portugal random musings

I am so lonely

Just to put your mind at rest, the blog is a little behind

I am not able to help in the same way on this project, so I am mainly cleaning, and cleaning and cleaning.

I walk around the property and wonder how we will ever be finished, I really can´t see the end of this project, John just says don´t think about it and do some work, I have no idea why he still thinks I would find a comment like this funny, but for some reason he does.

I actually feel quite lost here, I am still struggling with the language, I still speak no more than a couple of words to any body, I have been out with the couple from Manchester to watch the football and they do seem lovely, but I still miss my friends from France, I still miss walking into the town square and speaking to lots of people there, I miss my old life.

I am still very lonely here and homesick, I start to worry that I will never settle, I love the country and the people and the food but something is missing.

It makes life harder for both of us as we are not doing this project with the same excitement, or I´m not, I look at it and feel overwhelmed, John is working like mad and I know it is frustrating for him, that I am not doing as much, but what can I do other than clean and if he makes a joke about it again, I think I may just throw the bucket at him.

It is so hard to describe how this feels at the moment, I hope it is just homesickness and that soon I will get over it, but I am panicking that we made the wrong decision, well it is not we, John is so happy here, I panic that I have made the wrong decision.

It doesn´t help that that the weather is cold and miserable, where is the sun? Apparently this has been one of the coldest and wettest winters ever.

I see a face book post about a meet up in the old village and I leave a comment saying how much I missed them, then I receive a message from the new couple here, saying we will go out and have a nice time, this is such a lovely gesture and for the first time I actually feel that this could work.

I think I will always be homesick for France, I loved it there, but hopefully once the weather and my language skills improve things will get better.

If you are planning to move to another country be prepared for days like these, they will happen no matter how much you love your new life. But the most important thing is to support each other, John and I had been bickering rather than supporting, and this does not help.

You need to talk to each other, and see each other through the rough patches, as this is all it is, a rough patch, admittedly it has lasted longer than I had hoped but I know it will get better, once we can use the kitchen and actually be able to sit somewhere in comfort, once the garden is completed, really once I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but for the moment I can only see non stop dirt and no end, I actually start to wonder if it is homesickness I am feeling or just a deep feeling of overwhelmed, I have a feeling it is the latter, which improves my spirits along with a Skype with some old friends.

Top tips

  • Don´t beat yourself up if you are not happy everyday
  • Living in a renovation is not always a bed of roses
  • The TV programs are not real (they have crappy days as well)
  • Easier than it sounds, but try not to take out your frustrations on each other
  • But remember if you feel like this constantly, then have the discussion about whether you made the right decision, there is nothing wrong with saying. I have changed my mind
  • Learn the language of the country you are going to, it can be difficult but it makes life a lot easier
  • Stay in touch with old friends, but try to meet new people
  • Remember you are only having a bad day, it will get better and if it doesn´t read the above tips

13 comments on “I am so lonely

  1. devoncream

    Hi Jenny,
    As ever, well done for being so honest – it’s what I love about yr blog. You tell the crap as it is, as well as the good bits. TV will edit up mini crises to inject a bit of drama to these foreign makeover shows but they never really show the sheer drudgery that has to go into them.
    Good luck with the Portuguese language – as a linguist myself I thought it was a very strange-sounding hybrid of Spanish when I was in Porto a month ago. Sometimes it almost sounded Russian!!!

    I’m sure you’ll work it out and it’s a beautiful country with v friendly people.

    Best wishes,



  2. I’m glad the blog is a bit behind after reading your post 😊. I think the wet winter we’ve all had as made us a bit fed up. We’ve been the same with our new housebuild, as hardly any progress during winter ( ground to wet to dig ) and now we’ve got going again and can see progress , the sun’s out ( occasionally) and our morale has come galloping back. Hope yours has to and that you’re getting to grips with the language a bit. Good luck 😊


  3. Hi there, my husband and I made the leap to Portugal this January for a business/partnership/opportunity he was offered with an old colleague, and are not even in a remote or cut off location (we’re in Ferrel/Peniche) and I’m not ashamed to say we landed HARD. Some of the hardest few months of my life, so much confusion and doubt about what we had done, anxiety, panic attacks, no sleep, you name it. And we have also moved countries more than once and thrived. Living in a cold room on a lodge construction site, cooking on our camp stove in winter coats in said awful winter also did not help. (And we are normally pretty hardy outdoor types) Doing better these days, loving all the things about Portugal we all seem to, and meeting people slowly. Still no clue what our long term forecast is here (don’t get me started on the continuing weather forecast..) but it was really reassuring to read your post and remember that we are all in many ways alone, but in a small way sharing the experience together if that makes sense? Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts on getting through, I’ll be sure to reflect as and when needed! Most of all congratulations on such bravery and spirit. There are fewer of us living in such a way than we think. Good luck!


  4. Hi Jenny, You’ve been there before if you recall (MONDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2012) and you will come out the other side stronger. Keep blogging, I’m enjoying this one as much as the last. You’ve only just mentioned the language and you haven’t talked about health care at all – we’re all dying to know 🙂


  5. Karen Hampson

    An honest and heartfelt blog Jenny. I am sure you felt similar in France. Sunnier days are on the way if they haven’t arrived already. A person like you won’t be lonely for long.


  6. Maria Millier

    Hello I just joined your blog, and I must say I am impressed with the work, your honesty and integrity. Many are in the same boat as you adjust to a new way of living. Sometimes it will take time to get used to new ideas and new environment, and since you have had a somewhat positive attitude about it, you can only give it a shot and see what happens. My personal story is this, I was born in Azores, Portugal and went to U.S. when little and still live here, my American hubby and I bought a home in one of the islands 3 years ago so we can retire in a few years, so although I know the language and hubby is learning, I am sure I will feel the same feelings you are going through as well. I won’t make this too long, so with that I hope this blog of yours will bring in joy and help and a feeling of contentment. Wish you well and may you grow with happiness, and look forward to reading and conversing with you and others on here.


  7. thank you to all who replied, I really appreciate your support, even if it has taken me a long time to reply, but I can now safely say, I have come through the dark days and feel far more at home. But at times living this lifestyle can be very daunting, this is the bit the TV shows miss out, but it does happen. Good luck to those in the same situation x


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