Moving To Spain From The US – Our Plan For Living Abroad

So many of you have asked, “Why are you moving to Spain? What is your plan for living abroad?”  We often answer this question, but rarely get out the full plan before more questions arise.  What we are doing isn’t common, yet once you are in the family travel world and hooked up to other bloggers, etc… you find that it isn’t quite as uncommon as once thought.  

An American family of 4 moving to Spain. "What is the plan for living abroad?" We are often asked this this question, so we thought we could answer them for you. Read more on

After oodles of research, discussions, decisions, and more discussions, we came up with “The Plan to move to Spain”.  This wasn’t easy mind you, and even the plan is meant to be very flexible.  We learned this rule with loads of travel under our belt.  If you make a plan to restrictive and need to follow it to a “T”, well then you are just bound for disappointment and potential loss of opportunities you weren’t even aware of.

Over the years we have become experts at researching many options, to come up with a loose plan. Then we agree to the 50,000-foot level plan and wing it from there. All of our research pays off because it allows us options and choices while traveling.  If we are enjoying something or a particular place and want to stay longer, we do.  We will write more on this topic of planning later.

When it’s just a thought

We started with the thought of renting or buying an RV and touring Europe.  We loved the idea of going from country to country and not worrying about where we were going to stay.  It also frightened us to have a full family of 4 in such tight living quarters.  So we will put this idea on the back burner for a future dream.  Maybe it will be an RV trip around the USA, Australia, or New Zealand?

The thought Evolves

Then we started to dream about a single location as a home base.  This seemed more reasonable.  We thought of various countries and had learning Spanish at the top of our list of goals, so that left us with plenty of locations to choose from.  We were drawn to the Americas but also wanted a bit more diversity.  That led us to Europe and of course, Spain!  With that, here is our “flexible” Plan with back up plans A, B, and C in our back pocket. 🙂

The Wagoner Plan for living abroad:

  1. Moving to Spain from the US to become residents (non-working), with a rough target for the departure of Aug 2012.
  2. Treat Spain as home base for extended travel throughout Europe, estimated 12-24 months.
  3. Enroll kids in public school for language immersion and socialization.
  4. Supplement kid’s education with homeschooling.
  5. To take this opportunity for further self-paced education and skill-building.
  6. Return to USA  (UPDATE: Here we are in 2021 and still in Spain!  Keep reading the blog to learn our journey)

As with any plan, it is full of flexibility and room to grow, change, and adapt.  Let’s just hope all of us people involved in the plan are willing to do the same.  It will be interesting to see where we go with this and how we change and grow as people.  Who knows, maybe we will be back in the US in a few months, missing our home.  I highly doubt that will be the case, as we are reading to go!

An American family of 4 moving to Spain. "What is the plan for living abroad?" We are often asked this this question, so we thought we could answer them for you. Read more on

Update 2022

Over the years, we have turned our life story and expertise into a business.  We have several ebooks about moving to Spain from the US.  We also provide relocation packages and consulting to help you with your move to Spain.  

Move to Spain Consulting

If you want a quick answer or someone to speak with, we also offer consulting.  Check out our Spain nonlucrative visa consulting page now, for our latest offers!

Move to Spain Relocation Packages

From relocation planning and the Spanish non-lucrative visa application to residency and getting settled, we offer our expertise and knowledgeable advice.  We can help you with your move to Spain with children or without.  Most importantly, we offer custom packages for your move to Costa Tropical.

Click here to read more about our relocation to Spain services.

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