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147 – What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

147 – What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

What are the things we’re most looking forward to as we inch closer to our new lives in Portugal?
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.

Five Key Takeaways for What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

1. Slower pace of life

Probably the biggest thing that we’re both looking forward to is just a slower pace of life.

We’ve been to quite a few places throughout 2022 in Europe, and there is this definite difference to the overall speed at which folks live their lives. It’s like a savoring of life and experiences that we did not always feel when we were in the States. Speaking from someone who is a life optimizer (Jason) and wants to do everything as fast and efficiently as possible, it’s revealed to me how stressful that constant optimization can be.

We are really excited about this idea that everybody’s not in a hurry to get everywhere, and everyone’s not in a hurry to do everything. We’re not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing in the US but for us, the slower European lifestyle has been a breath of fresh air.

2. Learning and immersing ourselves in the language and culture

We are very much looking forward to learning the language (as difficult as we know it will be!) Caroline, specifically, looooooves learning new things and discovery brings her joy. Being able to know just enough of the language that she doesn’t have to translate a menu and just that little increase in knowing little phrases and being able to say a couple of greetings in Portuguese makes her so happy.

A lot of this is fresh because we are comparing Portugal to the States in a very new context and we are sure a lot of these thoughts will percolate over time, but there are obvious downsides to certain things and differences in culture in Portugal and we are looking forward to what change that will have on mindset and overall patience.

For example, if you are in the States and you’re moving into a new place, it would be easy to find things you’re looking to buy. We know, in the US, our default system is we’ll just go to Target. But for us, we are going to try to shop local and not just head to the big box stores (although, the big box stores are great for some items). One thing we’re excited to do is to find a local ceramics shop and buy handmade from a local Portuguese artisan!

There’s something about a lack of convenience that we’re almost finding value in because it makes us appreciate things in a different way. We do find that, in the States where everything is an available option, you almost get this sense of a lack of appreciation for it.

We do think that the challenge of making it a little bit harder will also make it more rewarding!

3. Rebuilding our home and making new friends

We are super grateful that the house we’re moving into comes furnished so we don’t have to buy a lot of the big-ticket items. That being said, traveling full-time for nearly 11 months and living out of suitcases and Airbnbs, we are VERY excited to create comfort just by having the right things and knowing where those things are.

We know it won’t be easy to make new friends, but we’re going to do our best to put ourselves out there a bit and do some uncomfortable things to try to join our local community on the Silver Coast of Portugal.

4. Routines and business

We are looking forward to the continuity of things because there are certain areas of this (travel) lifestyle where the adaptability has obviously been really good for us, especially for Caroline.

But after almost a full year of traveling, having dedicated workspaces and times throughout the day to work is very attractive to us.

We have had to learn how to be productive at a tiny cafe table, at a kitchen island bar top, on a couch, in a bed, all these places where work isn’t the most conducive. With a specific place to sit/stand and work every day, we can already feel our productivity starting to increase again!

5. Continuing the adventure in Europe!

The last one is just being in Europe and being able to travel so easily to so many other countries. We already want to go back to Switzerland and Italy and we want to go visit Scandinavia.

Being in Europe and being able to, at a moment’s notice, go, “Hey, do you want to go, like, see some castles?” That’s just a really cool thing to be able to do! It’s a huge perk to be able to hop on a 1-2 hour flight and arrive in some amazing new destinations rich with history and awe-inspiring landscapes.

We’re also moving into a new chapter of our lives where we want to start talking about having kids. We understand that balancing the reality of building a family and how we make it all work is what life is about. Everybody figures it out in their own way.

Show Notes for Episode 147: What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

This week, we (obviously) wanted to share some thoughts and feelings about our upcoming move into our new home. If you somehow missed the announcement, we are moving to Portugal and living in the Silver Coast starting in November (2022).

We chat about the slower pace of European life, the Portuguese culture we’re excited to explore, the new community we hope to build (friends!), as well as getting back into routines and having all the same STUFF every day of our lives.

Hope you enjoy this ep and maybe it’ll inspire you to make a big move in your life too??

✈️ Our pramvel takes you through our FINAL country we visited on our (almost) year of full-time travel: Switzerland! And wow, what a country to end our trip with. We spent two weeks in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and we navigated a flu as well as Caroline’s Mom having a dream trip with us!

🏠 Here’s the magical Switzerland Airbnb:

🪵 Here’s the Swiss restaurant that had amazing ambience:

Full Transcript of Episode 147: What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What Is It All for? A podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We’re your host, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an unboring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here too.

Jason: I don’t really know what to do with my leg in this setup because I’m not on a couch.

Caroline: That’s tough.

Jason: And my legs are so long and not flexible anymore. Man, getting older, you really lose a lot of flexibility. Did you know this?

Caroline: I do. And actually, flexibility and stretching is something that I’m very much looking forward to getting back into.

Jason: I’ll tell you what, a year of full-time travel, it really clumps you into a ball of a human.

Caroline: You just start slowly disintegrating.

Jason: It’s like you start like a stretched out human, and then by the end, like, all the planes and Airbnbs and trains and lack of consistent exercise, just like [making a clawing sound] and I don’t think the extra pizza… doesn’t help. Kind of like it’s like a vacuum. Like the pizza’s, like [sweeping sound].

Caroline: You feel pretty crumply right now.

Jason: Clumpy.

Caroline: Clumpy.

Jason: Clumpy.

Caroline: I feel kind of crumply.

Jason: Okay. Yeah, I feel clumpy. Hey, just real quick, before we get into the pramvel, I want to give a shout out to our singular Gen Z listener.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: Who sent us an email. And I don’t know when she’s going to listen to this because she’s just now she’s, like, working her way back through, which is going to be really fun.

Caroline: We asked on a previous episode, we were talking about how painfully we are now getting older.

Jason: Not Gen Z.

Caroline: It’s so funny as the younger generation, because remember when all the articles were like millennials?

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: And so now all the articles are Gen Z. It’s just, like, weird to watch that in real time. However, we asked for if there are any Gen Z listeners.

Jason: And to be honest, one person. So Dianne, thank you so much for reaching out. You sent an amazing email, although I will be honest, you are a millennial in sheep’s clothing, in Gen Z clothing.

Caroline: You’re on the cusp.

Jason: Yes, but very kind of you to send that email. We laughed and we’re very happy to get your email. And I’ll have replied back probably by the time you listen to this. But yeah, very fun. Just a little bit. We love those emails. Let’s get into the pramvel. This is the last pramvel.

Caroline: This is the last pramvel and we’ll go back to the pramble.

Jason: The pramble. We’ll go back to.

Caroline: What are these words?

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: The pramvel. Well, the pramble is what was the original.

Jason: It was the preamble.

Caroline: It’s the preamble, but it’s also where we ramble. It’s just what you’re listening to right now. We just talk about nothing, but we’re getting to the meat of the episode, and you just never know where we’re going to go. However, when we started full-time travel, we turned the pramble into the pramvel, which is a combo of the pramble and the travel. And so it was like travel updates in a pramble format. These are words that we make up and we do that quite often.

Jason: Love making up words. As evidenced by “crumpled” and whatever we just said.

Caroline: Clumpy.

Jason: Clumpy.

Caroline: That is a word, though. Just so you’re aware.

