Bruce’s story

Bruce purchased a house in Portugal back in 2017, sharing with me that “we did not like the direction that the United States was going in, following Trump getting in and the divisions in the country.” He went on to explain that they already had a vacation home in Southern Spain for 15 years but they decided for a variety of reasons that they preferred Portugal to Spain. Most interestingly, Bruce now gets the best of both worlds as he divides his time between his two homes, located in Castelo Branco and near Elvas in the Alentejo.

The Beauty of living in Portugal

Bruce affirmed that “We love Portugal. When we first got here, there were things that we missed, for example certain foods that we found difficult to find especially in places like the Alentejo and Castelo Branco compared to say if we lived in Lisbon, Algarve or Porto.” Undeterred, Bruce embraced Portuguese culture and “learnt to eat like the Portuguese do”. Bruce added that what they found really interesting was that “there is a considerable difference from region to region in the way that Castelo Branco and Alentejo use different words and expressions. He also told me that “Portuguese is a difficult enough language to learn but i found being bi-lingual in Spanish actually was a stumbling block in navigating the Portuguese language.”

Background

I asked Bruce to share his background with me and why creating a magazine was aligned in the stars. He admitted his background is “quite quirky”, whereas I would say he is multifaceted “I am a retired University Professor, my field is Communication and I specialised in Magazines, I taught everything from magazine writing to magazine production and I was also a Church Pastor and a Public Relations Consultant.” Bruce has started an incredible five magazine over his life with Portugal Living Magazine being his latest. He then shared his first magazine experience with me: “I lived in a small town in New York which had three daily newspapers; a Republican, a Democrat and an Independent one. I thought why not add a magazine, I was still working on my communications degree when I started my first magazine which was all about small town living specific to that small town.” Over the years, his most successful magazine in terms of subscriptions was called “The Soap Box” and “it was about soap operas which focused more on the stories than the actors. I was fascinated with how a college professor like myself would get hooked on these soap operas so a lot of research went into it.” He then worked for a number of associations, who he would create magazines and newsletters for.

Portugal Living Magazine

Portugal Living Magazine was founded in 2021 and presents “a wide variety of stories about people and places, invaluable information, and answers to questions about living happily in Portugal.” The magazine offers opportunities for two dozen Portugal-loving expats and immigrants to write for a professional magazine. The magazine is published quarterly with the next edition out this summer. Bruce told me that their magazine goes out via email and on their website, readers have access to copies of their previous issues.

I asked Bruce why he started the magazine to which he told me that “We found that there was no English language magazine that covered other parts of Portugal, we work together with The Relish Magazine which is a food orientated magazine and culture and in our magazine you will find “places you might not have been and we talk about people you might want to know and we try to cover from an English-speaking expat or immigrants’ point of view – what do you need to know before you come to Portugal and we are trying to make it varied.”

“We really noticed that there was a concentration of news focused on the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto but what about Central Portugal and what about the Portugal along the coast of Spain? We have met so many expats living here in Castelo Branco and they felt overlooked and there are great places to see but you never read about them which is one of the reasons which inspired us to make the magazine.”

“Additionally, we found that there is this assumption is that all English speakers are British and you don’t realise that we are a great melting pot here. We have Canadians, Belgians, Dutch and there are people who are Russian who speak English and ironically, foreigners from those countries who speak with more of an American accent which I didn’t know until we met these people”.

Bruce also explained that “We only take advertising that helps expats or immigrants and we make sure that all our advertisers have English speaking staff for our readers to reach out them as it is important that there is an English-speaking person on the other side who can help them.”

New Initiatives

This flourishing magazine is celebrating its first anniversary, following the publication of the fourth series. “It is our first anniversary, so as the first year is complete and we are now in our second year, our next issue which comes out in the summer is focused on LGBT in Portugal”, it is important to note that readers can see the next issues front page on the Portugal Living Magazine’s website if they would like.

Most excitingly, Portugal Living Magazine begins its second year with many new initiatives which include special issues in which Bruce told me that their first issue will be focused on “the lands of the Beira Baixa”, exciting organised trips for readers as well as an informative YouTube Channel. Regarding YouTube, Bruce told me that they already have many videos “arranged categorically, dealing with interviews with people that have started a new life in Portugal and there is a whole series on places in Portugal as well as Portuguese language related videos.”

For more information and to read the wonderful latest edition of Portugal Living Magazine please visit https://portugallivingmagazine.com/. Similarly, if you would like to keep up to date with the magazine, please check out their Facebook @PortugalLivingMagazine and you can find them on YouTube