Scott - Digital Nomad, Work-life Balance, and Beer

Producer Dan: Hello and welcome my Emerging Expat. You are 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, ExpatsEverywhere's Kalie and Josh. 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, we've got Scott.

He's a digital nomad and marketing professional that moved with his wife and his pets to Lisbon seven months ago and planned to stay for a year, find out all about their. And their new work-life balance, and if that year might last a lot longer, stick around.

Josh: You know, one of the things that I've found the best about moving to Portugal, and one of the things that's helped me out the most has been learning Portugal. and right now we're going through the journey with Portuguese, with Carla, and that's been extremely beneficial for. To learn Portuguese faster and have words that I'm confronted with on a daily basis appear in the lessons that I'm

Scott: doing.

Kalie: Yeah, I think it's really nice that they use idioms and they use everyday speech rather than something that's straight from a textbook. People learn differently. So what's nice about Portuguese with Carla is that you go at your own pace and you do it wherever you want, cafe your own home, whatever that might be.

And you can do it as you wanna do it and not necessarily feel like you have to be in a classroom or go at a certain time.

Josh: And a super important thing for me is it keeps me motivated to come back and do it because it's gamified. There's a table that you progress through, so it really feels like you're making progress and you want to come back the next day so you can move your character along the board.

Producer Dan: The gamify stuff that speaks to me, ,

Kalie: oh, we'll put that in the show notes.

Scott: Kalie and

Producer Dan: Josh.

Josh: Hello. Hey, Dan. What's

Scott: up? Hey, Dan, how you doing?

Producer Dan: I'm great. I'm great. Hey, I'm always interested about holidays in Portugal This past week. We've been celebrating St. Patrick's Day here in Chicago. Any St. Patty's day vibes there in

Josh: Porto?

Scott: Not really.

Josh: However, we've kind of brought our own

Scott: vibes, didn't we? Yeah, there's a, there's

Kalie: a few bars that have stuff. Obviously, like the pubs, the Irish pubs will have a little bit of something, but it's not anything. You know, nobody, my home about,

Josh: I guess . Yeah. So last year when we went out for St.

Patrick's Day, we were at a bar where if you drink it was either two or three guinnesses, you would get a, like a hat that looked like a pint of Guinness. Ooh. Sponsored by Guinness, you know? Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, it's like one of those cheap promotional hats. And, uh, you know, we've had it sitting around for a year and I, I put it on, uh, to go out for St.

Patrick's Day and walk past a couple. Nice. Basically said something. Oh, it's St. Patrick's Day. Like they said that to each other in a different language. I could just pick up on the fact that they recognize my hat. And St. Patrick's Day sounded the same, so it's kind of funny.

Kalie: Yeah, it's hard to actually tell who was out just cuz it's a Friday night or you know, just out normally or who, you know, who was celebrating I suppose, but Right.

He picked up a few more of those hats

Josh: this year. We did , we did, we gave 'em to all the kids. So we were out with a group that has, well, I guess we had six kids total that were there. .

Kalie: Yeah. Yeah. They all got a hat . Nice. Not just cuz of us though. .

Josh: Yeah. It wasn't just our drinking of Guinness. I think it, this place was too Guinness and you got a hat

Scott: they were pretty

Kalie: liberal with, they were pretty liberal.

Yeah. I would say this, I know it's cliche, but I love the old green beer. You know, just little food coloring of the green beer . That's really hard to find, uh, outside of the us I think that's a US thing. Yeah. Uh, maybe, maybe Ireland does it a little bit. For our travels. It's been hard to find green beer.


Josh: was a place in Singapore where you could find it. Like one place that we

Scott: found, well, they did it like all

Kalie: year round, remember? I think they did. Yeah. . Yeah. It was like they had something that was actually like a green. That's right.

Scott: Beer. You're right. It wasn't special.

Josh: And then there was a place in South Korea.

All right. Yeah. One of the, one of the bars there. But it was like green food coloring in one of their cheap beers. Yeah. Like it wasn't an nice beer at all. Well, that's the typical, and South Korea's got terrible

Scott: beer , but enough.

Kalie: That's the typical. Yeah, so there might have been a bar or two that did that.

But you know, I love Guinness, so I'm okay with.

Josh: Yeah,

Producer Dan: it's got a special

Kalie: spot in my heart too. So then how about in Chicago? I bet they've got something really good

Josh: there. Yeah, huge Irish population. Can you tell us about that?

Producer Dan: Uh, yeah, man, it's always a party here in Chicago. We die the river green. But let me tell you what happened.

Do you remember, I believe it was episode five, we spoke with Jim and his story about how the Portuguese are so caring, uh, and so good at Connect. Get a great example of getting on the metro in Porto y. You know what? Let me here, let me roll the tape. Okay.

Jim: We're on the metro and we're at the top of the escalator and there's an old woman with a cane trying to navigate the escalator down and a young woman coming up turned around and took her arm and went down the escalator with her and at the end, The older woman took the younger woman's hand and kissed it and they went on their way.

Scott: And just little things like that. Little touches, little symbols of warmth, symbols of connection, symbols of caring that, that are pervasive. And I know that happens, of course, in the United States, it's there. Mm-hmm. , it's just appears to be more obvious or more apparent

Producer Dan: somehow. Okay. So Saturday. Was the big St.

Patrick's Day celebration here in Chicago last week, and I had to take the train across town. My wife was taking the kid to a birthday party, so they dropped me off at the train station. I hopped out of the car and I'm walking over to the train station. This is to get the, the blue line, uh, the L to get across town.

And as I'm walking to the entrance, I'm about 20 yards away when I see the hoard of. 10, early 20 somethings. This is right about 11 30, 12 o'clock, right in the afternoon. And they're all dressed in their St. Patty's Day. Best green T-shirts. Green beads, green jackets, and they're all carrying beers about to get on the train.

And I just thought, what a pain this train ride is about to become. Standing at the top of the stairs was this old lady, uh, who was carrying a large. And I thought, oh no, let me get over there. Let me grab that bag. These kids are going to just drive this old lady nuts or knock her over. And before I could get over there, one of the partiers took his beer, handed it to his buddy, grabbed the lady's bag, and carried it down the steps for her.

