- Selling Our Home
During our planning session in the Fall/Winter, we decided that we wanted to leave the country sometime the following August. This would allow us to get the kids to school starting in September and allow us a good six months to sell the house. To alleviate stress, best case scenario would be if the house sold in April or May, so that we could get an apartment for 3 months over the summer. That is the shortest term lease for an apartment. Well, it did turn out EXACTLY according to plan.
- Temporary Living
When searching for a temporary living arrangement for the summer, we found an apartment with a 3 month lease ending exactly when we wanted to leave the country. Keep in mind at this time our Spain Resident Visa was not approved and we were just hoping it would be ready in August.
- Rain Dance (link to article)
When selling the home we had a little Rain Dance, and that seemed to work!
- Selling Our Belongings
We had the best of luck with Craigslist. We would post things and they would go within 24 hrs. It was like magic. We were of course saving the furniture for last, as we were still using it. Then it turned out the buyers of the house wanted a bulk of our furniture. They wanted the kids rooms as they were, our kitchen and dining room table, pictures and hangings on the walls, chairs, cabinets, desks, etc… this was a dream come true! We didn’t need to move or sell them. We gave them a great deal on the furniture and we were all happy.
- Heidi leaving work with timing to move – I gave my notice at work prior to the house selling. This was a risk, but felt right at the time. Turns out a few days later we accepted the offer. I left work mid-May and we closed at the end of May. This allowed me 2 weeks to prepare for the move. The timing could not have been better.
- Alan Leaving Work
Alan originally planned to leave work in mid-July, giving him about 4 weeks off prior to us leaving. Again, this was assuming our visa would be approved and we could leave in August. In June we had a little panic and realized that we submitted our visas in April and they can take 3-6 months. What if it is the 6 months? So Alan changed his departure date to Aug 3, so we would have medical coverage thru end of Aug.Turned out to be perfect.
- Timing of visa application with NY trip.
Once the word was out at Alan’s office that we were leaving on this adventure, a few of his colleagues would mention he needed to look someone up at the office. Someone that had lived in Spain. Alan heard this several times, but didn’t act upon the reference. Then a few weeks prior to Alan’s last day he decided to reach out to this contact. There was a quick email exchange between them and us spouses. Next thing you know, they invited us over to their home for a chat that Sunday. We arrived at their lovely home and talked for 3 hours solid. It felt like 30 minutes. They were a family of 5 that recently returned from 3 years living in Spain. Two of their children were the exact ages of ours when they left. The information they shared with us was invaluable. They had so many tips and tricks and learnings to share, that have all proven to be useful to us thus far. We thank them!
- Alan’s Password
You know how at work your computer password needs to be changed as per company policy? Well, in the Spring, it was time for Alan to update his password. At that time he decided to change his password to Spain88Go. As It turns out, we were notified our Spanish Resident Visas were ready exactly 88 days after we turned them in. Weird!
- Pay It Forward
About a month prior to our final move from our temporary apartment, I (Heidi) bumped into a former work colleague at the apartment pool. She and her family had left the country a few years prior to travel and enjoy family. They had just returned to the U.S and were living in our apartment complex and even in the same building. Their home was sparse, as they were just returning and starting over. It was wonderful for us, as we could give them many of our things. Pay it forward karma is working well. Hopefully, we have the same karma when we return.
- Departure Date
For 10 months, we planned to leave around the end of Aug, so we could make it before school started and possibly go to La Tomatina. It worked out perfectly for both.
- Spain Living Location
When we did our scoping trip in March, we fell in love with the town of Almuñécar. We even loved a particular beach area/neighborhood. When we arrived to “live” here, we worked with a realtor to find a place to live. On an off-chance, I contacted a few home owners that rented their places for short-term holidays, asking if they would rent their place long-term. I had no idea of their exact locations as this detail was not on their sites. One owner replied yes. We viewed the property and we were sold! It was overlooking our favorite beach. Just what we were looking for! Ta da
There are even more things like this to share and as I remember them, I will add to the list. Mainly for us to remember how lucky we are. A simple reflection on how we made this happen. The way we believed that if you have a dream, dare to dream it and make it a reality. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Be clear with your vision and accept nothing but what you imagined. Sometimes it just all works out.