Wagoners Abroad Is Back in Spain!

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.

Anya and Lars are so happy to be back in Spain.

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.

Welcome home Wagoners Abroad

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.Home sweet home

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.

Welcome home Almunecar

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?

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She’s visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain.

12 thoughts on “Wagoners Abroad Is Back in Spain!

  1. Here’s a question you probably can’t answer: Why do I feel more at home and at ease now that you are all back in Spain? I suppose you are the traveling family through whom I live the most vicariously because you’re in a place I truly love and long for. I know, I know….

    • Oh that is so sweet of you. I guess you first knew us in Spain and then we had to go all crazy on ya and hop over to Asia. Now we are back where you found us! 🙂 Like having something misplaced on your shelf. It does feel good to be back, but we did love our travel in SEA too! Oh so much to see and experience.

  2. Nice to see you back to a place you really love! What a great view from your place. That would be tough to take, don’t know how you handle it. My wife and myself are going to be making the trek over to Thailand to live for an extended period of time and we would love to visit that area of Spain along the coast, before we go to SE Asia. Could you tell me what would be the best route to go Almunecar coming from the U.S.
    Thanks

    • Hi, Thailand is great and you want to stop over in Europe first? Okay.

      Malaga is the nearest airoprt in the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain. Almunecar is about 1 hour drive east, along the coast. If you are in CA or NY then Norwegian Air has some great deals from LAX, OAK, NY and now Vegas too. They also have a great long haul flight from Europe to Bangkok and we took that last year. Great deals can be found if your dates are a bit flexible. Really check in Skyscanner or Google Flights for your best deals.

      • Thank you so much. I will check out flights going to Malaga. Do you think that the months of either April or May would be a good time to visit the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain for the weather and securing good accommodations at a reasonable price?
        Thank you,
        Louis

  3. Hi Heidi,
    Good to see you settling back in, and getting set up again for the Spanish school year. We are still scheduled to move over your way, in July—just as you all head out for your July travels. We are excited and a bit intimidated all at the same time! Does Almunecar, or Spanish towns in general, have parks and recreation programs for kids to participate in sports/activities during the summer months? I believe it looked like there were swim lessons that are offered at a pool, but haven’t gotten around to checking that out much yet. Did Lars or Anya, or some of their friends participate in those kinds of programs, if available?

    • Yes there are activities in most towns, tyically the community center would have listings. The monitored sessions often slow down a bit in the summer, due to family holidays and such. Depending on the town, there are options. We never looked into anything for our kids, as we were usually on the road exploring somewhere for the bulk of the summer. Most towns have playgrounds and climbing areas set up along the beaches or center of town. So there are places to play and explore. There is also no shortage of great hikes in the Costa Tropical area, so some good old fashioned outdoor time is great. There is a public pool here in Almuencar and they do offer lessons. Most of the after school type of activities like dance, sports etc. finish up at the end of the school year and don’t resume until the following school year.

      • Thanks for the reply Heidi. Its very interesting to see how each country ‘plays’ —- and what resources are used, and when!

        • Yes it is. Spain is very child friendly. At the same time, coming from the US it is a bit of a shock with some safety or lack their of. Very different style from the current US, with safety everything. Think about taking a step back in time, say 40 yrs, when kids just played. That is what it is like in Spain. Kids can climb, play, walk on wall tops and the parents aren’t in fear. It took us quite a while to relax a bit.

Come on and tell us what you think!