From California to Portugal: Finding Home Across the Globe with Nancy

Producer Dan (00:12)
Expat, you're tuned in to Let's Move to Portugal. I'm producer Dan and I have the distinct honor of bringing you, YouTube travelers and our resident Portugal experts, Expat's everywhere's Josh and Kaylee. Each week, they'll inspire, they'll educate, and they'll accompany you on your journey to Portuguese residency.

This week on Let's Move to Portugal, Kaylee is joined by Nancy, who shares her fascinating journey from the sunny shores of California to the charming landscapes of Portugal, exploring the realities and joys of the expat life.

Producer Dan (01:04)
Hey expats and travelers, welcome back to the expats everywhere presents, let's move to Portugal podcast. Kaylee, how you doing? Typical question, I'm doing well, yes. I guess not much to report. The weather's been good here, but there's rain in the forecast, which is kind of a bummer. Other than that, I'm doing well, what about you? It's nice and sunny outside right now. I'm doing well. I'm not doing well necessarily because your parents left yesterday.

But oh you're so sad that they've left. I think their trip was really fast. I mean they were here for Essentially six nights and it was just too fast. That's very sweet of you. Yes. They're not gonna hear this I'm not trying to say it better. I'm up. Yeah. Well, I guess for you listener My parents come every you know, two times a year I guess every spring every fall because they like to cruise over or back one of the legs one of the legs is the transatlantic. Yeah

because my dad's just kind of done with flying. So they do that. So for them, they were already on the ship for almost two weeks anyway. So they're only here a week this time and then back, because my mom had to get back to work, I think. Although she works remotely, she had to get into the office to deal with some stuff. So it was a shorter visit than normal. Yeah. Yeah, but just being able to see the way our daughter, their granddaughter, loves them and spends time with them is great. Also gives us a little break.

Yes, yes. Late night babysitting, which was helpful and sleepovers for them. So yeah, they had a good time. It was quick though. It was quick. Yes. And if you're not familiar with the format of this podcast, we have a opening message. Then we kind of talk a little bit about what's happening in the world of expats everywhere, both personally and professionally. And then we jump into the interview. So we're kind of midway through that right now. I just want to give you a little.

update on what's happening on the channel. So this past month has been a lot of comparing and contrasting Spain and Portugal and it will kind of continue to be like that on the YouTube channel. Maybe not as much moving forward with the podcast, but we will have another Portugal video out on the second channel.

Yes, on Expats Everywhere Explores. Yes. So we do have a second channel that dives, I think, more into different countries, different cities. Yeah. Expats Everywhere has gotten a lot into the details of Portugal, but we do know that there are other places that people want to visit that you want to visit or possibly move to. So we have Expats Everywhere Explores, which is a much smaller channel, but we're starting to build it up a little bit. And we are getting ready to put out a country guide. We do different guides of cities and countries there. So we're going to put out a Portugal.

country guide on that channel if you want a more of an overview of the country but then we'll also have other countries there as well. Yep. Big day today. Big week really this past week and moving forward with our project. So when I refer to our project we're talking about our real estate development here in Porto.

where we have personally purchased a property. That's a lot of peas here in Portugal, here in Porto, Portugal. So we bought a property and it's under redevelopment. We've kind of gotten through all of the licensing phases, at least that I know of. But essentially we've poured concrete for the crane foundation footing and that has been curing over the weekends. And then tomorrow is when they're going to construct the

Crane erect the crane. Can I say that piece by piece? Put it up. I just say yeah put it together and then today this morning I met with the Project leader from the company that we're using and then a third party engineer that's gonna be doing the kind of third party project management So he's gonna make sure that what the company we're using Says they've done and are doing that they're doing no corners being cut with either

work or materials. So finally connected those pieces today and I'm feeling really good about it. Like everybody seems to be on the same page. Things seem to be amicable, amicable, not in a, not in a, in a, in a bad way. Cause sometimes like when things get amicable, amicable, I can't even say that word. Uh, it, it's like, in a bad way. Well, it can be like, not, well, it can be like, are they in cahoots with each other? Like, do you know what I mean? But it's not like that at all.

I'm not worried about it. No, but it's generally a positive word, I would say. No, it is. So I think you're using it, you use it, it means in a positive way. I am. Okay. Yeah. So all things be going well there. Yeah, yeah. And I think we've been saying it for weeks, but we should have a video out on the other, on Let's Get Building with Josh and Kaylee. Should be soon, right? It should be. This week. It should be. This week is the hope. Well, that's the hope. I mean, I'm working through the footage now, but here's the funny thing, and I thought about this as I was on the site today. Like, I'm capturing footage already for the next episode. Mm -hmm.

