A review of Praia da Luz (February 2023)

A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, our resident writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his February 2023 review:

The world is a simple place. I think. Or is it? I’m not really sure. On one hand, it is incredibly complexed – no two things are exactly alike; each grain of sand is unique; each sunrise distinct from the next. But on the other hand, we are seldom happier than when we adopt a simple lifestyle – who doesn’t love a day at the beach or a clifftop walk or a glass of wine overlooking the sea? Allow me to divulge a little more.

As humans, we attempt to simplify our busy lives by adopting routines and following each other’s behaviour patterns (3 billion facebook users anyone?). How many of us do a Dolly Parton and work from nine to five? But do these routines truly simplify our lives? Arguably not – safety in numbers perhaps? The key question here is do these routines make us happy? I guess the answer is subjective, but one thing is evident – more and more people are searching for a means of escape.

High tides in the low season

Here in the western Algarve, there is much to be said for the relationship between simplicity and happiness. In fact, the region owes much of its success to its simplicity. Riding the waves on a surfboard, building sandcastles, eating good food, enjoying the views, walking in the mountains, drinking good wine – the list goes on. The Algarve fully adopts the theory that if you have less to worry about then fewer things can go wrong.

I understand that living a simple life is easy to say but perhaps not so straight forward in reality. Life has commuter trains and school runs and traffic jams and work meetings. But this is what makes a holiday to Portugal all the more special. It offers the opportunity to step away and take a deep breath. A reminder of who we are. A time to charge the batteries.

View of Luz from the gardens

On the flip side, adopting a simple life means that you may miss out on a few of life’s little luxuries. The one thing that I truly miss about my fifteen years of living in London is having a choice. It is a city of opportunity and excitement and fervour. I do have pangs when I wish I could return, but as I look out of my window today, it is 21 degrees, clear skies and people walk by with a permanent smile etched upon their faces.

There is no perfect utopia, but those who have experienced Praia da Luz will recognise that there is a candid innocence that is inherently charming. Not everything runs on time, a lot of things don’t run at all, but it’s a great place to live and a fabulous town to visit. And it makes me happy, as it does to all those that visit her.

Winter skies in Praia da Luz

I shall leave you this month with a marvellous quote from the great film director Alfred Hitchcock. In 1964, he was asked for his own definition of happiness. As you will see, the quote is more pertinent than ever, especially with all the troubles that we currently face in the world:

Happiness: “A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarrelling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.”

More news next month.

David Lugg
#oceanvillasluz #davidluggwriter
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)

Previous blogs can be viewed HERE

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