we've had to do it a lot more, but we're in.

Kalie (17:23.666)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (17:49.135)
fairly new house by Portuguese standards, our house that we're living in which we're renting is about 30 years old which I think by American standards is a really old house. And so it's got really it's quite well insulated but it doesn't have very good airflow. So all we do every morning pretty much even if it's raining we open all the windows for a good couple of hours let all the fresh air kind of

Kalie (17:58.64)
Yeah, but here definitely they're not that old.

Louisa Tanner Munson (18:18.795)
come in, then we shut it down. And then we put the dehumidifiers on. So we've got one upstairs, one downstairs, and we can move it around a bit. I mean, we tend to follow each other around the house quite a bit. So wherever the people are is where we put the dehumidifiers. It's the humans that really are creating the dam. Yeah. So it's just, you know, just be vigilant with it. And I noticed that the Portuguese, they start lighting their fires at home around the end of October. And I was thinking,

Kalie (18:35.954)
cause the problems. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (18:48.531)
It's just so hot. Like, why would they still be, why would they be doing that? And I think they, they get drying out their houses as soon as possible. So you want to start as soon as possible, almost before it's a problem. And then you can manage it all. Yeah. Easy.

Kalie (19:00.162)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, because once it already sets in, it's really hard, right? Yeah, to get rid of it. But yeah, okay, so we won't go too long into that because I think we talked about it.

Louisa Tanner Munson (19:05.672)
Yeah, yeah.

No, no, no. I was telling you about the winter here, because one of the things that we notice is even if it does get cold in your homes, because these homes aren't really built for keeping the heat in, they're built to keep the heat out, what I notice is we are actually warmer outside sometimes. So we tend to spend a lot more time outside actually in the winter. And then, you know, when we come in.

We just whack the heating on. We've got these tiny little heaters and we just heat the rooms we're in. People, I know people that have had pellet burners and all sorts of different things. If you can do it without using electricity, you're much better off because the electricity prices are quite large. But if you dehumidify, automatically, as you're taking out the damp from the room, that automatically raises the temperature.

Kalie (20:05.644)

Louisa Tanner Munson (20:06.011)
So it's worth doing that as a first port of call. Yeah.

Kalie (20:09.822)
Yeah, definitely. Good advice. Okay, so I wanted to ask you, because you said you've been here around six years, so you have seen a lot of changes in Portugal. And so I wanted to chat with you. What was Portugal like when you first arrived? And what are some of the biggest changes that you've seen?

Louisa Tanner Munson (20:26.115)
That's a really good question. It's hard to completely gauge because, oh, sorry. Oh, I don't know what. Yeah, I drank some water and it kind of made that funny gurgle sound as it went down. Well, we've kind of moved around quite a bit. So it's really hard to say what's really changed because we can't really compare the different places we've lived in as such. But one thing that I've noticed is,

Kalie (20:34.241)

Kalie (20:50.078)

Louisa Tanner Munson (20:55.111)
there's a lot more experts here now than there were. And the technology that we use is different, just in six years. So when we came out, both Kyle and I had smartphones, and I think we did have Spotify, and we might have used a little bit of Netflix, and we might use a bit of YouTube, but like normal TV was still quite a big thing, you know, in our, you know, where we came from and over here. And I've noticed that the technology that people are using is changing.

what it's like to be an expat. So for instance, I know you and Josh have lived in loads of different countries for many, many years. And I've lived in some other countries. And I noticed that when I was living in other countries, I actually listened to the local radio, I listened to the local television, I used to get newspapers. People aren't really doing, people don't really buy newspapers anymore necessarily. We get all of our news in our local language, the one that we actually speak.

Kalie (21:46.07)

Louisa Tanner Munson (21:50.847)
you know, everything pops up on our smartphones and we've got these great like, you know, years ago I'd actually go around with a dictionary in my purse. Don't need to anymore. You know, I've, yeah, I got my phone and it's bashed up. I mean, that's something I've noticed is your phones take a lot of damage on these hard floors. But you know, like technology has really made it easier to be an expert abroad, but that does also disconnect us.

Kalie (21:59.527)
Uh huh. Yeah, you have your phone. Yeah.

Kalie (22:07.999)

Louisa Tanner Munson (22:18.739)
because we're not having to think so hard to speak the language. We're not having to make so many changes ourselves. And it's like you can live the life you're already used to. So for instance, you know, if we don't wanna watch Portuguese television, we just don't have to watch it. I mean, we're not massive TV watches, but you know, kids like to watch a few things. And we're not even using TV anymore. Like we use YouTube or Netflix.

I mean, that's completely changed the landscape. And although that doesn't have anything directly, you know, that's not directly related to being an expat, but like if we go and stay in an Airbnb, there's Netflix, you know, you just log into your account. So it's, you're not necessarily having as much of a Portuguese experience anymore is my honest feeling because we just keep all of our podcasts, all the things we are used to, they just come with us. They're on demand.

Kalie (22:59.658)

Kalie (23:15.134)

Louisa Tanner Munson (23:18.1)
So I think we have to make a bit more of an effort or try a bit harder, or just get used to the fact that I think things are actually just becoming more international.

