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We are an American Family of 4 Living in Spain and Loving Life.
Live life with passion and follow your dreams
In the early 90’s I (Heidi) lived in Tijuana,Mexico and commuted daily to work in San Diego,CA. On a whim, I decided to sell all belongings and travel for 6 months through Mexico,Guatemala and Belize. This proved to be a trip that touched the soul and spawned a passion. In the Late 90’s I met Alan on a backpacking trip in Mexico. Turned out we only lived 20 min away from each other in California. When returning to the state we dated and then married 6 months later. Just a month after being married, we were off to live/work in London, England for just shy of 3 years. During this time, we were fortunate enough to explore parts of Europe and expose ourselves to other languages, cultures and ways of life.
After returning to California we realized it wasn’t a perfect fit for us anymore. Travel had changed us and we wanted to start a family. We explored options and found North Carolina to be our next destination. We quit our jobs, packed up and moved to the East Coast. The plan was to secure employment with a global company, so we could fulfill the dream of living/working internationally again. Well the first part of the plan was a breeze. We both landed great jobs at great companies in no time at all.
The second part of the dream was to be living/working internationally, prior to our children (unborn at this time) being in middle school. We would then be able to pass along the global passion to our children and immerse them in another culture and have them fluent in a second language. We figured we had loads of years to hit this goal, with no sweat. We started to build our savings and keep on working with hopes of being transferred internationally.
Nearly twelve years later and in our 40’s, we now had children (7 & 10 yrs old) and the chances of living/working internationally were slimmer by the day. We found ourselves in the daily grind of working the 40+ hrs a week and only spending time with the kids weekends and brief evenings. Vacations have always been a priority for us and we have managed to do so much (travel journals), but it just wasn’t enough. We had the “storybook” life, but the passion and our dreams were missing. Our material items were abundant and one would think we had it all. But it too came at a price. When is enough, enough? What truly makes one happy? In the back of our minds we knew that we should Live life with passion and follow our dreams. What was missing? What was wrong?
One day, we decided to alter our dream statement from living/working internationally to living internationally. Once we removed the single word “working” from our dream, it seemed the impossible dream could become a reality. We carefully pondered this and researched every angle for months, to see if we could find a flaw. We did find some risks, but we were willing to take them to live our dream. Oh what a great experience this would be for us all. The kids would think of the world as a smaller place and connect with others on so many levels. Let’s do it!
We decided in order to do this “for us”, we would need to declutter and uproot ourselves. We decided to sell everything, house, cars, belongings and only store the “must keep” items. We quit our great careers and decided to take a chance, but it feels right. Please join us in our adventures and comment along the way. We hope to inspire and let you know it is okay to think outside of the box. You too can be a Family Living in Spain.
Who is Living in Spain?
Alan – I’m less of a free spirit than Heidi, but I do enjoy “off the beaten path” types of travel. I am also a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I’ve done some white-water rafting, skydiving, and some fast laps around various racing tracks on my motorcycle. Heidi and I have been lucky to do some great diving, and she’s an awesome dive buddy. I really enjoy watching the kids see new places, and experience other cultures. My biggest “asset” is my sense of humor. I’m definitely the Funny Guy in the family, with Lars coming in a close second.
Heidi – I’m a Northern California born free spirit, wife, mother and travel junkie. I have traveled to over 35 countries and lived in 3 (US,Mexico,England). I can’t get enough of culture and living like a local, the true travel experience. Not that I don’t at times experience a place as a “tourist”. I love showing the world to our children. With hopes to instill in their minds that the world is their oyster and they can live their dreams. My favorite hobbies/passions are: Scuba diving, traveling with my family, hiking, biking, swimming, being frugal and people watching.I have an adventurous side, but I do tread with a little caution. Zip lining isn’t my forte, or at least stopping (5 min mark on video), but I did have fun. I think it is important to laugh at yourself sometimes. I worked for many years in hotel and food and beverage management and several years working in corporate America in IT. I embrace change and love adventure. What better combo for a life abroad?
Lars – I’m a 10 years old and I like to run, play soccer, video games and to read. I am the serious one in the family, but with a great sense of humor like my Dad. I like pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ice cream. My favorite color is purple. I like to play practical jokes, but I never get the chance because my parents won’t let me. I like to travel and see new places and meet new people.
Anya – I ‘m the youngest in the family and the adrenaline junkie like my Dad. I like to do crazy things and have a free spirit. I like to eat strawberries and bananas with Nutella. For fun I like to kick around a soccer ball with my brother, swimming and jump rope. My favorite colors are purple, blue and orange. I like to meet new friends and paint my nails. I am excited about moving abroad because I want to see the new culture where other people live.