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This Is Why Our Family Moved to Spain…ALL Of Your Questions Answered!

Sometimes I just do things and forget to tell people around me what is going on. Take our recent move to Spain, for example. I didn’t really mention much about it (except in the newsletter) to all of you. So the headline is…. WE MOVED TO SPAIN!! You can follow along on Instagram, for day to day life in Spain. Some of you have DM’d, emailed or commented on YouTube with questions about the trip and why we decided to do this. In this post , I’m answering ALL of your questions!

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, green anthropologie dress

#1) Why Did We Move To Spain?

Perhaps the most frequently asked question is why we moved to Spain. This is a long one. Hang in there with me!

Last year, both Chris and I agreed that our resort-style townhouse in Telluride, Colorado was not the right house for our family long-term…so we decided to sell. Once we DID get our house under contract, we looked and looked at houses on the market and didn’t see anything that we loved. That is; until I saw a project that had not even broken ground yet! I knew instantly this is our house. Long story short, we bought the project and have been working closely with the builder and designer ever since to create our dream home!

Busbee house in Telluride, modern mountain home build

Tough To Rent in Telluride

Once Chris and I closed on the sale of our house, we had no place to go… and in this super hot, post-COVID housing market, finding a place to rent was virtually impossible. We did find a short-term home in Mountain Village (our friends’ house) and stayed there through the end of the school year thankfully, but at the end of May, we didn’t have anything else lined up. Family homes in Telluride are literally renting for $25,000 PER WEEK. I wish that were a joke, but it’s not. In case you are slow at math like I am, that’s $100,000 per month. Mind blowing. Chris and I knew that because of the crazy pricing, we were likely going to end up renting a more affordable condo that was not something we loved. So instead of paying WAY too much in rent for housing that was ‘just okay’, we decided that NOW is the time to travel abroad.

kids with golden retriever

Learning a Second Language

We were specifically targeting a Spanish-speaking country so the kids can really solidify their command of Spanish. AND… by not staying in Telluride and paying exorbitant rent, we can literally can SAVE money while doing this. Kind of a no-brainer. With very little hesitation we made this our plan. (Incidentally, it was our plan… even before Spain opened to US tourists. I just believed it would happen. And, it did!! We are here!!)

Keep scrolling to learn how we got the kiddos into school, and got Traveler to Spain.

Before heading to Spain about two weeks ago, we went on an epic, cross-country road trip with the entire family (yes, including our 90 pound Golden Retriever, Traveler). If you missed the day-to-day breakdown of that awesome adventure, you can check that out here.

BTW, to find out more about my dream of moving to Spain watch here or read here.

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#2) How Long Will You Live In Spain?

We’re hoping our house will be completed by mid-December so that we can be home for the holidays. But as with any new construction, that could be delayed. Our thoughts are mid-January at the very latest! We really want the kids to return to school the second half of the year in Telluride. Plus, we don’t want to miss ski season… our favorite!

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, white and red embroidered alice + olivia blouse with denim shorts by moussy

#3) Where Are We Living In Spain?

We originally wanted to live in Barcelona. But after some research, we found out that the primary language is Catalan. They teach Catalan, Spanish and English at almost all of the schools. Even Gage’s Spanish teacher told us that while she was in Barcelona, she had to ask people to speak to her in Spanish, not Catalan. That was a bummer because Barcelona is SO gorgeous, but language is a really big deal for us since the main reason for moving is for the kids to hone their Spanish speaking skills. In addition, to learning Spanish, we also want to be able to easily travel. That meant skipping a smaller beach town like Marbella.  The most central place and the easiest city to travel in and out of… Madrid. And, that’s where we are now.  I’m truly blown away by how gorgeous and clean this city is…

Out of safety for the family, I’m not going to share the exact neighborhood our apartment is in, but it’s very close to the school we enrolled the kids in, to grocery stores, and a park for Traveler! It’s a beautiful barrio.

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, black nation ltd tee with moussy vintage denim shorts and golden good sneakers

#4) How Did You Get Your Dog To Spain?