Kalie (23:27.958)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's a good way of putting it just becoming more international because I would think that even in places like, you know

outside of Portugal, if you move to, let's say, Italy, or not even in Europe, but somewhere in Asia, that it's the same thing, right? You get disconnected from what local stuff was because you don't need it anymore. You can have everything right at your fingertips and the language that you want, or the type of platform that you wanna use, and it's just right there. But it does disconnect us as people as well, too, right? So that's tough, making sure that we're still creating relationships and networking and such, and actual face-to-face.

Louisa Tanner Munson (23:35.967)

Louisa Tanner Munson (23:41.642)

Louisa Tanner Munson (23:49.663)


Louisa Tanner Munson (23:56.859)
Yeah, totally, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (24:02.569)

Kalie (24:04.866)
contact rather than it just being all digital.

Louisa Tanner Munson (24:07.727)
Exactly. And of course, do you have Uber where you are in Porto? Yeah. Like in, I mean, we don't have it here, which is great. So if we want to get a takeout, we actually go to the local takeout place and we converse and we chat and you know, we, we do all the things, but like, you know, when we go away and we go to Lisbon, um, all of a sudden you don't, you don't even need to speak to somebody. You just dial it up, whatever you want straight from your phone. So again, there's those ways as well that.

Kalie (24:11.19)

Kalie (24:33.516)

Louisa Tanner Munson (24:37.375)
You know, there's just so many ways. And like our kids, as they're growing up, they're not gonna know any different, but of course we know. And I'm sure most of your listeners will know what it was like, you know, when they traveled to foreign places. So the landscape is changing.

Kalie (24:44.246)

Kalie (24:52.334)
Mm-hmm, yeah, it reminds me, do your kids watch the show Bluey? I know Bluey's a big one for the kids. Yeah, Bluey's a good one. So there's that one episode of Bluey where they're playing with their grandfather and he's supposed to be ordering food on the phone and he tries to call and they're like, no, you don't call, we don't talk to you. And then he tries to order it and he goes to pick it up and they're like, what are you doing? Go back home, you sit in your home and we bring it.

Louisa Tanner Munson (24:57.127)
Yes, we love Bluey. Bluey's amazing!

Louisa Tanner Munson (25:12.013)

Kalie (25:18.782)
And then when Bingo tries to deliver it, he's like, oh hello, how are you tonight? And she's like, we don't talk. So it's just a joke on like, it's so true. Now you can literally get what you need without talking to anyone. So you have to be careful to making sure that you're connecting with people. Which actually brings me to my next question. You're talking about lots of expats where you live. So how do you connect with them and how do you build community so that you're actually doing face to face kind of things with the expats and the locals?

Louisa Tanner Munson (25:26.731)

Louisa Tanner Munson (25:31.391)

Louisa Tanner Munson (25:35.843)
Yeah. Okay.

Louisa Tanner Munson (25:47.612)
Yeah, well, I think a lot of, you know, I mean, it's quite easy for me because of what my husband Carl does. Can I just say quickly? Yeah, so he, you might know him from Good Morning Portugal, so that's a channel and, you know, he's basically organizing like discovery weekends, he's a weekly meetup and he's always doing stuff within the community. So

Kalie (25:57.299)
Yeah, of course, of course.

Louisa Tanner Munson (26:12.535)
I don't need to go looking for it because he kind of brings it to us in sometimes quite an inappropriate and annoying way. Like, you know, we'll be minding our own businesses, just wanting to do like a family thing and then all of a sudden it's like, oh God.

Yeah, but so we don't have to really try hard. It automatically gives us a lot of introductions, but I think, you know, most people when they, well, Facebook has really helped, hasn't it? Like when I first moved over or were thinking of moving over, we went onto Facebook and all we could really find about Portugal was the forum or the group, Pure Portugal. That's where we used to go.

and it had lots of comments and advice for people, especially if they were sort of homesteaders, really wanting to set up some kind of homestead. But there's all these groups that have sprung up, or maybe I've just got more used to finding them. I don't know which it is. I think it's... I think it's a good question. Exactly.

Kalie (27:08.8)
I think more groups have sprung up, yeah, just because it's become more popular and people are seeking more information. So, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (27:14.223)
Exactly. And I think it's in our culture now. I think people are naturally wanting to create content, to share content, to help people. We are naturally in this kind of share economy at the moment, I think. We're moving out of, yeah, it's almost like we're kind of coming into this flat, shared economy where everyone is adding to the collective somehow, you know? And so whenever I go to a new place, I always look for the local expat or the local town group.

Kalie (27:35.758)

Louisa Tanner Munson (27:44.495)
And, you know, that's, you know, I put in a little message, best opticians, I need to get my eyes tested. And there's loads and I can choose, but I just thought it would be good to get an idea from people, you know. So I think things like Facebook have played a really important role and just getting out and about life. We go to the beach and we're just chatting. You know, we, we hear somebody speaking English or somebody comes, they hear us speaking English. We might converse or if people have got kids similar age, you get chatting at a park before you know it. You're

you know, you've got a nice flow, a nice relationship. But I do think there is a bit of a difficulty. People, have you heard that phrase? It's like taking heaven by storm, you know, where you kind of rush into something and you don't really use much discernment. I think when people are away, and you guys might have found this yourself, but people make a beeline for you if they realize you're a fellow foreigner.

and that they want to go into this sort of ultra-friendly mode, which is really, really nice. Um, and so I noticed lots of people form friendships really fast. Um, but that doesn't mean to say they're going to be long relationships. It's like people intensely fall into something. And then I noticed they quite often intensely fall away. Um, you know, cause expats as a general rule, I think a slightly different people.