And it made me think of Jim. It made me think of. And it made me smile and feel good about my town and, uh, some of the good vibes that we still get here in the us. So thank you, Jim, for the story. Thank you to the St. Patrick's Day partiers that did a great job taking care of other people in our town and building up some good karma before they go out drinking for the day,

So I just wanted to share that even though I'm not in Portugal at the moment, I still got some Portuguese vibes here on St. Patrick's Day. Okay. Enough about me. What's been going on with you guys

Josh: this week? Well, we have been inundated with just tasks getting ready before we come back to the States, uh, for, for basically a month.

So we'll be back in the States for two and two, two and a half weeks, and then we'll cruise back from Florida to Barcelona. So really, we're very nice out of Portugal for five weeks. Yeah. And there's a ton to do before we do. We put in an offer on a property that we've been looking at. The offer was accepted and there is just a lot of work and a lot of things that we have to do before we get the property.

So the, oh, I'm sure the clock is ticking because, uh, in about a week and a half we have to sign an official document and put down a very large deposit, 20% that has non-refundable under most circumstances. Wow. So it's a little

Scott: nerve.

Kalie: And honestly, the clock was ticking before that, and then this just piled right on top.

So we have a bunch of stuff that we wanna get done, you know, scheduling, production, shooting, all of that. And then now we have this as well. So just busy, busy, busy.

Scott: Yeah. I

Josh: mean, on the YouTube front, I mean this ties in the YouTube, I guess, is that, . Um, we have had merch available with a company called Spring for a while.

Yeah, I've seen that. And we haven't really enjoyed the experience with them, at least it's, it's been like the customer experience. Right. Okay. Like certain people have ordered things on there and um, there were just delays in, in production and whatnot. Inconsistencies too. Yeah. Another thing, so we have found a different company that we're gonna work with and we're getting ready to launch that store.

And even though that's not. A necessary thing to do right now. It's just, it's one of those things that's getting done and it needs to kind of get wrapped up before we, uh, head over to the States. Cuz I don't know what our bandwidth is gonna be like to, to be doing work on, on the, the websites and on YouTube.

I know podcasts we'll still be able to do some

Kalie: stuff. Yeah, I'd be like with that one. It's one of those things where we've been needing to do it and wanting to do it and just been putting it off. So it's like you just gotta do

Josh: it. And the reason I'm excited about switching over to that is because it, it will allow us to have digital assets that we can sell.

So for example, I had an idea of doing like neighborhood walking tours, and I know that this type of format wouldn't really work for YouTube putting it on our main channel. But I think it'd be really cool to walk a neighborhood and for like a buck or two or, or maybe five bucks. I don't know. We haven't figured out pricing.

Be able to make that available for people, uh, to essentially go on a walking tour of a neighborhood. So if they don't have time to do it, they can purchase that neighborhood that they wanted to check out and, and get, yeah, video footage, 30 minutes to an hour of me walking around the neighborhood and kind of showing it that way.


Kalie: like that. Well produce data this week. Josh talked with Scott, but we got in touch with him through you. So can you tell us how you

Producer Dan: two. So, yeah, I was actually introduced to Scott on Facebook by a mutual friend of ours. Uh, she saw that I was working on this show with you all and she had a friend who lived in Portugal and yeah, I've known Genevieve and her family since I was in high school.

And man, Scott, well that's

Josh: interesting suit you, you didn't really know him directly.

Producer Dan: No, not at all. But, uh, Genevieve is great people, her family are great people, and, uh, she says, Scott's worth talking to you, by all means, uh, I wanted to talk to him. So one more reminder, listener, we'd love to hear from you.

Send us an email or a voice memo Write to podcast

Josh: at expats everywhere. Yeah. We've already gotten some questions on the YouTube community tab and received some emails, but we would love to hear from other. People are asking right now about rentals, but honestly, this can be about anything. This is wide open.

Please feel free. Whatever questions that you have that you'd like us to answer, throw it at us in email or onto the YouTube community

Kalie: tab. Yeah, and then we'll just go ahead and do a podcast where we put all those together and we answer those in a long format kind of setting. And with that, we'll be back with Scott first, right after this.

Josh: You know, two massive problems that we keep seeing over and over again is people struggling getting NS and getting bank accounts here in Portugal, and that's because the goalposts keep moving on this, but there's a service out there called Border that's been helping a lot of people get their Ns and get the bank accounts to move to Portugal.

Kalie: Yeah, we've chatted with them. So they've given us a code if you use our link and you get tenure off of their services. And I think the biggest thing that has been in people's minds is Portugal recently changed things and said that you have to have an address in Portugal to open a bank account. So you can't just come here on a scouting trip anymore and, and open it, but border still is allowing you to open your bank account.

So I think that it's a headache if you come to Portugal and try to do this stuff. It's just much easier to go through a company like Porter. Does things the right

Josh: way. I would honestly say it's a mistake because you're wasting precious time when you could be taking in all the wonderful things about Portugal, and you're coming over here and dealing with the bureaucratic stuff.

It'd be better to just go ahead and purchase your niff or your bank account through border and get back to spending your vacation or your scouting trip,

Scott: figuring out where you wanna live

Kalie: rather than sitting in a bank.

Josh: Awesome, Scott. Well, so glad that you could, um, be on the podcast with us today and I'd really like to get an idea, since you've moved pretty recently and you've, you've moved with a, a spouse and some animals and like to kind of dive in on what it's been like moving on the D seven as a, a non retiree. Yep.

Which I think now people are having to move here on the D eight visa. Correct. Working, getting active income. So let's talk about being. Working active income and everything. So when did you move? So

Scott: we moved, uh, we officially moved May 5th of this past year of 2022.

Josh: Yeah, yeah. Let's dive into that. So how, how long was the journey leading

Scott: up to it?

