Agree that there is nothing more important than the health of our children. And although we all understand this, many do not even think about how much our environment affects it. Everything is important here: the air, the climate, the quality of food. This makes it even more appalling in what a terrible state of ecology in the CIS countries. Noisy, polluted cities, heated houses and highways in the summer, the terrible quality of food in stores – you can be sure it all doesn’t just go away. But what can you do? How and where to escape from such pervasive problems?
These were the same questions Irina and Andrei, the owners of a chain of online stores from Kiev, when they first contacted us. Irina kindly agreed to tell us her story, where she shared her experience of moving with her family and told us what everyone can do to ensure a happy future for themselves and their children.
Life in Ukraine and the inevitable problems
Looking back at our life in Ukraine today, I’m just surprised how long we dragged out the move. Probably bribed by the stability, but it was obviously not worth it. In any case, it’s too late to regret anything, and at the time we thought everything was fine.
The problems started in 2017. Our son, Roma, was found to have chronic health problems. The doctors had one conclusion: it was necessary to change the climate and the best option was to move somewhere closer to the sea. The alternative was hormonal drugs and, in the best case, everything would stay the same as it is now. There was no stalling, and my husband and I had no doubts – we had to get ready to move.
First thoughts about moving and new questions
Of course, there were still a lot of questions. Even though we had decided to move, it all came very suddenly. Where to go anyway? What to do with the business, which remains in Ukraine? There was a lot of work to do and we started looking for any information that could help us.
Along with this we, of course, did not stop going to the doctors and found out about another opportunity. It turned out that for respiratory diseases perfectly suitable thermal spas! This allowed us to narrow down the list of countries and so we found our ideal option – Portugal. It has everything: ocean air, excellent climate, mineral and thermal spas. Of course, there was no such certainty at the time, but anyway, we had to start somewhere, so we decided to try our luck and went to Porto for a month.
First trip to Portugal and tangible result
To be honest, I had no great expectations for my first trip – my husband and I have been to Europe before. Portugal for some reason I always imagined a gray and cold country in the middle of nowhere, and I’m really glad that I was wrong. It is difficult to describe in words our first impressions. Amazed by everything: from the architecture of an ancient European city, to the beautiful mountain scenery around and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
And most importantly – Roma here is much better! We were told that such conditions should help, but no one expected instant results. Of course we kept an eye on him and two weeks after his arrival made an appointment for the check-up. We were very happy there too – the prognosis became positive at last!
The healthcare system in Portugal
It’s worth saying a few words about hospitals in Portugal and medicine in general. First of all, you can easily go to any private hospital, even as a tourist. There you will be able to claim the same quality and the same cost of care as the locals. If you have a resident’s card, you can go to a state hospital, but more importantly, you can take out an insurance policy, which will cover the basic costs. Speaking about my personal experience: during three years that we live in Portugal I do not have any complaints to local doctors, and this already says a lot. To remember any visit to hospitals in Russia: it makes you shiver…
So a month passed. During this month we got acquainted not only with the country but with many locals. Of course, people here are different: much calmer and conservative, but very friendly and sociable. When it was time to go back to Kiev, Andriy and I seriously decided that we would consider moving to Portugal and staying here.
New questions and first trip to Cascais
Only two questions remained to be decided. First: let’s say we decided that we would go exactly to Portugal, but we were still undecided about the city. Porto is a wonderful place, but somehow we didn’t want to change Kyiv for a much more comfortable, but still a huge city. Of course, you could go to the East or South, but it was too far from the capital, and nobody canceled my business trips. In general, the situation was stalemated.
The second problem was more complicated: we had no idea how to organize the move. Honestly, I tried to look into all the subtleties myself but gave up after a month. In addition, we did not want to take risks, so we decided to turn to professionals to make sure everything went smoothly.
While searching for such a service, we came across MoveToCascais and realized – this was what we were looking for! Cascais is a small town right on the coast, with a good environment, quiet and cozy, has all the infrastructure, and it’s all only a half hour drive from Lisbon. At the first consultation, we were pleased once again: it is possible to come for two weeks and they will show us everything on the spot.
The first impression was different: Cascais is very different from Porto, and for us for the better. It is a real family nest and has everything you could possibly need. Endless beaches, the best schools in the country, beautiful weather all year round. The two weeks flew by very quickly and we flew home, but not for long this time.
New Life in Portugal
In all the time we’ve never once regretted our decision to move! For the first few months, of course, it was scary that it wouldn’t work, but as soon as the first residence permit card came, we felt at home. Roma for two years now going to the local school, and Andrew and I continue to do remote business in Ukraine. The latest news is that last month we bought an apartment! We plan to move in in a month, as soon as we finish the repairs.
Thank you Irina for sharing her amazing story with us! Remember, everyone has the power to change their lives for the better. Go to the “Try” page and start your new life today! We are waiting for you in Portugal!