Jason: Yes, but like, who uses it, you know?

Caroline: No one.

Jason: No one uses it.

Caroline: So this is our last pramvel.

Jason: Because this was our last new country of the year.

Caroline: That’s right.

Jason: So technically, we will be going two countries in Europe, and we actually already have, but none of them are new, and they’re not really for any purposes of traveling. They’re more to get to a place to get to a place.

Caroline: As you are listening to this episode, we’re transitioning. We’re in the transition zone.

Jason: We’re shifting.

Caroline: We’re shifting.

Jason: We are shifting right now. That’s what’s happening right now.

Caroline: Just a side tangent. Jason is making fun of me because at one point during this trip, we were out to dinner.

Jason: It was like two months into the trip.

Caroline: It was two months into the trip. We were out to dinner at, like, a nice candle-lit little dinner, it was romantic. And I just love deep, meaningful convos.

Jason: You really do.

Caroline: On our dates. And I said, this is such a me thing to say. I started talking about thoughts I was having and feelings, whatever, but the way that I introduced it was something that’s shifting in me right now.

Jason: And I can safely say.

Caroline: Which made total sense to me, because it was something that was shifting in me.

Jason: And all of you enneagram fours and INFJs out there.

Caroline: A change of perspective that was happening.

Jason: Are like, yes, tell me about the shift. I feel the shifts.

Caroline: A way that I was growing, and I wanted to communicate it with my partner.

Jason: And the rest of us are like, yeah, just say, like, what you’re thinking about.

Caroline: And so for the rest of the year, Jason always… But he’ll do it. He’ll be in the kitchen and he’ll be like, something that’s shifting in me right now is the launch is done. So, anyway, it’s cute. And we like to use that phrase.

Jason: Anyway, we’re in a shift right now.

Caroline: We’re in a shift right now. Holy shift.

Jason: And those of you who are on our email list, yes, you’re getting the Holy Shift series because we are moving to Portugal. If you didn’t listen to that episode, we are getting all of our ducks in a row. Next week’s episode, we’re going to share with you the entire visa process, the applying for the visa and all that stuff, because some of you are just very curious about it, which we were too.

Caroline: I’d be curious.

Jason: Listening to it is very fun. But I think what you were also getting to is where we’re sitting right now is back in the United States, as of recording this, which is very interesting because we’re talking about travels that feel like they were months ago, but they were like a week and a half ago.

Caroline: Exactly. And I just wanted to take everyone along for the ride of if you’ve been listening to us this entire year for this travel world that we’ve been living in, we’re now entering a new season, which is going to be like two to three months of sort of adjusting to life, our new life in Portugal. But we can’t just go there and just start living. We have some logistics, there’s visa stuff, there’s trips back and forth to get some things settled. So we’re in this weird transition period, which I think we’re going to talk about more in this episode. But that is all to set up the fact that let’s just have some fun and talk about our final country and our final time on this full-time travel almost year.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Ten-month life experience.

Jason: Yeah. I mean, we will be traveling for the full year, basically. Like, we’ll be going back and forth, as you said, but I want to start out with Switzerland lives up to the hype.

Caroline: My goodness.

Jason: We didn’t even go to the Grindelwalds and the Lauterbrunnens and the Interlakens.

Caroline: There’s so much more to be explored there.

Jason: The Gruyeres.

Caroline: We didn’t even scratch the surface.

Jason: And the Basels. We didn’t go to any of these. We went to such small places and they were still unbelievably magical.

Caroline: I’ll never forget the first morning.

Jason: Because we got in later in the afternoon. It started to get dark.

Caroline: We got in. It was honestly like… it was a good flight, another great flight for me. But then we had to rent the car. And then.

Jason: Would you say it was a perfect storm? Because Caroline, as we were landing, she was like, do you think we’re going to get back when it’s dark? And I was like, no.

Caroline: Well, yeah. And in your defense, we would have been fine in the light, but I was lolly gagging in the grocery store.

Jason: Oh, well, that and we had a little snafu with the rental car. I booked it for the wrong time. My assistant, excuse me, which is previous me, booked it for the wrong time. I don’t know. It was weird. But anyway.

Caroline: You should fire them.

Jason: Yeah, so we landed. It was raining in Zurich. We got the rental car, we drove to a grocery store. By the time we were pulling up to our Airbnb, it was dark.

Caroline: Dark.

Jason: So we couldn’t even tell that we were on a lake. We couldn’t tell there were any mountains.

Caroline: I saw some interesting like very sort of I don’t, forget the word I’m looking for, but this, like, very large mountain face.

Jason: Shadows. Like some shadows.

Caroline: There’s a word I’m looking for that’s sort of like forbearing. It’s like overbearing. Foreboding?

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: That’s not right.

Jason: This is great.

Caroline: If you know the word, email us.

Jason: Oh, man.

Caroline: That’s actually something that frustrates me. I can tell when someone can’t find the right word.

Jason: Oh, yeah. And you’re like, it’s this, it’s this.

Caroline: It’s this. Anyway, can see that, this sheer rock face coming out, like, just in the darkness. But anyway, we go to bed, we get to the Airbnb. It’s very cute. It’s perfect. We go to bed. I will never in my life forget. I can see it right now in my mind’s eye, waking up in the morning, the light, and then walking out and seeing the lake, the color of the water, just surrounded by these gorgeous mountains. It did not look real. It felt like I was stepping into some sort of screensaver or weird.

Jason: It really was. For those of you who are on our email list, you saw the photos last week, and as of this episode going up, you’ll have seen the photos this week and it is as beautiful as advertised. The only thing I can relate it to is Iceland. We went to Iceland in 2017. Everything is a postcard. Everything is just a magical photo that you could just send someone to be like, Is that real? Yes, it’s 100% real. This would have been the second time this year that I wanted to wake you up in the morning due to the absolute beauty. So the other time was when I actually did wake you up.

Caroline: When it was snowing in Ireland.

Jason: In Kinsale.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: It snowed for like 20 minutes. And I was like, I have to wake Caroline up because it may not last. And sure enough, it didn’t. It went away.

Caroline: That’s another memory that I’ll never forget, because it felt like my parents waking me up on Christmas morning and it was snowing.

Jason: So this was I almost woke you up, but I didn’t because the day before was a flight, a drive in the rain, a grocery store, and just.

Caroline: You made the right choice.

Jason: Yeah, I did, because also the view wasn’t going to go away.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: Like the snow was going to go away. And it did. It never came back.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: But yeah. So this first week we spent at an Airbnb, that was a very magical Airbnb for us, because it was the first Airbnb that you found as we were starting to.

Caroline: Aside from the windmill, yeah.

Jason: Think about this trip in Europe back in June of 2021.

Caroline: ‘Cause we knew Switzerland was like, at the top of the list.

Jason: Yeah. So you found this Airbnb and I’ve told the story many times. I want to tell it again because it’s worth telling very quickly, is that you couldn’t book it, and it had like a six-month wait thing, and I kept refreshing every day. I was refreshing every day early this year for a month, never popped up. Through a bunch of Google sleuthing, I found an email address, I contacted the host, he reached out to me and said, yes, you can book it. And we were able to book it, and it lived up to the pictures because the pictures were beautiful.

Caroline: I’m glad that you went through all those hoops, but it was worth it.