So from end to end on the Portugal side, it actually wasn't nearly as long as, as you might expect. I think it, uh, we, we officially started our application process in late January. and we were on the ground in Portugal at the beginning of May. Uh, but the lead up to all of that was literally years and months in the making cuz we had, you know, my wife and I had both, have both, always wanted to live abroad.

I did a a month long cultural exchange in Spain when I was in high school and it just kind of set me off on this, uh, on this mentality of someday I'm gonna live. . Okay. So, or originally our plan, uh, was after our honeymoon a few years ago, we went to Spain and, and my wife said exactly the same thing on the way, on the way home.

She's like, oh my God, we, we have to move. Okay, let's do it. So our plan all along was actually to move to Spain, and then Covid, you know, came and ruined our plans like everybody else's. And so as we were enduring lockdown alongside everyone else, okay, well, what are we gonna do? We're just going through our daily motions and, uh, and, and working and.

And as things slowly started opening up, we, we decided that we wanted to continue, uh, working through our application. So the long and short was the Spanish application process was very long and quite literally a nightmare for us. And during that time, all of our friends kept asking, when are you gonna move?

And really the only answer we could give him was when the Spanish government decides we're allowed to. . And so I think people started getting a little tired of hearing the same thing, like we're prepping them for this idea that we're gonna move abroad, and then it just never happened. Mm-hmm. . So at some point during that process, while we're waiting for Spain, a whole host of our friends came out of the woodwork, like even people that we would not ever accuse of being world travelers and said, listen, we know that you love Spain, but have you guys gone to Portugal or checked out Portugal?

And we just sort of looked at each other. You know, I knew Portugal exists. Um, it never crossed my mind to really look into it. So we looked at the, uh, at the Visa requirements, like, oh, this is a good bit easier than what Spain wants. And my wife's like, all right, let's do it. She's like, I, I'm ready to move.

I kind of wanted to see it first. I'm pretty spontaneous, but I don't know if I could handle a year or two in a place that I don't like. So we came over in October of 2020. For 10 days and it was, you know, a little bit more than a scouting trip cuz we're both, you know, still working. And so we made it a working scouting trip where in the morning we would pick, uh, a neighborhood throughout Lisbon.

Um, to go and explore and see what it might feel like to, to live there, what the energy is like, and then come back to the place that we were renting, uh, in the afternoon and, and get to work so we could get an experience or understand what it felt like working with American companies or American clients on European time zone.

So the very, very long answer to your very short question, , was that we, we arrived in. The process with Portugal was maybe about four months total from start to finish. And the move itself was laborious. It was arduous as you might expect, but we made it and we're settled in and now we're about 10 months in and uh, it actually does finally feel like home.


Josh: awesome. Yeah. So let's dive into to the scouting trip a little bit. Cause I'm curious to know what neighborhoods did you check out and which ones

Scott: did you. Yeah, so, so we, we rented an Airbnb down Inhi, uh, which to this day is still my favorite neighborhood in the city. I, I love Shadu and Aldo. Um, so we, yeah, we walked around a little bit over there, but we have a, we have a, an active dog who needs, you know, a lot of space to, it's to roam and you're just not gonna get any green space down there.

So we kind of ruled those out right away. We explored Avala, so right along a beneath the. Went up to Anju and all the way out to Ang and Estello and Ajuah. We, we opted against going, well, we went over to Marla for like a couple of hours, but we sort of, uh, once we got a feel for . and realize how kind of corporate and new and, and kind of it, it didn't have the personality that we were looking for.

So Sure. All the stuff north of the city on the river, we, we sort of ruled out cause it just wasn't the right fit. Uh, we really, really liked Avala. It was interesting because, uh, the, the architecture here is markedly different from what you get in the states. Sure. Um, you know, in a place like Denver, which is a, you know, a new-ish city and everything's gleaming and glass and.

and in, in neighborhoods like Avala, it's very sixties, seventies, and eighties facades on the building. So everything kind of looks a little humdrum, but knowing that inside, um, you know, the places are beautiful, but the whole area just had the vibe. It had the, uh, the foot traffic, the, the people out and about the, the, the stores, the density of stores and, and, and, uh, cafes and pastry shops and whatnot.

That really spoke to. So we started looking around there and, you know, over, over the course of looking for a place to live, realized it wasn't going to work. Um, okay. From a budget standpoint. Uh, so we, you know, that was sort of disappointing. We really liked that a lot. We loved, loved Buy and love Rello, but both of them are, if, if Abola is too expensive, then Belong is just a Pike tree.

Yeah. Um, After we returned, once we got back to the states, we got back in touch with, with our attorney who was helping us, you know, secure the lease. And she actually suggested that we go a little bit farther north into the neighborhood we're in now called s um, so and Lu. Sure. Just on the north side of the city.

And on the map it looks like it's kind of far out, but you know, realistically on the ground it's a, a a 20, maybe 25 minute metro. Metro ride from here down to the river, down the . So it's actually a, it's really convenient. It's up by the university. It's in between the two soccer stadiums and she, she owns a place up here.

She's like, you're gonna look. So, sure enough, we, we needed the lease to, to satisfy our visa requirements. Mm-hmm. , we found a place in car and when we got here, we looked around and was like, oh wow. She was, she was right. It's the perfect mix. Residential and city, there's enough stuff to do, uh, where we don't get really bored.

It's close enough to downtown where we can go out to, you know, the bars and the restaurants and whatnot downtown that everybody wants to go to and all the touristy places. Uh, but it's quiet enough where it's not like a party every night, uh, every night of the week. And you can actually sleep. You can have the windows open.

You know, it's a, it's a really good balance and a really good mix.

Josh: Well, you've been there for 10 months. Is it a place that you'll sign another contract for? Is it a place that you'll.

Scott: Yeah, so, so this apartment in particular, uh, are leased automatically renewed. So we're, we're here, uh, we've signed on for a second year.

Okay. Awesome. Yeah, thanks. So we're actively looking at other places in the same area that, that might be a little bit cheaper, that may offer a rent to own type, type situation. But we've also begun exploring the south side of the river, knowing that long term, you know, it's, it's a very American approach to real estate, but we want.