This was a question many of you asked and expressed concern about. We used a full-service company that picked her up, got her USDA certification, took her through customs, fed her, washed her, and delivered her directly to our hotel in Madrid. Chris and I were VERY nervous about it. Traveler took a later and different flight. We flew direct and she had to fly indirect. She arrived in a clean crate (no pee or poo), happy, and acting 100% like herself. But, she was definitely a little jet-lagged, like the rest of us!

The agency we used is called Air Animal. We had an excellent experience and definitely recommend them.

Chris and Erin Busbee in Spain

#5) How Can You And Chris Do This? Are You Working?

We are both a little nuts. No question. Most people don’t actually want to travel for 6 weeks on the road with their kids and dog and then move to a foreign country immediately afterwards. I get that. We both love travel and we both love adventure! We also both had pivotal, life-changing trips at young ages that really shaped who we are today. We really want to create that for our children. Chris and I are also both self-employed, meaning we can work from anywhere. So far, I would say I’m working at least 3 to 4 hours per day and taking 2 days per week off. For me, having an amazing team is EVERYTHING. These incredible women are the reason I can do this while still running a successful business. I think Chris is managing everything okay so far too. It’s tricky, though, to juggle work, caring for kids 24/7, trying to not gain 1,000 pounds, while also trying to enjoy the experience, learn a new language, plan ahead… and also build a home, but we are managing. It just means the occasion meltdown, like I had today at lunch when I burst into tears over an IKEA order.

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, bb dakota black dress, valentino belt, bottega veneta chain cassette bag, quay cat eye sunglasses
#6) How Did Your Find An Apartment?

Before we left, I was scouring Airbnb for a place and I finally told Chris, I can’t do this. I HAVE to see apartments before I can commit to renting one for 5 months. He quickly agreed. Sooo… instead of trying to guess what will work best for our family, we hired a consultant to help us look at apartments based on our criteria. Izas lined up several places for us to look at right away. Our criteria was: near a great school, in a safe and great neighborhood, pet-friendly and close to a park. We also requested 3 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms. After two days of looking we put in a bid for one. That fell through as the owner wanted a longer term lease. We decided to go for another apartment that wasn’t our favorite aesthetically, but hands down has the best location! It’s worth noting that we stayed in two Airbnb’s before moving into our apartment. (Tour coming soon). One was decent, but not in the best neighborhood and the other was AWFUL, like ‘could-not-wait-to-get-out-of-there’ awful. I think we made the right call waiting on the apartment decision. You really DO have to see them first if you are staying longer term.

We used the agency Welcome Madrid Relocation and had a very positive experience!

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, black susana monaco bodysuit, mousy vintage denim shorts

#7) Where Will the Kids Go To School?

Now that we’ve found an apartment and are moved in. We’ll need to work on getting Visas and getting the kids in school. To sort out school we decided to work with a school focused consultancy called Step Into Spain. We specifically worked with Sinead here. School is SO important that we wanted to find a company that really knows the in’s the out’s. I’m REALLY happy to report that as of this week (2nd week of September) we found a school!! It’s absolutely perfect! They mostly speak Spanish, it’s close to our apartment and it’s small-ish. I can’t share any more details for safety reasons.

white dress by Acler with puff sleeves on fashion over 40 blogger Erin Busbee in Madrid Spain

#8) Will You Go Anywhere Else In Spain?

Once we get settled, we’re planning to do a lot of traveling! We have to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, right!? Some places on our list in Spain are Barcelona, Valencia, and Granada. We definitely want to check out other countries in Europe too. So far we have traveled to Zermatt, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Holland, and London. On my list for the remainder of our time here: the French countryside and show the kids Paris, Italy FOR SURE, Greece, Croatia, and Morocco too. I don’t know if we have time for all of that, but I’m hopeful we can cover a lot of ground. For the trips in other countries, we will board Traveler here in Madrid.

Where do YOU think we should go?? Please share in the comments below.

You can read more about our weekend trips here.

 

kids in Spain

#9) What Do The Kids Think?

They were definitely not on board at first, but they came around. It’s hard to explain to kids that they are embarking on a life-changing experience when they have no frame of reference. I think they had a blast on the cross-country trip and they are so happy to be in an apartment now in Spain with their own bedrooms! No more packing every two days.

move to spain, move to madrid, why move to spain, where to move in spain, moving to spain, how to move to spain, where to live in spain, Erin Busbee, black nation ltd tee with moussy vintage denim shorts and golden good sneakers

#10) Am I Still Posting on YouTube & Blog?

