Expat shares what she 'wishes she had known' before moving to Portugal - Britons will need to learn 'patience'

Liz Sharma from Talk the Streets / Algarve, Portugal

An expat told Britons why they may need to learn 'patience' living in Portugal

YouTube / Talk the Streets
Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 23/02/2024

- 17:20

Updated: 28/02/2024

- 07:33

Britons moving to Portugal may find that seemingly quick tasks take a little longer than anticipated

Portugal is a beloved destination for British tourists going on holiday, and expats looking to relocate.

Britons may gravitate to the beautiful European country for its laidback, slower-paced lifestyle. However, according to one woman who has moved to Portugal, this can come with a whole host of problems.

Liz Sharma is a Portuguese teacher in Lisbon. On her YouTube channel Talk the Streets, she shared her story of moving to Portugal from the UK, revealing "what I wish I had known".

She told Britons that starting a new life in Portugal is "really going to help you practise patience".

Woman stressed on phone

The expat revealed that things like phone calls with customer service agents are a much longer process in Portugal


The expat revealed that one of the reasons she was attracted to Lisbon, Portugal was that it would allow her to move away from the "hustle culture" in London.

She said: "It was a place that was much smaller, the pace of life was much slower, so the flip side of that shouldn't come as a surprise - it does take a lot longer to get anything done."

Britons were warned that things aren't usually a quick turnaround, whether it's "calling customer service about something you need, paying your bill at the restaurant or getting your paperwork done".

The expat found this difficult to get used to because having lived in London, she has learnt to be "organised and efficient".

However, the expat reminded herself that she chose Portugal for a "different pace of life".

She encouraged Britons to "learn to zen out in these situations" - it's a "small price to pay for the privilege of living somewhere like this".

People going to Portugal from the UK may just assume that it's going to be beautiful, hot weather.

However, according to the expat, this might not always be the case. Liz said that the weather is "super changeable" in Lisbon.


The expat said that Portugal has a 'much slower pace of life'


She advised that layers will be your "best friend", stating that she often leaves the house on a "crisp morning" and is "sweating" soon after.

Alternatively, she leaves the house thinking it's a warm day, only to feel "freezing in the shade or when the sun goes down".

In other expat news, two Americans residing in Portugal revealed why moving there might not be for everyone.

They warned that in Portugal, it's the settling-in process that can be a bit "shocking".

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