young couple lebanon

Relocating to Europe in 2021. What can you do to ensure your family a healthy and happy life? Maya and Noam’s story.

Friends, there is nothing more important than the health of our loved ones. And that makes it all the more painful when you see that doctors can do nothing to help and only the most radical measures are left. The main thing in such a situation is to look at the situation sensibly and not be afraid – there is always a solution.

Today I want to tell you the story of Maya and Noam – a young couple from Lebanon, who, in spite of all the difficulties, did not resign, did not give up and decided on such a responsible step as a move to Europe.

How it started

How it all began

A couple of years ago everything was just fine. My husband, daughter, and I lived in Beirut. The business, a chain of hardware stores that Roma opened back in 2010, was bringing in an excellent income, and there was just nothing to worry about. At that time, I could not even think that I would ever dare to leave Lebanon. We first thought about it, when our daughter, Anika at age 4 was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. At its core, an ordinary allergy, but chronic and with very serious consequences.

We just didn’t know what to do. The doctors also threw their hands around and said 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 clinics in Beirut, we, in fact, were faced with a choice. Either to stay in Lebanon once a year to go to the ocean and hope that it will soften a little bit Anika’s condition, or to move. Needless to say, we didn’t think for a second.

It certainly sounded promising, but there was another essential 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 whole chain of stores from another country just as easily? These were all problems we had to solve, but first, we had to figure out what country would suit us all.

Why Portugal? 

Why Portugal?

Of course, the first thing Noam and I started looking for any information that might be useful to us. We inquired with acquaintances and relatives and read thematic forums. 

All surprisingly, the choice of countries was very easy. We did not think about the U.S. and the East, so 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, and the difficulties in starting a business. In any case, we began to seriously consider Portugal as the best option.

Then we made a seemingly insignificant but critical decision – not to try to pull the entire move by ourselves. Without knowing the language (even English) and without such experience, we would have had great difficulties at any stage, especially in collecting and translating all the necessary documents.

Next was a long and boring process of searching for a service and, among many others, we chose MoveToCascais because of one suggestion – the opportunity to come and see the place where we will be living by ourselves. In addition, we were told almost a step-by-step action plan at the first consultation, and we decided it was worth a try. Two weeks later, Noam and I bought tickets and began to prepare for our first trip to Portugal.

First visit to Portugal. Lisbon and Cascais

First visit to Portugal. Lisbon and Cascais

I can only describe Lisbon in one phrase – the city of contrasts. All the time we spent in the capital, we had the same thought: as if two cities merged into one. Narrow streets of the old city, here and there dotted with cozy stores and coffee shops, seamlessly flow into a modern, technological, and most importantly, comfortable metropolis. 

And, of course, the ocean. I’ve never been outside Lebanon and I just can’t tell you what I felt the first time I saw those endless blue expanses of the Atlantic.  

We stayed in Lisbon for a week and went to Cascais. It turned out to be quite close – only 30 minutes by car. There we met the guys from MoveToCascais and had a little tour of the city. Of course, the city seemed small after Lisbon, but it was so cozy. This is exactly the place we were looking for – no one rushes anywhere, everything is equipped for people, clean streets with almost no cars and fresh ocean air.

New life in Cascais

New life in Cascais

It’s been a year since we first arrived in Portugal. Back in the summer, we received our residence permits and although the new country’s first “wow” effect is long gone, we have never doubted our decision to move.

Let me start with the most important thing – Anika has become much better here. In Cascais, we found an excellent allergologist convinced that the prognosis is the best. Within a year, we could hope for remission, and if we exclude any serious shock to the body we could forget about the horror we had in Lebanon. Also here in autumn, Anika went to her first class and we are just delighted with the local schools. Each child chooses the approach individually, allowing him to get used to the new country faster. 

After dealing with all the organizational issues in the first two months, we decided to take a little vacation and drive to the nearest attractions and towns. Most of all I liked the area around Sintra – the most beautiful nature I have ever seen in my life.

Business in Portugal is also growing little by little. I cannot say that there were no problems at all, especially at the beginning, when we were not yet accustomed to the daily routine and the mentality of the locals, how much easier any interaction with the state authorities is arranged here. Now everything is in flow, and maybe by next summer, we will try to open a new outlet.

One last piece of news – soon we will have a new home! And not just any house, but a cozy townhouse with a view right over the ocean. My husband and I finally found the perfect one last week and I think we’ll be able to move in in a month. Just think, we lived in Beirut a year ago, and today we are only 5 minutes away from the beach. 

Again, I am so happy that we decided to move there. Yes, everything is different here, a foreign language, other orders, but is it a problem? For me, our move was a window to a new life and I hope that my story can inspire someone to take the same step.

Portugal - Paradise on the Atlantic Ocean

Trip to Europe. Portugal – Paradise on the Atlantic Ocean

This is the end of Maya and Noam’s relocation story. In my work, I often remember their story, talking to other clients who do not believe in themselves for one reason or another. Consider this: many people in their shoes would have just freaked out, dropped their hands, and sent the situation on its own. But they were determined enough, and today they not only solved all their problems but found a new home where they felt better than at home.

Friends, put your doubts to rest! If you want to change your life, you need to act today. Contact us and we’ll tell you what you need to do to be one step closer to your dream life tomorrow. We are waiting for you in Portugal!

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