Monday, May 11, 2015

¡Viva España!

Trying to be on best behavior at the Spanish Consulate

We're moving to Spain! In fact, we just got the approval for our residency visas from the Spanish consulate last week.

 But we've been planning this move for months. We sold our house in January and one of the vehicles last month. We've pared down all our belongings to a few select things that travel well in a couple suitcases. And we've  been telling all our friends and co-workers about this big adventure.

 I feel like I get an interesting glance into a person's psyche based on how they respond to the simple statement "we're moving to Spain." Pretty much everyone is incredulous at first. And most are excited for us. Typical questions include "how long?" "what part of Spain?" and "what are you going to do?" It's this last question that strikes me as odd. What are we going to do? I struggle to articulate to people that I'll be doing what I always do, namely, enjoying life. We don't have a massive year-long agenda. It's not like planning a 10 day vacation.

Sometimes I realize the questioner doesn't mean what am I going to do day to day, but rather, what am I going to do for work? And when I tell them we've saved up with the intention of not working for at least a year they look baffled. Granted it's been primarily co-workers that do this. My climbing friends seem to intuitively understand that I'm a frugal person.
Inexpensive date option

 But the other folks- yikes! I've had to repeatedly explain that no, I'm not using money from our home sale to fund our adventure. No, I'm not tapping into our retirement accounts. We saved this money over the last couple years on top of maxing out our IRAs and work retirement plans.

And by moving to Spain, instead of vacationing there, we'll not spend any more money than we would by staying in the US: less, in fact. Life is fairly inexpensive in Spain compared to California. Long-term rentals are way cheaper than vacation rentals. And by not having a house or cars back in the States, we're not doubling up on expenses like rent, utilities, car insurance, etc. Because we don't have to worry about finding jobs we were able to rent a place in an inexpensive little village.
No SoCal rent prices here!

 Because we won't be working we can easily get around with only one car and our bikes. If we weren't such avid climbers we could get by without a car at all. And because we are renting a furnished apartment for a finite time we won't be tempted to fill it with all the junk Americans like to cram in their houses.
Did I mention I'll have a personal chef in Spain?

 Preschool will be free for my daughter. Healthcare is affordable. Gas is expensive, but typical vehicle fuel economy is roughly twice what it is in the US. All these things add up to save us a tremendous amount of money without any sacrifice on our parts. Win, win, I say.

Lately though, when people ask me why I'm moving to Spain, I just tell them my wine and olive budget was just getting to be so ridiculous here in the States that I couldn't afford not to move to Spain.

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