In my last post I listed some of the reasons I am a little apprehensive about moving to Spain, but to be fair I should also point out the reasons we should move to Spain!
I am not going to compare Costa Rica to Barcelona in this post, that’s like comparing manzanas to naranjas! Costa Rica is special in it’s own way and we have enjoyed our time here. This list is just me thinking through all the benefits of moving to Spain, what we would gain versus moving back to the States, and how continuing on this nomadic adventure would keep feeding our wanderlust lifestyle. Which as I said before, can be challenging, but also makes us very happy.
Yes, I realize this list could actually be 20+, but I have grouped some items together to keep it short and sweet so you can get on with your day.
10 Reason to move to Spain
1. Barcelona is one of the most gorgeous cities in the world filled with incredible history, art, culture. food, wine and diversity. It is one of the more international cities in Spain, drawing not only Europeans but people from all around the world. We have been to Barcelona twice now and are still very much in love with the city and it’s vibe, we feel very safe and comfortable there.
2. The climate is near perfection and has a coastline filled with fabulous beaches and there are mountains with snow nearby for us to go snowboarding in the winter months. The geography and landscape within Spain itself is incredible, with 17 regions we could be there for two years and have a hard time visiting all of them.
3. Europe will be in our backyard. We still have so much wanderlust in us (which I am sure will never leave) but we figure we have two or three more years before the kids hit high school and then we will want to be in one place for them to complete that phase of their life. Jumping over to the rest of Europe is so easy and cheap. We are either a train ride away from France and the rest of Spain; a short plane ride away from Italy, Germany, Denmark, Holland, and the list goes on; not to mention easy travel to Portugal and Morocco.
4. Food & Wine & Coffee. This is a bit obvious and everyone who travels to Spain will tell you that food and wine in Spain is excellent. Barcelona is an absolute foodie’s delight! Obviously this is not reason enough to move your family to another to a country, but it certainly helps.
5. Barcelona itself is such an easy city to navigate by foot or by bike plus they have a great metro and bus system. The city is divided into 10 main districts all with their own personality and flare. Three or four bedroom apartments in safe and family friendly neighborhoods are very affordable and convenient to all areas of the city.
6. Cost of living. Right now, thanks to the Euro and Dollar almost being equal now, Europe is cheap! This could obviously change at any moment. But, for the most part the cost of living in Spain is very good. The grocery stores and fresh food markets are packed with healthy and delicious food for very reasonable prices, getting around is cheap and easy, housing is fairly priced, and there’s plenty of free fiestas throughout the year, too.
7. The shopping – okay this one sounds a bit selfish and materialistic but hear me out. I have been living in Costa Rica for 2 1/2 years where there is absolutely no shopping. Which has been a very good thing for us and so refreshing! However, sometimes it does limit my ability for creativity and a sense of self expression. I am not talking about obsessing over the latest trends, getting drunk on consumerism and going to the mall to buy all the things. I mean, simple access to things that can enhance our lives and creativity. McKenna is begging to do crafts and home projects with me, but it is difficult to find things here or buy any quality art supplies and DIY materials. I can see the creativity oozing from her eyeballs as she watches her favorite DIY youtube videos.
8. Living abroad challenges us and broadens our world view and perspective. It forces us to adapt and learn from not only new experiences but from the people we meet as well. Getting out of our comfort zones is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Sure, there is fear and frustration, but that happens no matter where you live. For both Harris and I, it helps frame our lives a bit. We have something we want, we set a goal, and we do things to make it happen. We both work well with something to focus on and strive for, it what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s exciting, plain and simple.
9. Our kids would continue on a path that we have always wanted for them, to be citizens of the world. For them to not only understand but experience that this is a big world with so much rich diversity, culture, and way of life. They will also continue to learn Spanish and perhaps Catalan. We’ve found two great IB schools for them to attend and actually it’s difficult to choose between the two of them. La Paz Community School has really set the bar high for us, we honestly won’t find a school that is as unique and special as La Paz. They have enhanced our desire to keep on this path of raising globally minded children.
10. YOLO – You only live once. A good friend of mine asked me, “If you died in 10 years and looked back on your life would you regret not moving to Spain?” and with a short and quiet sigh, I said yes.
I realize that I am very blessed to be in this situation and have this incredible choice in life, but make no mistake, we have worked very hard to get where we are today and that work will have to continue in Spain as well.
So now…I sit here looking out at this beautiful fork in the road having to make a choice, having to commit.
Do we go left or do we go right?