Q: Good Morning. How old are you?
A: I’m 22 years old.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have got an elder sister and a younger brother.
Q: Are you married? Do you have any children?
A: No, I’m not married, I don’t have any children and I live with my parents.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m finishing my Master’s degree in Education.
Q: Your father emigrated to Spain, right? Can you tell us about it?
A: He lived in Spain for seven years. At the moment he is working in Portugal. He was an emigrant for seven years and it was a very difficult time for me, my mother and my brother and sister, especially because we were always worried about my father. And we could feel the pain of my mother, for being alone with us and having to take day to day decisions by herself.
Q: How was your life before he left?
A: On the one hand, we were happier because we were all together. On the other hand, the expenses were many and the money was not enough, because the company where my father worked went bankrupt and my father was unemployed for 2 years. Then, since he did not get work here in Portugal, he had to emigrate. There were several countries where he could go. He chose Spain because it is near Portugal.
Q: How often did he come home?
A: Usually, once a month. He worked in the north of Spain and, therefore, the trip did not take many hours.
Q: How often did you talk to each other?
A: Well, I remember talking to my father once or twice a week. He would call home, talk to my mother and then talk to me, my sister, and my brother. Seven years ago, only my older sister had a cell phone. We had a phone at home and it was to this phone that my father called. In the last two or three years, everything began to be different. Already all of us had mobile phones, calls were much cheaper and we could even make Skype calls or WhatsApp calls. My father is not very modern, nor does he use technology very much, but we like to use it and everything was easier.
Q: During the time he was an emigrant, did any of you have any serious health problems?
A: Fortunately, none of us had any serious health problems.
Q: Do you have family or relatives living near you?
A: Yes, we do.
Q: Do the people closest to you know why your father emigrated? What do they think of that?
A: They do not comment. They know that if people emigrate it’s because they really need to. People understand and give us their support. Especially my mother’s sisters and my maternal grandmother. They cared a lot about my mother and helped her a lot.
Q: The fact that your father had emigrated helped you in any way, financially speaking?
A: Of course it did. As I mentioned before, I am finishing my master’s degree in education, my elder sister also has a university degree and my brother is in secondary school. So my father had to emigrate to give us the opportunity to study. When my sister finished school, she started to work, married, and there are less expenses. That’s why my father was able to come to work in Portugal. Although he does not make that much money, he’s close to us and that’s very important.
Q: Do you think your relationship with your father could have been different if he had not emigrated?
A: I think so, a little. During my adolescence, I always lived alone with my mother and the relationship with my father became more distant. It does not mean I do not like my father, but I do not feel as close to him as to my mother. I think I’ve learned not to depend on him for anything, because I’ve always counted on my mother for everything. We got used to the situation and then it is difficult to change our attitude.
Q: Many Portuguese young people emigrate when they finish the university degree. Do you see emigration as a possibility for your future?
A: I would like to finish my degree and work in Portugal. However, I do not rule out this possibility. But if I ever emigrate, it will not be for Spain. Maybe for France or for Switzerland.
Q: Thank you for your collaboration.
A: Thank you.