Jason: And I’ll leave it in the show notes, a link to the Airbnb so you can check it out. You can see the views that we had, but it was this cute little apartment atop of this house.

Caroline: Basically, it’s like an attic apartment.

Jason: But a very nice, modern attic apartment. And the unfortunate part of it, with all the beauty and the Fall colors changing and the most unbelievably turquoisey, teal, green water, you got the flu.

Caroline: I got the flu.

Jason: And so those of you who’ve been listening to our.

Caroline: So our second or third day there, thankfully we got to one small town, which is probably where I caught it, I don’t know, before I started feeling sick, but pretty quickly into our stay there, I started having sore throat symptoms, which is why I thought it was honestly COVID. I thought I was going to have COVID for the second time. But after testing, like three or four days in a row, it was pretty clear that it wasn’t.

Jason: Because your lovely husband drove into a nearby town, went to a German-speaking pharmacist and had a conversation about cough drops, which are Hustenbonbons?

Caroline: In nowhere besides America are cough drops called “cough drops.”

Jason: They’re really not.

Caroline: Because we tried this in Croatia also.

Jason: Yeah, they’re really not.

Caroline: And people are like, which makes sense. They think you’re talking about drops.

Jason: Like physical, wet drops.

Caroline: Wet drops.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And so they’re like a “cough drop?” And you’re like.

Jason: No, not at… yeah.

Caroline: But they’re bonbons.

Jason: They are bonbons. Hustenbonbons. But yeah. So we did multiple tests and so you were basically hunkered down sneezing and having a fever.

Caroline: Fever. And I guess it’s beginning of European flu season. So that makes sense.

Jason: And as of right now, recording this, many of you, I’m sure, it’s also the US flu season because just hearing so many people.

Caroline: I think we’re all sick in general, which is only to be probably expected.

Jason: Yeah. But anyway, so I took some walks around the lake. Lake Lungern was the lake, and it was absolutely beautiful. But our time there was pretty limited because we didn’t go anywhere. Again, just took this walk around the lake, which was beautiful, magical.

Caroline: Well, because I said, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be sick on the planet because every time that I felt like absolute crap, I would get out of bed and I would go look at the view and I would feel the Alpine air on my skin.

Jason: Ooh, nice. Way to use Alpine.

Caroline: Thank you.

Jason: That’s beautiful.

Caroline: And it was gorgeous.

Jason: Now, so we finished up our first week and very thankfully, we booked two weeks in Switzerland because we knew, A, there’s just so much to see and we wanted to see a lot. But B, we had a special guest visitor.

Caroline: Special guest visitor. My mom, otherwise known as Patty.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Patty is, so the fun backstory of my mom coming to visit is that growing up, my mom always talked about this place called Lucerne, Switzerland. And it was like her favorite place. She went there when she was 16 years old on just a trip. And she just always talked about it. And growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money. Like, she had more money when she was a teenager, and that’s why they were able to travel and do European travel, but by the time that we came along, there was not a lot of money to be had.

Jason: She spent it all.

Caroline: Yeah, she blew it all. No. I think she longed for this time in her life where she could go places and she could do things. So she always talked about that, and she always instilled in me this love of travel, even though we couldn’t do it a lot. And she said one day, when you are able to, she would just encourage me to go places. And it’s kind of cool to think that this whole year of travel is now me, sort of like I’m sure that that seed is planted somewhere from her instilling that value in me of how important it is to see other cultures and see places anyway. So I’ve always heard of this place and I had this dream. Wouldn’t it be cool when I got old enough to be able to take her on this trip that maybe she’s not able to do on her own? As a way of sort of giving back to her and saying, thank you for being a great mom and raising all of us.

Jason: Pushing me through your birth canal.

Caroline: Yeah, I mean, that’s not easy.

Jason: That’s… That’s not on a card, I don’t know what is. Come on, Hallmark.

Caroline: And amazingly, we’re at the place in our lives where we’re able to now do that and kind of give back in that way to people that we care about. And so for Mother’s Day, basically, we gifted her and said, because she had talked about it, she said, Maybe I’ll come visit you when you’re doing your year of travel. But I knew that it was going to be really hard for her. So she freaked out and was so excited, and it just was a dream come true. So she flew all the way to Zurich, and this woman, she was just about, like, three weeks into having her hip replaced, by the way.

Jason: Second hip.

Caroline: Her second hip replaced, but she was like, I need to be able to walk around when I’m over there. So she, like, bit the bullet and did it, and thankfully recovered really well. And it’s been a long time since she flew on an airplane, so she was walking me through, like, okay, how’s the boarding pass thing work?

Jason: Do I print it out at home? No, Patty, we’ve not done that for years.

Caroline: So it was really cute. And I just gave her so much credit because it’s not easy for her to get from Florida to take two flights. It’s an overnight flight. It’s a lot. And she just had the best time. And funny enough, she was sick when she even arrived. I think she had a cold. And so we both were not at our best.

Jason: You really weren’t.

Caroline: And we still, I think, had an incredible time and she had such a great attitude and it just warmed my heart in so many ways I can’t describe to have that experience with her. And I’ll never forget the first night sitting on this balcony of this Airbnb that we booked, that was just a perfect Airbnb.

Jason: Right on Lake Lucerne.

Caroline: So it’s different than the one that we were just describing to you. This was on a different lake. And the first one that we were just describing, you’re on the base level of the lake and you’re looking out directly in a lake and there are mountains kind of around you. So picture you’re in like a valley, but this second Airbnb is you drive all the way up a huge mountain, so you’re overlooking all of Lake Lucerne from the south. And so it’s a totally different vantage point than the first Airbnb. And we picked it because there was a lot of considerations but didn’t want her to have to do stairs, needed two bedrooms. And we just found the most perfect Airbnb with the perfect host.

Jason: Oh, my gosh.

Caroline: And the best part about the Airbnb is that there was this gorgeous balcony with outdoor furniture that you could just sit and overlook the lake and the mountains. And I’ll never forget the first night sitting out there. And my mom brought her old, basically polaroid photos from her trip to Lucerne when she went when she was 16.

Jason: 54 years ago,

Caroline: 54 years ago.

Jason: That I think is amazing. I kept coming back to that. I’m like, Patty came here half a century ago, has photos of all these memories, and now she’s here with us again and we’re going to go back to those places.

Caroline: It was so cool. It was just like a full circle, cool moment in life. And we laughed so hard. And I get my mom so much credit because.

Jason: Sorry, I was just laughing. One of my favorite parts of going through the photos was a lot of them were unlabeled. Like, she didn’t write anything on the back. And she’d be like, Well, I know this one isn’t from Greece because I didn’t go to Greece. Every time I would see a photo, one that was clearly London, I’m like, that’s not Greece, because I know you didn’t go to Greece. And so we just kept playing.

Caroline: Yeah, her commentary of all the photos was perfect. And we just had a great time. Like, we did a bunch of different things. We went to some restaurants.

Jason: Well, at first, let’s talk about… so we went to Lucerne. So that was like the big.

Caroline: The city, yeah.

Jason: Had to do that. Go to the city of Lucerne. There are a couple.

Caroline: Actually, a big city.

