That’s right everybody, Wagoners Abroad is back in Spain! We returned the first week of June and we are all humming around the James Brown tune “I feel good , I knew that I would now…” We are a bunch of happy people, especially the kids! So I am sure you want details and this is your lucky day! I am ready to ramble, so let’s get to it.
We left Spain 11 months ago and traveled as a nomadic family. We spent one month traveling in Europe, 9 months in Southeast Asia and 1 month in the USA. Some people think our time in the USA was returning home, but it wasn’t. We lived in North Carolina and that is where the kids were born and raised. This particular visit to the USA was to Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah. We did visit family who live in these areas, but it wasn’t where we lived. I take that back, we were in Reno and Alan did grow up for a portion of his childhood there.
Of course we have shared most things along the way and have so much to still share with you. Not to worry, you will get it all, it is just going to take time. We often moved every 3-7 days and didn’t really give ourselves much “work time”, so we are a bit behind on all of our writing. I thought we would catch up a bit being back in Spain and in one spot for a while, but other things in life have taken priority.
What kinds of things would take priority over writing for the blog?
- Well finding a place to live would be one of them, but luckily for us we got our old place back. Yippee! We are thrilled and so excited to have that awesome view in our daily lives once again. Guess what? You get it back too! Woooo Hooo There is one small caveat, the apartment was rented as a holiday rental for 2 weeks in July. So we will go explore other parts of Spain during this time.
- Education – getting the kids registered for the next school year has been a bit of fun, with several visits to the secondary school. Anya was no problem to register, as she will be returning to the same school. Lars on the other hand, had to go and grow up! Now he is in secondary school and we have to go through a different process for him. We have provided the information requested for his school records over the past year. We will formally register during the registration window the first week of July. Fingers crossed that it all goes well.
- Communications was top on the big list of things to do, so now we have affordable cell phone plans and internet too.
- Getting off the BAD list – we were apparently on a bad list with Vodafone for not paying a cancellation fee. They auto bank-draft by the way. Either way, they said they didn’t receive payment of our early cancellation and it took over 3 months for them to actually cancel one of our phone accounts. They wanted to charge us for those 3 months. Anyway, we had to clear our name (mine) and decided to just pay up, plus late charges. Ouch!
- Health Insurance – we had health insurance when we lived in Spain last go round, but it would only cover us for 90 days outside of Spain. Thus we cancelled that insurance last year and moved on to regular travel insurance. Now that we are back, we do want the full insurance again. Oh boy did we find a good deal! We will write about it soon enough.
- Socialization – we have been a little overwhelmed with all of the socializing we have been doing. We didn’t even know we had so many friends, but we do and that is why Spain feels so good. We love it here and all of the people. Hey, it even excited me that the cashiers at the grocery store recognized me and had big smiles with their ¿Qué tal ‘s? (how ya doin?). Some of our friends our gallivanting around Europe right now, so we will have more to visit later too.
- Getting slightly settled – things around the house, toiletries and the like. We aren’t getting too settled, as we do need to leave the apartment for 2 weeks in July, but we are plotting and planning for our return.
Okay so enough of the boring stuff, it is basically the same routine when you move.
Welcome Home Wagoners Abroad!
We were so surprised and pleased to come to our door and find a big sign with balloons and a dinner invitation, from our neighbors. Our welcome home reception wasn’t expected, but so appreciated. That was just an Over-the-Top sweet thing to do for us. We have visited with just about every neighbor at length now and it just feels like we belong here.
Each and every morning we just love waking up to our beautiful view, along with the sounds of birds and the sea gently lapping onto the shore. We have had a few windy days and that gentle lap turned into a ferocious clap, but that is what we love. The life and personality of the sea.
Anya has had a playdate almost every day and spent the night over at a friend’s house too. This was just what she needed. She was lacking a little confidence with her Spanish upon our return. A little time with her Spanish friends and it as if we never left. She is fully confident now and has been extremely helpful around the house too. She is up every morning working on her school work. Yes, we are doing school work all summer. That is how our homeschool is finishing up.
We will also write more about our homeschool experience, but let’s just say it isn’t regular school at home. Not for us anyway. So we will tell you more about that later too. The kids will still have work to do over the traditional summer, but none of it should get in the way of them having summer fun too. Don’t you dare feel sorry for them! They have had the past 2-3 months of us asking for little to no official work out of them, so their summer was a Spring off instead.
Lars is also very happy to be back and is enjoying connecting with his friends as well. As a new teenager, it is a bit different. You see, apparently when you are a teen you need to keep your cool and not show too much excitement when seeing your friends. Yes, even though you are about to burst inside, you need to remain cool about it. Lars has access to some of the Spanish school books from 7th grade and is going through them to see where he feels he needs to catch up or study.
As for me, well it is so good to have fresh-baked bread from the market and cheese! Who knew we would leave Spain with me being the primary cheese eater and return with the kids loving it and craving it. I guess that is what happens when you go without for a while. Yes, cheese was a bit difficult to find or overly expensive in Southeast Asia, so we did without most of the time. Bread wasn’t in abundance either, so we are eating our fair share now! I have to admit, I really missed my café con leche too. I didn’t remember it being so strong.
We of course are doing work as well; it is just some clean up and maintenance of our site. We are also focusing time on our other website, AlmuencarInfo.com, as well as another project. We are keeping busy and will also be catching you up to all that we have done over time.
Okay, I think that is it for now. Let us know if you have any questions for us. I am sure you are dying to know something about our travels or return to Spain, so ask away in the comments below or contact us.
Tell us what it feels like when you return home and where is home for you?