Kalie (28:59.446)

Louisa Tanner Munson (29:07.655)
You know, if we were normal, we'd all probably stay at home. I'm not saying we're not normal, but.

Kalie (29:11.315)
Yeah, but we have something that connects us in that sense, like our mindset and the way that we think and what we want to do, the lifestyle we want to live, right? So you gravitate towards that when you live in a new country. I tell this to people as well, but that doesn't mean like you, just because you're an expat and you have that, the same mindset there, that you're going to be best friends because you might have nothing else in common besides that.

Louisa Tanner Munson (29:14.568)

Louisa Tanner Munson (29:18.308)

Louisa Tanner Munson (29:31.083)
Exactly. Yeah.

Kalie (29:31.218)
So yeah, instead of being so intense on like, oh, everything's new, I'm trying to build community, you're an expat and we think the same, after you get to know them a little more, you might think, it's not that I don't like you, it's just that I've realized we just don't have much in common.

Louisa Tanner Munson (29:45.055)
Exactly, yeah. I mean, and I'm sure you've found this as well. A lot of expats, I mean, it might not be true at the moment. There might be, I mean, I've seen some more families coming over, but traditionally, expats have been retirees. You know, the people that have done their work, they're not looking to work. They've, they want to maximise their pensions. They want to make their money go a bit further and they want to live in a beautiful, warm place.

where they don't have to worry about the cold. You know, most people feel healthier in the warmth, don't they, especially if they've got something like arthritis or something, you know. So I can see why it attracts a lot of older people. And of course, you know, if you're being paired with older couples, you know, like one of the things I found is when I've made friends with people from a different generation and at a different stage in their life, you know, they don't have things to do all day, whereas

Kalie (30:14.55)


Louisa Tanner Munson (30:40.539)
We have things all day long. Yeah, we have to work. Both of us have to work. We've got kids and we have to have family, like spend time with our family and appreciate it. And so, we're at a really different pace. And so I have struggled over the years to meet up with people that are more, like doing similar things. But again, that doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna get on with them. Just cause like.

Kalie (30:41.302)
We have kids and work, right? Yeah.

Kalie (31:07.406)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (31:09.551)
I mean, I didn't like that in England and maybe I'm just a massive complainer. It's quite possible, isn't it? You know how some people like they instantly make friends with everyone else at the school run, you know, and everyone becomes friends because you're all at the same stage. Yeah, that I don't know. I like to make friends with people because we've got things in common, you know, like hobbies, things, interests, you know.

Kalie (31:14.751)

Kalie (31:30.017)

I think that means it'll last longer, generally, right? Just because you have kids the same age and maybe you work and you have kids and they're the same age doesn't mean that it's going to be this lifelong relationship and friendship, right? If there's no foundation, nothing to stand on, because what do you talk about? What do you do in your spare time rather than just go to playgrounds? You know, like, so I mean, yeah, it definitely gets deeper when you have someone who actually, that you share.

Louisa Tanner Munson (31:35.42)

Louisa Tanner Munson (31:42.539)


Louisa Tanner Munson (31:50.423)
Yeah! Yes.

Kalie (31:57.546)
the same interests in something. I definitely get that. And I think you've, there's been a shift since you've been there six years, or been here, there. I'm talking like, I'm not in Portugal too. But since, like six years ago, I would say it was a lot more retirees who were moving to Portugal, especially a lot more, I think, British, German, and Algarve has kind of been known for that, right? And then it kind of made lists for Portugal, so instead of, I mean, for Americans, because Portugal wasn't really on a lot of the lists. A lot of it was down.

Louisa Tanner Munson (31:59.519)

Louisa Tanner Munson (32:05.396)

Louisa Tanner Munson (32:12.138)

Louisa Tanner Munson (32:17.352)

Kalie (32:27.502)
south of the US, so you get Mexico, you get Costa Rica, you get Ecuador, places like that. So now all of a sudden people are thinking, oh, I can retire in Europe. What a great option that is. So we kind of saw that evolution, and then it's moved even past that with people, especially a silver lining, I guess, of COVID is that companies are allowing people to work remotely. So it's like, okay, I can still have my job, and my family can live here. I can maybe have a better work-life balance, or I can live in Europe, which has always been a dream of mine.

Louisa Tanner Munson (32:36.991)

Kalie (32:57.49)
you know doors for my family. So now I think we're seeing it's, you know there's still a lot of retirees that are coming here but then you're shifting to families as well, which is nice. But you know obviously families are still like really spread out. I think in Porto we find there's more of them, you know, because it's a big city, so you have maybe more options for networking parents who need you know work stuff, but then also schools, things like that. So sometimes I think some of the smaller towns, they're still lacking in the expat families just because.

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:04.02)

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:09.565)

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:19.124)

Kalie (33:24.318)
it's not always conducive to the certain lifestyle that people are looking for right away. So you still get the retirees that are going to some of these smaller places like where you are and less families because of maybe amenities and resources, right?

