Spoiler Alert: I don’t have the answer.
A great post! Love your sentence "Portugal is Portugal". I don't understand why some one would like to have the same kind of life in a new country. But that's on me, I know :) But one important thing when moving to a new country is to accept and respect how things are and that change may happen in a different way. The pace of life here in Portugal where an important reason for our move. So I am not complaining over the slow bureaucracy. 1+1=2, right?
I think this is why we'll likely be "renters for life," or at least "renters for a very long time." Not only are people unique from one another (what works for you might not work for me), but people change over time. What we like today, we might dislike tomorrow. At this point, we don't even know if Portugal will be a goof fit, much less Lisbon, much less our particular neighborhood. I'm always blown away by the people who buy properties as part of their D7 applications. As you so correctly point out, there's no substitution for on the ground research and experience. And that just takes time.
I love your perspective! And I think a person needs to be open to possibilities and discovery. You are very wise and insightful.
we are covering as much as possible in two months. learning so much in the planning of the scout. we will hopefully get the vibe we are seeking. hope to meet you along the way:)
Porto’s population, including the entire metropolitan area is approximately 1.7 million, not 3.5 million.