The crane, right? That's got to be the crane. And it's just like all sorts of files and stuff that I'm having a hard time keeping it organized. Not only in physical drives, but also in my head. I think the good thing though is the first video will come out soon and the second one will come out soon after that because we've had so long where we've been trying to wait on certain things and we've had delays. So we've been picking up...

small footage here and there. Now stuff's kind of really rolling, right? We have a lot more movement and especially with the crane going up, that could pop, I don't know if you're gonna do a whole episode on that, that could be. And at some point we get to go up the crane is what we've been told. Well that, I mean that should all be in the same episode. Okay, so that could come out very quickly as well. It could. So we might hopefully have them rolling, right? Yeah, it definitely could. Last update is that over the weekend we had our...

patron -only Skype chat which was great because we got to do a deep dive into What things should people bring like what things do they arrive here and they realize they miss it's like we had a five -minute conversation on what's your favorite peanut butter everybody's showing their jars It was really funny, but it was a you know The first half of it was a little more technical and then the second half the other 30 minutes was more light -hearted and Jovial sharing different personal experiences here

In Portugal, so that was cool. Had a lot of fun doing that. I think what's fun about that is we have patrons who are in all different stages So some were patrons before and they now have moved here and they've lived here for a while and they continue to support us Which is great. We thank you for that So then they have a lot of insight and experience as well and they come at you know different angles different stages of life different financial backgrounds What they're looking for where they're living so it's fun for us all to get on there and get a whole mix of some people who are Just thinking about moving all the way to people who have been here for years. I?

It was nice to get a good mix. And although we facilitate the calls, it's not like the Josh and Kaylee show like this is. We can't actually have a conversation exactly. But yeah, it's great. It's a good conversation. It's two -way. OK, so let's segue then into I spoke with Nancy. And speaking about our project, she also, they had a project as well where they bought a place and went through renovations. And she kind of tracked it herself. But before that,

when they moved, they landed in the Lisbon region and they were in Cache -Cache for a little bit. So she has some great comparisons of what life was like in Cache -Cache for a little bit and how it wasn't actually for them. Too big, they loved it, they say it's beautiful, but too big for them, not what they're looking for, and so they ended up moving and buying a property in Algarve. Nice. In a smaller town. So she's got a lot of good insight into what that was like. She's been here for a few years. She has a substack so you can follow her.

on that and follow her journey. So she's a wealth of knowledge as well. A different stage of life has been here for a couple years. So it was a good conversation. Yeah, I was sitting on the other side of the computer. So I only heard like one side of the conversation. I heard your questions being asked, but I didn't get to hear her responses. So I'm looking forward to listening to it. Shall we? Let's go. Let's do it.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (08:50)
Nancy, thanks so much for joining me. I'm really excited to talk to you because you're down in Algarve, you've bought a place, you've been here for several years. So I'm really looking forward to jumping in and talking about why you chose Portugal and how it's going for you. So let's go ahead and back up there. Why did you choose Portugal?

nancy whiteman (09:08)
Um, there was nothing scientific about it. It was, uh, it was COVID in the United States. We had talked about leaving the United States since 2016. Um, but, uh, I had a aging mother and it didn't really become a possibility until 2020. In 2020, we kind of got serious about it. Um,

And we had a lot of time to think about it with COVID lockdowns and such. We lived in California at the time. And so we had never been to Portugal. It was not on our radar. But as we read, you know, all the magazines, you know, best places to retire, fortune, international living, all those kinds of magazines, Portugal kept coming high on the list of European destinations. And Europe was high on our list.

So we just decided to come and about, we started in, I guess, August and in October we had our visas and we flew over in December. So.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (10:14)
And did you cut all ties with things in California? You sold everything and full on moved over here. And you had never been here before.

nancy whiteman (10:20)
Correct. And, but I know that sounds crazy, but that's not difficult for us. We've been married 27 years and we've owned seven houses. Actually, this is house number eight. So we're, we're used to picking up and moving after a few years, either for business reasons or just cause we want a different environment. All of the prior moves for me had been within the United States, but we had sold.

Five of our seven houses turned key over the years. So we were used to just starting fresh. And so that was easy for us.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (10:58)
Okay, so you were really looking forward to the adventure and just something different.

nancy whiteman (11:01)
Yeah, yeah, we wanted to, um, we knew once we got into Europe, it would be much easier to travel throughout Europe. We had traveled some, but we had vacationed in Europe. We hadn't lived in Europe. We hadn't really experienced many of the places that we had visited. So we wanted the opportunity to come over, live in a place, you know, travel at a more leisurely pace, spend time, more time in places that we wanted to explore. Um, and so that's why we.

came over when we did.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (11:32)
And you came over on the D7 visa? Okay.

nancy whiteman (11:34)
Yes. Yeah. It was, and it was for us, it was really easy. We did hire a relocation company based out of Porto, but they, they basically held our hands. The biggest benefit of them is at the time San Francisco was closed and they said, and we lived in California and they said, you know, anybody in the South? And we said, yeah, we just moved from Florida. Would any of those people want you to use their address?

