This week's Togetherness edition is dedicated to the foreigners who have adopted Portugal as their home. What has driven them to make this life-changing decision? What are the sunny and the shadowy sides of Portugal? Which good lessons can Portugal teach to their native countries? Find out the surprising answers to these questions. Home is - definitely - where the heart is.
Josephine van Bennekom and Hans de Herder
Quinta da Moenda
1. How long do you live in Portugal ?
We live in Portugal for 16 years.
2. Why did you decide to move to Portugal?
We have decided to move to Portugal, because we wanted more quality of life and less stress. We visited friends who lived in Vila Pouca da Beira and we were absolutely impressed by the region of Center of Portugal. Our friends of Quinta da Geia, located in the schist village Aldeia das Dez, knew that Quinta da Moenda was for sale. And it was love at first sight!
3. What are the sunny and the shadowy sides of Portugal?
The sunny side is the light of Portugal, the nature, the friendly people and the weather. The shadowy side is a certain lack of self-consciousness. Portugal is very self-centred.
4. Which lessons can your native country learn from Portugal?
Holland could learn to become more digital (for example, the tax department website or the ATM technology). The country could also learn to be more welcoming and to value "carpe diem"!
5. What can Portugal learn from your native country?
Portugal could learn the values of citizenship and environmental responsibility, as well as efficiency and quality.
6. What have you learned with the Portuguese "saudade"?
The word "saudade" has taught us not to feel them at all !