Why Our Family Up and Moved to Barcelona, Spain

by Becky on October 11, 2012 · 2 comments

in Traditions, Travel

Flight info to Barcelona from London

About a month ago, we moved to Europe.  We’d always wanted to move abroad with our kids, and, strangely, everything sort of lined up so that we could.  Odd but cool.  So, after putting all our stuff in storage, selling two of our cars, withdrawing our kids from school, and getting on a plane, we are now in Barcelona, Spain, living in the seventh-floor loft we call home.  Are we nuts?  Definitely.  Is it a grand adventure?  Definitely.  Will we ever regret doing something that had been at the top of our bucket list for a couple of decades?  Nope.

Getting the kids on board with the idea was of course the first step.  Son number one was planning to be gone for two years and basically said Good luck, wish you the best, you go do your thing, I’m going to go do mine.  Which was important, really, because had he somehow felt that he was going to be missing out, we might not have come.

Daughter number one was key as well.  A senior in high school, she might have said, No way.  But she fell in love with the idea of living abroad:  seeing new things, sampling cultures, thrifting here, there, and everywhere (her Thing).  Though she knew she’d miss her friends, she also knew she wouldn’t have a chance to do anything like this again.

Tessa's MUN Friends at the Farewell Party

Friends say goodbye to Tess (center, in the “Y” t-shirt).

Daughter number two was hesitant.  A happy and talented song bird, she belonged to a choir she adored and studied with a voice teacher she adored equally.  When and where would she sing while we were gone??  Valid question, we agreed.  But it was only one school year, not forever, and her voice would keep, as would her gift, as would her enthusiasm for working her way toward a vocal music scholarship, her dream.  We suggested she could sing on the road, as it were.  Finally she bought in.

Millay at the Farewell Party

Millie enjoys the farewell party.

And that left our youngest, who, like all youngest children, goes where the family goes and does what the family does.  I believe he’ll remember this experience as The Year of the Sisters given the fact that they dote on him, pester him, and tell him his business in equal proportions, constantly.  But.  He’s connected with a new hobby–photography–and as long as he’s got his Puma sneakers on and the camera battery is full, he’s good to go.  A couple of days ago, during a family outing to the Raval neighborhood downtown, he took 350 pictures!  What other American nine-year-old gets to snap photos of the colorful effusions of foods in the markets?–the spray-painted artwork on the corrugated pull-down doors of the city’s endless stores?–the brilliantly engineered drinking fountains tucked here, there, and everywhere?  Yeah, he’s dealing okay.

Mom with Silas in London

Silas and I trade silliness in the airport.

Our Airplane to Barcelona

Tessa asleep in London

Silas asleep in London

Millay in Heathrow Airport

Long flight.  Sleeping.  Making our connection in Heathrow.  And landing in Spain.

On British Airways Flight to Barcelona Spain

Over Barcelona

Over Barcelona 2

It’s all working.  Stay tuned for more thoughts on living abroad.  With teens.  And one groovy little nine-year-old.

claudia098 October 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

What an exciting time for you! We’ve been dreaming of up and moving with our two kids (age 10 & 6), so it’s wonderful to read your adventures. Tell me, how are you dealing with school during this time? Are you homeschooling or are the children enrolled in school in Barcelona? How did you find an apartment? Are you working while there or did you have savings to take the year off? Thanks!

anna October 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

absolutely wonderful blog!!
tell me, how can I subscribe other than liking your fb page???

I live in Vienna, Austria… maybe one day you decide to visit these parts and we could even meet…

lots of love,
hasta luego
anna

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