Absolutely, yes! Nothing here on the site or on YouTube will be changing. The style, beauty, wellness, lifestyle, and home content on the site will continue! And I’m still planning to have a video go live every week. If you want more day-to-day outfits and daily updates on life in Madrid, you can follow me on Instagram!

Is there anything specific you want to see from our adventure in Spain? Outfit ideas? Travel tips? Please let us know in the comments below!

To get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some awesome freebies, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of nearly 700,000 dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
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119 thoughts on “This Is Why Our Family Moved to Spain…ALL Of Your Questions Answered!

  1. What a great post! I love that you shared all about your experiences. You are definitely making great memories with your children!

  2. Great story! Thanks for sharing. I wish I was at a place in my life where I could do the same. I’ve always wanted to travel.

    You’ve got a great channel. Your videos are organized and full of helpful information and your personality makes them fun to watch. Keep up the good work!

  3. While you’re in Marabella, head a little further south to Tarifa to see the Straits of Gibraltar, the point from which you can see the northern-most tip of Africa (Tangier). Beware of the cursed apes of Gibraltar though; if it’s anything like it was in 1988 when I was there, the wretched little creatures will grab absolutely anything not securely from their grasp. Electronic devices, purses, necklaces, etc would disappear with them down the cliffs, never to be seen again! The view is stunning and if the family reads up a little on history first, it’ll be a lot easier to understand the influence of los Moros (the Moors), on Spanish history. 😊

  4. What a great story and I hope you get to do everything. Please please please go to Salamanca. It’s not very far from Madrid. Has the oldest University in Spain (I think that’s correct 😍). It’s beautiful. The uni holds a lot of General files on people from when he ruled Spain. I’ve not been😂😂😂it’s on my wish list. Other places are in the South of Spain. Around Granada and Seville. Very different from the part you are in. Lots designed by the moors. And then the north. San Sebastián a real foodie place. I live in the north of England. So most of my holidays are in Europe. So many places to see. And not enough time and money. I just need to win the lottery and live for 150 years.

    Enjoy your family time travelling around Europe. Can’t wait to see the posts xx

  5. If you make it to London, it’s so worth the beautiful trip by train from London to Edinburgh, Scotland. The kids would love the Royal Mile and we were able to see everything we wanted in about a day and a half.

  6. olá Erin,

    Venha a Portugal. O nosso pais, bem mais pequeno que Espanha, e fica mesmo ao lado, barato e lindo.
    Lisboa, Porto, Coimbra, Sintra, Évora e come-se muito bem.

    Apareça será muito bem-vinda 🙂

  7. Do you have a link for the platform sandals in pic above #8 question, where you are wearing an off-white, belted dress?

    You can take fast & efficient high-speed trains to Seville and see southern Spain. So fabulous. And I think you’ll enjoy Madrid more than Barcelona; I think Barcelona is gorgeous too but didn’t find the people there to be as friendly and welcoming to an American trying to speak her own pathetic version of Spanish, while the Madrilenos were so genuinely happy I was trying, lol.

  8. Hi Erin and team,

    My family and I are thinking of moving to Spain for a summer or a full year. I’d love to know who your consultant was Izas, is it a person or a company? Did you like them? Also is it possible to outline who you used for your dog? I live in Arvada, CO so perhaps they are near me as well. Anyhow would love to know a few more details how you did it.

    Thank you

  9. Fabulous!
    We lived in Madrid for 2.5 years and loved it! Our 3 kids went to Spanish schools. We go back often and made amazing friends there! We walked and rode the buses everywhere in the city and traveled all over the EU. It was a wonderful experience. In fact, our kids consider Madrid as their 2nd hometown.
    Have fun!!!

  10. I am from Spain. I live in San Francisco, California, and spend my summers in Playa de la Barrosa, in the province of Cadiz. Cadiz beaches are 100% better than Marbella; that’s where I would go to scape the Madrid heat wave. Enjoy your time in Spain!

