Friends, there is nothing more important than the health of our loved ones. That makes it all the more painful when you see doctors can’t do anything to help and only the most radical measures are left. The main thing is to keep an open mind and not be afraid. Solutions are always possible.
How it all started
A couple of years ago, everything was just fine. My husband and daughter and I lived in Kyiv. The hardware store chain that Roma started back in 2010 was making excellent money and we had nothing to worry about. At that time I could not even think of ever deciding to leave Ukraine. We first thought about it when our daughter Olya, at the age of 4, was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. In essence, it was an ordinary allergy, but it was chronic and had very serious consequences.
We just didn’t know what to do. The doctors, too, were throwing up their hands and saying only one thing: “The best way out is to change the environment, the climate, to get away from the big city. Preferably near the sea or the ocean. Having wasted half a year in vain, having visited almost all private clinics in Kyiv we found ourselves facing a choice. Either to stay in Ukraine, once a year to go to the sea and hope that it will soften a little bit Oli’s condition, or to move. Needless to say, we didn’t think for a second.
This sounded promising, of course, but there was another very important question. Let’s say we leave, but what about the business? While we were here, everything was fine, but would we be able to run a chain of stores from another country with the same ease? We had all these problems to solve, but first, we had to figure out what country would work for us.
Of course, the first thing Roma and I did was to look for any information we could find useful. We asked our friends and relatives and read the relevant forums.
Surprisingly, our choice of countries was very simple. We didn’t consider the US or the East, so we immediately thought about moving to Europe. Only two countries were open to immigrants and had the right climate for our circumstances: Portugal and Spain. Spain is certainly a good option, but we were seriously intimidated by the reviews of other newcomers. They berated almost everything – from the terrible heat in the summer, to the problems with finding schools for children, not the best state of medicine, the difficulties in starting a business. In any case, we began to seriously consider Portugal as the best option.
That’s when we made a seemingly insignificant but very important decision – not to try to pull the whole move ourselves. Without knowledge of the language (even English) and without that kind of experience, we would have had tremendous difficulties at any stage, especially in collecting and translating all the necessary documents.
In the meantime, it seemed like a small but very important decision.
There was a long and tedious process of searching for a service and, among many others, we chose MoveToCascais because of one suggestion – the possibility to come and see the place where we would live ourselves. In addition, at the first consultation, we discussed almost a step-by-step plan of action and we decided that it is worth a try. Two weeks later Roma and I bought our tickets and started to prepare for our first trip to Portugal.
First visit to Portugal. Lisbon and Cascais
I can only describe Lisbon in one phrase: the city of contrasts. The entire time we were in the capital we had the same thought: it was as if two cities merged into one. The narrow streets of the old city, here and there dotted with cozy stores and coffee shops, smoothly flow into a modern, technological, and, most importantly, comfortable metropolis.
Now, of course, there’s the ocean. I’ve never been outside of Ukraine before (of course the last time I went to our sea was when I was a child) and I simply can’t describe in words what I felt the first time I saw those endless blue expanses of the Atlantic.
We stayed a week in Lisbon and went to Cascais. It turned out to be very close, only 30 minutes by car. There the guys from MoveToCascais met us and gave us a little tour of the city. Of course, after Lisbon, the city seemed small, but because of that, it was so cozy. Exactly the place we were looking for – no one rushes anywhere, everything is arranged for people, clean streets with almost no cars and fresh ocean air.
New life in Cascais
It’s been a year since we first got to Portugal. Back in the summer, we received our residence permit cards and although the first “wow” effect of the new country is long gone, we have never once regretted our decision to move.
I’ll start with the most important thing – Ola is much better off here. We found an excellent allergologist in Cascais and he is convinced that the prognosis is good. Within a year we can hope to go into remission and, if we exclude any serious shock to the body, we can forget about the horror we had in Ukraine. Also here in autumn, Olga went to her first form and we are just delighted with the local schools. The approach is chosen individually for each child, which allows him to quickly adapt to the new country.
As we sorted out all the organizational issues in the first two months, we decided to take a little vacation and drive around the nearby sights and cities. The area around Sintra was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life.
Business in Portugal also growing little by little. I can not say that there were no problems at all, especially at the beginning, when we were not yet used to the daily routine and the mentality of the locals, how much easier it is to organize any interaction with the government agencies. Things are flowing now and maybe by next summer we will try to open a new location.
The last piece of news is that we will soon have a new home! And not just any house, but a cozy townhouse with a view right of the ocean. My husband and I finally found the perfect place last week, and I think we’ll be able to move in in a month. Just think one year ago we were living in the center of Kyiv, and today we are only 5 minutes away from the beach.
I repeat I’m insanely happy that we decided to move back then. Yes, everything is different here, a different language, different routines, but is that a problem? For me, our move was a window to a new life and I hope that my story can inspire someone else to take the same step.
Trip to Europe. Portugal – Paradise on the Atlantic Ocean
That’s the end of Alina and Roman’s moving story. In my work, I often remember their story when I talk to other clients who, for one reason or another, don’t believe in themselves. Judge for yourself: many in their place would have just got scared, would have given up, and sent the situation on its own. But they were determined enough to not only solve all their problems but also found a new home where they could feel better about themselves than they did back home.
Friends, put your doubts to rest! If you want to change your life, you need to act today. Get in touch with us and we’ll show you what you need to do to be one step closer to your dream life tomorrow. We’re waiting for you in Portugal.