This is interview number sixteen in our series “Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child”. We have another great traveling family for you to meet!
This time we are bringing our series back to Spain! Yes, there is a wonderful family who lived in Northern Spain for 18 months. They have 3 boys and their middle son, Benjamin was kind enough to participate in our interview series. We really wanted to meet up with them in person, but schedules didn’t work out for us to do that. One day. Let’s see what Benjamin has to say!
Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child – Benjamin Kantor In Spain!
Provide us with a little background on who you are, where you are originally from, name, age and what you are doing with your family, any siblings?
My name is Benjamin Kantor and I am 10 years old, from Tampa, Florida. I have an older brother Frank that is 12 and a younger brother Harry that is 6 years old. My family decided to take a leave of absence and chase a dream and live in Northern Spain for 18 months.
Where do you call home? Tampa, Florida
What do you like most about traveling? Traveling is a different experience and very different for some and exciting for others.
How long have you been traveling and where have you lived so far? We moved to Spain in September of 2012. We have traveled all around the USA and many places in Europe, but we have only lived in the US and Spain.
What have you learned from your travels thus far? I have learned that sometimes it’s fun and other times It’s not.
Tell us about how you are receiving your education? I am attending a private school named Villa Madonna School, in the USA. In Burgos, Spain I attended Colegio Jesus Reparador in Burgos, Spain. Both schools are excellent!
How many languages can you speak and at what level? Was it difficult to learn? English (9th grade level) and Castellano (Spanish) (6th grade). It was difficult to learn Spanish in Spain, but after 3 months I had it. I am an avid reader and one summer in Spain I read 71 books in Spanish. I believe reading and learning Spanish apps on my iPad have helped a lot.
Do you have many friends? Tell us about them. Yes, especially Carlos & Jairo in Spain and Eddie & Bobby in Tampa, Florida. Tell us about them. They sometimes get us in trouble and are very silly and fun to play with during recess.
What is your favorite adventure? My trip to Spain with my family.
Do you have a favorite game you play when you travel? Meeting people from all around the world. During one long trip to Germany, Austria and Czech Republic we met and spoke with people from 28 different countries.
Is there anything you miss seeing, having, doing? When I was in Spain I missed my friends and family in the US and now that I’m back in the US I really miss my friends from Burgos, Spain.
What is the one thing you are happy you brought with you? My parents and 2 brothers.
Where do you want to go next? Nowhere.
Do you have your own blog or write about your experiences? No, but my family has www.kantorfamilyadventure.wordpress.com
Video interview of the Benjamin and his brothers, after their first year in Northern Spain
Since this family lived in Spain for 18 months, we thought you would like a little extra info from the parents.
Why did you choose to move to Spain and where? Why did you select your area?
- After 4 years of planning and research we selected Burgos, Spain (Castilla y Leon).
- Language-On our criteria list was “Castilian Spanish” and not Catalan, Basque or other dialects from Southern Spain. Here in Tampa, Florida our 2 largest Hispanic groups are Cuban and Puerto Rican and their Spanish is not as pure or grammatically proper as Castilla y Leon.
- Climate-Castilla y Leon and Burgos has 4 seasons and since we live in Florida we wanted to experience Autumn, Spring and Winter. Burgos has a winter season similar to Upstate NY and mix in the Chicago winds (Los Vientos del Norte) and boy did we get what we asked for in terms of a change in weather. 🙂
- Centrally located-We wanted to travel throughout the Iberian Peninsula and were concerned with being too far south or too far north therefore we wanted to be in the central part of Spain.
- Size/Population-Our goal was a medium size city with between 150,000-350,000 people and Burgos has just under 200,000 habitants, very low crime and very few immigrants due to the colder climate and distance from the beach. We live near the beach here in Florida so we wanted a different experience (Mountains, Wine Country, Snow, etc.). We also wanted to live with the Spaniards and not other ex-pats for cultural and language reasons. We wanted a medium size city that could offer a pedestrian lifestyle, yet access to cultural events and large enough to not feel like a small town.
- Our goal was to learn the language, become experts on the culture and truly immerse ourselves in the life to learn, grow and experience life as a local.
- We represented the USA in everything we did and we dressed like Northern Spaniards, ate their food, participated in their celebrations, attended their schools and are proud to say showed the residents of Burgos that there are US citizens that are very worldly and love their culture, costumbres and tradiciones tambien.
How long did it take you to make the move from the “decision” to do it, to arriving in Spain?
- We made the decision in November 8, 2008 to start the planning process to take a year sabbatical and live abroad. We arrived in Spain September 12, 2012.
What did you do with your home and belongings in the USA?
- We rented our home in Tampa, Florida and had a real estate company manage the rental and all repairs for us. We put our belongings in storage.
What monthly budget do you live on or plan to live on?
- Our monthly budget was approximately $5000 Euros per month, but we spent more during a few months were we took long trips to Central Europe and a Christmas Trip.
How will you make an income or will you work?
- Since I founded my Tampa based company in 2002 I was able to plan and build the infrastructure of the company where I could take a 12 month sabbatical which included my salary and benefits.
How long do you plan to stay?
- Our plan was to stay 12 months but we extended the stay to 18 months because we felt that extra time would really help with the language for Robert (The father of the family) and the boys. In addition, the quality and pace of life was fantastic. All of our friends were locals and we made such deep and meaningful relationship with so many people in Burgos. We are extremely grateful.
Thank you Benjamin and Parents for sharing with all of us!
If you want to get to know the Kantor Family a little better, check out their blog Memoirs from our Life in Spain. Feel free to comment and ask them more questions.
We often are asked about what the kids think of their experience as a traveling child and how things are going. Do they have friends, how are they being educated and are they social? We thought these are likely questions for all types of families, so we decided to start a family travel interview series “Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child”.
We don’t often get exposed to the opinion of the kids and perhaps think we should. We all know the Wagoner kids are full of their two cents worth and are loving travel. If you would like to read other interviews in our Traveling Child Series, just click the image below.
Thanks for following along! Do you have a traveling child who would like to be part of our series? Just let us know.