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3 Tips For Settling Into A New Country

3 Tips For Settling Into A New Country

Moving abroad is great (we’re not biased at all), but it’s not entirely stress free (see?). From registering with a foreign doctor to navigating your way through foreign administration and struggling to understand the locals, settling into a brand new country takes time, patience and a cool head.
Here are our top three tips for getting settled overseas.
 
1. Get your bearings
Finding your way around will instantly make you feel more at home. Little things like knowing where the supermarket is, or which way to turn out of your house to reach the pharmacy will make a huge difference!
 
There are numerous ways to get your bearings. Go for plenty of walks, picking out a couple of recognisable landmarks before you start or along the way. If you have a smartphone, download a maps and public transport app. On the subject of public transport, you could even book onto the open-top tourist bus. This might seem overly touristy, but it’s a great way to get your bearings, and learn more about your local area.
 
One final piece of advice on this subject: don’t be afraid to get lost. This is one of the best ways to discover hidden gems and enjoy a spontaneous adventure in your new neighbourhood! (Although maybe have Uber handy just in case…)
 
2. Make friends
Meeting people and building foundations for new friendships is key when moving to a new area. As well as having people to share your experiences with and useful contacts should you require a builder or dinner recommendations, developing friendships is also important for your emotional and physical health. Did you know that lonely souls are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke or develop heart disease?
 
Joining organised groups, such as sports teams, arts & craft societies and community groups is a great way to meet new and likeminded people. It might even encourage you to try something new! If you’re joining us on the Algarve, rest assured there’s plenty to do. From wine tasting to golf and even senior surfing, Portugal’s sunny south coast is as action-packed as it is laid back!
 
3. Learn the language
You might feel it unnecessary to learn the language, particularly in the Algarve which is home to a large English-speaking expat community. However, even a basic understanding of the local vernacular can help you settle in and ultimately improve your quality of life.
 
Being able to ask for directions in the local language will boost your confidence, and the locals will probably appreciate the effort you’re making to fit in. Plus, did you know that learning a language not only benefits cognitive abilities such as memory (and intelligence!) but also reduces the risk of brain aging, Alzheimer’s and dementia? Say olá to português!
 
Summing up
Settling in may seem like a chore at first, but research shows the benefits massively outweigh any initial difficulties. According to global expat network InterNations, over 80% of Brits living abroad are happy with their lifestyle and 52% said they’re unlikely to return to the UK.
 
Ideal Homes Portugal is staffed by friendly British and English-speaking expats who work hard to ensure your overseas property investment journey is stress-free! From guiding you through the buying process to providing an Aftersales service and answering any questions along the way, customer service is our number one priority.

Because we provide such a personal service and work with many of our customers on a long-term basis, we often stay in touch and even meet up regularly outside of work. We’d love to be your first friends in the Algarve, so why not give us a call and have a chat about your options?

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