When Dave and Aly Sheldrake retired from their busy careers in the police, the last thing they were looking for was a quiet retirement – so they swapped the UK for a new adventure in the western Algarve, pursuing their dreams as a photographer and artist. Eight years on, they know it was the right decision, saying they’ve ‘never felt happier or more relaxed about life’.
Diane and Kevin Sowells knew there was more to life than daily commuting to London from their Brighton home, struggling with their mortgage and yearning for warmth and sunshine. Six years ago, they realised their long-held dream when they found their perfect home in the Minervois wine region. I spoke to them about their new life in the sun.
Last year, we spoke to reader Beth Nicholson about her move to the beautiful Charente, fulfilling a long-held dream to return to France. Back then, she told us about finding the ‘right house, the right village at the right time’. Now, one year on, Beth is firmly ensconced in her ‘beautiful and joyful’ life in this tranquil corner of Aquitaine.
There’s something wonderful about starting your new life overseas in a new place: so many sights to see, streets to get lost down, new friends to meet and food and drink to enjoy. It’s an opportunity to live life to the full! Settling in does take time, however, so here are our top tips from someone who’s done it more than a few times.
In just a few months, Sally and Jeremy, from Bath, have gone from dreaming of a holiday home in Italy to having the keys to their own apartment in beautiful Liguria in hand. They told us about their property search, their plans for the future and how an introduction to the right estate agent helped smooth the path immensely.