The next big thing in 2013

news: The next big thing in 2013

By Mary Mangan

This year I spent Christmas and New Year in Ireland and I was struck by the pervasiveness of technology in the everyday lives of the people I met and travelled with.

Whilst waiting for my flight in Faro airport, I looked around at my fellow passengers, most of whom had eReaders or tablet computers in hand. Those carrying newspapers, books or magazines were in a clear minority.

Driving around the local towns and villages close by, conspicuously branded vans from the high street supermarkets were seen on numerous occasions delivering the Christmas and New Year food and drink to households at times convenient to their lifestyles.

We have been freed from the constraints of shopping during set opening hours in favour of an always open, always available shopping experience for a myriad of goods through the application of technology, giving us much more control over our lives and the decisions we make.

This new generation of mobile technology is once again extending the boundaries of what we do and how we operate away from the traditional and into a new realm of user choice. We can now exercise control over what we do, when we do it and where.

It’s challenging all the traditional modes of operating in commerce, communications, broadcasting, medicine, shopping and gaming, to mention just a few.

It is liberating us from being tied to a desk, liberating us from computers, liberating us from the restriction of only acting certain ways in certain contexts. The evolutionary developments in web and mobile technologies are characterised by an increase in the control we exercise over our lives and the freedom that brings us.

It’s also facilitating lifestyle choices and enabling us to look at how and where we want to live our lives to best advantage.

Many of the buyers we are meeting at the moment here in Portugal are looking at relocating here on a permanent basis. They want to get away from the hustle and bustle, the long commutes in gridlocked streets and from the grim weather. But they also want to stay connected to the workplace, their families and their world.

The development of mobile technology along with modern infrastructure, such as we have here in Portugal, facilitates the decision to relocate here and still be completely in tune with the commercial world.

Our buyers will not accept anything but the best in terms of facilities and services, and here in Portugal we have the advantage of having made the right investments at the right time to facilitate their decision to adopt this country as their base.

Our children can also take advantage of all this modern technology has to offer, and be completely in tune with their cousins and friends in other countries whilst growing up in a clean, open and fresh environment with excellent educational opportunities. They even have the advantage that they can use this technology outside due to its wireless nature and not be stuck inside, cooped up in the house all the time.

At a time where many countries are concerned by childhood obesity, the opportunities for outdoor living experienced here is second-to-none. Use of these devices can be incorporated into our daily lives wherever we are – on the beach, sailing, walking or just sitting outside on the balcony on a sunny winter’s day like today.

Given this rapid evolution in the way people are living their lives now, I believe that Portugal is well positioned as an attractive location for people to live whilst still having access to everything as they would in their home country, but with the advantages of a superb geographical location with an excellent climate (19ºC in sunny Luz on January 9!), quick access to the UK and other northern European locations through Faro and Lisbon airports, good educational and health infrastructure and an excellent range of properties to suit every budget.

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Mary Mangan is the Managing Director of Winkworth Real Estate Portugal. The company has properties for sale on the Algarve and on the Silver Coast.