We are always happy to share new things and links with our readers, and today we are delighted to be able to introduce you to a new on-line magazine that has hit the Algarve.
Enjoy the Algarve magazine is a monthly on-line publication that aims to share the best of what the Algarve can offer with you – and the best thing is that it’s free! You can click here to visit their website and read all of the issues – including this month’s latest issue.
We thought it would be fun to interview the inspiration behind the magazine – the very interesting and lovely Yayeri .. so sit back, grab a cup of tea or a glass of vinho – and find out a little more about the person behind the news!
Can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, how long have you been in the Algarve …
Hi, I’m Yayeri van Baarsen and I’m 31 years old. Originally I’m from Holland, but I’ve always been spending lots of time abroad. Previously I’ve worked in France, Spain, Austria and the UK and travelled in Australia, New Zealand, India and South America. I get itchy feet quite quick.
The first time I came to the Algarve was on a family holiday; I can still remember camping directly on the beach in Quarteira as a little kid, back when there weren’t any high rise hotels in the Algarve at all. Now, things have changed a bit but it’s still gorgeous. My parents moved here about nine years ago and since setting up Enjoy the Algarve magazine in June 2015, I’ve been spending most of my time here as well. I now live in the East Algarve, close to Fuseta.
What drew you to the Algarve – and what is your favourite thing about living here?
The fact that my parents are living here played a huge role – when working and living in Holland or the UK I couldn’t just visit them on my afternoon off; holidays had to be arranged and flights had to be pre-booked. I love that now I can just visit them for a cup of tea whenever I feel like it. Obviously the beaches, relaxed outdoor lifestyle and 300 sunny days a year were also big draws!
My favourite thing about living here is being able to go for a walk on the beach every single day. It’s only five minutes by car, but feels like a different world from sitting behind a computer screen. Especially now we’ve adopted a dog (or actually, the dog has adopted us; it came to our house and refused to leave). The best part of my day is walking barefoot on the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and laughing at Gustave our dog who’s chasing the waves.
Is there anything you miss about ‘home’ now that you are here in the Algarve?
My friends and family. And walks in the forest. Oh, and ‘gevulde speculaas’. That’s a Dutch type of spiced cookie filled with almond paste. It’s usually eaten in the beginning of December, when we celebrate ‘Sinterklaas’ (that’s a Dutch version of Santa Clause, he rides a white horse instead of a carriage pulled by reindeers – pretty confusing, I know, especially as we also celebrate Christmas). Pasteis de nata are a good alternative though.
Can you tell us about your new digital magazine ‘Enjoy the Algarve’ please?
It’s a monthly free online magazine about the Algarve that I’ve set up together with two very talented media professionals, Marijke Verschuren and Kyle Rodriguez. They do the amazing pictures and the great design. Every issue has a different theme, and in it, we cover everything from interesting articles about this region to Algarve activities and from expat stories to typical Portuguese products. In Enjoy the Algarve, there’s no bad news, no politics and no dramas. That’s done on purpose: I want it to be a magazine that people enjoy reading.
How long does it take to produce each issue?
About a month, I guess. It isn’t that every issue requires a month of fulltime work, but it’s more like things never seem to go according to how they were previously planned. Completely unrelated things happen in between, I do some freelance assignments, people forget to reply, the dog needs a walk, appointments get cancelled because of whatever reason, the house needs a clean and it’s already the 30th of the month again. Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s always stress to make the deadline, especially as I’m the one writing the whole thing.
Are there new topics or themes that you are interested in covering for future editions?
Yes, the next few months will be all about sport & being active, being green & eco, then golf, and creativity & art. Then we’ll start again with the beach in June. We’re always happy to hear about any tips or stories that coincide with future themes, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you know anything!
Why did you choose the gecko as the logo on your magazine? (we love it by the way!)
To me, the gecko is almost a symbol of the Algarve as here is where I’ve first seen them. When sitting outside in the evening, especially in summer, they always appear on the walls of our house. There’re also a lot of mice and snakes in the Algarve, but somehow these animals don’t really hold the same appeal. Geckos are fun, inquisitive and exotic and everybody loves them. I always smile when I see a gecko, they’re just really cool. Koalas and penguins are cool as well, but they don’t really have anything in common with Portugal…
What are your hopes for the future of your magazine?