  11. Erin, if I had to choose two locations I would choose Italy, (the Amalfi coast and Tuscany). Had 2 friends I vicariously lived through who lived in Italy for almost 4 months. They lived in vineyards and in very old apartments in towns . It was magical. They have traveled to Italy 6 times now . And the second place would be Paris! Notre Dame , the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower! But wherever you decide to go, I’m sure it will be fabulous !

  12. Hi from England. So excited about your Spanish adventure. We lived in Spain for Spain and loved it. There were many reasons that we returned to U.K., grandchildren being one. We lived in Ayamonte which is west of Seville and definitely an area to be recommended. Also Cordoba and Cadiz. I know that there is only so much travelling that you can do! Enjoy your time in Spain.

    1. It’s great that your grandchildren have you nearby, love that. Thanks for your suggestions! SO many great places! xo

  13. Can I suggest for you guys to visit Stockholm Sweden. Its magnificent city. And has alot of cool fashion. Im from Sweden Gothenburg.
    There is a fashion week tour in Europe. Showing the spring 22 fashion. Perhapse if you have the opportunity to visit Stockholm around that time. Or London fashion week, Paris, or Milan. How exciting for you guys to be doing this. Ive followed you on Youtube for over a year now and love your videos. Hope you´ll have a magnificant stay in Madrid and touring Europe. Have Fun! Anette xo

    1. It would be AMAZING to attend a fashion week in Europe… I’m SO glad you are enjoying my videos! Thank you for your sweet words. xo

  14. Absolutely sounds amazing! Wouldn’t have hesitated either! Will you have a chance to ski in Switzerland before you get back since you guys love skiing? Our favorites that you probably already know about: Zermatt (Mont Cervin Palace Hotel is the BEST!), Berner Oberland: Interlaken (main town), ski Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, Murren, Grindelwald…), and of course St. Moritz and Davos are fantastic. Enjoy your adventure!

  15. My daughter studied at a University in Madrid. They traveled to other countries almost weekly. I am going to ask her to follow you. She may have some fun ideas!
    Have fun…!!!

  16. Hi Erin!

    I’m loving everything you are posting about your cross-country trip and your move to Spain! 🙂 When our daughter lived in Madrid back in 2014, we, of course, traveled there to be with her and explore Madrid. For part of our trip, we traveled down to Granada. It was an amazing place to explore! We spent 6 hours walking around La Alhambra. The views, the Muslim art influence, and the doors (my husband cracked up at how many times I took a picture of a door but I couldn’t resist…they were beautiful!) We spent our evenings eating paella and drinking tinto de verano. I hope you get the chance to check it out!

  17. Hi Erin, So excited for you and your family. I would definitely go to Chamonix, France. The mont blanc is absolutely breathtaking and while there, you can take the tunnel through the mont blanc and visit Courmayeur, Italy. Good luck, and enjoy every minute!

  18. Get the kids to Florence, great learning city and so walkable and train access. Also Strassburg, France. Of course the choice for Paris and Normandy and Omaha Beach for sone American WWII history. I am not sure if your kids are old enough for concentration camps. Budapest is lovely, yet a little depressing from an architectural standpoint, it will take billions of dollars to get it back to what it use to be prior to communism.
    I enjoy your adventures.

  19. What a fabulous experience, I love Spain and have visited many times. My favourite cities are Seville with Valencia following a close 2nd. Have a wonderful time in your new home.

  20. What an incredible experience for you and your family. I love Spain and recommend eating as much paella as possible! 🙂 Marbella has beautiful beaches and incredible seafood restaurants. Europe in general seems to be a bit ahead of the trends here in the US so make sure to do some shopping 🙂 Don’t have too many tips but I did learn on a trip to Italy that many restaurants now offer gluten free bread and gluten free pasta!

  21. I absolutely LOVE this! I homeschool my triplets & part of the reason I do is to have the freedom to travel and have adventure! My husband and I have had the wonderful opportunity to take the kids to London and Kenya, and the education they receive through traveling is better than any they could ever get in a classroom. We are also contemplating a month-long road trip next spring & your comment about no vehicle being big enough made me laugh because we are also discussing getting a Sprinter for the road.
    Have a fabulous time abroad! Kudos to you all for your fun sense of adventure – your kids will remember this for the rest of their lives!

  22. Such a great opportunity you hAve created for your family! I really want to travel to Spain and Portugal. Husband has severe shrimp,crab,lobster allergy. Wondering if you will get any sense of allergy awareness there that you could share.

