Hi. I’m Jackie, the writer, researcher and all around expat enthusiast behind Family Move Abroad. If you’re considering a move to Spain, I’d like to help you get there!
Why I Created Family Move Abroad
My husband and I had always dreamed of living in a foreign country as a family with our children. We first talked about it before our older child was even born. In the summer of 2016, our sons 9 and 13, we stepped on a plane for Seville, Spain, ushering in a one year family expat adventure. (We’re now on year four, but that’s another story.)
The idea for a website “to help people figure out their visas and other things you really need to do” was born during the absolutely painstaking research phase planning our move to Spain. Prior to planning our Move to Spain, I didn’t think there was any problem a thorough internet search couldn’t solve. Not so, apparently.
Finding the information I needed was beyond challenging. It took me weeks to even figure out that the kind of visa we needed to do what we wanted to do was called the Non Lucrative Visa. It then took even more time to figure out what we needed to do to get one. If not for knowing of other people who’d done it, I’m pretty sure I would have given up. (That, and I have a pretty mean stubborn side motivating me to put the puzzle together.)
In fact, I’ve since met people who did just that — gave up on their dream to live in Spain for a year because they were so overwhelmed with the process. I don’t want that to happy to you!
How Family Move Abroad Can Help You Plan Your Move to Spain
From families with children to retirees, from solo adventurers to expat couples in the making, I help American citizens and foreign nationals legally residing in the US to pull together the paperwork they need for the Non Lucrative Visa application. A documentation gather tour de force, I’ll help you understand exactly what each requirement means, and the easiest most cost efficient way for you to get what you need, based on your location, consular requirements, timing and budget.
Beyond visas, I regularly assist people to:
- Figure out where they might want to live in Spain. This country is magically diverse in history, culture, lifestyle, cost of living, gastronomy and, most critically… language!! Finding the right place for you to settle might not look like what you think it does.
- Search for and secure housing
- Understand the full scope of their immigration practicalities
- Research sports teams, clubs, music lessons and other extracurricular activities for kids
- Investigate best fit schools for families with children
- Connect to professional resources for local relocation agents, banking options, moving pets overseas, miscellaneous relocation practicalities and much, much more.
And finally, with nearly four years of expat parenting behind me, I regularly help parents think through the emotional and adaptational challenges they might contend with, based on my incessant gathering of expat family anecdotes, compiled with own well being issues we’ve encountered along the way.
Every family is unique, yet a common thread runs through the stories I hear from parents raising children outside their home country. From the quantitative tasks to get children’s language up to speed and steeped in Spanish options of their favorite activities, to the more qualitative elements of nurturing children through language barriers and culture shock, I hope to make your family expat journey unfold as smoothly as possible.
So… What experience do I bring to this rather lofty goal of imposing some sense of order on the intrinsically disorienting nature of a family international relocation? (Besides having single-handedly orchestrated the move of my own family to Spain. Twice!)
A corporate career in software development, from production assistant to executive producer. Equally at home within the micro and the macro. Big budgets, tight timelines, the person who had to make the many quirky personalities across a multidisciplinary team to all play nicely with each other. Those years taught me that I truly treasure nurturing ideas into tangible products, and to do so with pure project management prowess.
Full time mother to two beautiful, wild and incredibly strong willed boys. I bring nineteen years as caregiver, homework helper, reading intervention specialist, teen mental health supervisor and alternative healthcare consultant all rolled into one.
Soccer mom. Snowboarding/skiing mom. Have possibly orchestrated made more travel arrangements than many travel agents. And I happen to bake some of the best homemade Harry Potter and Star Wars inspired birthday cakes you’re ever gonna see. (Gluten free, no less!) Over the last five plus years, I’ve executed any number of these responsibilities in Spanish — not a skill I had when I got here!
Bottom line, I just plain get the many, multifaceted levels of a child’s well-being you’ll want to consider when you move them to a foreign country.
Finally, I’m a professional yoga teacher. As irrelevant as that may seem to international relocation, my yoga practice, at its core, is about creating the resilience to step outside one’s comfort zone and explore life with an open heart. There are many ways to stretch. Living and parenting in a foreign country will push you far beyond your limits than any asana. (And besides, I can’t help but insert a little yoga speak into just about everything I write or say, so figured I should mention it.)
Where are you at in your expat journey? Contact me here.