That by the end of 2016 every English speaking person in the Algarve knows about and reads our magazine. In the very near future we’d like to get more readers (so if you read this, check out our magazine and tell all your friends – it’s free!) and eventually get some advertisers involved.
Can you tell us one ‘secret’ place – restaurant, bar or beach that is your favourite place to escape the crowds in the summer?
If everywhere is busy, I like to escape to the west side of Ilha de Tavira, also known as Praia do Homem Nu. You’ll either have to get there by boat or walk for miles from Barril. This means that even in the height of summer, when everywhere else is crowded, you’ll find an empty stretch of sand on this beach. It’s officially a nudist beach, so no need to worry if you’ve forgotten your bathing suit!
Quick choice questions:
- Mac or PC? PC
- Starter or dessert? Dessert. With loads of chocolate!
- Early morning or late night? Early morning (I’m useless after about 10pm).
- Air con or log fire? Log fire!
- Summer or winter? Summer
Do you have a role model or someone who has inspired you?
My parents. They’ve taught me that it’s completely OK to go your own way and do Z, even if everyone else does A. Also, they’re great examples of the fact that with a lot of hard work and humour everything’s possible.
What were your best subjects at school, and do they relate to your work now?
Languages (I was completely rubbish at mathematics, physics, economics, or anything like that). I always liked writing stories, so combine this with different languages and you’ve got an idea why I started up Enjoy the Algarve. However, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and didn’t start my Bachelor in Journalism until I was 25.
For people considering a move to live abroad, what would you recommend they do first?
Go on holiday to the country they want to move to, but in the off season. When there are monsoon rains or freezing snowstorms and when all these nice restaurants or amazing ski slopes have closed. If you still like it then, it might be a good idea to start learning the language.
Of course I forgot to take my own advice when moving to Portugal, so I was completely surprised by the torrential rains this November and whenever I go to the market it takes a lot of pointing and laughing to come home with exactly the wrong type of vegetables or fish. Still, I try to see it as one big adventure. Things will go wrong, they won’t show your favourite TV programme, the supermarket won’t sell your favourite brand of soup and you’ll have to go back three times because you don’t have the necessary forms to apply for a fiscal number (and one time extra because you forgot to check the opening times and everywhere is closed for lunch here). It’s easy to get annoyed, so instead try to see it as a holiday. No, this doesn’t mean you should go to the beach and chill, it means that you should laugh and drink a glass of vinho verde instead of scream ‘Why .. can’t they just do things like they do in my home country?!!!’ when things go pear-shaped.
Your magazine is in English – how many languages can you speak and what would you recommend for people wanting to learn a new language – especially Portuguese!?
I speak five different languages, Dutch, English, German, Spanish and French. (You kinda have to when you’re from Holland – there aren’t many people in this world that speak Dutch). Currently I’m learning Portuguese. Eu estou a aprender português. Falo português muito poco (or something like that).
My recommendation would be: speak. Even if you’re rubbish at it. Even if you can only say six words. Even if you’re afraid to make mistakes. Especially when you’re afraid to make mistakes. You can’t learn a language from books; you learn it from living in a different country and talking to the people who live there. (And, in my case, from unintentionally saying some really weird stuff, just because you mix up some words).
How can people subscribe to your magazine?
By going to this link and filling in their name and email address. Alternatively, in every issue, they can also go to page 15, ‘Before you leave’, and scroll down on that page. There they can also fill in their name and email address.
Beware though, as doing this doesn’t automatically mean you’ve subscribed. To counteract any spam, you first have to click on a link in an email you’ll then receive from us to confirm the fact that you want to subscribe. (This email will probably be in your junk mail folder).
How can people contact you if they have an idea for an article for a future edition – or just want to say hello!?
By e-mail would be best. Just send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to reply as soon as possible!
Is there anything else you would like to let the readers of our blog know about?
Uhm, let me see. That mojitos are best made without honey instead of sugar, that every month we’ve got a competition in Enjoy the Algarve (for that read: your chance to win cool stuff!) and that this blog post 22 bad things about the A22 tolls made me laugh out loud.
Thanks Alyson and Dave!
You’re welcome Yayeri!
We wish Yayeri and the team all the very best for their new venture!