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:28.563)

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:32.798)

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:36.503)
Yeah, yeah. Um, we have managed to meet loads of families though, which is good, but it's taken us a while. Um, but yeah, like our kids, I mean, um, one of them's just had his birthday and our house was full of kids. Just coming in from different areas as well, you know, um.

Kalie (33:40.462)
It's good.

Kalie (33:49.154)
Yeah, that's good. That's exciting. It's happening, you know. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (33:54.619)
Yeah, so yeah, it's great fun. They definitely don't feel like they're on their own or anything and we've got friends that we meet at particular pubs, like there's some great places, you know, with bouncy castles and stuff. So we've got different friends for different things, I guess, and we've got lots of pseudo grandparents around as well. So, you know, we've got all these wonderful, I mean, we do love loads of our good retired friends, you know, who maybe miss their grandchildren and then they've got kind of pseudo grandchildren

Kalie (34:09.26)

Kalie (34:20.97)

Louisa Tanner Munson (34:24.513)
parents, pseudo grandparents. So we're all kind of matching up. But like expats don't always stay, you know, lots do, like you mentioned, so many Americans went from the North to the South, you know, to New Mexico and stuff. And I've seen lots of people come from New Mexico to Europe. So the kinds of people that move one place might also then move again. If you've got the guts to do it.

Kalie (34:28.562)
Yeah, yeah.

Kalie (34:47.113)

Louisa Tanner Munson (34:49.487)
and you feel fit enough to do it and you want to explore more. So I think, you know, expats do have a tendency to move around a little bit more.

Kalie (34:56.21)
Yeah, I think that is the mindset too. So that is hard when you connect with a family or someone and then life takes them somewhere else. So that's always a difficult thing, but something to definitely think about as an expat, for sure. But it's really nice to see this evolution of more people feeling comfortable coming at any stage of life. Whether that's, I mean, a lot more single women have been reaching out to us and like, can I do this? I'm thinking about doing this. Maybe they're divorced or their spouse passed, their spouse.

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:04.134)

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:08.214)

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:16.68)

Kalie (35:24.87)
or they were never married or their kids are older or whatever it is, but now the technology's really helped with that, right? So they feel like a lot more comfortable to do this. So you've got a whole array of people in different stages of life come into Portugal, which is really nice to see how that's changing.

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:25.556)

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:32.259)
It really, really hurts.

Louisa Tanner Munson (35:44.735)
Yeah, I mean, I just think we're really, really blessed. I mean, it's a really nice pace as well. Um, you know, I mean, we're not by any means like the, the bulk of the expats, you know, um, one thing I have noticed is there's a lot more Brazilian people coming in. Um,

And that's really great as well. I really love the energy of the Brazilians, you know, and they're really quite family oriented as well. And there's lots of people that are really curious about foreign kids and foreign families. You know, we live in a little neighborhood. We, I mean, we picked a really suburban house just on the outskirts of town. And, and we thought, oh yeah, we're moving into this really suburban area. It's going to be loads of kids. You know, there's going to be loads of kids for our kids to play with as well. And, and.

Kalie (36:07.369)

Louisa Tanner Munson (36:32.975)
And actually a lot of them are holiday homes. So there are a few kids. Yeah, there are a few kids. And funnily enough, an American family just literally moved in across the road with kids. And they mentioned that they watch you guys and they knew us as well, which is really weird. They like moved in, looked, and were like really surprised. Yeah. So we've had some conversations with them. But apart from that, we've got Portuguese neighbors that also speak French, which is great for me. Cause I...

Kalie (36:36.865)
So it's a little quiet.

Kalie (36:48.142)
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like, wait a second. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (37:00.559)
speak French and Pidgin Portuguese. But you know, everyone's really friendly and respectful. Like, you know, we just had Halloween and I heard this kind of, Psst, Louisa, Louisa. And like my neighbors are like holding bags of sweets over the wall, you know, for our kids. Which is really nice, yeah. So we're starting to settle down a little bit and you know, get roots.

Kalie (37:19.671)
Oh, yeah, yeah.

Kalie (37:24.97)
Yeah, it's...

really nice. Portuguese overall are just so family-friendly, which I really love. It makes it so much easier just to have a great lifestyle where you can go out to restaurants and it's okay, it's acceptable to have your kids there. The Portuguese are waving at them. So I do love being able to raise a child here in Portugal, which is nice. And then you were mentioning Brazil is the same. A lot of Brazilians are coming here, which makes sense because of the language, but then also I think Portugal is much safer than Brazil right now especially.

Louisa Tanner Munson (37:39.235)
Oh yeah!

Louisa Tanner Munson (37:49.571)
Oh yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (37:55.748)

Kalie (37:56.304)
We have some friends who have kids and they wanted their kids to grow up in a safe environment. So Portugal is just a great option for Brazilians. We see a lot of Brazilians who are here as well, which is nice to get the mix of the different nationalities to be able to just let your kids kind of see this is the world. We're living in a more international type world. Again, back to technology as well, allowing that, but just being an expat as well.

