Photo: INÊS LOPES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

Pat the Expat column in the Resident

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of a column in the Resident written by Pat the Expat.

My husband and I came to the Algarve to be on holiday. Our friends, who we consider family, had recently purchased here and sparked our interest. We had no real expectations but to explore the area and learn about the country.

We knew it was touted as one of the best places to retire, so we thought “why not dream?”

We arrived in the dark of night so the next morning awakened to a splendid view and fabulous weather. We proceeded to spend time wandering the streets, the beach, the restaurants, as anyone would, and fell in love with the Algarve and everything Portugal. We definitely got the bug to envision retirement relocation. We started to look at properties with our new friend and real estate professional associate who helped our friends purchase here.

Over coffee one morning, I looked at the Google Alert for Portugal that I had set up before leaving the States and the column came into the feed. It was totally unexpected. I had never heard of the Resident nor “Pat”. I clicked on the link and read the article “A very good time to be a resident”. I found it so interesting and humorous that I wanted to read more, and I did …

The next article I read was: “So, what don’t you like about Portugal?” He had me in stitches with the following sentences, “As my loyal reader might remember, the first column I wrote for the leading English-language newspaper in the area was all about ‘Tailgating’. In my debut (30 submissions ago), I commented that I didn’t think that when I looked into my rearview mirror that I should be able to notice that the driver behind me had a piece of lettuce in his teeth.” I read it out loud to my husband.

I said to my husband, “I would love to meet this guy. He seems such a rich, interesting personality!” I became a fan! So, I wrote to the paper and found an email for “Pat”, then wrote to him as well. I didn’t really expect either to respond and, lo and behold, both did! I was elated to get a reply.

“Pat” gave us some wonderful suggestions to begin a journey here that unfolded like magic. With his suggestions, we have found wonderful, supportive relationships that we believe will be lifelong, we were able to meet “Pat”, his lovely wife and their newly-adopted rescue dog.

We have joined groups, are learning the ropes from professionals as well as other expats’ experiences, and have taken memberships with groups that teach how to get from there to here.

We are loving getting to know the Portuguese people who we find to be kind, accepting and helpful. We have become more than comfortable here. It feels like home. We plan to keep in close touch with all the people that have been so welcoming and gracious to us.

Finally, to the real point of this letter, it all really blossomed and came into closer focus after reading that first article written by “Pat” that was in my inbox. I told him he is the one responsible for pointing us in the direction to explore and discover a dream in reality, instead of just daydreaming about it. For that, we are forever grateful!

Heartstruck in the Algarve
(name withheld on request)