Expat Family Life

Why Move Abroad — Our Family Expat Story

Hi, I’m Jackie Baxa. Welcome to Family Move Abroad — Inspiration and Information to Move Your Family to a Foreign Country.

My husband, Dave, and I had always dreamed of living in a foreign country with our children while they were still children. In August 2016, our sons then ages 9 and 13, we stepped on a plane for a one year move to Sevilla, Spain. (At this writing, we’re still here, but that’s another story.)

Our move abroad adventure begins
Our very first morning after red eye flight to Spain

A year of painstaking research went into bringing that vision to reality.

We had zero personal contacts in Spain. We had no idea what to do to legally reside there. Truth be told, in those initial stages, we weren’t entirely sure Spain was the ideal country for our move abroad adventure. How to hone in on one specific locale among the magically diverse regions there? Not a clue.

Several months of hard core internet searching later, all we could say was that we were going to move for one year to Spain (though we were still considering South or Central America), where we’d live in a city (or small town) by the coast (or inland) where our kids would attend private (or public) school.

Crazy? Maybe. Stubborn? Definitely. But despite the overwhelming effort our dream demanded, we were determined to see it through.

Our sons explore their new hometown of Seville, Spain
Exploring their new hometown of Seville, Spain

Why Move Abroad

I believe that Place has Power. Dwelling within distinct physical and cultural landscapes forces us to push past preconceived notions by the very simple fact that the environment doesn’t function the way we expect it to. All that new environmental stimuli opens our minds to new ways of seeing the world around us, as well as the world within us.

Just as importantly… exploring the world with your kids, as a family, is just plain fun! For the rest of their lives, our kids will remember us, their parents, as the ones to take them on their first trip trip to London, their first climb up the Eiffel Tower, and their first La Liga fútbol match. My husband and I will forever remember our younger one, on the heels of finishing the Percy Jackson books, shouting with joy “my very first Greek ruin” as we scaled our way up the hill to the Acropolis. They have more new foods in their dining repertoire than many adults. They speak a second language. They’ve lived in two completely contrasting cultural as well as physical environments, and through that are already developing a sense of personal preferences in life.

Moving our family to Spain has been been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life. It has definitely not been the easiest. A few things worked out exactly as we’d envisioned. Other things we’d wanted never came to fruition. We had more than our fair share of fiascoes.  

Even the most straightforward relocation scenarios will pile you with paperwork. Decisions to make. Education issues to consider. Emotional upheaval to manage.

Yet I would do it again in a heartbeat. Preferably with guidance. That guidance is the gift I hope to share with you through this blog.

Practical advice. Resource referral. Sharing of knowledge. To Inspire you and support you to move your family to a foreign country with clarity and confidence.

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