    1. Great question, Janet. We’ve only been here for two weeks so I can’t give an accurate answer just yet. You can find articles online that will aid you in your travels while dealing with allergies. xo 

  23. 👏👏👏 so glad you guys are doing this! We did something similar and wound up living abroad in Switzerland(Basel)and London for 20 yrs. So you never know Erin. 😘 Seriously though work hard on that Spanish. Can’t stress it enough. It’s such a good language to have. And wow, your CO house looks amazing. Living the dream! Italy is by far our fave country to visit. Pure heaven!

  24. Hi Erin,
    My daughter lived in Barcelona for a year after graduating college. She worked as a private tutor teaching English to children. While she was there over the year, she traveled to 18 different countries visiting & exploring. She loved the experience & wanted to turn around & go right back after she came home. It definitely was not without frustration, trials & hardships in dealing with living abroad, but the pros definitely outweighed the cons.
    This is & will be an amazing experience for your family. Whether your kids like it or not, they will eventually look back at this time with fabulous memories & gratitude for such a wonderful opportunity you guys gave them. Children are so resilient and can adapt to change quickly. The best way to fully get the most out of an experience is to completely immerse yourself in the middle of it, like you’re doing. Enjoy this time and live in the moment as it will be over before you all know it! I love reading about your adventures, thank you for taking the time to share them with us.
    Best of luck,
    Kristina

    1. Thank you, Kristina, for your encouraging words and for sharing your daughter’s story. It has given me a great perspective. I appreciate YOU! xo

  25. Hi Erin,

    It is always a pleasure reading your blogs, following your great fashion tips.. I read all about your Spain trip and it is going to be very exciting. I thought that I would share with you some recommendations about places to visit. I was born in Morocco and two years ago I organized a three weeks trip to Morocco with two lawyers friends including spending one night in the Sahara Desert, an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend a private driver and a tour guide in Morocco, it is much safer and you get to see a lot of the beautiful country. Cities to visit in Morocco are: Fes, Meknes, Essaouira, Tanger, Rabat, The Sahara Desert. Casablanca, can be skipped or for just two days. As, for Spain, we do have a 3 bedrooms apartment in Marbella which we rent when we are not there. Marbella is very beautiful, Puerto Banus, old town of Marbella, small villages to visit around Marbella: Ronda, Casares, Malaga (Picasso museum), eating tapas in old Malaga. Spain is one of the richest cultural country in Europe. Each province has its own history, architecture and culture.

    Places and cities to visit in Spain : Ibiza, Mayorca, Barcelona (Anthony Gaudi architecture and La Sagrada), SEvilla, Grenada about two hours from Marbella to visit the Alhambra, the north of Spain: Galicia, Basque, San Sebastian (a small city of 500,000 people but with 3 Michelin
    restaurants), Santander.

    Italy: Venice, Florence, Region of Tuscany, Sicily, Rome..
    Paris: Chateau de Versailles outside Paris, about 2 hours drive
    Greece: so many islands : Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos, Hydra, all Athens and outside Athens. I would highly suggest a private tour guide and driver for Greece.
    London
    Croatia : Dubrovnik
    Switzerland: Zermart if you have a chance, great place for hiking and skiing.
    There are so many places to visit in Europe and it is very inexpensive. From Madrid, it is about a two hours flight anywhere in Europe and most of the time it cost about 100 -130 euros return.
    Hope that this will help.
    Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like some more info. My husband and I are big travellers and we know very well Spain and Europe. You are going to love Spain. Enjoy it as much as you can. You will find anything like it in North America. Also, everything is so much cheaper, all the clothes and very fashionable.
    Colette

    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Colette, and ALL of this wonderful information! WOW! I appreciate YOU! I’ll reach out if I have any questions. xo

  26. Hola Erin!
    No es facil aprender a escribir el idioma español, pero si es fácil hablarlo.
    Last April I helped my daughter with her 7th grade Spanish homework, I did the kind of test four times and the first time it said that I answered two questions correctly, so I work harder the next three more times and didn’t change the two answer that I did answered correct and it was telling me it’s no good, I got help from other people that speaks Spanish and even with that I failure. So I wrote an email to the teacher explaining everything and she agreed that the kind of software is not very well designed. Then I found out that my daughter was learning some kind of sentence in the wrong order and the teacher was approving them like A. Hopefully this coming 8th grade she will have a more accurate lessons and teacher.
    Yes to watch shows, music and movies in Spanish with subtitles in Spanish as well.
    And I am here if you need a hand with Spanish!
    Learning English it not been easy to me as well, so I really understand.
    Ana.