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (12:00)
Uh -huh.

nancy whiteman (12:03)
And we said, sure. So we acted like we were in Florida and worked through the DC consulate. And so that was the biggest benefit we got from the relocation company was that little piece of advice.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (12:17)
Yeah, I remember that, 2020, because San Francisco, they stayed closed a lot longer than DC because that's around the time that we had to apply as well. But we were in Florida, so we had access to the DC VFS office, which was nice because it opened up much faster than the San Francisco one did. Okay, great. So then where have you landed in Portugal?

nancy whiteman (12:27)

Our first stop, which was only for five or six weeks, was in Sturill, outside of Lisbon. And that we found over the internet, sight unseen, nobody looked at it. It was a very traditional multi -family Portuguese house, but it was much older without central heat and central air conditioning. So we kind of drug a...

electric heater from room to room. And we looked at the owner of the apartment whose apartment we could see into from ours, where her puffy coat in the house all the time. So we felt this is not where we want to stay. So we had only paid three months rent upfront for that apartment. So we left and just said, keep your money and we'll go.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (13:19)

nancy whiteman (13:30)
And we found a beautiful, beautiful apartment in Kish Kish, three bedrooms, two baths, third floor, beautiful view. Um, got renovated by the owners that were planning to move there in two years. So they gave us a lease. Unfortunately, the day before we were supposed to move in the dishwasher, which was new, was turned on to test it.

And whoever turned it on didn't stay around to see it tested. And so the entire apartment flooded. So, yeah, so God bless our real estate agent. She scurried and found us another Airbnb nearby and we stayed there for six weeks until the apartment was dried out and new floors were installed. And then we moved into the Cash Cash apartment. So that...

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (14:00)

Oh, that's so unfortunate for the owners.

nancy whiteman (14:18)
So, but that was our first, that was the first place that we really landed and felt like we were in Portugal. And around, was it May of that year, 2021, or actually the end of April, 2021, the lockdown got lifted and we were able to start experiencing Portugal. But at that time, Cache Cache was very different than it is today because tourism hadn't come back yet.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (14:46)

nancy whiteman (14:46)
And so when we go to, we were just in Kishkosh last weekend. And when we go there now, we barely recognize it because it's so different than the place we live.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (14:55)
And do you think it's better, worse, just different? Like, what do you think about a couple years on how it is now?

nancy whiteman (15:03)
I think Kish Kish is a phenomenal place to land. If you have the resources, Kish Kish is a very, very easy place to land because you have easy access to Lisbon. The public transportation is exceptional. The healthcare in that area is really, really good. You don't need to speak a word of Portuguese. And you'll never want for something to do.

I mean, in the summertime, there is something happening every single weekend. So it's a really easy place if you're, you know, going through the process to land. Um, and, but for us, we wanted a more real Portuguese experience as opposed to a, what, what often felt like San Diego to us. Um, and so, I mean, there were so many non Portuguese there that it.

sometimes didn't feel like Portugal. And so we wanted a more Portuguese experience. And we had done some traveling and in our travels, we had visited like little towns of 300 people, 800 people. And though we had never lived in a place like that, and we still don't, we wanted something a little smaller. So Villarreal filled that bill for us.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (16:21)
Okay, and we'll get there. But before that, for someone who's thinking about cash cash either for a short term or long term, what would be a good budget you would recommend someone has monthly just to be able to enjoy all the things going on there?

nancy whiteman (16:35)
Well, okay, so when we were, like I said, we were there 2021, our rent for a three bedroom, two bath apartment was 2 ,300 euros a month plus all utilities. I'm told after we moved out, they were able to rent that apartment for 3 ,500 euros a month. Yeah, so you're gonna need to spend somewhere in the high,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (16:54)
Ooh, what a big difference.

nancy whiteman (17:03)
2000 to 3000 euro if you want a nice central air, central heat, modern appliances, American style apartment. Like I said, public transportation is great. Since we were over 65, we could utilize the Via Verde card that got us into Lisbon and provided us all public transportation for 20 euros a month.

So that was a great bargain. I don't find groceries that different between the Lisbon, Kish -Kish area and Algarve. But I would think to live comfortably, you would need at least 4 ,000 euros a month. And we may not be a good judge of that because we may have an unrealistic budget compared to some other people.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (17:53)
Well, I get asked this question a lot and it just depends on lifestyle, what you want to do, what you want to spend your money on, how locally you want to go, you know, do you need certain comforts from back in the US that might be more expensive. So yeah, it just depends. That gives our listener a ballpark idea. Can you explain the transportation that you just did and how does someone get that?

nancy whiteman (17:58)
Mm -hmm.

