One suitcase each.

“This is the least planned-out thing we have ever done. We are so darn lucky,” she says.

They moved from the U.S., where they’d lived in 17 places, relocating for Susan’s career in global human resources and international communications and strategy. They were expats in Manchester and London for a year. She worked globally for her entire career, spending weeks at a time in China, Europe, Australia, South and Central America. To say she’s well-travelled is an understatement.

You might know Susan as the whip-smart, generous, and knowledgeable leader of the American & FriendsPT Facebook Page as well as a main presence on Expat Exchange’s Portugal Forum. It’s no surprise that the amazing resources she provides were born of her own frustration. When she arrived and began searching for residency information, it was practically impossible to decipher the process from the many fragmented, untranslated sources. Plenty of research and several mistakes later—plus the experience of having been an expat and also having reassigned employees all over the world—Susan figured it out and wrote a research paper. And then many more papers and articles about related matters plus useful city guides.

Little did she know that the U.S. was entering a love affair with Portugal. Her articles were going viral. Mainstream media interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Time, and Money magazines were sought and she was dubbed ‘the visa whisperer’. She tells us, “That’s when I knew how important this work was to others. My mantra is to share, which is what the Expat Exchange forum and our Americans & FriendsPT Facebook platform deliver. It’s an honor to have helped hundreds of people make the move and to see so many of our FB AFIP members knowledgeably reaching out to newbies to help and support their dreams.”

She also works with (primarily) female entrepreneurs in Lisbon to bring their new business ideas to fruition; it’s like serving as a bridge between their ideas and a money-making enterprise. “I feel like I have many creative, successful Portuguese little sisters,” Susan adds.

First living in Cascais’ Historic Centre, the Korthases’ now live in (and love) Cascais’ Mt. Estoril neighborhood. “Cascais feels like an urban neighborhood of Chicago, with better winter weather,” she reports. “Imminently walkable from the string of pristine beaches to people-watching squares, you can’t go far before encountering friends in this casual, multinational community.” As we do, Relish Portugal asked Susan to share some tasty hidden gems in her town, Cascais. Now we’re the darn lucky ones!

Beverage with a View:

Want an honest, real dry martini or margarita? Hífen on Cascais Bay. Only Hífen.

People and Petiscos:

The Tasting Room is where we end up spilling out the doors and mingling with passers-by on the pedestrian-only street.

Secret Spots:

The real secret is Mt. Estoril, the jewel on the paradão, tucked away from tourists yet a short climb from the train stop or the beach.

Feta & Watermelon Salad

No measurements needed! Combine equal handfuls of cubed, cold, deliciously ripe watermelon with a chopped block of Feta cheese. Toss in a dressing of fine olive oil, a dash of oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with a chiffonade of manjericão (basil). Taste to adjust the seasoning and refrigerate for two hours or up to a day before serving cold.

Learn more about Portugal’s thriving food and culture scene in the award-winning, English-language Relish Portugal magazine. It’s a free, online, quarterly publication for Portugal lovers everywhere. The Apr/May/Jun 2021 issue is now available! What are you waiting for? Sign up and get your instant download here: