This week we have chosen to focus on Jo Wheatley, series 2 Great British Bake Off Winner (2011), not just because it’s 10 years since Jo won, but because as an onlooker Jo has a life that really does have style!
Who hasn’t dreamt of following their dreams and actually making it work? Jo did, and has. From the giddy early days of her Bake Off win, to writing two best selling cookery books, running a cookery school and still having time to spend with her family, who seem to be Jo’s anchor in life, Jo and her husband have now taken the plunge and moved abroad, to sunny Portugal.
I’ve been following Jo on her journey because, as a fellow Essex dweller, I can’t help but root for her to succeed. I’ve been reading her weekly Insta updates on life abroad as if I’m waiting for the last episode of Line of Duty, thankfully Jo’s instalments don’t leave me disappointed and thinking there must be another bit after the news!!
New beginnings for us, we were meant to be relocating to #Lisbon before lockdown and things got in the way!
Well this time nearly the same thing happened but we’ve decided life is to short not to take chances, so we are off, all packed up, sad to leave some lovely people behind, but they will visit, we will come back and visit. @otisandolivefrenchies me and the hubsta are having a little adventure (maybe midlife one) x #newbeginnings #aplaceinthesun
Thank you for all of the lovely messages from those of you that have seen my story this morning, and yes I definitely will keep on posting. Lisbon is a stunner full of places to explore (hopefully soon) things to eat and a language to learn x
PS any recommendations much appreciated x
Jo embarked on her Portuguese adventure in November 2020 and her weekly updates have helped all of her Instagram followers enjoy some sunshine, and of course some beautiful food. Jo is quite a talented photographer too, another point for her ever growing CV that up until GBBO wasn’t overly full. Jo left school with just three GCSE’s and no career direction. She married young, had children young, and was contented with her lot, up until, that is, she won the biggest cookery show on British TV and became an overnight sensation. From there, she hasn’t looked back, and her infectious warmth carries through to her Portuguese adventure.
(oops I seem to have gone back a week)
The week when life became much better. My new friends Natalie and Litsa came over for coffee Friday, then Natalie picked me up on Saturday and we went shopping, it’s funny you don’t realise how much you miss something, but I guess we’ve all been in a similar situation with meeting up, but genuinely I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever meet friends who I’d be friends with back home.
On Wednesday R and I went to the muse Berardo, for art lovers like us it’s a must, a really great collection of contemporary art, ok so some bits were a bit questionable like the two towels hanging on the wall, but it got us talking! And I guess that’s what art is supposed to do!
Today we went into Lisbon and swapped over my UK driver’s license to a Portuguese one. On the way home we stopped at @thechippylisbon I’ve been craving fish & chips since we got here. It was delicious and it was great speaking to Justin the owner and chef, he makes everything from scratch and from next month they’re going to have a fab terrace overlooking the front. If you’re in Lisbon and fancy Fïsh & chips (and an artisan beer) give these guys a go.
My spoken Portuguese is getting better, Juliana who comes in and helps me with the house was impressed when I was able to say bye, see you Wednesday today without looking it up 🤣 But In all seriousness I’m determined to crack this. Even when I really don’t feel like it, I never miss a day.
It looks like May 17th we are opening up here to tourists, so 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 that I can see at least some of my loved ones sometime soon.
Anyway, a little short and sweet this week. If there’s anything you’d like to ask about being an expat, please pop in the comments below.
As women who very much support other women in the pursuit of their dreams, AION wishes Jo every future happiness in Portugal. Do give her a follow, but probably not when you’re hungry as her food pics will have you licking your screen!
Click here to view JoWheatleyLifestyle on insta
All images and posts used with permission.