Belonging in Midlife

Messages from the universe.
(Or email from an app.)

Another weekend in Portugal, my new home of one month. Still discovering. Still marveling. Still reminding myself this is real. Still convincing myself to believe and accept the magic of belonging.


Home is a simple, clean, and comfortable work-in-progress after three weeks and many deliveries from Amazon Spain and IKEA Portugal.

View from bed
Hanging stuff on walls of cement and plaster over brick is more than a notion. Wanna bet this will still be leaning here in 2023?
The kitchen came equipped with storage an oven, stove top, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, and washing machine. I bought pots and pans (for show), dishes, glasses, utensils, electric kettle, and — most important — a microwave.
Home sweet home, where I belong


The nearest “big” town, Lourinha, is famous for being a treasure trove of dinosaur bone and fossil discoveries. And don’t you forget it!

Sea and Farm

All roads from my cliff-top townhouse lead to Lourinha. Some are easier to walk than others, but all offer beautiful vistas.

Cabbage crops are big here.
This just screamed Dr. Seuss to me for some reason.
This is the shortest “road” to Lourinha. It’s remote, and the scariest due to my fear of large, stray dogs. It’s the most difficult for my knees going downhill, and not the best after heavy rains.
This view walking down the dirt road into town is stunning, and my phone camera can’t do it justice. A 14th-century church sits atop a hill overlooking a cemetery that’s reminiscent of those in New Orleans.

Silver Coast

Other towns along the Silver Coast of central Portugal are equally picturesque.

Nazaré is famous for its record-breaking waves, and draws surfers from around the world.
No big waves this day, but a beautiful view on a cloudy afternoon.
Foz do Arelho is where the Lake of Obidos meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Obidos, a UNESCO City of Literature, is a medieval walled village that boasts a spectacular hilltop Moorish castle. In 1282 the town was gifted to Queen Isabel on her wedding day by King Dinis. For hundreds of years after, the kings of Portugal continued the tradition of presenting the beautiful town to their queens.
Obidos is known as The Wedding Present Town or Queen’s Town.
This tourist shop, designed to look like a bookstore, sells only tins of fish. Apparently people want tins of fish stamped with their birth year. No, thank you.
The Church of Santiago, which now houses a bookstore, is adjacent to the castle…
…and a ceramics shop sits outside the church. More gifts for the queen?
What the hell?

I guess everything belongs in Portugal!

So much exploring and learning to do. So many funny stories just waiting for their own blog posts. My Midlife Expat Learning post later this month will focus on shopping, spending, and food. Until then, may this find you smiling in your part of the world.

Cheers! A Sunday gin and tonic on the beach.

All images are my own.

The Hot Goddess

Instagram: retired_rewired_inspired

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  1. Oh my goodness – so much to love and comment on from these pictures. What a great tour – thank you, Natalie. I’m laughing about the tins of fish. Are they implying they’ve been tinned that long? And the ceramics shop, the dinosaurs, the hanging pictures on brick walls – you have my smiling, as usual. But the view from your bed and all the beach, town and coast pictures — so, so cool!

    I have no doubt you have the gift to get along with everyone. Message from the Universe received and seconded! So awesome!! Happy Sunday, Natalie!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Natalie, what a picturesque place to live! So much to explore and learn, I love it 😍 It looks like you’re settling in very well, and the view from your bed is so calming. Obidos sounds like a very interesting city… especially the ceramics shop!!! 😯 I look forward to seeing and learning more about your new home.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your place is already looking so beautiful! And what a location…absolutely gorgeous 😍. How are your hands after putting together your IKEA purchases? 😉 I built a bed a couple of weeks ago, and now that my hands have stopped aching, built a desk and desk chair today. It’s the screwing that does it. Speaking of, wtf is up with those ceramics ?!? 😂


    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! Thanks for my morning laugh, Deb 😂. You are truly impressive. That bed you posted about would have done me in! You go girl. I still have a side table in a box, awaiting assembly. I’ve been using the box as a side table. Works for me. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I like your new fire bowl, BTW. Would like to get one for here eventually. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Natalie! 🥳 I am thrilled to learn that you are settling in and discovering your new surroundings. Everything looks beautiful, including you, of course! What a view! 😍 Enjoy and please keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your home is just too beautiful! What an amazing view to wake up to every morning🤩. So glad you’re settling in and able to explore so much so soon! Thank you for sharing, sis!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What lovely photos! I see why you fell in love with the area! It is superb!
    I had a chuckle over the ceramic penises! I remember seeing hundreds of crystal ones for sale at the Gem Show in Tucson, AZ one year! LOL!


  7. I am one of your IG followers and enjoy seeing and hearing about your journey. Even though I am much older, I often think about making a transition similar to your. We all have different paths but enjoy watching your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol, how kind of you to comment ❤️. Thank you so much for following my journey, and yes, you are so right about our personal and unique paths. I appreciate your support!🙏🏽 😊 Best wishes on your path to transition.


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