Having studied in an English-speaking school and with family ties to London, Sara was a regular visitor to the capital. “I blame London for never having saved up any money as a young adult. Every time I had some spare cash, I would spend it on a plane ticket here.”
At 28 years old, at the height of the economic crisis in Portugal, her career in advertising wasn’t looking as promising as she’d ambitioned. As a copywriter for JWT and Mccann – Erickson, her chances to have some sort of a significant promotion were either 10 years down the line, or if a senior creative happened to leave the agency.
“Portugal is a puddle, with about 10 good agencies, whilst London is a lake.”
So she took matters into her own hands and, one day, she bought a one-way ticket.
Her welcoming abode was with her mum’s friend, in a tiny village in Kent, from where she commuted to job hunt. There, she had her first we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore moment when ordering an espresso at the local pub: “We have beer. And tea.” the unimpressed barman replied dryly.
She has since found her feet, and unashamedly labels herself a “North Londoner”, having lived in Camden, Islington, Finsbury Park, and now Turnpike Lane.
“The only time I lived in West London was when I briefly moved in with an ex-girlfriend. I should’ve known from the start the relationship wasn’t gonna last!” she recalls, jokingly.
Although she misses the blue skies, and we are drinking “Portuguese granny’s coffee” from a Fernando Pessoa mug, she is not thinking of going back to Portugal, unlike some of her friends. They reached the “getting married and having babies’ stage”, whilst she feels at home exactly where she is.
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