The European Union is composed of 27 countries, each of which has its own history, culture, and laws. But of all of these, Portugal is known for being the most welcoming to outsiders, including both short-term tourists and long-term expatriates. But why?
Why are the Portuguese so comfortable welcoming new people into their country, whether it is for relocation, retirement, or purchasing vacation homes? The answer may surprise you.
History and Culture
For one thing, Portugal used to be a world power. Up until about 300 years ago, Portugal played the key role in world politics that countries like the US, China, and Russia play today. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal led the world in exploration, colonization, and trade. But the emergence of the New World and opening of Asia eclipsed Portuguese ambitions.
Today, the country is happy to play a supporting role in world affairs, letting other nations take the spotlight while the Portuguese people live in relative peace and quiet, with a thriving economy and civil stability. People in Portugal focus more on everyday living than world affairs. Portugal is now known more as a vacation destination than a global power. No wonder Portugal recently was named the third safest country in the world.
Weather and Climate
Another reason the Portuguese are so welcoming is that they live in a place that is almost always warm and sunny. And with more than 1,100 miles of coastline, they are never very far from the beach. With so many sunny days at the beach, it’s no wonder the Portuguese are so happy and well-adjusted.
Finally, Portugal understands that diversity is critically important for any culture. Inviting a wide variety of people from different backgrounds to become part of their cultural diaspora only makes the society better, stronger, and more stable. Why are the Portuguese so welcoming? Because they care about keeping their culture vital and energetic.