A review of Praia da Luz (April 2024)

A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his review of April 2024:

I’m often asked for the reason why I moved to Portugal. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, but there are many stunning countries around the world that I could have chosen. In Europe alone, I have long been in love with Spain, Slovenia, Albania and Iceland, but what was the defining factor that made me choose the far southwestern tip of the continent? Allow me to explain.

In a previous guise, I worked for a travel company in central London. The primary benefit was being able to visit Europe on a frequent basis. To date, I have been fortunate to visit thirty six out of the forty four countries. Please forgive me if my comment sounds in any way boastful as this is not my intention. I merely wanted to highlight the possibilities of choice. With thirty six countries under my belt, why did I choose Portugal?

The scenery is stunning, I hear you cry. Yes, I agree. The people are kind. Yes, no argument there from me there either. But the answer lies not in its physical attributes, but something intangible. The main reason why I have chosen to stay in Portugal is peace of mind. After fifteen fabulous years in London, my brain, my body, my head and my heart needed a change of scene – or to put it more accurately a change of pace. In a world which has ever-increasing turmoil, Portugal sits on the periphery, blissfully unaware of the chaos outside its borders.

Okay, I grant you that it was a difficult transition at first. For example, I hadn’t really used cash for the past twenty years, but here cash is king. In Portugal, change is something that you have in your pocket rather than a process of evolution. Far from being an insult, the lack of evolutionary change is usually a good thing. Life is not complicated here. There is little use for materialism. There is no need for jealousy by out-doing your neighbour with a bigger car. Simply put – no one cares.

This is not the time nor place to go into the benefits or detriments of socialism verses capitalism, but there is something to be said about a society that doesn’t put money as its key objective. And unless you are particularly inclined, there is little need to keep an eye on current affairs, social media or (it could be argued) local politics. The chances are that whatever has been proposed probably won’t happen anyway. Once you have adopted that mindset, life is relatively care free. The thinking is that when you have fewer distractions, less things can go wrong.

I’ll give you a perfect example. Last year I wrote an article on one of the big European cycling events – Volta ao Algarve (Tour of Algarve). I arrived in Lagoa to witness the final stage of what had been an exciting event. Being a Sunday, I expected a hive of activity with buzzing restaurants, food trucks, mobile bars, entertainment and so on. Nope, not a thing. Almost every restaurant was closed, the shops were shut and the only thing open was a rather pitiful-looking supermarket that had sold out of everything by mid-morning. Lunch that day was a piece of hard bread and some crisps.

It’s not difficult to see the pros and cons of working on a Sunday. However, my conclusion was that enjoying the day was far more important than earning some extra cash. At this year’s event, I took my sandwich with me and all was well. In London, I used to expect the unexpected – in the Algarve, I un-expect the expected. But that’s fine by me – the scenery is still stunning and the people are still kind and I now know to take a sandwich with me on a Sunday. And that is the definition of peace of mind.

More news next month.

David Lugg

#oceanvillasluz #davidluggwriter

All photo images owned by David Lugg

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