How did you choose Spain? An American Family Lives in Spain

live in spain

The flag of Spain was adopted as the national flag of Spain on December 6, 1978.

So we are often asked, “How did you choose to live in Spain?”

Did we just randomly pull up a world map and throw a dart? How about going to the library and seeing which country had the most books on the shelf?  Well, it wasn’t quite like that. I wish it were so easy.  Actually, this was probably one of the longer decisions to make in the process.  Let’s just say that list making was key and then more list making and cross referencing.

How did choose Spain as your country to live abroad? What were we thinking, what was our criteria and motivation to be Americans who lives in Spain?


We first came up with our list of goals or what we were trying to gain from the experience of living abroad. This in itself was quite time-consuming. Trying to articulate what exactly we were trying to achieve, gain, “go for” wasn’t an easy process.  We did how ever come up with the final list and have a post on the outcome.


Second was the list of countries we wanted to visit, live in, learn more about or experience.  They could be anywhere in the world. This was a breeze to come up with and we also listed several in which we had no interest in living, but wouldn’t mind a quick visit. We even have a more mobile option, where we would effectively not have a home base. We narrowed down our top few choices and decided to do a deeper dive into the possibilities for these locations.

The Important Stuff

Next was the list of criteria we would balance against our goals and the countries. Cost of living, Schools, Housing, Visa’s, Health Insurance, Dental, Location, Language, Crime, Safety, Proximity to other cultures, Transportation, Politics, and a few more. This was extremely time-consuming and Google was one of our best friends for months. We did a deep dive in each area on our top choices.
Choosing a country to live

Sprinkle a little pixy dust

Now is where the magic comes into the mix. After all of the research, we built a matrix with findings for each location. We then needed to map that info to our goals and find the winner. Of course it was Spain and we have a few others as part of our “back up plan”, just in case. Basing ourselves in Spain will accomplish all of our goals and then some. Now we just needed to figure out how to make it happen.

Results – We Live in Spain!


6 thoughts on “How did you choose Spain? An American Family Lives in Spain

  1. Very interesting article ! Thanks for sharing these tips, I think it is a great idea to write down your objectives, needs, expectations and investigate in depth a shortlist of destination before leaving. If one day you wish to buy a property in Spain and want a secured and comprehensive support, check out our site 🙂

  2. heidi…..this is a great website….kudos to you! i love sandi’s comment about appreciated cousins…..wouldn’t it be fun if we all happened to arrive at the same time…..karen, eric and i will be renting an apartment probably sometime in march (at least that’s the plan for now)…..can’t wait!

    • Thanks Mom.. we are excited and would love to see people. Just a reminder we won’t be on “vacation” budget, but don’t mind people seeing us on their vacation. 🙂

  3. Your story and plan are amazing and inspiring! I am so excited to follow your journey through your blog! Thanks for making this effort and sharing this with us! Kathi

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