I am buying a flat in Lisbon
Sometimes, we create our own futures.
I’m in a good place and I feel fortunate.
No matter where I live, it’s important that my place is visually pleasing, safe, secure, affordable, and offers amenities that support my wellbeing. If necessary, I’m willing to live in hotels and Airbnbs until I find it.
Home is my refuge, a literal and figurative shelter from life’s storms. I deserve that. Everybody does.
It’s weird because my Lisbon life is coming together as the world falls apart. Putin attacked Ukraine on February 24. I came back to Europe on February 28.
Suffice it to say, placing my body 3,000 miles closer to Kyiv four days after the threat of nuclear war has triggered a lot of inner anxiety.
A fellow Chicago writer’s words come to mind.
“Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”
Putin’s attacks started at 3:46 GMT.
Luckily, Lisbon and Kyiv are 2,500 miles apart. I’m no closer to Russia’s bombs than Californians were to New York City on September 11, 2001. By the way, I say “luckily” because that’s all it is: luck. I didn’t choose my country of birth, nor my parents. We’re born wherever we’re born.
My move was by choice, and I still feel vulnerable, excited, odd, conflicted, thrilled, and every other emotion anyone moving to a new country can reasonably expect. I can’t imagine how refugees fleeing Ukraine — and Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere — feel. But, I know they deserve refuge.
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I also feel fortunate because, more than anything, I am happy. Europe offers me a lower cost of living, healthier food, more sane politics (compared to the U.S.), a good work/life balance, and almost every other supportive thing that matters to me. In particular, I’m in love with Portugal.
Earlier, when I said “I am going to buy a flat in central Lisbon”, I wanted those words to be true. Of course I had no way to know if it would happen.
Folks, I’ve found a winner! I’m putting an offer on a place on Monday. I’ll keep you posted. Who knows? If the seller accepts my offer, if the bank’s financing goes through, if the inspection doesn’t reveal any structural damage, if, if, if it all works out, I’ll be living in my dream home in central Lisbon soon.
Anything could happen (in the world in general). Send fairy dust, juju, thoughts, prayers, and every other good wish for positive outcomes. ❤️