So there's a, so first of all, I believe now if you are a resident of Lisbon and you're over 65, you get free public transportation. You just go to the transportation often in one of the Metro stops, show a lease or a purchase agreement for where you live and they'll give you a card and kind of like the card that you use that gets recharged at the Metro stop. It just.

gives you free public transportation all over Lisbon. We had a card called Viva Lisboa and we went to the local Metro station. They took our picture. We filled out a form. You had to have a NIF and show them where you live. And then you would go back each month and recharge it for 20 euros. And that got you on Metro.

buses, trains, ferries, and trams in the entire Lisbon metropolitan area. So we could get to Setubal without paying anything. We could get anywhere in that nearly a hundred kilometer area for that 20 euros a month.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (19:29)
Yeah, that's great. And that's great for those who are over 65 to be able to access that. We have something similar in Porto, but it is different. You can't use the same one in Lisbon as you can in Porto, but same thing. Good. So you were in Kashkai, but before that you were in Storl. What did you think about those two compared to each other? What were some differences? So if someone's looking in that region, what are some pros and cons of those two places?

nancy whiteman (19:39)
Right, right.

Um, sterile is a little quieter. It's more residential, meaning traditional residential as opposed to high rises. And I mean, there are high rises in sterile, but not as many. Um, um, but it's a little quieter. I would say that's the major difference. And, um, I mean, there's good restaurants in sterile. There's plenty of, um, grocery shopping and sterile just like there is in Kish Kish. Um,

The, I don't think the Mercado's is good. The Kesh Kesh Mercado is just exceptional. Um, and, um, but it's just a little quieter. And if you don't want to be in the crazy hustle and bustle of July and August in Kesh Kesh, it's a great place to live because literally you jump on the train and within 10 minutes you're there. Or if you're like us, you walk and you can easily walk on the promenade from sterile to Kesh Kesh.

And it's a lovely, lovely walk. So in 20 minutes, you can, about 20 minutes, the way we walk.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (20:53)
About how long does that walk? 20 minutes. Okay. Uh -huh. Yeah, good. So very doable without a car as well.

nancy whiteman (21:01)
Oh, exceptionally doable without a car. I had an electric bicycle at one point and coming home from golf one day, I fell on my bike and broke my arm and walked to Cough Hospital that was just a kilometer and a half away. So it's very easy to do without a car.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (21:12)
Oh no.

Yeah. So do you still have that bike or no more? After that accident or that was it?

nancy whiteman (21:27)
Oh, no, I sold the bike. I never felt comfortable on that bike again. So, but it was, it was the glass of champagne that I had had after the round of golf before I got on my bike. That was the culprit, but I blame it on the bike.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (21:34)
Yeah, that happens.

Okay. Yeah. Okay. Good. Yeah. Definitely not on the champagne, of course. Okay. So then you eventually decided this isn't for us. We want something smaller, maybe a bit more local. So then did you start searching around different places or you already had an idea in place?

nancy whiteman (22:00)
Well, we thought Algarve because we're both very big golfers. My wife's, you know, very talented golfer, very, very good amateur. And I'm relatively reasonable. So golf was really important to us. We had friends that had moved to Tavira. So we had had an opportunity to visit Tavira, which is lovely.

Um, but in visiting Tavira, we took a drive over to Villa Rialde, San Antonio one day. And as soon as we saw the river and the ocean come together, we went, oh, this is where we should be. And, um, it was a little less touristy than Tavira. It was a little more local than, you know, a little more local Portuguese than Tavira, more working class kind of Portuguese than Tavira. And so, um, we decided to land here.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (22:51)
Okay, and when did you move there?

nancy whiteman (22:52)
We got an apartment so we could oversee the renovations of our house in February of 22. So we moved a little more than a year after we moved to Keshe Kesh we moved into this into an apartment. We bought a building in November of 21 that was an old union hall and.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (23:03)


nancy whiteman (23:18)
and converted it, started working through the process of converting it into a home.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (23:23)
Okay, so it's just a single family home.

nancy whiteman (23:25)
Yeah, well, yes. Yeah, I mean, it's it's in the middle of town. So we have neighbors attached to us on either side. But yeah, it's a single family home.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (23:33)
Okay, so it's all yours. So you started, you bought that, you said in November of 21 and you started renovations. What was that process like?

nancy whiteman (23:39)

It wasn't as bad as everybody had told us. First of all, we had a brand new mayor and he had run on a platform of improving efficiency in town hall, you know, the kind of thing. So we worked with an architect and by the end of December, she had submitted the first set of plans. It took.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (23:45)


nancy whiteman (24:08)
literally three weeks for them to approve those plans, which is lightning. Even by American standards, that's lightning. And we didn't pay anybody and, you know, we didn't invite anybody over for dinner. And then after that, we had the engineers come through and there were seven engineering plans that needed to be done. So they got done.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (24:11)
Wow. Yes.

Uh -huh.


nancy whiteman (24:34)
And that took about a month, six weeks. They got submitted two weeks after they were submitted, they were approved. Um, and then you package everything together, the architectural plans and the engineering plans and package them together and they become your, um, application for your building permit. So, um, that went in, in April and we got it in May and, um, May 30th, the, um,

The builder started breaking things up. So.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (25:07)
Okay, all right. And then, when did you move in?

nancy whiteman (25:11)
August of 23. Yes, August of 23. Yeah, so, right. So the builder had promised that it would take no more than a month. He was wrong. It took all of 14 months, which everybody tells me is really good. And then when I moved in on the 14, after 14 months,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (25:13)
Okay, yeah, I have to think back to the dates, yeah.

nancy whiteman (25:35)
I noticed that we didn't have air conditioning and I asked the heating and air conditioning guy how to turn on the air conditioning. And he told me, Oh, I haven't brought the compressor yet. I'll be bringing it soon. So, so, um, so we really moved in a few weeks later.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (25:45)
Oh gosh.