    1. That sounds frustrating, Ana! Hopefully, this year will be better. Thanks for your tip of watching entertainment with subtitles! That’s a fantastic idea. xo

  27. Wow! Amazing story- so happy you arrived safely and can’t wait to hear more about your experience 💕

  28. What an amazing opportunity and your kids are the perfect age. Have an amazing time and I can’t wait to follow along!

  29. Incredible! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in Spain. I hope to travel there w my two munchkins too!

  30. Wow Erin! What an adventure! Spain is on my travel list, and we’ve had two family trips planned for Spain that have been cancelled for various reasons. I love that you are brave enough to just go for it! I love to travel and wish we had done more of it when our children were younger as they are now entering High School and Middle School this year and both play sports – making it difficult to find the time to travel. I love all your recent content about your travels so keep it coming! Also, love all your outfits in this post. Hoping I can find the details on the blog! Keep up the great work and have a blast in Spain!

    1. I agree it’s challenging to travel as our families grow and get busy, BUT don’t give up! Keep trying! The items I’m wearing in this post are at the top of the page. If you scroll to the top, you’ll see images of each item I’m wearing. I hope this helps! xo

  31. Your description of language study reminded me of David Sedaris’s story: Me Talk Pretty One Day. He attempted French, in Paris no less. His experience may give you the chuckle you need.

    Traveling can be exhausting and draining but oh so rewarding. Enjoy!

  32. Thank you for filling us in on the details of your trip to Spain. I’m thrilled for you and your family to have such an amazing experience. My hubby and I lived in Arles in Provence, France for six months before we had kids and it was one of the best times of our lives. We visited again with our kids when they were about the same age as yours are now and they loved it too. All the best as you struggle on with Spanish lessons, I can relate!
    Best regards, Lianne

  33. I’m so excited and also envious of your kids. Learning a second language at their age will play such a pivotal role in their life. I lived in Italy for 3 years and now in Japan for 4 years. I love and miss Europe. Plus to have a partner on board who loves travel and adventure is key. It is something on my vision board and truly manifesting as well as envisioning daily in my future. Tough part is the shoes- I find I go thru so many overseas. Happy to share more experiences as an American woman who’s make overseas life a dream come true especially when things go aride. Hang in there and you got this.

  34. What a wonderful experience for Chris, the kids, and of course yourself. There is no time like the present to travel around and see the world. Who knows what will happen with this COVID variant? So cheers to you. I want to share some of my favorite sights in Europe. The Amalfi coast in Italy is amazing and, in particular, Positano. Paris is a MUST! Also, if you feel inclined and I know it is a little faaaar…Ireland. Hands down one of my favorite places to see. I love the Dingle peninsula, and that area is very kid-friendly and dog-friendly as well. I did not enjoy London nor England as much and experienced an enormous amount of anti-American sentiment-but if you can ignore that, I would like to recommend Bath, England. Very quaint, beautiful area. Good luck, and of course, you could have a much different experience than I am suggesting; everyone likes something different and has a different subjective experience. But these were the places that brought me joy and tolerated my kids. 🙂

    Have a wonderful time; I am with you….better things to do with your hard-earned money than flush it down the drain in high-priced rents!!! Enjoy Europe!!

  35. Very happy for you! What an amazing adventure you’ve had and will have. Also, absolutely perfect age for your kids to appreciate and enjoy living in another country. We lived in Germany for a few years and loved the ease of travel. If you get a chance, visit some Christmas markets (season runs late Nov-mid/late December depending on the country).

