If you are the kind of person who takes pleasure in discovering new restaurants, museums, and other attractions in a new city or place, imagine how much fun you are going to have moving to an entirely new country!
Portugal is one of the oldest and most historically significant nations in the world. Once the leading global power, the country is now content to take a backseat and live in peace and prosperity outside the world’s spotlight.
Besides its rich and rewarding history, Portugal is also known for its eclectic culture, delicious food, many festivals, and its passion for sports, especially soccer (or futebol, as it is locally known).
Getting to Know Portugal
When you first arrive in Portugal, expect to spend the first several weeks — or even months — discovering your new home. In addition to a new language, a warm climate, and a friendly and welcoming population, you can immerse yourself in the Portuguese passion and love for learning and experiencing new things.
Start with cafe culture. While popular throughout Europe, simply sitting around a public square sipping coffee and watching the world pass by can be a uniquely Portuguese past time. Many Americans quickly lose their reliance on TV or movies for entertainment and happily engage in the simple pleasures of lively conversation, good company, and strong coffee.
Festivals and Holidays
Another new experience is Portuguese holidays and festivals. One of the biggest, Carnaval, arrives soon after the new year. Carnaval, which precedes the Lenten season, is celebrated nationwide and goes far beyond Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras celebrations. Weeks of parades, street dancing, special feasts, colorful costumes, and more make the celebration something to remember and cherish.
Other big celebrations include feast days, like St. Anthony’s (June 12-13), St. John (June 23-24), St. Peter (June 28-29). and St. Martin (Nov. 11).
It can take a lifetime to discover everything there is to know about your new Portuguese home. But the richness of the experiences and the fun you will have will make every moment priceless.