Okay, yeah, you definitely needed that, right? Well, I guess around summertime, like what is the weather like there?

nancy whiteman (25:53)

It gets into the 90s, but you have to realize we came from the desert. We came from outside Palm Springs, so anything below 122 to us is bearable. So, yeah, I know. So, but so for us, it's not bad. But, but yeah, but it does, it does. And there's a lot more humidity here than there is in the desert.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (26:12)
That's not the norm for a lot of people, I'd say. Yeah.

You were okay with it.

nancy whiteman (26:26)
So it can be a little sticky.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (26:29)
Okay, yeah. Did the habitation license take a while or was that pretty quick? Because sometimes people get held up with that.

nancy whiteman (26:34)
We don't have it yet.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (26:36)
Okay, okay. That's funny. So that one is taking a long time.

nancy whiteman (26:40)
Yeah, I think I'm not 100 % sure because our architect is handling this so that I don't kill someone. I think we're still waiting on the gas. And what I find interesting about that is there's no gas on our street. So there is no gas. But according to the current building standards, and I don't know if they vary from Porto to Algarve or whatever, but

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (26:49)

nancy whiteman (27:09)
our building standards are that the house has to be built to support gas, even though there isn't gas. So by our front door, there's a little hidden door that has what would be the hookup for the gas behind it, if there was such a thing. And in our kitchen, there is this really annoying knob that does nothing.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (27:17)

Uh -huh.


nancy whiteman (27:36)
But if we had gas, it would turn the gas off. So as soon as the gas man was here and he did the inspection, but I'm still waiting for the certificate. And then once we have that certificate, I believe that's the last one. Then that'll get packaged up and become our habitation license. We're fortunate. We didn't owe any money. We bought the building for cash. We funded the renovations for cash.

So because of all that, there's not a bank holding up us getting a loan because we don't have a habitation license. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to live here. And I'm not sure we're living here legally, but nobody seems to care.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (28:13)

Yeah, it's Portugal. Yeah. Okay. Well, any advice for someone who is looking to buy an Algarve or just really in Portugal, the process, the feelings about it, any advice you want to give?

nancy whiteman (28:30)
Um, so I think if you're an American and you're used to the American process, you just need to be aware that the Portuguese process is very different. Um, though there are rules related to disclosure in Portugal, they're not nearly as onerous as the disclosure rules in the United States. And, um, so because of that, a lot of stuff doesn't get disclosed. Um,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (28:40)
Uh huh.

nancy whiteman (28:56)
I went to look at a property with a friend because he wanted my help. And, um, I looked at the woman and I said, is this a, um, bottle gas oven? And she said, yes. And I said to him, well, you'll probably want to change that. And she said, well, you'll have to change it anyway. It doesn't work. So if I, there was nowhere on any of the documents that said that the water heater didn't work.

that the oven didn't work, that the stove top didn't work. And had we not asked, is there hot water currently in this apartment, I'm not sure anybody would have told us. So you have to be really careful about disclosure. Inspections are very different than in the United States. You're not going to get a 40 page report with photographs and all that kind of stuff. If it's an apartment,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (29:36)

nancy whiteman (29:49)
the owner of the apartment or in the house may not be willing to turn on the utilities. So what are you inspecting? If you don't turn on the utilities, I'm not sure what exactly you're expecting other than holes in the wall. So, you know, the process is very different. I think you need a very good lawyer that represents you throughout the process who does the search to make sure that the seller who's selling you the property.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (30:02)

nancy whiteman (30:16)
in fact owns it and has the right to sell it. Um, cause there aren't, I mean, there's no title insurance here. Um, um, we asked our lawyer to act as an escrow agent because I wasn't about to give money to the seller and then try to chase them down in court if the deal didn't go through. So everybody agreed to have our attorney act as an escrow agent and hold all funds until closing. Um,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (30:19)
That's an important one.

nancy whiteman (30:44)
So, but if you don't know to ask that, you probably won't be provided that service. So there's, I think you just need to, you know, go into it a bit cautious, because it will be different.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (30:58)
That's great advice though with the escrow because that's such a common thing when you sign the promissory note or the CPCV. Generally, you just give the money to the seller but it is nerve wracking because, yeah, I mean, of course you have a contract but what if they run off with that? So to have your lawyer kind of be the go -between for escrow is good advice.