    1. Thanks for mentioning Christmas markets, I’m very much looking forward to that experience. I’m glad you loved Germany! xo

  36. Hi Erin
    If you get the opportunity, you should try to go to Mallorca, it is a really stunningly beautiful island close to Barcelona. Also if you go to the North of Spain, San Sebastian is a lovely town and foodie heaven xx

  37. If you go to London, take a boat from Westminster to Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory with the GMT Prime Meridian and lots of astronomy and history, National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, the Painted Chapel and more. The village is cute and there is a HUGE park. On the boat ride there, they give you a tour of everything on both sides of the Thames. On the way back, YOU SLEEP! It’s a lot! I think we visited the House of Commons after a walking tour of Westminster. Loved that, too.

  38. I already mentioned Segovia just day trip from Madrid but if you’re going to other countries, Halstatt, Austria is one of the most beautiful places & there’s an ancient salt mine there too. Nearer Spain in Portugal is a tiny walled town, Obidos with about 70+ residents & has beautiful flowers growing on walls & quaint shops.

    1. Great question, Ashley! I searched on Google. There are intensive Spanish lessons in many places. Just search “intensive Spanish lessons + city”. We picked by location and proximity to our apartment.

      Once you are there they can really help you with so many things… like getting kids placed, private lessons, etc. They are even helping us with school enrollment and Traveler dog sitting!! xo

  39. Hi Erin
    I am glad you guys have settled now in a good appartement.
    Spain has a lot to offer, there are many places to discover besides the well know Barcelona and Valencia. You should look at Burgos and Segovia, both close by Madrid. On the South, you guys need to take a car and visit Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada- the beaches in Cádiz and eat fried fish ( pescadito frito!) in Huelva (seriously! 😉
    … you cannot miss on those!! South of Portugal, Algarve, is also great for vacation and so unbeliveable cheap! Lisbon so nice.
    I know that resisting Italy, South of France etc will be difficult…but you have a full plate with Spain!!
    Whatever your choice, enjoy!

    Marta

  40. What a great decision! My family did almost the same thing 40 years ago in France. It was the best decision of our lives. Your language lessons will get easier the more your ear becomes accustom to the language. The kids will always have this experience. Happy for you!

    1. That’s amazing, Marilyn! I’m glad it was so positive for you and your family. Thanks for your encouraging words as well! xo

  41. Erin,
    Your trip is inspirational!! I love that your kids are having this amazing experience. How cool. I would add Tel Aviv to your travel list.

  42. I m very happy for your staying in Spain, I m Italian and for me Spanish language is very easy, but sure it is not for you english-speakers. But Don t worry, you’ll be able to understand! Have a nice stay and I advise you to visit also my lovely city in Italy, that is Bergamo and its sourrondings (we have lakes, mountains, country,..). Love

    1. Lakes and mountains would definitely feel like home… I would LOVE that. Thanks for your supportive words, Elisabetta. xo

  43. What an amazing journey! We moved to Germany for 4 years when I was a child and as you say, it was life-changing!

    Will be following along!
    xoxo- Tanya

  44. I would definitely recommend traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark too. You should so check out Scandi fashion! The city is beautiful, easy to access by foot or bike, kids friendly, has an amazing choice of restaurants and as I said, the fashion is just fab! Could time to travel is September.

  45. How did you decide what clothes to pack? How many pieces of luggage per family member? This was one reason my husband and I decided he’d make the military a career. Our overseas assignments were an amazing opportunity for all of us but especially our children. Enjoy every minute of your adventure! (My DIL is from Barcelona!)

  46. Let us know the which clothes you packed worked best for your trip.. Which clothes you wish you would have left behind.

  47. Barcelona is my favorite place on earth (so far)!
    I would love to see and hear about the food, what you cook, where you shop for it and where you dine!

  48. Highly recommend Seville, Toledo and Granada. And if you do get to London, try also fitting in the English countryside – Cotswolds or the Lake District.

  49. Hi Erin

    Loved reading your experience and journey to Spain, once you get settled if you get chance to visit other countries, The Amalfi coast in Italy, Florence and Sardegna are beautiful.

    Good luck to you and your family

    Kind Regards

    Giulia x

    1. Apologies for the late reply, Joyce! We are discovering this handbag journey is a marathon… Would you like me to add you to the handbag update list? xo

  50. Sevilla is an absolute must. Take your kids to the Prado as much as you can, they will remember it forever. It is my favorite art museum in all of Europe and I’ve been to all of them. I’m an art museum tour guide

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