We're, we're just property owners and one of our, our long term goals as a couple, as a family is to build, eventually build a, a portfolio of real estate. So we wanna, we actually wanna own some stuff. Okay. And it's a lot easier to own south of the river, um, you know, down Intu, Alma, and Cuka and even all the way down to too well, uh, than it is in this particular area or in Lisbon and Gen.

We'll, we'll be here at least another six to nine months, probably, you know, another year in this particular apartment. And then after that, I'm not exactly sure where we're gonna be or where we're gonna go. Okay?

Josh: So it was the original plan to move and, and start buying property after a year or two.

Scott: Yeah.

Uh, you know, we wanted to make sure it was a place that we would, that we would stay. Um, and even if it wasn't a place that we would stay long term, it was a place that we would want to come back to. Okay. Uh, you know, the, the original promise to all of our friends and family when, when we told 'em we were moving was, we'll, we'll probably just go for a year or two, get it out of our system, and then, and then maybe we'll, And after about the first, after about three months here, like, do I really want to go back?

And now that we're approaching a year, I still don't know if I want to go back. Uh, so the mentality has sort of shifted now from, Hey, let's go for a year or two. Maybe we can find a property that we can buy, we can use it as a, as a rental down the road and just sort of build our nest egg. Hey, we're staying for a year or two because that's what our, our residency card allows.

Maybe we should renew good and stay through, uh, citizenship, get the passport, buy a place or two, and then figure out where we want to, where we wanna settle down and, and live the rest of our days. If you, yeah, I

Josh: think, uh, you know, something similar happened with me and Kalie where we, we moved over here, not even thinking about citizen.

But then actually when we, whenever we had our residency appointment, so like the very first se appointment that we had to confirm residency, uh, people in our YouTube channel were asking us, are you going for citizenship? And we were like, we ha like we hadn't even thought about it. Literally just wanted to move to Europe, to, to, to be back in Europe.

It was our second time, uh, living here in Europe, not in Portugal, but in Europe. And we just were trying to get back. And Portugal, like you said, it was kinda like the path of least re. So we did that. But then you start to see, oh, wow, okay, I can get citizenship after five years. This place is great. There's a, there's a lot of positive things about it, about the lifestyle.

Oh yeah. Is it possibly a place to settle down Kayleigh and have not had that conversation yet, but kudos for you guys, uh,

Scott: for, for thinking about it now. Yeah. We, we made the promise to one another that we wouldn't actually make a decision of any sort until after we've hit the one year. Sure. But those conversations, we've already started those conversations, you know, at the eight, at the seven and eight month mark.

So we're, yeah, who's counting? We haven't officially decided anything, but we've officially decided . Love it.

Josh: Okay, so, uh, taking a look at when you had your confirmation, when was that? So you moved in in May, but when did you have your confirmation? How long was that waiting

Scott: period? So the way our v f s appointment in San Francisco was in mid-February, okay.

And we were notified, um, in April. It was eight weeks to the day. Okay. Uh, that we were notified that we were approved and we opted. We opted to keep our passports after. Mm-hmm. after the appointments, we had to overnight our passports to San Francisco and they overnighted 'em right back. So we dep we left Denver on May 4th.

We had received our visas in the mail like April 28th or April 29th or something like razor thin margin. We were, you know, almost, we were up against, Yeah.

Josh: So how long was your waiting period from when you moved in May to when you were confirmed by Seth here in Portugal? Oh,

Scott: oh, oh, oh. For, for our, our Seth appointment, our residency appointment.

Yeah. Yep. Um, we went through our residency appointment in August, uh, the, okay. Early, the middle part of August. So it was four months pretty much on the dot, which I think, uh, you know, back in then it's not shocking was, yeah. Back then is what they had. Now I think I, I've heard stories that they're like 7, 8, 9 months down the road, so everybody's getting extended.

But yeah, for us it was a, a four month wait. And, uh, then they, they told us that our cards would come in the mail, uh, in about four to five weeks. And it arrived in two and a half. Yep.

Josh: Okay. That's a really similar story to us in terms of how quick we ended up receiving our cards. So that's, It's very good.

And how was, how was the process? Were you nervous when you had to go in for, for that

Scott: appointment? Yeah, I mean, you know, anytime your, where you live hangs in the balance. , uhhuh, , you know, are, are we gonna be allowed to stay here? It was the only thought that kept crossing my mind. So, yeah, we were nervous, but we were also pretty confident.

Cause you know, even going back to our vfs uh, appointment in, in the States, we went through the checklist and just made sure that everything was in. So for our Seth appointment, we did basically the same thing. We asked a bunch of, uh, a bunch of other expats in the area that we had talked to and, you know, a few groups.

We, we asked our, our attorney, we asked the local tour guide who is a neighbor of ours, who's become a friend of ours. So we started gathering as much information as we could, just to kind of figure out what we should expect then. Mm-hmm. , you know, went right down the list, organizing all of our inform. We showed up and it was, it was a nothing appointment.

The lady was super nice, super friendly, same, just went through stamping everything, asking questions just to confirm, and then welcomed us to the country like, man, this is, this is not at all what I was expecting. That was awesome. Thank you so much.

Josh: Yeah, I mean we, we had a really similar experience and I have heard of some people having maybe more difficult times or more challenging times at their appointments, but we haven't experienced that ourselves.

And it sounds like you, you didn't either, so that's, that's great. Now, I'm really curious about when, when you all arrived in May, up until August, did you run into any issue. Where, because you didn't have your residency permit yet, that there were some problems or some things maybe, that you couldn't set up because you didn't have that,

Scott: uh, residency.

The only thing that really got in the way, or that really had to take a backseat was trying to figure out what the tax and the taxation picture was gonna look like. And we, and honestly, we still don't have clarity about whether or not we have to file yet. Everything else we were able to accomplish. But the I, I think the biggest issue.