Louisa Tanner Munson (38:02.44)

Louisa Tanner Munson (38:10.056)

Louisa Tanner Munson (38:19.911)

Louisa Tanner Munson (38:23.911)
Yeah, I think they get a much broader perspective when they're hanging around with other expat children and yeah, children from all nationalities. You know, it just makes the world seem a lot more accessible to them, you know? And of course, a lot of families now aren't necessarily that nuclear, you know, like there might be, like their friends might have parents that have got older children from other marriages and things like that. So, you know, some of our kids' friends have got...

Kalie (38:37.079)

Louisa Tanner Munson (38:52.883)
brothers and sisters in other countries doing other things. In fact, they've, our three have, my husband, Carly's got two older daughters and two grandchildren. And so one lives in England, one lives in Italy. You know, so all of these, as we're sort of connecting and then learning more about each other's families, it's just, I don't know, things are just so much more expanded. I think it's a great opportunity.

Kalie (39:16.626)
Yeah. It's a great time to be living, I guess. I mean, obviously, there's been a lot of ups and downs with other things going on. But to look on the bright side of things, like you're saying, being blessed and just being able to have this opportunity. And Portugal's providing this opportunity for us and for our kids, which is really, really awesome. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (39:22.183)

Louisa Tanner Munson (39:25.628)

Louisa Tanner Munson (39:30.538)

Louisa Tanner Munson (39:34.651)
Yeah. It's very special. Yeah, it really truly is. Yeah. I couldn't imagine being back home. I mean, I was talking to some friends back home and that's where I really notice a difference. Now I haven't actually been back to the UK. It's gonna be six years in December. I just haven't been back. I went back two and a half months in.

Kalie (39:54.066)
Okay, so when you left you haven't been back, like when you went back right.


Louisa Tanner Munson (40:02.487)
My mother had a stroke and she was quite poorly and they didn't want me to go over and crowd them or anything. When my mum was able to have visitors, they said, come back, come back and say hello. And so it just so happened to coincide with the time when it was starting to get colder. And when we moved in, we thought, oh, it's a thousand kilometres.

Kalie (40:12.755)

Louisa Tanner Munson (40:23.127)
south of England, we're not going to need jumpers or coats or anything like that. And so we'd put all of our winter clothes in storage in the UK with a lot of our things, because we didn't shift everything over in one go. We wanted to be, you know, a little bit cagey, like kind of dancing between two countries for a while. Yeah. And so within the first two and a half months, we realized we needed a lot of.

Kalie (40:26.387)
Hahaha. Yeah.

Kalie (40:34.967)

Kalie (40:39.874)
Check it out. Yeah, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (40:47.355)
warm clothes. So we went back. Yeah, we went back to visit my mom, check she was all right. And also to fill our suitcases, like we came with empty suitcases, filled them up with winter clothes and then came back. But I've spoken to like friends about what's going on in their kids' lives and stuff back in the UK. And I'm hearing some real horror stories, you know, and obviously it's not like that for everyone, but...

Kalie (40:47.862)
Yeah, all that stuff you left.

Louisa Tanner Munson (41:15.963)
you know, like where we used to live in Devon. You know, I've heard of all sorts of things, you know, where violence is on the rise and there's a lot of difficulties in schools. There's yeah, there's just it just sounds very stressed. Like, you know, I don't I don't want to kind of name it really and say society's falling apart, because I think if you talk about it, it kind of happens. But yeah, from.

Kalie (41:31.148)

Louisa Tanner Munson (41:43.143)
from what I'm hearing, people aren't as contented. There you go, that's an easier way of talking about it. People don't seem to be happy in their lives as much as they were. And yet I just don't have that. Things got hard, I think, like a couple of years in, because I think the honeymoon period wears off and then it's your reality. And you've got lots of things to, there's a lot of grieving, I think, that goes on.

without realizing, you know, you, within your first year, you'll realize that there's loads of birthdays of loved ones that you don't get to spend with them. You have your own birthdays, you're not with your family and stuff. And there's all these different things that you don't quite consider before you move away. But like now, six years on, like we just feel like life is getting better and better and better. And we're getting more and more established. We're getting ourselves back on track.

It takes a while, well, it took us a while. I know some people are super organized. You know, they know exactly what they're doing, where they're gonna be living, how it all works. Good for them. It's really not us. We've taken a very sort of circuitous route and I think we are back in our vibe again. You know, we're sort of like heading in the right direction.

Kalie (42:48.907)
Yeah, but that's not you. Yeah.

Kalie (43:00.118)
That's good to know though, just because sometimes even someone who is organized and who says, I know exactly where I want to be, that doesn't mean it's going to pan out the way you thought, right? So just being flexible to the idea of that you might fall away for a little bit and whatever that looks like, and just soldier on, and chat with other expats who are going through the same thing, or who have gone through it already, because that's so helpful. Because sometimes I think that's a thing like what we were talking about earlier, where expats had the same mentality with things. So when you talk with family back in your home country,

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:07.495)

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:12.989)

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:19.911)

Kalie (43:30.032)
grew up with, that you've been lifelong friends, but they chose a different route. They don't understand it, right? They don't understand when you talk about certain things that are difficult as an expat. So that's where you can really connect with the different expats in your community or just around the country that you're living in to make that connection and understand and help each other through those things, right?

