I am just loving our Spring weather, as it gets me out walking the town a bit more. This morning I was walking Anya to school and we didn’t even need a jacket. I bet you are wondering why Lars wasn’t with us. Well, he is at that age now, nearly 12. That means he would rather die, than be caught with his mom walking him to school. In fact, when Anya and I announced we were walking this morning, he said “NO!” We finally compromised and said we would give a 5 minute spacing between our departures, so there is no way we would catch up to each other. Ugh!
Anyway, Anya was chatting the entire way to school. Of course trying to be like her big brother, she informed me that she doesn’t need a hug or a kiss when we say goodbye.
Man! Why do they have to grow up?
So, we arrive at the school and I just casually wave to Anya. She quickly runs back and gives me a hug. 🙂 Oh, how I love that! She is still my baby, for a bit anyway. She has PE on Monday mornings first thing, so I hung out a bit and watched her class play for a bit. Her friend Paula spotted me through the fence and she informed Anya. Oh no! I was busted. Anya came over to the fence and said that she was excited to see me. After all, we just said good-bye 10 minutes prior. I just watched briefly watched them play and then continued on for a nice walk.
On my way home I passed our neighborhood basket weaver. He is out every single day and I finally asked if I could snap a photo of him. As I watched him, I kept thinking how lucky we are to be expats in Spain. Our future is going to be more nomadic (moving around) when we are in Southeast Asia, but for now we love being expats. We get to live here and get to know the locals, really know the ebb and flow of the town, the weather, the sea and the people.
Many people think you aren’t an expat unless your company moves you to work abroad or you give up your home country citizenship. To us, it means the same as what I found in Wikipedia.
“An expatriate (sometimes shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing.”
I had the term expat on my mind, because I recently contributed to the HiFX Expat tip page. So if you’re thinking of moving abroad, learn from those already living the expat life. There are so many tips about being an expat and adjusting to your new country. In fact, I have had loads of tips spinning through my mind all day.
It was important for us to embrace Spain and the local culture. We wanted to be like locals and do as they do. We didn’t try to recreate our abundant American life in Spain. We left behind all of the material things and toys (game consoles, craft kits, toys, etc). All of those things took up space and didn’t fit with our simpler life in Spain. It is amazing how we can keep things simple and have less, but feel richer and happier! I’m not saying those don’t exist in Spain, but people are out walking and keeping busy in other ways. Hey, I can take the time to stop and admire the basket weaver and enjoy the moment. I think this was one of our best decisions and it is advice we often give to others.
As I mentioned, our next phase will be more nomadic. For this phase we will simplify even further and carry around all of our belongings. This will be an adjustment from being an expat and I am sure we will adapt just fine. There are wonderful people out there being expats (nomadic or in one place) that are full of support as well as advice. It is great to have them around the world there for us.