When we first arrived, not having a phone number or not having an active phone because you need a Portuguese phone number for literally everything. Yep. Um, so we, I, I had hired a personal assistant service on the ground here before we moved to set up our utilities to get us set up with, with our phone and internet and have it all installed and, you know, get some groceries and such for when we arrived cuz we arrived to a completely barren apartment there.

There was. An air mattress and, and like a plunger and that was about it. . So , we, we actually, we technically had the phone number. We didn't realize that we had the sim cards somewhere in the apartment until like three weeks later. So we were struggling to get furniture to get anything set up to any type of appointment.

Everything depended more on the phone number than it did on the residency card. The residency card, I think, may have come in. . So we, we purchased a car a couple of months ago. Okay. So we made it about six months before we decided that we wanted to buy a car. I don't know what difficulty we may or may not have had in buying the car without the residency card.

I think that probably would've been the biggest issue, um, . But when we got here, our biggest problem was just not having the phone set up. So we didn't know how to order. . Okay.

Josh: Yeah. Maybe they would've just needed a, a niff for, for buying the car?

Scott: Possibly. But maybe the registration of it. Yeah, maybe the

Josh: registration of it, like the tying it to a license, a por, like a European, I, I don't know.


Scott: I, we, we didn't either. Um, we don't have a cart, so I don't have to .

Josh: Yeah. I don't have to deal with any of that stuff. Okay. So I'm curious about this, uh, this personal assistant, this service that you, you hired mm-hmm. , Paco Paku Services. Yep. Paco Services. .

Scott: Okay. Can you tell us about it? Yeah, it was, um, it started by a Bri, a British expat, that she's been here a couple of years and when she first arrived, had all the same problems that, that the rest of us face.

The language is really hard. We don't speak much of it yet, navigating simple things like setting up utilities or going grocery shopping. And so she came up with the service. She, the more locals she met, she figured, Hey, if I'm having these issues, other people are gonna have these issues. Go ahead. Here's a business that I can start.

So she has hired a handful of truly bilingual locals. They're all, you know, in their twenties and thirties, you know, speak great English and obviously native Portuguese. And they're available for, on an hourly rate or a package of hours to do basically whatever it is that you need done to help get you settled in.

So awesome. We, we asked them, we gave. The authority to set up our, our utilities, get the phone and internet hooked up. We gave, we authorized 'em to, to pick up the keys, come into the apartment, uh, accept some deliveries for food and some other household stuff. And they met us at the front door when we landed with our keys, showed us to the apartment, and, and I still maintain contact with a couple of them even though we're not using the services anymore.

Now that we're settled. still maintain contact with a couple of them there because they're just good people and, and they're, you know, people I want to talk to and I want to Nice. Maintain communication. Nice. What are,

Josh: what are the packages like? Like what are the hourly rates or the package costs?

Scott: I think it averages out to about 25 bucks an hour, so it's totally reasonable.

Okay. Especially when you think about how much stress moving is, it seems overwhelming and then you actually do it and you realize, oh my. Completely underestimated how stressful this is gonna be. 25 bucks an hour is a pittance, is an absolute bargain for the amount of peace or for the peace of mind that you get, knowing that, you know, after an 8, 12, 14 hour trip mm-hmm.

you get to show up to an apartment, at least you're gonna have an air mattress. You might have some food and some pots and pans already set up for you. Uh, you, you can connect to the internet and, and all that and start to de. without that service, I don't know. It probably would've taken us a couple of weeks to get everything set up.

Yep. And we would've just been absolutely miserable. Yeah. There's two

Josh: things that I think of when I think of services like this. Like there's, there's two things that really popped to mind. One is like, how much do I value my personal time? Right? So like, can I earn more per hour than whatever the service costs me?

Mm-hmm. . Um, and then the, the other thing is, is is this a one-time thing or is this a thing that I'm gonna have to do on a weekly basis that I'm probably gonna need to learn how to do and I should just learn how to do it myself so that I can then do it on a, on a weekly basis? So a lot of the things that people have to do when they first arrive are those one-time things.

So it's like, what is the point in trying to, to take a steep learning curve and do it yourself rather? Paying 25 bucks to, to get a local to do it. And yeah, it makes sense. It makes

Scott: a lot of sense. Yeah. So, so yeah. So our package, I think it was, yeah, they, they obviously require a minimum order. So I think ours was like 10 hours, so it was 250 euro for all of this.

And, and their assistant would spend the time on the phone with, with the electric company time on the phone, with the, with the phone company or with the internet company. So all of that got factored in because that's time that I would've had to, Sitting on hold listening to, uh, a Portuguese language message that I didn't understand.

Yeah. Uh, and then fumbling my way through hoping that somebody's spoken enough English to get us set up. Right.

Josh: Right. Exactly. That's exactly it. Okay. So. The listener that wants a car would be very upset if I didn't talk to you about buying a car. So let's do that. Okay. How did you kind of go through the process of buying a car?

Did you talk to some, some local friends about what? Like where to buy or did you just start driving by places or make a Google search? What did you do?

Scott: It was a little bit of everything because, okay. Uh, so we, we started our search on stand virtual and trying to think of what the other, what the other main site was mostly stand virtual.

Cause that's what we were told in some of the expat groups. That's where everybody should look. Okay. Uh, one thing that we realized is that unlike in the states where you have and you have all these aggregator sites, and it's the same thing with, with real estate as we're finding out Yep. Is that there isn't like a central.

there's not a central internet hub of this information. So the car, the cars that you see on, on stand virtual, they may not be there anymore. Mm-hmm. , um, it's not the entirety of the, uh, of the inventory. So a lot of it we would, we would just be riding by someplace and there's a car dealer, take down the name.

Let's get online. When we get home, we'll send 'em an email. So we did a lot of WhatsApp, a lot of email messaging. With these dealers saying, Hey, I saw this car on your site. Is it available? And what else do you have with these per. Both of us can drive a stick. Um, this is, this is I think something that would be germane to a lot of American listeners for sure.

