My new life in Portugal

My new life in Portugal

Some people move abroad for a new adventure, to explore the unknown or to immerse themselves in a new culture and language. Others may have the luxury to move abroad due to a new job opportunity or to finally enjoy their retirement in the country of their dreams. Yet others decide to immigrate for very simple and necessary human needs like a better quality of life and safety.

In today’s expat story we interview Camilla of @nobrecamilla (Instagram), a Brazilian who relocated to Portugal seeking what some of us may take for granted- a safe haven, a good quality of life and the opportunity to reinvent oneself.

WCIL: What is your country of origin?

Camilla: I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

WCIL: What country do you currently live in?

Camilla: I now live in Portugal

WCIL: What made you want to move there?

Camilla: I was looking for a better quality of life in a safer country.

WCIL: Do you feel a sense of “home” now in Portugal? Or will Brasil always carry a stronger sense of “home” for you?

Camilla: My home Now is Europe. I plan to go to Brasil only on holidays nowadays.

Camilla surfing in Portugal

WCIL: What did it feel like when you finally decided to move, buy the tickets, etc?

Camilla: The very first time I crossed the ocean I was super happy, the idea of living in a "1st world country" just amazed me. I wasn’t sad for leaving- it felt like the right thing to do.

WCIL: What were you most afraid of about this new life decision?

Camilla: I was sad for leaving my friends, I knew it was real life knocking at my door.

WCIL: What did it feel like when you finally arrived to your new country?

Camilla: I was glad to see my parents (who were already based here). I had not seen them in over a year so it was wonderful to reunite with them in our new country. I also felt like I had the chance to rest and reinvent myself in the countryside.

WCIL: Did you have any contacts or friends in your new country?

Camilla:  I have some Brazilian friends now who were in the same situation as me. Prior to that I didn’t know anyone other than my parents who had moved here before me.

WCIL: How did you support yourself in your new country?

Camilla:  Luckily my parents were already based here, so they gave me all the support. I could not have made it here without them.

WCIL: If you had to look for a job there, what was the experience like?

Camilla: It took 4 months to find a job.  I was starting to feel down as I didn’t think it would take so long but I finally got it through Facebook searching.

WCIL: How was your day to day?

Camilla: The first months without a job were difficult and I felt incredibly restless. My routine was exercising, writing, painting which to some people may sound like a dream-day. Yet for me It was too calm and therefore difficult to enjoy. I thought about giving up and going somewhere else all the time.

WCIL: What was your experience like with the locals?

Camilla:  It’s good now. It’s kinda difficult to make friends with groups that know each other for a long time, so I’m usually friends with the expats.

WCIL: Did you or have you been homesick and if so, how did you manage it?

Camilla:  I still get very homesick. It can be a challenge to get over it. I try to do the things I love the most to distract myself. I go out to explore and talk to other people. I’m always trying to fill up bucket list.

WCIL: What have you learned about yourself in this new life?

Camilla: I learned that money is very important but I’m not making that a priority in my life. Moving to another country totally opened my mind for basically everything- to accept people the way they are, to be kind to strangers and to stand up for myself. I was extremely shy as a kid, but this life changed that. I am an introvert-extrovert who loves to be alone but at the same time I love to make new friends and enjoy my life to the fullest.

WCIL: What would you say to anyone considering an international move?

Camilla: Look for a place that you love. If you don’t like where you are, consider a move! It’s never easy but it will be worth it if you want to. Best of luck !

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Alison Johnson

Alison is a travel junkie, digital nomad and the co-founder of www.wherecani.live She has lived in 7 countries on 4 continents and is passionate about opening the world up for others.


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