We move on

We are moving on :: photo copyright Karin Bergmann

Why are we moving on?

Sometimes there comes a moment in life when you realise that it’s time for a change. The goals I had set myself had all been achieved: my own daylight studio, the best clients in the world and far beyond, bridal couples who ask me when I have time for their wedding, lots of regular clients, appreciation from colleagues … After all, after 30 years as a photographer, I’m already an “old hand” in the industry. 🙂

What’s next?

I also felt that although I love my life, I don’t want to live the next 20 years completely the same and unchanged. As they say: the ceiling was hanging low. I had the feeling that there had to be more. I was looking for new creative input, new challenges … in search of the next level.

A lot has also changed in my private life in recent years, not least because of the pandemic. People come and go and that’s totally okay. Doors close and other doors open.

We are moving on :: photo copyright Karin Bergmann

We asked ourselves: what keeps us here?

We can stay in touch with our loved ones from anywhere. And some of my customers are already flying to me and travelling long distances. There’s good food elsewhere in the world too 😉 And after we have been insulted, denounced, excluded and imprisoned by our politicians, media and fellow citizens, national pride is the last thing that holds us back. I’m happy to pay taxes elsewhere.

The next thoughts were: what do we want?

We quickly came to the conclusion that it would make sense to live within the EU because of residence and work permits, etc. And it would be great to live by the sea, at least nearby. It would also be great to be by the sea, at least close by 😉 I would also like a pleasant climate, not too cold, not too hot and a bit of wind. Northern Europe would be too dark and expensive for us in winter, and too hot and extreme in the south. The people should be cosmopolitan and cheerful and the mentality not too exotic. Of course, good food is also a must for us. 🙂 We love going for walks, immersing ourselves in history, sitting in cafés and watching people … so a city with history and culture, beautiful alleyways and squares, where normal life also takes place.

In the meantime, the Croatian city of Split was also on our shortlist, because we love it there! But after a few days of feeling our way around, we realised: that’s not quite it. Funnily enough, we met some dear friends there, digital nomads themselves. They totally inspired us and we’ve already talked to them about Lisbon.

We are moving on :: photo copyright Karin Bergmann

So a test: how does it feel?

The flight was booked quickly and we arrived in Lisbon. Even the first few walks felt like “coming home” for both of us. It was spring and it was simply marvellous here: Lisbon at its most beautiful! So many different people and cultures, an infinite amount of history, live music on many corners, a cheerful hustle and bustle, vibrant streets, loud and relaxed at the same time. The river creates a wonderful atmosphere in the city, the sea on the horizon, the food is simply fantastic, colourful and varied, down-to-earth and chi chi, it’s all there! It was as clear as day for both of us – yes, this is it! Our long-time friend and astrological counsellor Daniel also agreed: for both of us, several lifelines pass right through Lisbon. So all that remained was the question:

When should it start?

We didn’t quite agree on that straight away. I definitely wanted to delay it a little longer, as there was still so much to do and prepare. Helmut would definitely have been ready earlier. We agreed on autumn – and we started at the end of October.

Shortly after our decision, we started telling everyone, including social media. Until then, we had only talked about it with a few friends and family. The feedback was 100% positive and everyone loves Lisbon! “You dare to do something” … “I’ve always wanted to do that” … “Lisbon is on my bucket list” … “We’ll come and visit you” … “you should take part in the TV series” … and then lots of questions like: “Do you speak Spanish yet?” *lol* No, but we want to learn Portuguese 😉 “How long are you staying away?” I don’t know, but time has taught us that so much can happen so quickly. Anything is possible. “What are you doing with the studio?” We’ll keep it for storage and a place to sleep when we’re in Austria. “What are you doing with the car?” We’ll take it to Portugal. 🙂 “Will you still be taking photos?” Yes of course, it’s my passion. “Will you keep your flat?” No, we can’t and don’t want to afford two flats in Portugal and Austria. And yet it was one of the hardest tasks to give notice on our wonderful flat. “Do you already have a flat in Lisbon?” No, it’s impossible for us to choose a foreign flat from afar without having seen, felt and smelled it. Not to mention the neighbourhood around it. And paying for two flats at the same time wasn’t an option, plus you can’t book flats that far in advance for free. There were also many, many other questions that we didn’t know the answers to.

New horizons

Time flew by very quickly as we worked through, finalised, prepared, organised, said goodbye and met friends … and then it was there, the start of our Journey.

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