Jason: Very modern city, not like a cute, quaint European city like you would think. There’s definitely some cute, quaint parts which we tried to visit. So like the old bridge, which is this old wooden bridge. So we walked by that. And it’s funny, though, you see that from a very modern, normal bridge, which is kind of ironic. Like you’re seeing this bridge. There’s like six lanes of traffic, so many people.

Caroline: So you can take photos of the old bridge.

Jason: And then we went and saw the lion monument, which is really cool. It’s just this lion statue that’s like carved out of stone. And she was saying my favorite part was it’s covered in trees. There’s just trees everywhere. The Fall colors.

Caroline: It’s in like the park now.

Jason: But she was saying when she went there 54 years ago, there were no trees. And so it’s just wild to imagine this space and how much it’s changed for her. It’s still this monument that’s here that hasn’t changed. But yeah, I just thought that was like a really cool little moment there.

Caroline: Yeah, and we did that one day. We went to this cool hotel that was up in the mountains, ate lunch there.

Jason: Great view of the city.

Caroline: Incredible Italian restaurant.

Jason: Just real quick, let’s share. What did they say when you walked in?

Caroline: Who?

Jason: To the host. When you came up to the host and told them about our reservation, what did they say to you?

Caroline: Oh, I was talking about the Italian restaurant.

Jason: Oh, no.

Caroline: That’s why I was confused.

Jason: I was talking about the view.

Caroline: The hotel restaurant with the view. So my mom had sent me this restaurant that she wanted because it had an incredible view overlooking all of Lucerne.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: And so I had this vision of us sitting out on the terrace when the weather was nice and being able to sit outside and overlook the thing or whatever. I make the reservation online, but because the weather is so fickle in Switzerland, I’m seeing the forecast. I’m like, okay, it’s going to definitely be sunny during the day on Monday. So I make it for Monday, and then I check it the next day. And it’s like, no, Monday is going to be all rain now. It’s going to be Tuesday. So I make like three or four reservations and cancel and rebook and whatever. And so we finally show up at the hotel, and the host goes, and first of all, no one’s there. We could’ve just shown up. And the host is like, oh, Mrs. Zook, we were confused because you made so many reservations. And I was like, yeah, I know. Sorry about that. And then the funniest part of the whole thing is the terrace is closed for the season.

Jason: Literally closed, like three days before that.

Caroline: It was fine because you could still see with these gorgeous windows, but they sent us separate from anybody else in the restaurant. And I start to notice that there’s like a potted plant that sits by every table, and our potted plant is different than every other potted plant.

Jason: We’re the Troublemakers.

Caroline: It’s a secret code. They literally put the potted plant there, and they’re like these weirdos from America. They made five reservations. We don’t know why.

Jason: Oh, my gosh, that was just a great memory.

Caroline: So that was so funny.

Jason: So the other restaurant.

Caroline: The other restaurant, this Italian restaurant, which is possibly the most, like, best ambience of a restaurant I’ve ever been in maybe my whole life.

Jason: Oh, it is, for sure, yeah. I’ve been thinking about it, and there is not another restaurant that I think we have been to that compares to the ambience. So I was on Google Maps looking for restaurant options, and of course, again, it’s a bigger city. It’s a very modern city. Switzerland is known for just, like, modernity and having money. So things like a lot of white tablecloth restaurants. So I’m like I’m like I want something different. I don’t want those just.

Caroline: You want rustic.

Jason: Modern, white tablecloth restaurants to take Patty to. But I want something fun. I find this restaurant. I see the first photo in the Google Maps listing and I’m sold. I book a table, and I’m like, we’re going here.

Caroline: It’s just wood beams. It’s hanging pots. It’s roaring fire.

Jason: I don’t look at the menu. I don’t look at the food. I looked at nothing other than this first photo and was like, that is it.

Caroline: And it delivered.

Jason: We get there, we walk in, and like you said, wooden beams everywhere. Very old feeling. Like, just imagine in your mind like a Swiss chalet restaurant with just, like, hanging pots and pans, like you said, and just like, Julia Child is in the back, just, like, making you all this wonderful food.

Caroline: Okay, now, isn’t Julia Child from… Is she British?

Jason: Oh, I…

Caroline: Is she French?

Jason: Maybe. She’s European of some descent.

Caroline: Oh, no, email us. Let us know. Is she American?

Jason: It’s before our time. Oh, she has an accent of some sort. Wow. Very uncultured.

Caroline: Oh, no.

Jason: Anyway, it’s just a fantastic restaurant. But the funny part about the restaurant, so we’re taking in the ambience. It’s great. It’s wonderful. If you remember from our stories in Colmar, France, we were handed chalkboard menus of, like, what to drink and what to eat. So you’re not getting, like, a paper menu with a bunch of options. Yeah, so we get handed the wine list menu, and I got a cute photo of you and Patty holding up the wine list, which I just love. Then it comes time to order food, and I’m looking around, and I’m like, we don’t have a menu. And all of a sudden I’m realizing, oh, it’s just a family-style tasting restaurant.

Caroline: Which we’ve never had before. We’ve done tasting menus, obviously, but never family-style tasting.

Jason: So it’s not like, little, like, here’s an amuse-bouche with, like, the chef turned a hamburger, like, upside down and inside out, and you have this one bite of weird food. It’s like, no, here’s soup and salad. And you get a bowl, and you have to decide, do you put the salad in that bowl first?

Caroline: I love that.

Jason: Or do you put the soup in the bowl first because you’re going to use it for the soup or the salad afterwards? So it just became this really fun experience of we didn’t know what we were ordering, we didn’t know what we were getting. You had to share all of it and you just figured out what you wanted. But I think definitely it ranks up there in the best restaurants of this year for us because the ambience was amazing. The crackling fire as well.

Caroline: The crackling fire.

Jason: It was just fantastic.

Caroline: The warmth. I just can’t even describe it.

Jason: I’ll leave a link in the show notes to the restaurant so you can see the one photo and hopefully you’ll feel the same way when you see it.

Caroline: Of course, we were in Switzerland. I wish we had been able to do a little bit more hiking, but because we were with my mom and she has kind of limited mobility, but we did on our last day, go to visit some cute little quaint towns and then Jason and I were able to hike up to this beautiful waterfall. It wasn’t a very far hike, so mom could just stay at the bottom, but it was gorgeous and.

Jason: We got to go behind a waterfall. Second time in our lives we’ve walked behind a waterfall, which is just an amazing life experience to have.

Caroline: The whole trip was just magical. And my mom was an amazing third musketeer to our humor, and she played along with all of our jokes.

Jason: She started playing up on our jokes and making funny faces in photos and it was really great.

Caroline: It was definitely a trip that I will not forget. And it was an amazing way to end. We kept talking about we’re so glad that we waited to do Switzerland because it was this fantastic ending to cap off the entire year of travel and it lived up to all of our dreams. It was a really wonderful ending to an adventure.

Jason: Yeah. And I think we’ll talk more about kind of like rest of Europe’s stuff as we get into the topic of this episode, which we can transition to now, but look forward to, if you’ve been really enjoying our travel stories and our adventures, just know that those are going to change back into what’s been life looking like as we try and get ready to move to Portugal full-time. And then once we’re in Portugal and living full-time, I’m really excited to share what that feels like. What it’s like to be an expat living in a foreign country. And we’re not living in like a big expat community. We’re living in like, a very small community next to a very small town. Do you know how many people live in our nearby town?

