This is what moving to Spain looks like

Hey everyone! 

Exciting news: I’m staring to vlog (video blog) about our adventures in Europe. Here’s my very first one! Please be sure to subscribe to our channel so you won’t miss a trip to Plaza Espana, La Sagrada Familia, climbing in Siurana, or just us laughing/crying/exploring/confessing/being human on the road. It’s a big and beautiful world, and I want to share the adventure, the good the bad and the ugly. 

 

Also, if any of you is a YouTube expert, could you please send me an email letting me know your capabilities and perhaps what we can do to work together? I’m a newbie and need help. Thank you! 

But, not to worry, I’ll still be writing articles, essays, and posts on the blog and for other venues. 

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After months of preparation, struggle, and waiting, it finally happened. WE GOT OUR VISAS! 

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A quick recap on what it took to get residency in Spain: 

In June, back in Lander, Wyoming, we realized that going to Europe without residency in one of the Schengen countries was going to be a royal pain in the ass. Most of Western Europe is part of the Schengen (open border) agreement, which is great if you’re an EU member, but not so great if you’re not in the EU and happen to be nomads like ourselves. In short, you can only spend 90 days in the entire Schengen area within a 180 day period. So, effectively, we would’ve had to do what they call the Schengen Hop–90 days in Schengen, 90 days out, 90 days in, 90 days out… Since we’d like to spend time in the Eastern Bloc, Great Britain, Turkey, Morocco (all non-Schengen), this didn’t seem so bad at first, except we couldn’t quite figure out an itinerary that coincided with good weather for rock climbing. So that left us with one solution: become residents in a Schengen country. 

Why Spain? 

  1. We speak the language, and it’s important to us that Soleil continue her bilingual education. 
  2. Great year-round rock climbing
  3. They offer non-lucrative residency visas, which is rare and just what we needed since we own an online business in the States and have no desire to work in a foreign country–or any other real reason to be in one other than we like it. (Side note: we investigated getting residency in Germany because they allow you to apply in country, but we were quickly shut down when we explained we had no real purpose for being there. Apparently blogging, climbing and navel gazing is not enough) 
  4. Culture, art, architecture, food, wine, beaches

Requirements for residency in Spain: 

  1. A shit ton of financial documents (tax returns, W2, 3 months of bank statements)
  2. Fingerprints and FBI background checks
  3. Medical Certificates
  4. Marriage Certificate 
  5. Birth Certificate (or in our case, Consular Report of Birth Abroad)
  6. Many, many forms/applications filled out in Spanish
  7. A letter of intent stating your purpose

All legal documents had to be stamped by the Apostilles of Hague, and EVERYTHING had to be translated into Spanish by a certified translator. 

Now, back in July, when we made our appointments (no easy task) for August 3rd, we thought we’d have plenty of time to receive our visas before our October 24th departure, but that was before we met Dragon Lady (remember here), which delayed my application by nearly 2 months. 

We ended up getting our visas a mere 10 days before departure. Talk about stress. 

But not for this one. 

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She enjoyed autumn in the Northwest, hanging out at Uncle Adam’s house, visiting Noni, going to LA to see her Auntie Alexis and cousin Abigail, and even going back to San Francisco and Pier 39 to meet up with Brianna and Maxine and finally pick up our visas. (She did a flip on this thing!)

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After months of downsizing, this is what we were left with: 6 suitcases (1 each for clothes, plus 2 for rock climbing gear, and 1 for homeschooling supplies), a car seat/booster, and a stroller. 

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Here begins the journey, awaiting our flight. img_4186

Ready for the red-eye…

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More to come!!!

And please subscribe to our YouTube Channel! I’ve got a long way to go in terms of making the dashboard pretty, but in the meantime, I’ll be posting videos of us gothic cathedrals, rocky beaches, winding streets, surreal architecture, and of course…us, as we dive headfirst into this new adventure. 

 

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Comments

  1. So exciting you guys starting an incredible adventure!
    I am curious what the requirements are to relocate to Europe. Is there a website or link?

    • Hey Rick…yes, but the requirements are different for each country. In short, most of Western Europe is in what is called the Schengen zone, which means (depending on what kind of passport you hold–what I’m about to write applies to anyone in the U.S) you can spend 90 days in the whole area and travel freely between the borders, but then you have to get out of Schengen for 90 days. Another way of looking at it is you have 90 days to be in Schengen for every 180 day interval. If you want to stay longer in Schengen, you have to apply for residency in one of the Schengen countries. We chose Spain because they offer a non-lucrative residency visa (we don’t want to apply for a job there), we speak the language, and despite the EXTENSIVE list of things you have to do/prove to get the visa, if you qualify financially and jump through the many hoops, the chances of being accepted are pretty high.

      Which country were you interested in? Pick your country and then search for that country’s Consulate in your region and go to their website and search visa requirements.

      Good luck!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love this so much Stevie, I love seeing you guys. Don’t fret its all an adventure and it will all make sense once your not jett lagged. And you know those spaniards, they will spin you in circles just for fun, so keep your eye on the ball. Love you so much and so bummed I didn’t get a chance to catch up with you and Sol when you guys were here. Your nice Gia has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off and that doesn’t even get talk about these teenage boys I have, they are putting me thru the ring I tell you!!! All with love though, I accept all these gracious gifts of life I am given everyday as do you.

    I love you all so much and can’t wait to see the next video!!!

    All the best,
    Josephine

  3. Checkout
    A Tu Bola
    Carrer de l’Hospital, 78, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

    We meet the owners in Mexico.

    Cheers

  4. Annie Beaudette says:

    All the best to you and your beautiful family!!

    Enjoy that time in Europe! I would go back in a heartbeat, that was 6 years ago for us! Spain is one of my favorite country, Catalonia region in particular!!

    I will keep following your journey!!

    Cheers

    Annie J

    • Thank you Annie!!!! We moved south to Cambrils, a small village on the beach about an hour from Barcelona. We’re in heaven! We still have so much work to do to get settled–well, as settled as nomads get–but now we have sunshine and sand to make los tramites better 🙂

  5. Brian R Blatchley says:

    Hi Stevie,
    My name is Brian Blatchley and I live in California. My husband and I retired recently and are considering a move to Spain. We have friends in Bilbao and outside of Barcelona in Cava. We have been spending our summers in France in our caravan for 20 years and my husband is Swiss, so we feel very comfortable in Europe. We spend a lot of time in Spain and next summer we will take a road trip around Spain and hope to find what we are looking for in a community. We love Switzerland but it is way too expensive and cold for us. My husband speaks English, German, Swiss German and French. I speak English, German and I had 8 years of Spanish in high school and college and I hope that there is some knowledge buried deep in my brain. The first thing we will do in Spain is sign up for Spanish classes. I have to admit I am nervous about leaving my friends and family and starting out from scratch at 60. But with Trump’s election we feel like we really don’t want to stay in America. We are even considering moving to the village our friend lives near Barcelona because at least we would have one friend to plug into. It name is Hostalets de Pierola and is about a half hour outside of Barcelona to the West. How did you decide on where to move? I look forward to reading about your life and adventures.

  6. Welcome to Catalunya! We have been here for 2.5 years, after 5 years in France. Amazing climbing, great people, super wine, etc…We are in Barcelona (center) and are opening a paint and wine business in the Eixample. Check us out and if you’re ever in the city, come on by. http://www.artebar.es

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