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:33.962)

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:37.215)

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:42.155)

Louisa Tanner Munson (43:47.827)
Definitely, definitely. And because I've lived in quite a few different countries, not as many as you guys, but I'm actually in touch with most of my expat friends from other countries as well, because I made really solid bonds with them. And so I'm still in touch with people from like 20 years ago, 15 years ago. And of course, like the internet facilitates that, doesn't it? You know, I was chatting to my friend from Bali today for an hour, you know, it's really easy.

Kalie (43:56.757)

Kalie (44:12.907)
Uh huh.

Louisa Tanner Munson (44:15.331)
So I think that's also helped, you know, because if I can't find it immediately here, I've still got other contacts and a context to have those relationships in. Like when we moved here just over two years ago.

Kalie (44:26.401)

Louisa Tanner Munson (44:33.219)
We were buying in furniture and it was starting to feel like, oh, okay, we're renting, but it feels like this is a kind of semi permanent home. And right before Christmas, I just burst into tears. All of a sudden I just thought, what have I done? I've taken our kids away from England. I've taken them away from the potential family. God, I wish I had my family around me. Sorry. Work the table. My camera wobbles.

Kalie (44:58.397)
Hmm. Burp. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (45:03.053)
Oh gosh, you know, like when I was growing up, you know, every Christmas we'd go to the same place, the same people would be there. And it just occurred to me that my kids weren't growing up with that same sense of consistency and that feeling of being held by a community. And I felt a terrible amount of guilt about, you know, what impact that might have on our kids. I now realize that actually our kids...

actually feel really quite held anyway. And they're not even looking for it. It just doesn't, I think that was just something that I experienced, but they've never really experienced it. We've moved around a lot. They've always actually felt safe because I don't know, the way we do it has felt okay and we've always been together. Um, but yeah, for me, it was obviously one of my values. I wasn't ready to give up on, uh, to have a real good cry. I was a little bit down for a few days. Um, not too long, but you know, it's just.

I guess we have these expectations and ways of being and every now and again you'll get triggered. It's guaranteed. Yeah. I mean, if you had any moments like that, I know you've been away for a long time, haven't you?

Kalie (46:08.283)
That's true. Yeah, especially if you're just...

Kalie (46:13.95)
Yeah, we've been doing it for so long. I think it's a little different now that we have a child, right? Just I think it surprised me it hit Josh a little harder than me.

Louisa Tanner Munson (46:18.485)

Kalie (46:23.314)
Last time we went back and we were able, because when we left she was nine months old. So she met some of the cousins, not all of them, but some of them and they were older so they remember her, but she obviously doesn't remember them. So then we were back in March, April of this year and she's older and can play and can realize we've been talking with these people on the screen, these are my cousins. And so it was nice to see that, right? To see connecting with family. And so Josh was like, maybe we should go back a little more often because in the past we wouldn't, we would travel,

Louisa Tanner Munson (46:27.241)

Louisa Tanner Munson (46:32.475)

Louisa Tanner Munson (46:43.132)

Louisa Tanner Munson (46:51.837)

Kalie (46:53.168)
different places, we'd spend holidays elsewhere. So now it's like, okay, so maybe we need to make sure that we keep those connections stronger than when it was just the two of us. So things change, obviously, when you have kids and you think about, you want them to have a relationship with their family, even if we don't live in the same country. So you get that a little bit, and I think that's something good for people to realize when they move, no matter what stage of life they're in, whether they're moving and they

Louisa Tanner Munson (47:04.52)
Yeah, they do.

Kalie (47:23.088)
or adults, it's gonna be different. And it's tough, because in the States, like, the States are so big, so you might live in a completely different state from your family member, and so you're not seeing them daily anyway, but then when you move into a different country, it feels a little different as well, even though it's like, well, I wasn't actually seeing them daily, and I was talking to them on the phone, and that's gonna literally be the exact same thing I'm going to do here, but it feels a little different, because you're so much further away, so if something happens or something.

Louisa Tanner Munson (47:39.858)

Louisa Tanner Munson (47:47.899)

Louisa Tanner Munson (47:51.272)

Kalie (47:52.182)
But yeah, it's just good to make sure that you keep up the connections. You know, you have to be intentional about keeping those connections, because if you're not, then it can very easily fall away, and it can go, you realize, oh my gosh, I haven't spoken with someone so in a month or something. So you have to be intentional about it.

Louisa Tanner Munson (47:56.299)
You don't have to be intentional. Yeah, you do.

Louisa Tanner Munson (48:07.388)
Yeah, I agree. And also like if you're in a different time zone, that can really also create some issues because you're used to talking to people at the same time and you can't say like, like you say, you have to be intentional. I mean, we've met ex-pats who came over and had the intention of flying back to America to visit their grandchildren.

but they had the intention of doing it maybe three or four times a year. And then in the year that they moved over, the prices of travel just shot through the roof. And you know, that was going to create such a pressure on their lifestyle. In the end, they, they moved back.

Kalie (48:40.654)

Louisa Tanner Munson (48:47.539)
because it was really difficult. So it's a lot easier from us, like from the UK to Portugal. I think the prices have gone up quite a bit and we heard from somebody recently that it was actually better to travel to Vigo or Vigo in Spain and then fly from there because there's cheap flights there. So I think that's what we'll do. Have you done? Ha ha ha.