Caroline: 6,000.

Jason: 25,000 total in the whole area. But in the.

Caroline: In Lourinhã.

Jason: In Lourinhã is 6,000. Yeah. Which is kind of amazing.

Caroline: It’s very amazing.

Jason: Yeah. The last place we lived, I think there were 150,000 people that lived in the area that we were in, let alone… that was just Carlsbad, let alone San Diego.

Caroline: 150,000 people live in Carlsbad?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Wow.

Jason: More or less than you thought?

Caroline: More.

Jason: Yeah, exactly.

Caroline: That’s why it feels so much more calm because there’s just less people.

Jason: 100%. Yeah.

Caroline: I was thinking that just where we are here. I was like, oh, there’s just more people.

Jason: Yeah. So I think that’s a good transition. So let’s talk about what we’re most looking forward to in this move to living in Portugal and just a couple of things.

Caroline: This is more a life update for us. Unless I don’t know how much you’re going to learn on this episode.

Jason: Yeah. And again, I come back to this is the battle for a little inside baseball here, which none of us like baseball, and maybe you don’t either, but just like pulling the curtain back. These are the episodes where Caroline, I always have friction because she’s like, what’s someone going to learn? I’m like, who cares if they’re going to learn? We are doing something so weird. And it’s just fun to share the behind-the-scenes.

Caroline: And I’m with you. I totally see the value. It’s why if I really thought there was no value, I’d fight you harder. But I am always cognizant of people’s time and I want them to get value out of this podcast. And I understand that there is value in hearing people’s stories and how they live their lives because it opens up possibilities for your life. And so that’s why I’m totally on board. But, yeah, we do fight a little bit about.

Jason: These types of episodes.

Caroline: Just episode topics in general.

Jason: Yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about the first category here of what we’re most looking forward to in moving to Portugal, which is change of life and culture. And so I think just piggybacking right off of what we were just talking about, the fact that this town, and again, the bigger town that’s around us, not even like the area where we are, is 6,000 people/ 25,000 people, it immediately leans itself into a slower pace of life.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: But that’s just Europe in general, and especially like, smaller town Europe, which is where we tried to visit the majority of the time this year. And I think that’s probably the biggest thing that we’re both looking forward to is just it’s slower.

Caroline: Totally. And not to overgeneralize, because obviously if you go to Lisbon, or if you go to some of the… you go to London, it’s not all of Europe is slower. But I will say we’ve been to quite a few places now in Europe, and there is this definite difference in just a pace that you can feel in the air. And it’s really hard to articulate and really hard to pinpoint. But I think those of our listeners who do live in Europe and who have been to the States will probably, and vice versa, probably be able to understand what we’re saying. There’s just this, like, this savoring of life and experiences that I don’t always feel when we’re in the States.

Jason: Yeah. And I think even speaking from someone who like, I am a life optimizer, and I want to do everything as fast and efficiently as possible. It’s almost revealed that’s stressful.

Caroline: I think that’s why this is so good for you.

Jason: Yeah. Excuse me, it’s good for you as well.

Caroline: I didn’t mean that to sound so.

Jason: Therapeutic.

Caroline: Like, patronizing.

Jason: It’s going to be great for your shift that you’re making. No, I really do, as we this entire year have stayed in smaller towns. And listen, I fully understand there are small towns in the US. But the difference is that even in the big towns in Europe, there is the slower pace of life. There is not the slower pace of life in the bigger cities of the US. And so I think for me, that’s what I’m really excited about. It’s just this idea that everybody’s not in a hurry to get everywhere, everyone’s not in a hurry to do everything. And again, I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing in the US. I’m just saying for us, and especially for me, I have felt just a like a breath of fresh air, of like, oh, I don’t have to be so almost like, neurotic about, you got to do this at this time, we got to do this at this time. This is the schedule for this. And it’s like, nah, there’s just a lot of throwing up your hand and being like, it’s fine.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: I’m happy to get that way.

Caroline: Something I’ve also noticed, too.

Jason: Is it a shift that you’re making?

Caroline: No.

Jason: Okay.

Caroline: Jason and I have this phrase that we talk about often as it relates to business, which is the art of making it hard.

Jason: LOL.

Caroline: Which we laugh about. But really what it means is sometimes in a business context. By making things not as easy and frictionless and convenient as possible. For example, we make things a little bit difficult just to almost qualify people who really want our stuff or really want our content or really want to sign up for our email newsletter. Whereas a lot of people give you the opposite advice of making it as easy as possible. But sometimes if you want a quality of an email subscriber, for example, you want to put up just enough of a friction so that you get someone who really wants to be there at the end of that, right? That’s how we talk about it in a business context. But I’ve been thinking about it in like a life context. There’s this obviously living in a smaller town, living in Portugal, it’s very different from America in that everything’s a little bit more inconvenient. You don’t have as many options.

Jason: There’s no Target. Let’s just say there’s not a one stop shop for all your things.

Caroline: Yeah. And even in the bigger cities, you have things like food delivery and stuff like that, but just your convenience options are much more limited, I would say.

Jason: Also, I was going to say, I think on the Uber Eats app for where we are going to live, there are two restaurant options. No, I think there’s three, I think there’s a Chinese place, a pizza place, and then the beach bar, the restaurants.

Caroline: But it’s like there’s something about a lack of convenience that I’m almost finding value in because it makes you appreciate things in a different way. I do find that being back in the States where when everything is an option, you almost get this sense of lack of appreciating it. I don’t know. Again, it’s very hard to articulate and probably because a lot of this is fresh because we are comparing it to the States in a very new context. So I’m sure a lot of these thoughts will percolate over time, but there’s obviously a downside to certain things not being convenient in Portugal. But I’m kind of looking forward to a change what that will do to our mindset and patience.

Jason: Yeah, the quick small example is when you’re moving into a new place, thankfully the place we’re moving into is fully furnished, the kitchen is fully stocked, as fully stocked as one can be. Like it doesn’t have all the things you want and need, but I know one of the things that we’re going to want to find are some really nice ceramic mugs and like a couple nice serving plates for dinner. It would be so easy if you were in the States. You just go to Target, right? That’s where those things are.

Caroline: Yeah. Or like Amazon, right? You can search through hundreds.

Jason: But for us, we are going to try and find a local ceramic shop and to actually find someone where they’ve made those things. And again, I know in the US you can find those things, but our default, at least our default system for ourselves is we’ll just go to Target. It’s so much easier to do that. And so yes, I do think that challenge of making it a little bit harder, it’ll also make it more rewarding because hopefully, and this kind of leads into the next thing, is like we want to be a part of the community, we want to support the local businesses, we want to make friends and meet people. And so I think there’s something really interesting about like forcing yourself into a lot of these a little bit more difficult decisions.

Caroline: I think that’s what it is. You put it perfectly.

Jason: Oh.

Caroline: It’s a little bit more friction, but the reward is greater because you had to work a little bit harder for it.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And I like that.

Jason: And I think that that is an interesting thing in life where even in this full-timeyear of travel, some of the most gratifying and enjoyable moments are the ones followed by a difficult thing to get to.

Caroline: Following.

