Image Alt

We Have A Plan

Bridge across the Douro in Portugal

We Have A Plan

Porto’s vibration aligns with ours.

Before we even left Portugal in May, we knew we wanted to return, and that desire has now become a plan. We’re returning in early August to purchase a flat and set up our home base in the Porto region, and not just because it’s home to the most beautiful bookstore in the world and where port comes from. Though that doesn’t hurt.

A 12-month lease agreement or purchase contract for a home is mandatory as part of the visa application submission (renting an Airbnb for a year doesn’t suffice), so we’ll start the visa process once we have proof of accommodations in Portugal. We have opened a Portuguese bank account and received our NIFs (tax ID numbers), two of the steps required to purchase a property and eventually obtain a visa. 

Once the real estate purchase has begun, we’ll work with our attorney in Porto to prepare our application to submit in person at the Portuguese consulate in San Francisco. As we continue to navigate the process, we’ll be happy to share the details, because we do love sharing details!

And, of course, we’ll travel back to the US on a regular basis to see family and friends, clients, and co-workers, attend client events, and participate in the Cordillera International Film Festival

How this came about

Becoming digital nomads has been an evolutionary process for us since last year. After traveling to Europe in the summer of 2021, we thought we wanted to move to Belgium or the Netherlands. After learning about the income tax rates and strict immigration rules in both countries, we decided to visit other European countries and learn more about them (and the continent). We intended to travel for a year (or more) when we embarked on our journey in February, but my knee injury threw a wrench into that plan.

At the outset, we were most excited about visiting Italy and Portugal. Jackie had been to Italy before and looked forward to experiencing it with me. Our friend Jocelyn spoke highly of Portugal, and our research backed her up, so we added it to the list. 

One of the photos captured on our Pictury Photo Tour, by José Santos.

When we told our friend Esther we planned to visit Lisbon, she insisted we see Porto in northern Portugal as well. As Esther and Jocelyn are experts on world travel, we knew we needed to make a stop there. And boy, are we glad we did. 

We later learned that psychogeography describes how a place makes you feel, and Porto’s vibration aligns with ours. We fell under the city’s spell almost immediately upon landing at the airport, and not just because the calm, uncrowded terminal was a terrific reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, where we’d been for three weeks beforehand. That feeling continued to grow during our ten days there, as the people, food, art, architecture, history and weather captivated us. 

In addition to loving the country, being in Portugal will provide easier access to other parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, as flights and train rides are more manageable and affordable from a European base. While we will miss having daily contact with our family, friends, and colleagues here, we look forward to continuing our travels and sharing them in our newsletter and website. And WhatsApp is a great way to stay in touch — there’s even a video option! 

So that’s the plan. We won’t be heading back to Portugal until the home purchase closes and our visa is approved — probably December or January — so we’ll have plenty of time to grab a cup of coffee or to explore some of Northern Nevada’s amazing restaurants.

Let us know if you want to get together! 

Clay has worked with advertisers and marketers to find unique solutions to their business challenges. His insight informs clients’ choices across several mediums, including direct mail, print, branded merchandise and digital advertising.


  • June 26, 2023

    This is so exciting. I have heard such good things about Portugal.

    There is a channel that chronicles the lives of Jamaicans abroad: and I as a Jamaican with wanderlust I was fascinated by the episode based in Portugal. I also subscribe to a minimalist channel (Malama Life and followed the couple’s journey to sell everything to move to Portugal. They had to leave sooner than they hoped for work but they write about going back because they loved it so much. Finally, as a Historian of World History, my students love learning about how the Portuguese were such badass seafarers! And how the Portuguese Crown thwarted Napolean by just packing up and moving to Brazil.

    I guess you can tell I’m excited and I can’t wait to hear and see more of your adventures. Love to you both xoxoxox

    • June 28, 2023

      This is all so fascinating. We’ll definitely check out the videos. And I’d love to talk Portuguese history with you. We’re fascinated by it – and the first time I ever heard about the Portugal-Brazil connection was from you many years ago.

      • July 7, 2023

        Don’t get me started … 🙂 And I will be saving up to visit you there.


Post a Comment

Follow us on