Kalie (48:47.659)

Kalie (49:01.994)
Vigo, yeah, in Spain, uh-huh, yeah. Yeah. I had a friend do that actually. She's British, yeah, and she did that. She was visiting Porto and then went up to Vigo and then flew from there, so yeah, little hacks, little hacks, yeah. Yeah, but it is so true. I think people just need to understand that it's just going to be different, right? There will be times that you grieve and times that you are excited because you're ready to host your family. They come visit or whatever that might look like, but...

Louisa Tanner Munson (49:14.747)
Yeah, there's always a way.

Louisa Tanner Munson (49:23.444)

Louisa Tanner Munson (49:30.409)

Kalie (49:31.782)
It's not for everyone. Some people do go back go back to where you know their home country is but well

Louisa Tanner Munson (49:37.339)
Yeah, it makes us richer, I think, maybe not financially, but it does bring a richness to life. We have different experiences. I'm so grateful for them, really am. Yeah, it's great.

Kalie (49:43.049)

Kalie (49:50.094)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Same with us. So grateful. And then grateful to pass it on to our child, right, to the kids. And then they can choose if they want to go back to the country they're, you know, they're born in or they're from or continue on the crazy expat lifestyle as well. They have options, right?

Louisa Tanner Munson (50:03.367)
Yeah. I mean, our four year old, he thinks he is American, Portuguese, British. He thinks he's got three nationalities. No, no, there's no American in there at all. But I think that's, you know, because he watches a bit of YouTube and Netflix. So like the American, like everything is Americanized. I think that is another difference actually I've noticed. Because...

Kalie (50:17.515)
And there's no American in there, right? I mean.

Kalie (50:25.694)
Yeah, everything.

Louisa Tanner Munson (50:33.731)
I think even Portuguese culture is probably influenced a lot by internet culture. So for instance, our kids, our older kids in particular, really like Minecraft. And so there's loads of Minecraft channels, you know, for like young teens. And they're nearly always American. You know, and...

And there'll be Portuguese children watching those as well. There'll be Italian children, Spanish children. You know, I've got my own channel, Feel Good Astrology, and I'm having people from Europe like watching. You know, so they're learning things from, like loads of people are watching English speaking channels. A lot. And so again, like teenagers growing up now, even if they're Portuguese, aren't gonna be as Portuguese as they were 20 years ago.

Kalie (51:13.49)

Kalie (51:22.21)
Hmm, yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (51:23.135)
You know, they're understanding American references. Our kids are understanding American references. And so like their cultural standpoint and like their music, their fashion, everything's influenced by a slightly more generalized, I don't know, point of attraction. You know, things are less individual. Definitely more global.

Kalie (51:43.519)

Yeah, it's more global, right? Things are less individual and less nationalistic or country-centric, I suppose, because you have access now. Again, back to technology. I feel like this has been a lot about technology, right?

Louisa Tanner Munson (51:53.161)

Louisa Tanner Munson (51:57.607)
Well, yeah, I mean, just think what's going to happen with AI as well, you know, without getting all doom and gloom. You're right. I mean, everything is getting global. And so we might not notice the impact of it right now. But when the young Portuguese people come into their kind of ascendancy or something as they're coming into work and as they're, you know, they're probably just going to be speaking English.

Kalie (52:20.119)

Louisa Tanner Munson (52:22.299)
a lot more. I mean, you know, when, when I go to fashion, not fashion shops, I'm cause I'm not really a sort of fashion consumption person, but like if I go to a shop in particular, clothes shops, um, even though I might be in Tamar or somewhere in deepest darkest Portugal, if I go into a shop, they've nearly always got their signs. Now a lot of their signs are in English. You know, like, um, I was looking at, um, was it Springfield or somewhere like that. And then behind the counter,

Kalie (52:27.682)

Kalie (52:42.978)
Hmm. Yeah.

Louisa Tanner Munson (52:51.495)
all of the signage isn't in British or American, you know, you know, like why? I mean, it just is, isn't it? You know, there's still so many more Portuguese, but all of a sudden, the English language is infiltrating everywhere. So yeah, I think, you know, whilst we don't notice it so much now in 20 years time, this could be a lot more English, like there's gonna be a lot more English spoken, I think.

Kalie (52:55.987)
Yeah, yeah, it's interesting, yeah.

Kalie (53:07.618)

Louisa Tanner Munson (53:21.991)
which could really change a culture. So it's an interesting one.

Kalie (53:24.174)
It definitely could, yeah. Yeah, we do live in interesting times. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that will change things too.

Louisa Tanner Munson (53:29.655)
Yeah, and AI will facilitate that. But it will most likely also bring in more opportunities as well, you know, because it could bring in more global working options and things like that. You know, it could, you know, I think for our children growing up in international communities and understanding what it's like to have different cultures nearby, you know, and of course, we could just got Spain.

not that far away. You know, we are, you know, we can get out and about in Europe and stuff. So our kids are meeting European kids, American kids, kids from all over the world. As they get older, I think they could easily work in these kind of really diverse working groups. Because so many people work from home. I mean, that's another big difference. So many people work from home. Like when I was living in France, I couldn't work from home, you know. Didn't even have a mobile phone. I was only like 20.

