The Australian Aborigines and the Native Americans believe that each person has one place in the natural world where they most belong. They call it a “soul place” and to these cultures it is where your innermost being feels most at home; a place where there is an instant feeling of belonging and connection.
And that’s part of what Carla and I are doing on our journey . . . searching for our Soul Place . . . possibly our next home.
This brings us back to our blog post from last week. Lagos, Portugal ticks a lot of boxes for us. We love the year-round beautiful weather, we love being walking distance to a gorgeous coast, and we love the walkability and friendliness of the town. In addition, the food is fantastic, the fact that English is widely spoken is a big plus for us, and it’s wonderful to feel safe in a town and not to worry about walking home from somewhere late at night.
We are also quite happy with what appears to be the compassionate nature of Portugal’s politics. For example, Portugal is a very LGBTQ-friendly country, and there are no laws against homosexuality. In fact, Portugal was the first country in the world to decriminalize homosexuality. The country is also home to some of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world, such as Lisbon and Porto. How countries treat people that we seem to diminish here in the United States is very important to us as we look to find a new home. Along these lines, during the worst of the Covid -Pandemic, the Portuguese government gave residency to all migrants and asylum seekers already in the country so they could have access to health care, welfare benefits, banks, and other services. That level of compassion from the government of any country is very appealing to us.
What we have come to realize is that there are two “must haves” for us in our search. First, we want to live on the coast. For Carla and me, the ocean is energizing and inspiring, and our beings thrive being near it. We also want a very walkable town. We became keenly aware of this when we returned to the states for three months over the holidays and were in our cars all the time. We do not need a car for daily errands and shopping here and that suits us very well.
So . . . yes, we could easily and comfortably live in Lagos. It’s not perfect, but we don’t necessarily expect to find perfect. We want to be realistic, even in our idealism. We know that we will want to continue traveling throughout Europe and the Algarve airport (located in Faro 65km away) isn’t quite as convenient as we would like. And, with a town as small as Lagos, we wonder if we might outgrow it, or perhaps get a bit bored. But no place is likely to tick every box and right now Lagos is feeling very good to us. Is it our Soul Place? That’s difficult to say. But we love the overall feel of this town and are happy to have found a place that excites and energizes us enough that we might call it home in the future.