Jason: Or like it’s a little bit harder. I’ll never forget when we were in Iceland again, bringing that back just because it’s very top of mind. We had to walk that two and a half miles to get to the plane that was like the wrecked plane. We didn’t know it was a two and a half mile walk until we started. And two and a half miles is not a short walk.

Caroline: Especially when you’re not expecting it.

Jason: And you’re in boots and you’re on gravel. And I just remember getting to the wrecked plane. I’m like, this is amazing. And it’s because it took so long to get there. And I think that is a really interesting thing for us as we’re moving to Portugal is I think we’re going to appreciate so many more of the little things. And let’s be honest, there is Amazon in Portugal for some things. It is not nearly as much.

Caroline: Yeah. And I also don’t want to make it sound like we’re somehow above convenience. We stocked up on some Target stuff while we were in the States.

Jason: Listen, I’m buying my water flosser for my teeth on Amazon because, again, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I would go to Wharton, which is the electronics store in Portugal. I don’t know if they’re going to have water flossers there, but I’ll check. But there are some of those conveniences. Is that life and culture? Do you want to…? Oh, we want to see a lot of the rest of Portugal as well. We’re very excited about that.

Caroline: Yes. That’s something that we’re really looking forward to is Portugal is not a very big country. I mean, coming from the States, certainly not a very big country. And so all of these little kind of weekend trips, road trips that we can take to amazing cities, there’s so much that we didn’t even get a chance to see in the two times that we visited this year. So I’m very much looking forward to sitting down and looking at the calendar and saying, okay, what little weekend trips do we want to take?

Jason: We don’t have to do it on the weekend, babe. We work for ourselves. We can go whenever we want.

Caroline: Well, you know what I mean?

Jason: And we’re also really well-situated, so we’re not exactly in the center of the country, but we’re pretty close on the coast. So we’re 45 minutes from Lisbon, which is obviously the main city. We’re three and a half hour drive from Porto, which is the second biggest city, which is in the north.

Caroline: More like a San Francisco vibe.

Jason: Yeah. And then we’re about 3 hours from the Algarve, which is the southern coast, which is where there’s a giant expat community, and that’s actually where a lot of people end up relocating. But I just think we’re really well-situated. And then there’s tons of little beach towns that we want to go to that we’ve already put on the map and been interested in before.

Caroline: Don’t forget Eastern Portugal and all the wine regions.

Jason: Totally. And then getting into Spain. We’re pretty close just, so we could just drive over to Spain if we want.

Caroline: It’s wild how close.

Jason: We could end up in Barcelona before we know it.

Caroline: I’m very much looking forward to that, like, continuing our exploration. I’m also very much looking forward to learning the language. I love learning things. This is like a core thing that brings me joy. I love the process of learning. I love the feeling of getting better at something. I even told Jason just the small, we just went back to Portugal right before we went to Switzerland, or no, right before we flew back to the States.

Jason: We ended up in Lisbon.

Caroline: We were in Lisbon for a week. And I remember because Lisbon was the very first place that we were in January of this year. And I’ll never forget the shock of the Uber Eats app was all in Portuguese, and we had to constantly screenshot the app, go to Google Translate. Even the simple act of just ordering take… delivery food felt so difficult because it was in a different language. And now I know just enough of the language that I don’t have to translate a menu. I now know plenty of items, and using context clues and using what I know about the language, I can figure out a thing. And just that little increase in knowing little phrases and being able to say a couple of greetings in Portuguese makes me so happy. And I’m just really looking forward to having a new thing to learn that is very high reason for me to learn it.

Jason: Who do you think is going to be quicker to learn Portuguese language between the two of us?

Caroline: The thing that’s going to absolutely drive me nuts is that I’m going to devote more time and resources to learning the language, quote unquote, properly.

Jason: Yes, exactly.

Caroline: And you are going to come in with your white male energy and your confidence and you’re going to throw away these pronunciations and you’re going to do better, and it’s going to drive me insane.

Jason: It’s a little bit of like a metaphor for our lives where I’ll just learn a phrase and I’ll just say it incorrectly, but I’ll just try, and it’s good enough that someone gets it. You’ll not have known that phrase well enough. You almost, like, freeze up in the moment. You’re like, I couldn’t remember what the phrase is. Like, well, just say, like, the part that you know. Right. And I’m laughing only because I know it’s going to be very difficult to learn a language at age 40. I remember how difficult it was to try and learn French at age 17, and so I did not end up learning it. Only learned how to say cheeses very well. And maybe not that well, but yeah, I’m with you. I think it’s a really interesting part of moving to a different country where you don’t speak the language and you are now the person who doesn’t know anything. Right. So you’re coming to it, you’re like, I don’t know anything. I’m the one who’s now behind on all of this, and I need your help. I can’t just like again, wheel in with the white male confidence. Like, I’m afraid I’m going to offend somebody. I don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong. And so, yeah, I’m excited.

Caroline: There’s a humility that you don’t always get as an American, a privileged American.

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: Where you’re just used to everything. But I do think that’s why we’re a good team, because I think I will kind of bring a little bit of the technical, like, proper whatever.

Jason: And I’ll learn all the bad words.

Caroline: Oh, I’m sorry, anyone at this coffee shop needs me to conjugate a verb really quickly?

Jason: I’m sorry, my husband doesn’t use the masculine/ feminine. He doesn’t quite understand those.

Caroline: But I think with your confidence and my dedication to actually, accuracy.

Jason: Google Translate will work.

Caroline: It will be a good combo.

Jason: Okay, so let’s talk about rebuilding our home base.

Caroline: Yes. So this is the next category of things that we’re very excited about, and this is just the excitement of having a home again.

Jason: So the way I wanted to kind of frame this was, I think every single person who has listened to this has moved and you have probably just moved from one place to another, whether it’s in the same town or the same state or what have you. It’s not really a big change in the things that you have. And so it’s more of just like, I’m moving all my stuff from one place to another. So we have made and this is the first time we have done this, so we’re experiencing this in a new way. But we went from we have all of our stuff that we’ve loved and curated, we got rid of all that. We only kept the base things we could fit in some suitcases. And now we’re moving into a home where we get to have some stuff again. And we are very much minimalists and we don’t want to accumulate a whole house full of things. And we’re also super grateful that the house comes furnished so we don’t have to buy a lot of the big ticket items. Like, that’s amazing. But that being said, being on the road for ten months and living out of suitcases and living out of Airbnbs, we very much know, like, one really good pan? You can cook everything in it. Two spatulas and like, one slotted spoon? You can make any pasta your heart desires. Like the right shape of colander, the perfect little coffee set up, like, all of these things. And I’m very focused on the kitchen, apparently, but throughout the house, I’m so excited to know because we’ve been on the road, living in all these uncomfortable places, you can create comfort just by having, like, the right things, knowing which those things they are. So I’m just excited for, like, getting a couple of those really right things to then have full time.

Caroline: Definitely. I mean, I am just excited for a continuity of things because, like you said, there’s certain areas of this lifestyle where the adaptability has obviously been really, really good for me. But after almost a full year of it, I’m tired of adapting to a new pan. I’m tired of adapting to a new washing machine. I’m tired of adapting to a new bathroom sink set up. Like all those things. I’m just so excited for a continuity of workspace. I have had to learn how to be productive at a tiny cafe table, at a bar, kitchen island bar top, on a couch, in a bed, like all these places where sometimes there’s not a dedicated workspace. And I’m excited to have a desk again and be able to the way that we had it at our previous home, have a place where, like, my mental cue is, okay, it’s time to sit down and work. Like, I found that actually not having that was very hard for me personally. I know some people like you, you can work pretty much anywhere.

