Leaving San Francisco
The day has finally arrived. We’re on our way to Spain to start a two year adventure and making a big life change. I’m writing this from a 747 en route to Frankfurt, then on to Stuttgart, and Valencia. It’s the Fourth of July, and seems fitting to be leaving our great country on Independence Day. We won’t see any fireworks, since we’ll be over Canada before dark.
June was our busiest month in a while, not to mention pretty stressful. Purging and selling unneeded belongings, selling our cars (one sold and one left to go – thanks to my Dad for agreeing to sell it for us), sorting and packing our stuff, moving everything to storage, getting our house rented, and countless details that somehow took up the days. We’re going into this adventure with three carry-ons and five checked bags, including Eddie’s mountain bike and iMac. It’s been surprisingly liberating to pare things down, and start somewhere new with relatively few belongings.
We stayed at my parents place for our last week. It was nice to spend some time with them before the move. Leaving my Mom and Dad is one of the hardest parts of this for me. I’ve always lived within 10 miles and haven’t gone more than a month or so without seeing them. But the good news is they will be visiting us in September. This made the goodbyes a bit easier.
Making a Big Life Change
People ask us why we’re doing this, and we could (
and may we did) write a longer post about that. There are a lot of reasons. But simply put, we think it will be an amazing experience for each of us, which we’ll benefit from for years to come. We’ve been dreaming of doing something like this for a long time. We didn’t want to wait until we’re “retired” to start adventuring.
Spain has a relatively low cost of living. And Spain gives us the opportunity to learn a practical language we can use when returning to California. TJ’s at an age where he’ll have some lasting memories of this experience. It’s risky, and we know we’re giving up a few of our prime earning years for this experience, but we think it’s worth it and we’re ready to shake things up a bit. I’m confident we’ll look back on this and never regret it.
Getting to this moment has taken eight months of dedicated effort and perseverance. We’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of our hard work. The future is truly exciting and we’re looking forward to adjusting to a new way of life. We’ll really miss family, friends, and colleagues, but it’s not forever! We are grateful to have had the support and encouragement of our family and friends, who are truly happy for us. We’re going to make an effort to document the highlights of our experience. Hopefully we can give you a little feel for what’s it’s like to do something like this.
P.S.: If you want to live in Europe for more than 90 days you need a special type of visa, either a working visa or a ‘non-working’ visa. We have the later type and don’t plan to work while in Spain. This type of visa took about 4 months to get – 3 months obtaining and preparing the required documents and 1 month waiting for the approval. It’s a time consuming and expensive process that requires a lot of patience. If you’re interested in the details, here’s a great blog we used to guide us on the ins and outs of the process.