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Why we moved to Portugal?

Why we moved to Portugal?

So, it’s now almost October 2022 and we’ve been living in Portugal for one month. We took a 24-hour ferry over at the end of August, from Plymouth to Santander, and then we made the car journey down to our final stop in the Western Algarve. This isn’t the first time we’ve been here, a year ago we travelled around Portugal for two months. When we discovered a school for Mia, the community, climate and an intangible happy feeling about moving to the Western Algarve, we knew we had to move here but we also knew it would be hard selling our house and cutting down our possessions to one single car load but we did it...

Now here we are, after a long and challenging VISA process, we finally secured our D7 VISA for four months, which can then be extended for up to two years. (It came in the post, only a week before our ferry departure). We have big plans for the future here but for now we are living in a traditional Old Town with cobbled streets, friendly locals and views of the Algarvian Mountains. It’s very different from travelling and being on holiday, yet living here we are still waking up confused thinking “where am I?”.

Being able to work and run our business from Portugal has made this long-term dream a reality. For nearly 10 years all our frames and fine art prints have been created back in the UK by our incredible, dedicated printers. We are currently working from the house, we are staying in, but have plans to purchase our own house and create our studio to work from.

When friends and family say to us “Why Portugal?” – there have been so many factors in this long-standing love affair we have had with this country. Before living here, we had collectively spent at least 6 months in the country, travelling around. It was that first trip to Porto though in 2015 that really opened our eyes to Portugal. The beautiful blue ‘Azulejo’ tiles, the narrow back streets, the expansive evening pink skies and the slower pace of life.

There were obvious reasons to move here, as you would have expected, such as the warm climate and gentle breezes. The wide array of beaches and nature, and the friendly people. We found a wonderful International school for Mia, set in the countryside, much of the teaching is outdoors and child-led. The western Algarve is very raw and the nature remains in most parts, untouched, yet at the same time it’s not too far to drive to the more commercial, southern part of the Algarve to get everything else that we need. The beaches are wild, the cars have sand and dust on them and there’s a salty skinned, healthiness to the local and international people that live here. Despite our lack of Portuguese language (working on that!) we have made some great connections and hope to make many more.

It’s been a whirlwind and one month in, we’re very much in the honeymoon period but we wanted to let you know how it has been so far. We plan to take as much inspiration from the surrounding nature, architecture and designs as possible, to create new ranges for Holly Francesca. 

Will share more on our Instagram grid, so be sure to follow us @hollyfrancescauk

Ciao for now!