Jason: But I’m also like, I’m very much feeling this as well.

Caroline: But I need that mental cue to be like, oh, I’m sitting down at my desk right now. It’s time to get into work mode. So I’m so excited about that.

Jason: Yeah, I don’t even need it for the mental cue. I just want it for the comfort. I’ve worked from 40 couches this year and 40, like you said, cafe tables and kitchen bars, and none of it is conducive to just like, oh, I’m comfortable, I’m in my work zone. I can put on the place that I want. This is where I feel good about, where I’m like, this couch is uncomfortable, this chair. And again, like, first world problems, for sure, on complaining about having to work from Switzerland from a couch, but just yeah, I think the routines. I wanted to quickly talk about since you kind of jumped here. I’m excited to have a dedicated podcasting set up and I’m excited to upgrade our mics to have mics that I really believe sound amazing and I think we picked some decent ones for the road, but I think.

Caroline: Oh, they’ve done a great job of being able to podcast from all over the place.

Jason: But the difference is that the environments are very much difficult. This place has high ceilings. So no doubt we’re going to have a little bit of echo and whatever. But I’m really excited to get the Shure SM7Bs, to get the stands, to have a room that maybe we put a little bit of acoustic stuff up on the walls and it just sounds real crispy and it’s like, let’s go down to the podcast room. Let’s sit down. Let’s crank out an episode for our people. And it just feels good.

Caroline: I’m going to tell you. I can already feel what will probably be a challenge for us because we’re starting from nothing and like you were saying. Glad that we have a furnished place so that we don’t have to buy. We don’t have to fill up a place with the big ticket items. But I can already tell that because we have such a strong idea of all the items that do bring value to our lives. I can tell you the list of things that I know I’ll use every day, but I think it’s going to be really hard for us not to just do all of that at the beginning.

Jason: Of course.

Caroline: And I think it’s a better idea to kind of titrate it, not just financially over time, but also because I don’t just want to go on, like, a spending spree and just, like, convince ourselves that we need all these things, you know?

Jason: So what you’re saying is I’m not allowed to buy our podcasting set up on November 8?

Caroline: No, maybe not podcasting, but I think that as we look at what we want to buy, I really want to be mindful in the way that we prioritize those things so that we again and also, it’s just a little bit of, like, titrating not only the cost of that financially over time, but also titrating the joy. Because, as we all know, like, buying things is fun. Yes, the new thing is fun. And so it’s a little strategic in terms of, like, spreading that.

Jason: Don’t do it all at once, yeah.

Caroline: Joy out over time.

Jason: Hey, real quick, what is the number one thing that you’re looking forward to buying to have in our home? And if you need a second to think about it, I can say mine.

Caroline: The number one thing. This is embarrassing. A little bit.

Jason: I know what it is.

Caroline: No, it’s not. You don’t know what it is.

Jason: All right.

Caroline: The number one thing that I’m excited to have in our home is my exercise bike.

Jason: Oh, wow. I was going to go blanket. I thought it was the fluffy blanket.

Caroline: If I had to choose between the blanket and the exercise bike, I would go exercise bike.

Jason: Wow, that’s pretty incredible because you’ve crumpled into a ball.

Caroline: No, but this is how you know that my 2021 experiment changed my brain on a fundamental level. For those of you who don’t know, I would have categorized myself as a person who hates exercise.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: My entire life, I have never found it enjoyable. Really at all. I’ve only done it because I thought I had to.

Jason: And, like, maybe science says it’s good for you.

Caroline: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I mean by had to. Like, science is like, oh, this may be something you should do.

Jason: You should move.

Caroline: Yeah. And I’m like, really? Do I have to? But in 2021, I set this goal for myself to be a person who does not hate exercise. That was my only goal, and my way of doing that was just to do at least ten minutes of exercise every single day. And over the course of that year, I sort of fell in love with exercise. And I love what it does for my mental health. I love what it does for my physical health and strength and how much just I don’t feel like achy in my body in the same way that I do now that I’m a crumply ball. And it gives me ideas. I love the way it starts my morning. There’s so many benefits to it, right? And I know that it worked in 2021 because first of all, I’ve had a desire to get like, we’ve tried to work out this year, and we have worked out.

Jason: And it’s much easier when we’re in a same spot for two weeks because you can find a gym. We’ve done that. We’ve talked about that. But especially these past three weeks, it’s been impossible for months because A, you were sick in one of them. But there was no gym in Lake Lungern.

Caroline: No.

Jason: There was no gym we were going to find up on the mountain.

Caroline: And I do better in a gym environment. So I am so excited at the notion of in my home having a bike. I love to cycle. It doesn’t have to be like a Peloton, but I love using the Peloton app. And we already scouted it out on our scouting trip.

Jason: We went to a Decathlon.

Caroline: We went to a Decathlon store and priced out these stationary, these upright bikes.

Jason: Pretty affordable, honestly.

Caroline: I’m so excited to be able to do that and have a nice just physical exercise every morning.

Jason: Yeah. In the almost exact same budget category of your exercise bike is my coffee set up. So I’m so excited to get my own little pour-over coffee set up. I’ve already picked out all the things. I found a really cute little ceramics company that’s based in Europe, and they make, like, this little pour-over set that has a little pouring carafe and little cups that you can drink out of and then a little pour-over thing. Because I’m not going to do Chemex or anything like that. I want, like, a nice looking one just because I’ve been to so many coffee shops and I’ve seen them and I’m like, yeah, I want that in my home. And we’re going to go back to the Stag Kettle, which is like the very famous coffee kettle. So very excited to have that.

Caroline: Okay. Just talking about all this makes me so excited.

Jason: Yeah. And that’s why I think sharing this episode about moving to a new place and especially something, again, that I was saying, like, we’re moving to a whole new country. We’re moving to a whole new lifestyle, if you will. It’s just very different than just, like, moving a home and moving a different area, which we’ve done many times over. And it’s still like, we are the types of people who we like to move. We like the, got to clean out your stuff. You’ve got to get rid of some things. You got to make some choices. Then you get to create a whole new atmosphere and environment and fresh start and energy that gives. And I think we’ve mentioned this before in the podcast, but one of the biggest turning points for us personally and entrepreneurially was 2015 and moving from Florida to California and living in a place that just felt awe-inspiring because it was an amazing place that we shared with two other people and that really created a ripple effect for our businesses. And I’m excited for this next move, which last bullet point on here that we were going to mention about the home itself was the home itself is a dream come true.

Caroline: Completely. And I think that’s actually interesting that you brought that up, because I hadn’t really thought about that. But moving from Florida to California, you’re right. What it did, because it was such an inflection point of our happiness, just really skyrocketed. Even though we were the most in debt we had ever been. Financially, on paper, this was a bad decision to move, but we knew that we were and I think it was because we were in debt and I feel like Florida and there were so many things that were sort of weighing us down in that place that once we were able to have a fresh start, the energy skyrocketed things for us. And what it taught us is we’re not people who we don’t spend… I think however you spend your money is up to you. I’m not here to judge that. But for us, we don’t spend a lot of money on designer things. We don’t spend a lot of money, even that much money on clothes, I would say.

