WOW. What a whirlwind. We just got back from spending the Summer in Spain. 40 days to be exact.
Many people asked us if this was a recon mission, are we going to move to Spain next? And the answer is yes and no. We went to Spain for the thrill of it first and foremost, and yes we also went there with very open minds about the possibility of moving to Spain. We visited Madrid, Granada, Seville, Valencia and Barcelona. We loved most places we visited – but as for a possible place to live – Barcelona wins. We had a feeling it would. It only took a day and we fell in love with Barcelona all over again.
“Should we move to Spain?”
While in Spain, we were both 100% totally sold on the idea, which is easy to do when you are drinking Sangria everyday, eating great food, and riding Segways through beautiful cities. It all seems so perfect and magical. Why wouldn’t we do it? Well, as we boarded the plane home, Harris was still very much 100% moving to Spain, he’s practically opened a bank account and found us an apartment.
But, then I started having some second thoughts….living abroad is filled with some many great experiences, but it certainly comes with a long list of challenges too.
Now, maybe this was because 5 weeks traveling with kids and living out of a suitcase can get pretty exhausting. At the end of the trip like that you just want to go home, take a shower and bury your head in a pillowcase, your own pillowcase. (Which technically still isn’t even my pillowcase in Costa Rica.)
Nomadic living doubts
The biggest issue for me is that the 8 hour time difference is rough for my business and work schedule. It is 5pm in Spain when my managing editor and assistant is just getting to work in California. My work is very much directly related and tied to the American Mom and I already feel a little out of the loop when it comes to the yearly calendar. To be able to communicate with my team and writers in real time is also how I manage my day. It is hard to close the loop on things when there is such a time difference. To engage authentically in real time with people in the USA & Canada on Social Media is tricky too.
Other things to think about….
- Getting back to the US from Europe is not as fast and easy as Costa Rica and it can be pretty expensive.
- Sometimes, I miss not having a home. You know, a place where you hang pictures on the wall and can actually display things that you have bought from around the world.
- The Visa situation is much more complicated in Europe. Plus, we have two dogs to bring with us.
- If we move to Spain, the kids will start another new school, which they are totally okay with, but I know that when we move back to the States in possibly 2 or 3 years they will have to start another new school as teenagers, and I know that could be awkward and a bit rough for them.
- My mom really misses her only two grandchildren and I feel guilty about that. I also miss some of the holiday hoopla that happens in the States.
- The constant language barrier – I know I should just learn Spanish already but I work full time. So, sorry but mi Español takes a back seat sometimes. And in Barcelona they speak a whole lot of Catalan too. Not that I cannot learn and get by, but when you are constantly struggling with words and communicating it can get frustrating.
These are just all the things swirling around in my head. Of course, there are SO many reasons to move to Spain too… that will probably be another post. BUT, if we do not move to Spain, then we need to decide where to move in the States, which isn’t exactly easy either, but there’s one thing for sure, this will be our last year living in Costa Rica. We’re ready to return to civilization and very much want to enjoy city life again.
I just wanted to share these thoughts because there so much to think about when living abroad or wanting a nomadic lifestyle. It’s not as easy as it may look, especially with a family. And it’s not always Instagram picture perfect either;)