We’re planning to visit Europe in September so Ben can compete in the World Championships for Surf. They’re located in the south of France, so after traveling all that way it would make sense to stay for a while. We’re looking at a total of two months in Europe, which sounds like a lot but there are so many different places we are hoping to check out. We are going to be sightseeing, checking out the local food and culture, but there’s something else we’ll be doing while we’re overseas: looking for somewhere to base ourselves for the NZ winter of 2015.

Image Credit: Martin Robson

Image Credit: Martin Robson

I’ve been browsing flights on Flybe, to see what paths will be best for getting between the destinations. I am one of those people who can spend hours searching different combinations of flights to find the cheapest flights. After doing a bit of extra research, we’ve found somewhere that seems to tick a lot of our boxes for somewhere to live:

We want a warm climate all year around
We need to be close to a beach
The place needs to have significantly lower living expenses than New Zealand so we can save
There needs to be a decent all-weather-track near by

The warm climate knocks out a lot of cities in Europe instantly, as well as being close to a beach as much of Europe’s cities are landlocked.


So it seems Lisbon in Portugal is a good contester. The wages there are significantly lower than New Zealand, and in turn their living costs are too. There’s great weather all year around, even in the winter it’s still comfortable temperatures. There’s a beach right near the city. The all-weather-track facilities are great for Ben, too.

So of all places we’ve been hunting and searching through, Lisbon seems to come out on top. Because of this, we’ve decided we will be definitely visiting Lisbon in September in a bid to check out and see whether we’d like to move there for 3-6 months. I spent a few days in Lisbon in 2012 and really loved it. There’s so much art, culture and beautiful buildings. The old trams twist and turn up the steep streets, providing unique views of the city. It’s just up to whether Ben is taken with the city and whether he can realistically keep training while we’re there.

Have you ever been to Lisbon? What did you think? Do you know of any other cities in Europe that’ll meet our criteria? Let us know in the comments below!

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