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Life in Portugal Is … Different

Life in Portugal Is … Different


If you are planning on moving to Portugal for business, leisure, or even for retirement, you might want to spend some time in the country first. Not because it’s anything you won’t like. But because life in Portugal is very different than what you are probably used to.

Many people coming to Portugal from the US, the UK, Canada, or other of the world’s busiest and biggest countries are surprised by how much more laid back Portugal is. Life in Portugal is slower, less stressful, and more committed to enjoying the finer things life has to offer. And believe it or not, this radical shift in lifestyle can come as something of a shock to many people visiting Portugal for the first time.

A Slower Pace

Let’s look at a couple of examples. While there is certainly traffic in Portugal, you probably won’t experience the kind of traffic jams that are normal in places like LA, Chicago, New York, or London. Portuguese people aren’t usually in any hurry to get where they are going. So they don’t normally crowd their highways on the way to and from work. The concept of “rush hour” is laughable here. In fact, most times could be described as “no-rush hour”.  And for people used to getting stressed out on the way to and from work every morning, this can be surprising.

Another difference is the time it takes for Portuguese people to eat a meal, especially dinner. While many Americans will gobble down their food in just a few minutes — often in front of a TV or other screen — in Portugal dinner can last an hour or even two each evening. The conversation is as important as the food. And there rarely, if ever, are any screens around.

BRINT Portugal

These are just two of many differences between life where you currently live and how things are in Portugal. Ours is an old, slow, and relaxed European culture. Even compared to other countries on the Continent, we are slower and more relaxed when it comes to our everyday lives.

So if you are thinking about relocating to Portugal, spend some time here first so you know what you are getting into. Once you get used to the slower pace, you are sure to enjoy it. But when you come from a stressful, fast-paced place it definitely takes some time to adjust.

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