nancy whiteman (31:18)
Yeah, I think, I mean, I think in general, the Portuguese legal system doesn't work very quickly. Right now, the American legal system doesn't seem to work quickly either, but I digress. But the, I mean, you don't want to be suing somebody in a foreign country. I mean, it's just ridiculous. Yeah. Right.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (31:39)
Yeah, just dealing with that. I mean, even in your own country, right? Like it's just a hassle and a headache and it takes time and money and yeah, you just don't want to have to deal with that. So if you can prevent any sort of, you know, possibility of that happening, then might as well. So yeah, that's great advice. So then how are you finding it there compared to cash cash?

nancy whiteman (31:58)
Oh, much different, much, much different. We have, well, first of all, when we moved here, I think there were 12 Americans living in Villarreal de San Antonio. Now there are about 50. Veronica's video has brought a bunch of people. And she does a great job of introducing everyone to one another. So there's a much larger, more diverse group of people here now than when we moved.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (32:06)
Okay. Okay.

nancy whiteman (32:23)
But you can't assume that you're going to be best friends with every American that lives in the town. So, you know, you kind of pick your tribe and you kind of figure it out. But yeah, it's very different. We now know local Portuguese people who have become our friends, who invite us into their homes. We invite them into our homes. They always look at us funny the first time we invite them into our homes, but they get over it. And...

So it's nice. I mean, you walk down the street and you see somebody and you stop and kiss each cheek and ask about each other's family before you go on and do whatever you were out on the street to do. So it's a very different kind of environment than the hustle and bustle of a city.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (33:09)
And are you doing this in Portuguese or English?

nancy whiteman (33:11)
Yes. Well, we're in B1, B2 right now. So using the Portuguese system that's done at our local school. And we've been very fortunate. We've had exceptional teachers both of the years. I know it can be hit and miss. And I've talked to people that have had really great teachers and other people that have been less than satisfied. But...

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (33:13)
hand signals


nancy whiteman (33:38)
And Denise is much better at it than I am. She studies every day. She's so annoying.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (33:44)
You have to, right? I mean, it's tough, but like, languages, oof.

nancy whiteman (33:48)
Yeah, so my comprehension is still terrible. I can read anything, like, you know, give me something to read and I can I can do that. But my verbal comprehension is still really bad. I can communicate what I need to communicate. The tense may not be correct. The grammar may not be 100 percent correct. But I always tell people when we lived in California, our gardener was was born in Mexico.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (34:00)

nancy whiteman (34:15)
He knew this much English. I knew this much Spanish. The, you know, the gardening always got done fine. So I didn't care that he didn't know the past perfect tense of some verb. It just wasn't important to me. Right. Right. Yeah.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (34:20)
Yeah, that's true.

Right, the key is to communicate, right? Right. So, do a lot of people speak English there or is it a mix or it's like a lower level of English or like if someone's new?

nancy whiteman (34:42)
A lot much. Yeah, much lower mix, a much lower level of English than in Keshe, Kishore, Lisbon. A lot of the shop owners do not speak English or say they don't speak English. Like, cause like us, they're uncomfortable with their English. This is where uncomfortable speaking their language. So it is more necessary to either carry a translator with you or, or learn.

at least enough Portuguese to be able to shop and do whatever. Because we're on the coast of Spain, and because there are many similarities between the words in Spanish and Portuguese, almost all the shop owners here speak Spanish. And so, oh, every day, every weekend, this town becomes...

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (35:26)
Okay. Do you get Spanish tourists that come over?

nancy whiteman (35:33)
probably twice its normal size on Saturday and Sunday from the Spaniards coming over. They come over on big buses for tours. They come over on the ferry. They just drive over for the day. There are things, supposedly we're known for our linens and there's a myth or a fable that if you sleep on filariel sheets the first night of your wedding, you'll have a happy wedding. So people come over here and buy linens.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (36:00)

nancy whiteman (36:00)
So, so yeah, we have a lot of Spanish here on the weekends and the Spanish will not speak Portuguese. So the Portuguese speak Spanish.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (36:08)
Yeah, yeah. So true. And then do you pop over easily then to Spain? Do you have a car down there now or? Okay.

nancy whiteman (36:16)
Yeah, yeah, we have a car because as golfers, you can't rely on public transportation, not as often as we play golf. So yes, we have a car. But if we're going over to Iamonte, we just jump on the ferry because it's just easier. We're there in 15 minutes. And I don't know, I think it's like a euro 60 cents to go on the ferry over. And it's a nice ride. So and you don't have to find parking.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (36:39)
Yeah, that's a big one. How far is the closest golf course or the golf course that you go to from where you're living now?

nancy whiteman (36:46)
Um, there's a, the next town is called Castro Marine and it's, um, five kilometers to Castro Marine. And there were two golf courses in Castro Marine, Castro Marine golf course, um, and Villarreal, I mean, uh, Quinta de Val golf course. And we belong to Quinta de Val. So, so it would take.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (37:05)
Okay. Is it your favorite one down in Algarve or is there another one that you like that's just a little further away that you don't go to regularly? Or what would be your favorite one?

nancy whiteman (37:13)
Um, our sister, our sister course, um, that meaning it's owned by the same management company and we can join all three courses if we wanted to is a club called Tinta de Sema, Quinta de Ria. So two golf courses attached. Um, and they're both exceptional golf courses. Um, and we like them a lot. The challenge with that for us is they will not store our trolleys and our golf clubs for us.