Jason: I tried to actually buy a bunch of designer-y things yesterday when we were shopping. Couldn’t find a thing to buy.

Caroline: First of all, oh, sweet baby, those are not designer things.

Jason: Well, for like for me, but you know what I’m saying? You get the metaphor?

Caroline: He went into a Madewell and he’s like designer things. That’s not shown on Madewell. I’m just saying, when I say designer, I’m talking about.

Jason: You’re talking about the Louis Vuittons.

Caroline: The real high end stuff. But.

Jason: Dolce & Gabbanas.

Caroline: But I find it really cute that you were like, I tried to find a designer thing.

Jason: Well, you know what I meant.

Caroline: I’m like, when did you go to Gucci? Oh, no, I went to Madewell.

Jason: You haven’t seen my loafers.

Caroline: Exactly. That’s fine. But it’s just for us, that’s not stuff that we spend money on. What we will happily spend money on is a place.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: Because we spend 90% of our time there. If it’s COVID, we spend 100% of our time there. And it just matters so much. And this year of being in so many different places has taught us the difference between when I’m in an Airbnb that has no natural light and when I’m in an Airbnb that has open windows and natural light, I’m telling you, I’m a different person. And so that just reinforces this notion of the place matters. And so what, Jason, what you had started by saying was this place that we’re moving to in Portugal is like a dream, dream, dream, dream, dream place for us. And that’s probably the biggest thing that we’re looking forward to.

Jason: Yeah. And I wish for everybody that listens to this podcast and however many years it would take you. And again, I’m not saying we’re moving into our perfect home that we designed and built from the ground up and has every single design decision we would want forever. I’m just saying we’re moving into, like, if we were just to pick a dream home that’s not like, the perfect home. It is a dream home, and it’s an amazing home. We don’t say that to brag, and I hope it doesn’t come off that way. We just say it is like, we kind of, like, put this plan in place, and then we got very, very fortunate that we found what we found. And one of the huge, amazing parts of moving to Portugal that you know, is just the reality is the place that we’re about to rent would cost, at a minimum, double to rent in Southern California. And I don’t even know that we’d be able to find it. And I think that’s the other thing that’s just very interesting and appealing. And again, I know that not everybody can do that, and so it comes with a lot of privilege. But I think, for me, when we walked into that place and we looked at, well, we looked at three of them, but when we finally walked into the one that would be ours, just this feeling that washed over me of, like, we could live here. That, I think, for me, is something that I wish everyone could have the chance to feel, because I’m so excited for what that’s going to present for us. And just, like, having a place that you live that fills you up so much every day of your life, I’m very excited for that.

Caroline: Totally. And I think even if you’re not in a position to be able to do that right now.

Jason: Which we weren’t in the past.

Caroline: Which we were not.

Jason: 15 years, twelve years together but.

Caroline: It’s making a plan or it’s being creative. It’s like Jason mentioned. The place that we moved to in California, we would have never been able to live there or afford it on our own, but we got creative and we moved in with another couple.

Jason: We found him on Craigslist. We literally found a couple that said.

Caroline: We didn’t find them on Craigslist, but as, like, two basically partnered people. You don’t hear that very often.

Jason: You only see it in shows on TV.

Caroline: Like, being a little bit creative or even finding ways to, like, what can you do with your space right now to make it just that much incrementally better for your mental health? I don’t know. I think that’s worth considering.

Jason: Yeah. So, anyway, those are the things that we’re really looking forward to. I think the last one is just being in Europe and then being able to travel. Like, we already want to go back to Switzerland, we want to go back to Italy, we want to go visit Scandinavia. There’s just so many other countries and things we want to see. And we’re obviously moving into a new… well, maybe not obviously, we’re moving into a new chapter of our lives where we want to start talking about having kids. And I think it’s a pretty easy process to try and make the children. I’ve heard. I Googled some things like how to make a child, and I was like, oh, okay, got it. I’ve seen that before. That’s just my silly way of talking about it. But yeah, I think there’s a lot of very exciting, interesting things that we’re going to run up against in the next year. But being in Europe and being able to, at a moment’s notice, go, hey, do you want to go, like, see some castles? That’s just a really cool thing to be able to do.

Caroline: Yeah, I’m excited about that. Certainly now that I have sort of gotten over this hump of flying, which has been such a barrier to being able to travel in the past, and now I feel so much more empowered to be able to go places. I’m not in a hurry to go back to the old way of not going places. But what Jason is saying is right, which is we know that the next chapter is starting a family. We don’t know how hard or easy that will be, but we know that that’s what we want to move into. And so it’s going to be an interesting negotiation for us in the next season of life to try to retain the sense of adventure that we’ve kind of sparked this year.

Jason: And understand the reality.

Caroline: And understand, balance that with the reality of building family and how do we make it all work. But that’s what life is about. It’s just trying to balance your desires.

Jason: Everybody figures it out in their own way. And there are certainly examples that we can find of people who travel with kids. And we’re not trying to be full-time travelers with kids. Hell no, we’re not doing that. But it’s just more of like, oh, if we traveled every quarter or something,

Caroline: I will say, I mean, just the ease of living in a country where it’s a 1-hour flight to.

Jason: You could get to a lot of places.

Caroline: So many places. I couldn’t believe the flight from where was it when we were in it was from Switzerland to the UK?

Jason: It was like an hour and 45 minutes.

Caroline: In what world?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: That’s amazing.

Jason: So, yeah, those are a lot of the things we’re looking forward to. We hope you found this interesting and that you are excited to hear about our moving to Portugal adventures.

Caroline: And if you have questions, please email us because I would love to indulge your curiosity. I’m curious what people are curious about in this whole process. And if you find it inspiring, I hope at the very least, it opens up possibilities for dreams that you have, whether those are moving countries or not.

Jason: Yeah. I mean, it could just be for our US friends. It could be moving across the country to a different state that you’ve been looking at forever. And I can tell you that when we did that in 2015, it was, again, like Caroline said, we were in debt. It was very difficult financially, but we just said we had to take this chance because otherwise we’re going to be stuck here forever. And we don’t want to be stuck here forever. And that was a huge door opening moment for our lives. So, yeah. Hope you had a good time listening to this again. Send your questions through if you have them, Next week, we will get into the nitty gritty of filling out our visa applications. We’re going to read you every single line item from our form, so you can understand if you want to fill it out. No, we’re not going to do that, but we’ll share more about that. We’ll share some of our fun adventures that we’ve had here back in the US because we got to see some family, you’re going to see some friends. It’s going to be a good time while we’re here. And then before you know it, we’re going to be living in Portugal. Wow.

Caroline: Basically, two episodes from now?

Jason: Two episodes from now, we should be living in Portugal, yeah.

Caroline: What?

Jason: Wow. Wow.

Caroline: Whoa.

Jason: Wow. Okay, bye.

Caroline: Bye.

147 – What We’re Looking Forward To In Our Move To Portugal

(Big Fat Takeaway)

We're looking forward to a different (and slower) pace of life and culture in Portugal, where we get to savor life and experiences.


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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