After following the deeply-disturbing US news all week, my wife and I definitely do not want to live in a country that’s consumed by an Orange Pig 24 x 7 who is supported by a cadre of malfeasant legislators and judges on greed crack.
It is possible that fat-boy Trumpie, his loyal (however many of those there actually are) friends, and (quasi criminal) family are all going to be measured for bespoke orange jump suits at some point, but I choose not to wait around for that blessed event.
The time for me to permanently end this ill-advised 50 year rihla to America, which in effect destroyed our family, is now.
So despite the fact that I would be away from my beloved English Mum (it is thanks to her that I have a UK passport!), the campaign is on for us to permanently move to Tavira in Portugal.
First, obiously, we have to like the place.
So we leave a week from this Monday, and will be in Tavira the night of September 18th.
Our hope is to be able to participate in a meetup that week in Tavira that my wife has heard about through the Americans in the Algarve group on FB.
If we both take an instant like to the place, then the first order of business will be to find a flat to rent.
If we don’t like it there that much, then we’ll return on 15th of October, and keep looking.
Otherwise, the move is on.
Our plan will be to take the complicated but necessary steps to become permanent residents in Portugal.
There are various byzantine rules that you have to follow.
Moreover, there will be two sets of rules: one for me as EU citizen holding a UK passport, but with ties to the US; the other for my wife, as the holder of US passport.
Without going into to mind-numbing details, the basic game plan will as follows:
- find an apartment with a river view for under 1,000 euros a month and lease it for a year
- store our stuff there and return empty handed to the US
- Commencing on Oct 16th in Florida, we block-and-tackle the time-consuming and intensive paperwork that will allow us to move to Portugal as residents. These include the following steps:
- Getting apostille copies from the Florida DMV of our driving records
- Contacting the nearest Portuguese consulate and have issue letters confirming validity the validity of these records and our Florida licenses
- Taking care of SS stuff for my wife, such that we have plenty of ordinary (and non taxable in Portugal) income to show the Portuguese authorities
- Get expat insurance while in Portugal, until such time as we become full time residents and can access extremely low cost national health insurance there, which would probably take place a year from now
- Make all recurring bills in FLA are paid up through the summer of 2019
- Return to Portugal the first week of December. this time I will enter the country with my UK passport and commence the formal process of applying for residency, under my EU passport. There will still just enough time to get everything in under the wire before the March 29 Brexit drop dead date for EU citizens with UK passports. After that, my EU passport shall no longer be valid for me to move freely among Schengen countries, due to Brexit, or stay in Portugal longer than 3 months in any 180 day period.
- My wife will return to FLA in mid January , but I will remain in Portugal in the apartment and do what’s needed to get the Portuguese residency, and also start looking for suitable houses in the area that we can afford to buy.
- At some point in early to mid 2019, I will return to the US to help my wife sunset the B&M portion of her retail business, around June. During the summer of 2019, we put the house in the market. It is likely to sell under 30 days. We will then have the nest egg needed to buy a villa in the Algarve, and container ship our belongings to the new house or apartment in Tavira.
That is the game plan in summary form.
Lots of details will go into transforming this vision into a reality, but this map gives us a general game plan to follow.
I do not know if the US is going to erupt into a civil war in the months and years ahead.
All I know is that I am tired of dealing with this crap — not just Trump stuff, but everything that came up after 9-11 that exposed the nasty underbelly of America and my own naive ideas about many things, not just relating to the US, but Egypt, and England too for that matter.
That said, it’ll be of passing interest to watch America from the sidelines, as it tries to get rid of a mad proto-fascist president and resolve its many internal contradictions and hangups.
As President Obama said earlier today, these are dangerous times.*
Indeed, Mr. President.
We should appeal our higher selves. But the darkness of the American soul is vast, and the monstrosity that is the Republican electorate and their overlords unyielding.
I have other sardines to fry before I sleep.
There is a better life to be had elsewhere.
All I have to do is imagine it.
* like a taunting child in grade school, the fat pig immediately described Obama’s unprecedented speech as “boring.”