And when you're 70, the last thing you want to do is schlep your clubs in and out of your car three or four times a week. So, so Kinta, Kinta, I mean, yeah, Kinta Deval works much better for us.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (37:49)
He okay.

Okay, yep, that makes sense. All right, and how do you find traveling? You said you wanted to travel around Europe. How are you finding traveling, especially being based there? Do you just go to the Faroo Airport to travel or what's travel look like now that you're based in Algarve?

nancy whiteman (38:08)
Faro or Sevilla are both options. Sevilla takes us an hour and 30 minutes to get to. And if I'm stupid enough to book a six o 'clock flight, no, we get up early. But six o 'clock in Seville is five o 'clock in Portugal. So it means we have to get up at three o 'clock and it's just a whole thing. But.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (38:19)
The night before then. You go the night before, please tell me. No.

Uh -huh.

Yeah, uh...

nancy whiteman (38:34)
But so, no, it's great. So while we were having the house built, I was trying to oversee construction, because I kind of liked that. We had flipped a couple of houses in the United States. I've done a lot of renovations myself, though the process here is entirely different. And the only thing I did was paint. But thanks. But the...

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (38:52)

You did a great job of that.

nancy whiteman (38:59)
Well, it was like, oh, so during that year that our house was under construction, we did not work, we did not travel nearly as much as we wanted. So we kind of set a goal of traveling every month this year, which I don't think we're going to do. But Denise went back to the States for a wedding in January. So I'm counting that. February went to Medaille and Fouchal, which was lovely. We were there for six days.

Uh, we just came back from my Yorka, um, this summer we're driving to Denmark and back. So we're, yeah. So that's a big trip and we're taking, uh, 18 days to get there and 18 days to get home and spending 10 days in Denmark. So, um, that's a big road trip with the dog. And, um, so that's a big trip. And then in.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (39:33)

Thank you.

nancy whiteman (39:53)
Oh, I'm sorry. In June, we're going to Croatia. And then in December, we're going to Vietnam and Cambodia. So, yeah. So we're going to have our fill of travel. And then we have, of course, now, now everybody who's figured out that we live in Portugal is also coming to visit when we're not moving. So we just had friends here from San Francisco and went up to Lisbon and showed them Lisbon and Obidosh and Ebera. So.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (40:01)
Oh, exciting.


nancy whiteman (40:22)
So we're doing quite a bit of traveling right now.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (40:24)
So you don't think you'll make every month just because it'll end up being too much.

nancy whiteman (40:27)
Yeah, and we have like, there's one month that I think almost every day of the month we have a visitor, a different visitor. So I don't think we'll make June or no, no, probably just June. I don't think we'll make July. Yeah, right.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (40:41)
But you can kind of make it work because you're like, well, people are coming here, so at least it's something, right? Yeah. Well, that's exciting. A lot of fun, you know, for a listener who wants to move to Portugal and one of the things they want to do is travel. Of course, it's much more accessible, obviously, once you're already over here to travel like that, right?

nancy whiteman (41:01)
Yeah. I mean, last year we went, we did take one vacation last year in August, cause you know, nobody works in August. So there wasn't any, there wasn't any construction in August. Yeah. So we went to Italy and Switzerland last August. And it's just, you know, it's nice to be able to take a relatively short flight. Well, first of all, the airport experience is better because nobody's taking off their shoes. Um,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (41:08)
Nothing to oversee.

nancy whiteman (41:27)
You scan your ticket to go through secure, you know, to get through the first stop of security. And nobody's taking off your shoes. Then you get on the plane by showing your resident ID. I mean, we carry our passports just in case, but I've never been asked to use one. And when you get off the plane, you just get off the plane. There's no passport control. There's none of that craziness that if you're coming from the States, you would go through.

And then you jump on a train and very comfortably take a train to Switzerland. And so the travel here is just so much easier. It's less stressful. So.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (42:06)
Yeah. Yeah, traveling within the Schengen, like you said, is easy because you have your residency card. And a couple other countries like have recently joined the Schengen, so it's becoming even more. So yeah, so that makes it much easier for sure. And then train travel too, which is always great. You can comfortably get around if you don't want to rent a car, right? You can definitely use train travel, which is comfortable. Great.

nancy whiteman (42:15)
Mm -hmm.


Yeah, do you know, has Croatia joined the Schengen region now? Do you know if that's, okay, okay, okay.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (42:31)
They have. They have. Yep, they have. And then Romania and Bulgaria were just even more recently too. So yep. So that's exciting. More places to visit and easier, right? Not have to deal with just, you know, passport control. So being in Algarve, what are some pros and cons? And like, I guess who is Algarve not for and who do you think it is for?

nancy whiteman (42:41)

Um, I think, I think there, it tends to attract people my age as opposed to people your age. Um, I was going to say, um, if you're gay, you probably want to go to Porto or Lisbon, but there is, there's now a large gay population in Tiviera, oddly enough. Well, I shouldn't say large.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (43:16)

nancy whiteman (43:17)
50 or 60 people that get together once a month in Tivira. But I think it attracts an older population. I think next to Lisbon and Cascade, Algarve is relatively expensive compared to the rest of Portugal, particularly if you're in central Algarve or you're in Tivira. That area is more Lisbon prices than it is.