We can both drive a stick. I patently refused. I, I didn't want to have to, in a new city. We had a lot of hills and, you know, in a, a driving culture that I'm not familiar with. So we wanted an automatic, which made the, it made the search a lot more difficult. Yeah. You know, we, we found ourselves driving by or riding.

Every dealer in the area, anytime we saw a dealer, okay, let's put 'em on the list and, and start, uh, start looking on their website while also pinging people on stand virtual. So it was a really involved, a really involved process because you have some larger dealerships, but nothing quite like those gigantic auto malls that you might find in big American cities where you can go to one place and you can hit, you know, eight, 10 different.

Here, it's now got a dealer that does maybe one or two brands, and then their, their sister dealership is down the street with a couple of other brands. So it's, it's just different. It's. It's a lot more legwork. It's a lot more analog than I think what most people are, are used to. What were some of the

Josh: costs like and were you looking at buying new or

Scott: used?

So another evolution of our thinking, we, we came over thinking, let's get an electric car. We just want an electric, you know, we're sure we're ready for electric. Yep. everything that we'd heard that the, the electric infrastructure in Portugal was catching up. It was, it was there. What we found was that the range on these EVs just couldn't get us to anywhere that we wanted.

Like they were, they would max out for our budget. These EVs would max out at like 200 kilometers for their, for their maximum range, which doesn't get us anywhere that we wanted to travel to. So the new versus used is a, is an interesting concept because used cars are. Cars in general are very expensive here.

Used cars are very, very expensive. But the new cars that are only marginally more expensive than a used often have wait times for delivery of six, nine months, 12 months, 18 months. And you know, when we decided we wanted a car that it was time to buy a car, we wanted the car then rather than six or nine months from now.

Sure. So that kind of eliminated the idea of buying new altogether. There's no telling what the delivery timelines, particularly for, you know, the types of, the type of vehicle that we wanted was just, you know, small with, uh, you know, we, we either wanted a hybrid or, uh, a diesel with, you know, ridiculously good gas mileage, you know, a, an automatic, something that was kind of sporty and fun to drive.

You know, we're, we're, we're very picky consumers. And then you've got the, the market realities on the ground that, you know, the. The amount of inventory available just isn't much. Mm-hmm. , so you're gonna have to spend a lot of time searching for it. Then, because there's such little supply, the prices are gonna be inflated at the same time that, you know, global inflation was really kicking up and taking off.

So it, it probably added, I'd say, a few thousand dollars to, to our ultimate purchase price. Um, simply that confluence of factors. So it is, It's not an easy process to buy a car. It's certainly not a cheap process to buy a car. We'd considered going to Germany or going over to Spanner France, buying one there and bringing it back.

But Jeff then read up on, on the, the import taxes and, and all sorts of additional expenses imposed by the Portuguese government that may or may not align. Really well with EU law. Right. We can do it anyway. Right, right, right. Um, so we opted for, we opted for simplicity. Yeah. And we were willing to, you know, eat a couple thousand dollars extra if we needed to, to get what we wanted.

So we ended up just finding a, uh, finding a car at a, at a dealership, 45 minutes from here and paid it in cash and they delivered it to the house. Oh,

Josh: okay. Do they help with the registration, like to, to get a license plate and all that?

Scott: Yeah, so, so the matriculation, I think is what they call it here. That was all handled by the dealer as part of the, as part of the process.

It may or may not have caused, like, I, I, I think it's gonna differ from dealer to dealer, whether or not that is a, an added service or not. I think our dealer just included it at no cost, just to, just to get the car off a lot. Um, so we, yeah, that was really helpful to have that in our name and. Fully registered with, uh, you know, with everybody that it needs to be registered with when we took possession.

Oh, sure.

Josh: Okay. So let, let's kind of hop out of that topic and let's just talk about what you do on a Okay. On, on a daily basis living in Lisbon. What is life like? Yeah. For, for you and your wife?

Scott: Life is . Life is good, man. It's, um, it's a markedly different living experience. So I, I own a marketing agency that I run, uh, you know, that I run from.

My staff is pretty much all in the us. We've got some freelancers around the world, but most of our clients are in the us. My staff is all in the US and so I sort of shifted my, my work schedule to encompass more US hours. So I, I typically start work, you know, around 2, 2 30 in the afternoon. Here I'll work, you know, anywhere till seven 30 or 10 o'clock, depending on the day, and depending on what.

all of that leaves me the entire morning and part of the afternoon to do other stuff. So my, my life has been completely inverted from how it was in the US where I was working, you know, 8, 8 30 to four or five every day. And then after that, you go off and do, you know, run your errands or go to the gym or do whatever you're doing here is exactly the opposite.

Where I wake up, I, I haven't set an, I think I've said an alarm maybe three or four times since we got. and two of those were to catch flights. So like, on a day-to-day basis, I just don't use an alarm clock, which is a revelation, man. I, if you can, if you can swing it, I highly recommend it for everyone, cuz you start off your day with no stress of that annoying, buzzing in your ear.

Yeah. So we'll wake up kind of, whenever we wake up, we'll take the dog out. We'll, um, either go to one of the cafes for a Misa and a, and a cafe. Or we'll just make breakfast here. We'll let that digest. We'll head off to the gym or out for another long walk with the dog. Come back, shower up, have some lunch, and get ready for the workday.

Okay. You know, some days when we're not going to the gym, we'll take care of grocery shopping, we'll take care of, you know, we'll go to the mall and get some clothes shopping. Whatever errands we need to do, we're able to do in the middle of the day rather than rushing around at night after you've had a full work day.


Josh: Well, to the, to the listener, you're, you're missing. Smiling from ear to ear, uh, as he describes his life in Lisbon right now. ,

Scott: tell us what a TOK is. TK it, it's a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. And on the surface when you just hear the words like, oh, that's, that's nothing. Like, why are you going gaga Tok

Josh: sounds way better than ham and cheese sandwich.


