Feedback from expats is one of the best ways of finding out what life is really like in a new country.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

This week, Ben Taylor of the PortugalBuyingGuide chatted to Brit Pamela Newman who retired to the Algarve in 2010. Here Pam, who lives 20 minutes from Faro in a small country town named Moncarapacho, tells us about her life in Portugal:

How about we start with why you chose to move to Portugal?

Well over the years, we have been very fortunate to live in a variety of countries and climates which allowed us to establish the type of climate that suited our life style. With experience of everything from living through hurricanes and dry desert heat to seeing snow all year round, we soon realised that we loved the heat the most!

In your opinion, where is Portugal’s best beach?

My favourite beach so far has to be Ilha de Tavira, an island beach that is accessed via a short boat ride. I’d highly recommend it!

What things have surprised you about life in Portugal?

Probably the slow pace of life. At first I couldn’t believe the amount of time it took to get documents processed and so on. There is a relaxed “amanhã” approach to time keeping. Winter damp and mould in our homes was unexpected too!

What are the most significant challenges you have faced as part of your move?

Learning the language is a major challenge. Naively, I thought that after living in Portugal for a year I would be fluent. I know now that it will take me many years – so sitting back and enjoying the journey is the only way.

What advice would you give to someone considering moving to Portugal?

Follow your heart. If Portugal is for you then you will know it. Just take care to choose the right place to live for your lifestyle. Plan well and plan again to cover all your bases – that way when the system here knocks you for six you are ready!

For details of property for sale in Portugal, visit the Portuguese listings on Rightmove Overseas. One way to save money when buying property in Portugal or living there is to use a currency specialist when transferring your pounds into euros. For more information on this, visit the Currency Zone.

To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in Portugal, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘Portugal Property Buying Guide

The views and comments herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Rightmove Overseas, Rightmove Group Ltd or Rightmove Plc