Last summer Rick walked into our back room where I was working and asked if I was ready for him to blow my mind. Of course I was, he always has the best ideas, they usually involve eating or going to a movie or going on a trip, so I was more than ready to hear what was on his mind.

“Let’s move to Portugal,” he said.

I had no idea where Portugal was, what it was like, or if it was somewhere I’d even want to go, but in that instant I was totally hooked on the adventure.

He had no idea where the thought came to him from, other than he had always entertained the thought of retiring in another country, and of course there’s that Big Guy upstairs that seems to have a say in this whole Portugal adventure thing.

We’ve spent time praying about this and really feel led to go this direction, we have no idea why, we just know that since this first came up we have had no reservations about going in this direction….well, I did have a few days of uncertainty when the Ukrainian war broke out. That has been so completely unsettling to me, but I no longer feel that it should change our plans to go to Portugal. We continue to pray and continue to feel like we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

Of course at the time we both had real jobs, a real house, along with a real house payment and we were living in Heppner, a small out-of-the-way town in eastern Oregon. We ended up moving to Stanfield and Rick has quit his job so that he can get us ready to go to Portugal….there is a lot of paperwork it turns out.

We really had no idea how this adventure-thinking would pan out, so we just started putting one foot in front of the other and now, almost a year later, we are so close to making this notion of an idea a reality.

Our very first and most important hurdle was talking to all of our kids about this idea. I think some have taken it a little easier than others, but for the most part we feel as if we have their blessing. Some want to come visit and others are more comfortable watching our adventures from the good ol’ US of A.

Our biggest reason for wanting to move abroad was because (ok, this is going to sound crazy, but its true) we wanted to spend more time with our kids. With real jobs we’ve been finding that it isn’t always easy to spend as much time with our kids as we want to. Moving will actually give us more quality time with them believe it or not. We do not plan to have real jobs in Portugal. Our goal is to travel, take pictures and spend time writing, so without jobs, we will actually be more available to them. We plan on setting up two times a week when we will be available on zoom with them. And of course we’re always available to all of our kids by phone, day or night. In addition to being able to communicate digitally more often we are also going to come back to the states for two solid months and spend time with each of the kids.

We’re currently in the process of selling the house in Heppner. It has been updated with new flooring, paint, lights and a few other things. We just lowered the price, so if you need a great house with a really cool business opportunity in the back yard (a small house in the back yard that would make a great airbnb) The local economic development group will match $25,000 toward the rehabbing this great little house.

We are finding out so much about Portugal and the different areas we can live at. We have bounced around a lot of ideas on what kind of place we’d like to settle, because we have to rent a place for one year in order for the Portuguese consulate to give us what is called a D7 Visa, which is a huge process. Thankfully Rick has been doing everything in regards to getting us all set up for our visit to the Portuguese consulate at the end of June, while I tidy up the last of my work with Eastern Oregon Business Source and Susan Bower over the next few months. I still am having a hard time thinking about leaving this job as it has been one of the best fits for me. I have loved every minute of working with the people I’ve gotten a chance to work with. The people in these Eastern Oregon communities are so amazing and I am so thankful God continues to bring me back to this place I call home.

Now of course Elgin is my home of all homes and I am so excited to be sharing this news with all my hometown peeps. I am excited to share our travels even more than I already do. I am going to try and keep up on this website once we are really on our way and post each article to Facebook along with a bunch of photos. Of course if any of our friends decided to come to Portugal, please look us up so we can meet and catch up on each others lives.

Of course this traveling girl is always happiest when I have a flight booked, so I’m really happy right now since we have our flight booked to San Francisco at the end of June to go to the consulate (hopefully we will have a year lease on an apartment by then), we have a flight booked to New York for September 2nd where we plan to spend a day doing a little exploring and catching a Broadway show, then on September 4th we will fly from LaGuardia to Lisbon.

We plan on staying in Lisbon for several days before we make our way to our apartment….wherever that might be.

Currently we are looking in the Setubal region and the Algarve region, both completely different from each other, but both look like they will offer so much to see and do.

So this is our big announcement. We really hope our friends and family will follow along on this adventure and will feel inspired to travel more, worry less, eat good food and enjoy the people God sets along your path.


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