Scott: right, right. Uh, but the, the bread here, so if anybody has not had Portuguese bread yet, Get ready because it is, it's incredible. The bread culture here is Fab Lu. And so you imagine this amazing Portuguese bread and, and they put it in a panini press after they brush it with butter and they'll throw some oregano or some other spices in with it and they'll throw some, uh, some of their prou, their ham and their tetra or uh, whatever cheese they opt.

and it just comes out this huge melty, buttery, crusty sandwich that costs like a Euro 50. Um, and you pair that up with, you know, with any number of different coffee options. Yeah. And you got yourself a nice little breakfast for, you know, two or three bucks. It's great. Nice .

Josh: Now do you drink, do you drink a, a beco there?

A beca because up here in the north we call it a semb.

Scott: Yeah. So down here they'll call it, some places will call it a Beka. Beka. Okay. And AKA is a ACA is shot of Exclusive. Exclusive to Lisbon. Yep. Um, I've used it in other places like Tual and they just, and down the Algarve and they just kinda looked at me.

You're like, so you want a cough? Yeah, I want a cafe. Yeah. Um, yeah, so my wife loves Cafe Bardo, which is basically an Americana right. Coffee with a lot of hot water. Yep. Uh, I have graduated from regular espresso to double espresso . Okay. Um, cuz I, I, we're both big coffee drinkers. The coffee here is fantastic.

Um, the co it is a coffee culture though. It's, I remember over the summer we had a couple of days where it was just blazing, blazing. And all I wanted to do was get back to the apartment, turn on the air conditioner, sit in front of a fan, and as I'm walking back, you see all these old guys out at a Cafe Street corner sipping on, sipping on Bika, you know, sipping on cafe, on on hot coffee ing.

But yeah, so we'll stop in periodically, just grab a beca, uh, grab an bat, grab a dulo, whatever, whatever we feel at the moment. And you know, it's not uncommon to have two or three of them in the. And then come back a few hours later and have a couple more. And

Josh: about how much do you pay

Scott: for a double A doubles?

Maybe a Euro 25. Okay. At, at, at the absolute max? Mm-hmm. , uh, the place that we go, we have a, we have a cafe downstairs from our, from our flat, I think it's 90 cents for a double. For a double. Wow. Okay. Yeah.

Josh: Geez. That's great. That's great. Just don't order a

Scott: be cup here. No. sim simino

Josh: up here. Beka Down in the south.

Down in, down in, uh, in Lisbon. Cool.

Scott: Very cool. Do you have the same, the same thing with with beers too? Because down here the big one is a Cona and a small one is in nite. Is it the same up in

Josh: Portu or, okay. It's the same up here. Oh, it's the same up here? Yeah. I think, um, FIU gets used a lot up. I don't know if pheno gets used as much in Lisbon.

Um, I haven't heard it. Pheno is even smaller. It's like a 20 centimeter beer. Uhhuh, I believe is the difference. Whereas an it's

Scott: just like a shot of beer. Yeah.

Josh: Ol it's like they put it in a thimble. Um, ol is I think 33 centimeter and then a Kinetica can be anywhere between 40 and 50. It should be 50, right?

Let's be honest. Yeah.

Scott: It should be 50 I, exactly. Yeah. It absolutely should be.

Josh: Okay, so I was gonna say like, we were, we were gonna graduate from like, our morning and, and, and kind of late morning beverage to what are we drinking, you know, in the afternoon, but we've already jumped to beer. So let's talk about beer.

Are you a Cyrus or Super Bach fan?

Scott: I'm a super B guy. There we go. Uh, but the super b, the Superbox Stout. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The regular Superbox. The regulars, they're okay. I guess they're, they're drinkable. Sure. They're far better than like the Miller Light Bud Lights of the World. That's how I feel. But it's their version.

That's right. But the, the Superbox Stout is a legitimately. Decent, drinkable, dark beer, they call it as status. More of a, a black lagger. Yeah, black lagger. Yes. The, yeah, the mouth feels a little bit different, but it tastes good and it's, you know, super low calorie and had like, the, the nutritional value on it is nothing, it's not a craft beer.

Um, but it's, it definitely serves its purpose. Um, we actually, as much, as much as we love beer, cuz we're beer people, we're from Colorado, it is like beer is what we do there. We're in Portugal and wine is what they do here. That's right. So we drink just like everybody else, an inordinate amount of wine.

Mm-hmm. , uh, because it's all good. It's all extremely afable. Feed your fair

Josh: share of wine. You drink your fair share of

Scott: wine. We do. We we're, we're fitting in nicely. I, I read a study, there was some survey out that, uh, the average Portuguese, I think drinks like three cups of wine a. Higher wine consumption than anyone on per capita, than anyone in Europe and maybe on the planet.

And like, you know, if you wanna fit in, then you gotta, then you have to really fit in. So we're doing our part. Yeah. drinking our fair, our fair share of wine. . Awesome.

Josh: Well, okay, so let's talk about beer. I'm, I'm assuming that you've explored the, uh, the craft beer scene in, we have in Portugal

Scott: we have, um, what do you think?

Uh, so it's interesting cuz it's very, very, Um, but there's a lot of quality there. There are a handful of breweries in and around Lisbon in particular. Uh, like our favorite brewery is called Ammo Brewing. And it's owned by a Canadian Portuguese woman, um, who started as a home brewer. And then she moved over here and kept home brewing and realized that she could open a brewery and I would put her beer up in any American brewery.

I think, I think a lot of her beer would stand up. Wow. Quality. To what we expect in, you know, in a craft brewery in the us. Um, same thing with OTA Colina. They have a couple of beers that are really, really good musa, uh, which I think is up by you guys actually. Uh, I feel like Musa is brewed maybe in, in port.

Um, they have a couple really. We, we have, we have

Josh: a musa, but, um, I think that the, the brewery's

Scott: down, is it down here? Down in Lisbon. Uh, so, so there's, there aren't, you know, coming from a place like Denver where we have literally 150 breweries in the city proper to a place where there are like, you know, 20 breweries in the entire country here, uh, you know, obviously the selection is, is much, much less.