Kalie (54:24.018)

Louisa Tanner Munson (54:27.187)
So I was working for a French campsite owner, and I've worked in different places that I've lived in, but they were always owned by the nationals of those countries. Now you don't need to. So both Carla and I work from home, we work for ourselves, and we work with English speaking people predominantly. It's only when we step outside of our house that we're really in Portugal. It's different. Yeah.

Kalie (54:49.628)

Kalie (54:53.198)
Mm-hmm. It's a tricky balance, right? A tricky balance just with how things are. It's like there's pros and cons to it, right?

Louisa Tanner Munson (55:01.115)
Yeah, I mean, we could we could be living anywhere in the world and pretty much have the same life we've got now. Apart from, you know, when we want to go to the beach.

Kalie (55:05.587)
Mm-hmm, yeah.

Well then let's end on this, because you could be doing this anywhere, but you've chosen Portugal, and you're, you know, I don't wanna say like putting down roots, but becoming more comfortable in that sense. So why have you chosen Portugal then, if you could be anywhere in the world doing what you're doing?

Louisa Tanner Munson (55:13.067)
Hmm, definitely.

Louisa Tanner Munson (55:19.549)

Louisa Tanner Munson (55:24.923)
Well, that's a great question. I'd never been to Portugal. Literally, when I came, that was my first visit. Carla had been before. So I'd lived in France, Italy, and Bali in Indonesia, and somewhere else. Well, I can't even remember where I was. Yeah. It will come into my mind after. And.

Kalie (55:45.214)
It's been so long, so long ago.

Louisa Tanner Munson (55:52.207)
So when I met Carl, he said, you know, I'm actually planning on moving to Portugal. And I said, what was it like? And he said, well, it's really green and there's lots of hills and mountains and river beaches and things like that. I mean, he was obviously talking about central Portugal, which is where he'd been. And he showed me pictures and I thought, wow, that really reminds me of Bali because, you know, Bali has quite a lot of heights and it's really green. And, and, and I thought, wow, that's kind of nice. And then.

we like chatted about it, I learnt a little bit more about it. It was more affordable. So obviously, you know, if we were going to go to Europe, I would have imagined us going to France because we both speak French. And I'm, you know, I've lived there for five years. But it was really expensive by comparison. And, you know, at the time, like when we were wanting to move away, it was because we both wanted to work for ourselves. We didn't want to have to have full time jobs if we could avoid it.

Not because we work shy, but because we were old parents. I mean, Carl had kids when he was really young who are now grown up, but we were older parents and I wanted to have time with my children. I'd spent years working really, really hard. So I wanted to spend time with them. And we knew in the UK, we would need to either be like really, really in well-paid jobs, to be able to work part-time.

and to be able to spend time with our children. We just knew it wasn't possible. And also we wanted to have that feeling of a bit more space. Like you were saying, children in Portugal, in restaurants and things, they love kids. Sorry, that's another thing about Portugal, this flies around. I need my fly zapper. But yeah, they love kids here.

Kalie (57:37.454)

Louisa Tanner Munson (57:45.367)
In England, it's not so apparent. You know, they're seen as a bit of a pain. And I remember one night, I'm going to visit, I think, Carl's mom. And it was quite late and our kids were awake and we're walking through this station and there were no kids. There's no kids anywhere. And it's in London. They should have been other families, but like, where were they? All the kids were in bed or something, you know, in Portugal, they really quite like a late night and kids are part of life and that's what we wanted. And we knew we could get that in Europe.

So yeah, we thought we'd come to Portugal and see if we liked it. And it just felt really, you know, we went to a couple of their festas and it reminded me a little bit of that vibe I was talking about that I missed for my children, you know, that I experienced as a child, you know, where we would go to the same place and, you know, there was granny's great grandparents, auntie's uncles, cousins and that kind of thing. I grew up with that kind of energy.

And yeah, I can't replicate it here, but when we went to the festas, like the parties that people have in their villages, we got a sense of that. That was still happening and that felt really, really good. Yeah. So it feels like it's a bit like Portugal feels like it's maybe culturally 20 to 30 years behind where the UK is. And that's not to say that the Portuguese are backward in any way. What I mean is the family values still seem to be really

Kalie (58:52.004)
Mm. Mm-hmm.

Louisa Tanner Munson (59:11.283)
persistent and we just wanted to indulge on that as much as possible. And we've not regretted it. Yeah, it's totally good. It's all good. Yeah.

Kalie (59:17.63)
Yeah, so in a good way. Mm-hmm. Oh, great. Well, Louisa, thanks so much for joining me today. Yeah, it's been a couple of years, so let's have a good chat.

Louisa Tanner Munson (59:26.975)
Oh, thank you for inviting me. When I got that invite, I was like, oh, how fun. Yeah. Well, it's a nice vibe, isn't it? It's a nice little girly chat, you know, like woman to woman, mother to mother. I really liked that. Thank you for having me.

Kalie (59:37.982)

Kalie (59:42.474)
Yeah. Oh, thank you.

Creators and Guests

Brit mum, living on the silver coast of Portugal, with an online coaching business. I don't get out enough!
Crafting Community and Connection with Louisa
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