Um, ever or OB doge for silver coast prices. Um, so, you know, you have to take that into consideration.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (43:53)
Yeah, that's good advice because budget and where people want to live, generally it's budget, it's weather, location. So if you want to maybe live on a more fixed income with a lower budget, all that might not be for you because prices have risen a lot, right?

nancy whiteman (44:05)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, they, we've seen it just since we've gotten here. Now we're starting to see some contraction. I mean, in the last, since January, we've seen prices come back a little bit. And I think we'll continue to see that for a little while, but, but it's, it's, it's not, it's funny. You know, I get readers that send me questions. I literally had a reader send me a question. Can I afford to live here?

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (44:34)
Oh, I get that too. Well, there's a lot of variables here. This is a loaded question.

nancy whiteman (44:36)
Well, first of all, tell me how much income you have. That might be helpful. So, you know, you have to take into consideration when we moved here, I subscribed to International Living Magazine. And I think International Living Magazine kind of glorifies and oversimplifies and...

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (44:43)
Yeah, exactly. Minor detail, right?

nancy whiteman (45:04)
and kind of makes, you can move to this country for 1200 euros a month, then you'll be happy as a pig and shit. And I think sometimes their data is either out of date or they're not the types of apartments that most Americans would want to live in. So you just, if you're coming from a certain standard of living,

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (45:13)

nancy whiteman (45:30)
you expect that same standard of living where you move. I think most people do. And so you need to budget for that. And Algarve is not cheap. I think it's second to Lisbon in terms of the most expensive place in Portugal.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (45:45)
And you mentioned a reader wrote you, how can people follow you or get in touch with you if they want?

nancy whiteman (45:51)
Um, I, I started a blog in January of 2020, uh, or no, I'm sorry, January of 2021. So a few weeks after we got here, we were in lockdown. I had nothing to do. Um, my friend said we'd like to know what's going on. So I started a blog called expat in Portugal. It's on the sub stack app and, um, and so I started it with.

like two dozen friends and there's now about 4 ,000 people that read it on a weekly basis, which I find totally crazy and absurd. So, well, I'm very direct and honest. Yeah.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (46:26)

Great. Must be interesting stuff then, huh?

People like that and people need that, so that's very helpful. Well, lastly, at ExpatsEverywhere we believe that living abroad transforms lives. So how has living abroad transformed your life?

nancy whiteman (46:45)
I think travel is essential to living. I think it's, I worry about people that have never left the state that they live in. I mean, I realize America is a very large country, so you don't necessarily need to leave the United States, but I think there is so much that can be learned from other cultures other people.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (46:54)

nancy whiteman (47:07)
we'd recently turned 70. And if I've been retired already for 11 years. So what was I going to do with the next, you know, 25 years of my life? Hanging out and playing golf. I mean, I love to play golf, but there's more to life than playing golf. So we learn so much when we travel. We, we develop new perspectives when we travel. We realize that.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (47:17)
Uh -huh.

nancy whiteman (47:33)
the education system that we were brought up in is not the only education system in the world. That the religion that we were brought up with is not the only religion in the world. And it just gives us a different perspective on life. And I just think it's essential to continuing to live. Otherwise it's very boring, very, very boring.

Kalie | ExpatsEverywhere (47:53)
Yeah, I agree. Josh and I are the same. Well, Nancy, thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today.

nancy whiteman (48:00)
It was fun being here. Thanks, Kalie

Producer Dan (48:02)
Hi listener. It's me, producer Dan. And I just wanted to say thank you so much for listening. This episode wraps up season two of expats everywhere presents. Let's move to Portugal and season three is going to start in just a few weeks. But season two is going to be my last season working on this show with Josh and Kaylee. And I want to thank you guys for listening and making the show a success. It has been a lot of fun to

I really appreciate all of you listening and watching it means a ton to

Josh and Kaylee have been fantastic to work with. They are tireless in getting this out every week. And I couldn't have asked for better partners in a

Josh and Kaylee really are as nice as they seem to be online. And yeah, they're fantastic to work with. So thank you both to Josh and Kaylee as

you want to keep tabs on me, I'll continue to be working on my other show called positively

where we interview people about the tough times in their lives and all the learning and growing that they've done since then. It's really a fun show and we'd love it if you checked it out too. So in conclusion, one more time, thank you to Josh, thank you to Kaylee and most importantly, thank you to all of you for listening. It has been a lot of fun being here with you, so thank you.

From California to Portugal: Finding Home Across the Globe with Nancy
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