Being an expat in Algarve: a report
How is it to be an expat in Portugal, and specifically in Algarve? The PortugalResident.com recently published an opinion article signed by an American couple currently living at Santa Bárbara de Nexe, in Faro municipality.
American expats are (still?) not that frequent in Algarve, and the report is an extensive one, about economic or political conditions, or even a list of touristic places to visit. The interest of the story is its highly personal tone, with the author, Pat, describing mainly the very favourable environment he and his wife found among the British residents in Santa Bárbara de Nexe.
Pat tells his readers that he had lived in Panama for ten years before the couple decided to move to Portugal. As Americans, they were not quite aware of the already intense British presence in the region, so he was surprised to find a “unique British pub, with umbrellas and outdoor seating right in the middle of a Portuguese village.” Pat adds that, although integration with the natives is an important part of the experience of living abroad, it’s “nice to have an oasis where your comfort zone is a bit more relaxed.”
Then, the report focuses around the friendship relationship they established with Julie and Martin, the owners of the pub, how the pub works as a local social centre for the expats, and even how the American couple integrated with the local British habits – a kind of a double integration to do! Funnily, Pat recalls how he learned that every arriving man to the pub is supposed to ask for a round of beers while joining the group. A group that would be, usually, discussing football, which Pat “persists calling soccer”.
Although Julie and Martin decided to close the pub and move on to another project, it is expected that, in a few weeks, Santa Bárbara de Nexe will have its British pub again.
The report, which you can read in full here, is an interesting inspiration for all those people thinking about moving to Portugal.