Um, you know, so it's not as easy as bouncing down to the corner and going from one brewery to the. But if you know where to look, if you know what you like, um, you know, place like Dush cord would be really, really good for a lot of people who love IPAs. AMU is good for people like me who prefer multitier, uh, darker beers, um, you know, with some interesting twists.

So the beer is there, the, the high quality beer is there if you know where to look and if you're willing to go out. And what, what's that

Josh: scene like in terms of like, what's the culture, like the people that are drinking craft beers? Are you noticing that it's a lot of foreigners or is are the Portuguese people getting into it?

What are you

Scott: seeing? It's, it's a lot of foreigners with some Portuguese mixed day and it's a growing number of Portuguese, I think, that are, that are starting to partake. Um, I think some of that though also comes from the. So, at least at the breweries that we frequent, regardless of where the owner is from, the staff is usually local or, or some sort of hybrid local where, you know, maybe it's a, a, a British person who grew up in Portugal.

Um, so they're fully bilingual. See, you get a lot of that Portuguese, like the younger Portuguese crowd working there. They probably tell their friends, Hey, I'm working at this brewery. The beer is really good. You should come. . And so you start getting these, these smaller gatherings of Portuguese natives, Portuguese locals coming down, but by and large it's still a predominantly immigrant expat group, but it's not all Americans.

Cause I think there are what, like 7,000 Americans in the entire country. So That's right. You know, you'll get a lot of Brits and a lot of French and some Spaniards and, and uh, you know, everywhere from everywhere in Europe and a, a handful from from Asia. And then the Americans show up. It's like, Hey, we know beer.

Let's, uh, let's go to this brewer. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Josh: Nice, nice. Well, I mean, it looks like you love life in Lis. And, and that's just, that's awesome. So I'm, I'm super happy for you that you've, uh, you've really been finding your way there and you've done it in a, a really quick amount of time,

Scott: to be honest. I, I think so.

Yeah. We we're, we're planners. Uh, well, my wife is a planner. I, I, I shouldn't lie, I don't like planning anything. I've worked through things in my mind with, you know, plan A through Z, but never actually write any of 'em down. So it's kind of seated my. , but we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to accomplish, what we wanted life to look like here before we even got here.

So that made it a little bit easier to, to put a plan together once we were on the ground. Uh, you know, the order of operations. What do we have to do first legally to make sure that we can stay? And then once we're, once we're certain and comfortable that we're gonna be allowed to stay. , how do we build the lifestyle?

Um, so it was, you know, it's, it's a process. And we spent the first three and a half weeks here just furnishing our place. Going to Ikea. Yeah. Multiple times and trying to find other, other stores. So I can imagine, you know, for people like me who are not particularly patient, it's, it's a stressful, it's a stressful thing.

It's, um, you have to keep in mind that everything is a process. The customer service is different. The customer service experience is different here. And so you are forced, right to learn patience from the minute you land in a way that you probably never thought you would, you would have to learn, uh, you know, at any point in your life.

Josh: No, that's exactly right. Well, at expats everywhere, we believe that living abroad transforms lives. How has living abroad transformed your life?

Scott: Wow, that's a great question. What's really interesting to me is the change in perspective just hanging around Portuguese and, and others, not from the us. I think I've earned, I think we've both, my wife and I have both developed a.

Uh, maybe a more complete global perspective on culture and what, and what happens around the world. Cause now that we're 10 months removed from living in the us, we still follow US news. But waking up each day, just seeing what's going on over there rather than all around me. You know, it, it's almost like an out-of-body experience.

Like I remember being in. But now I don't have to actually live through any, I think it's just given me a much different perspective on other ways of living a happy life that you probably don't get when you're, when you're buried or inundated in like the daily crush of American life. Cuz the, you know, the pace here is much, much slower.

You have time to decompress, you have time to relax, you have time to kind of do whatever you want here in a way that you. Always have or usually have, um, in a hustle and bustle lifestyle, like what you'd have back in, back in the states. Uh, so it's just, it's made for a more complete, more maybe more honest worldview.

And it's dropped my stress levels probably by at least half, I would say. That's awesome.

Josh: That is awesome. Well, if people want to get in touch with you, how can they.

Scott: Best way to do it is on LinkedIn. I am a LinkedIn power user. Uh, cause I'm a business guy, uh, so they can just search my name. I'm the bald guy with, you know, with the Goodlooking photo on LinkedIn.

Just shoot me a message or a connection request and I'm happy to talk about moving. I'm happy to talk about business, whatever the case may be. Scott,

Josh: thank you so much for meeting with Ex

Scott: Pets everywhere today. Thanks for having me.

Josh: You know, another great resource for learning Portuguese that I've found is me ES Academy, because if you're wanting to move to Porto specifically, she's got that Porto accent. Oh yeah. So if you're wanting to be more port twins, That's

Scott: the person you should go

Kalie: with. Yeah, that's a really good point. And something that I like about her is that she has this kickstart course that you can start with that are the basics and it's free.

So you can get an idea of what she does, how she does it, and then if you like her, then you can do a

Josh: paid service. Yeah. Maria es Marez has a great YouTube channel full of information, but also her courses are fantastic at getting people fluent at the

Scott: language as quickly as.

Producer Dan: Next time on, let's move to Portugal. We've got a very special interview. Melanie moved to Portugal less than a year ago, and right away she felt unwell. Three weeks later, she had a cancer diagnosis here, all about the Portuguese healthcare system, how it compares to the us. And how Melanie is doing now, right back here

Scott: next week.

Kalie: Thank you so much for joining us this week on Let's Move to Portugal. Contact info for all the services mentioned are in the show notes. If you like the show, please subscribe. If you love the show, please tell a friend. Connect with us on our socials and if you wanna help us out. Give us a review on your podcast player expats Everywhere.

Presents, let's Move to Portugal, is produced by time or Money Productions.

Josh: Expats everywhere researches our guests, and we do our best to provide factual and relevant information at the time of the recording. Despite our best efforts, we can make no guarantees as. To the accuracy of what you've heard in this episode, we highly recommend that you do your own research and check your own facts.

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Scott - Digital Nomad, Work-life Balance, and Beer
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