It’s been 5 years in Spain! Exactly 6 years ago the seed was planted. Alan and I were chatting over dinner and I brought up the idea of us quitting our jobs and traveling for a year. Alan’s first reaction was “You are crazy!”. Okay, so tell me something I didn’t already know. I let him digest the thought and showed that others were successful with the process and we could be too.
The seed sprouts
That seed was left to germinate for a while and after a few weeks, the idea didn’t seem so crazy anymore. We went from wanting to travel for a year, to traveling around in an RV, to living in South America and finally deciding to live in Spain. You can read all about our decision to move to Spain below:
- How Can You Afford a Career Break? DREAMING (Gap Year, Sabbatical, etc)
- How did you choose to live in Spain?
- Moving Abroad? How To Select The Country, Town & Make The Move
In 2012 we received approval for 1 year
This was us 5 years ago! We were in Washington DC picking up the visa to begin our new dream lifestyle. Of course at the time, we were planning on 1-2 years. We didn’t even have a vision of being able to make it last longer or even wanting to. That said here we are 5 years later living in Spain.
We have manage to design the lifestyle that suited us and one we had only dreamed of. Just from pure desire and drive, we have managed to stretch our budget and come up with creative ways to make money to keep it all going. This summer we were faced with yet another decision. Do we want to apply for the renewal again? Of course the answer was Yes!
Spain is home!
The kids were just 7 and 10 when we arrived and now Spain is home to us. The kids are settled, independent, curious and allowed to be kids! They have full run of the town and we all feel very safe and accepted here. This is where we have our roots and the kids have their childhood home. So, there wasn’t too much family discussion on whether or not we should apply for renewal.
We filled out all of our paperwork, but this time we qualified to apply for the long duration Spanish residency! This renewal was a special one, and if approved, it would be for 5 more years! Previous renewals were only for 2 years. We followed the procedures to renew and visited our local Extranjero office (Foreigners office). We’ve gotten to know all of the agents over the years and each time they are amazed at how much the kids have grown.
Do you know Alan & Heidi?
We love chatting with them at the office and letting them know what we’ve been up to. They also have received a bit of a Wagoners Abroad trickle effect. You see over the years, we have helped hundreds of families move to Spain. Little did we know that there would be over 35 moving to the Costa Tropical area as well.
Some of them are families, singles, and couples (mainly American), but other countries as well. Some have stayed for a few months and moved to other areas, several have come for a year and moved back to their home country, while others are still living in the area and loving life. No we aren’t responsible for all Americans in the area, but we can claim a few. All of this to say, the team at the foreigners office has noticed the influx as well. Apparently they even ask newcomers if they know Heidi and Alan. Ha!
Okay back to the renewal story…
We are officially approved to live in Spain for 5 more years! The bonus is that we are also now allowed to work! It’s party time!
What does all of this mean?
It means we can legally live in Spain for 5 more years and even go get a job at McDonald’s if we want to! Well, I don’t think we will be rushing down to McDonald’s, but the doors are open for us to start knocking. Ultimately we like the lifestyle we have designed and we would prefer to keep working remotely from home either on our own businesses (Wagoners Abroad & Almuñécar Info) or perhaps for someone else.
As far as living in Spain for 5 more years, well we don’t know how long we will be here. It is just good to know we can stay here, if we want to. Lars is now in 10th grade, which is the final year of obligatory school in Spain. He plans to continue with the final 2 years for college prep and ultimately attend university somewhere in Europe. At the moment he has his eyes on Amsterdam, but we still have a couple more years to look at all options. Anya is in 8th grade, so 5 more years would be ideal for her to complete school through 12th grade and then determine where she would like to go to university as well.
The doors are open
The best part about it all is that we don’t need to have it all planned out. We created this lifestyle to be fluid and flexible and change to meet our needs. So at the moment the doors are open and welcoming us to remain in Spain for 5 more years, and that is the open-ended plan.
Thanks for following along on our journey and stick around for more exciting adventures. If you have any remote job opportunities or business ideas you want to share with us, just let us know!