Xan & Bob

Our happy place

Sometimes I find it hard to explain to people why we made this huge change in our lives. What made us sell almost everything we own and move overseas? What is so different or special about the lifestyle here in Spain to that back home in the United States. Perhaps I can explain it to people but it may be hard for them to understand or visualize if they haven’t been here.

The question we get from locals here is how long do we plan to live here. Is this a temporary move or a permanent one? Our answer is always that it is a permanent move. I don’t think Bob and I have ever said that about any place that we have lived in the past 25 years. For those of you who have known Bob longer than I have you will understand this even more so as he has been a nomad for a very long time. He calls himself a citizen of the world. But, here he has found his happy place.

When I was back in the U.S. recently the subject of us living in Spain came up a lot. Family and friends asked how life is here. Is it everything we hoped it would be? The answer is very simply, yes. Yes, it is.

When I was out and about shopping and running errands, the subject would come up. It is normal in the States for stores to have reward programs or some type of membership so that you can receive special offers and pricing. Some stores want to capture your zip/postal code so that they have an idea where you come from. Well, I cancelled all of our reward cards and memberships when we moved. Oh, and our postal code when entered in their systems would show somewhere in New Jersey. When they asked if I had my ‘rewards card’ and I said no they were always keen to offer me one. At this point I would explain to them that I don’t live there I live overseas. Sometimes I would say Spain and other times they would ask. The conversation would go on from there about how we followed our dream.

Truthfully, I love telling the story. I don’t do so to brag. I love to tell our story because it is exciting to me. What we have done, in my opinion, is pretty amazing and very cool. We followed our dream. We took a chance on living the life we truly wanted.

When I share our story, I love the conversations that it starts. People share their dreams with me. Some have told me their dreams but admitted that it is just too scary to go after them. And although I will always encourage people to follow their dreams I also get that for some people making changes to their lives is too much for them to do. That’s okay too. I just hope that they don’t stop dreaming.

At one of the stores where I shopped early last week the cashier asked for my rewards card and I explained why I didn’t have one. She was intrigued and we had a wonderful conversation which included her telling me her dream which is to move to South Korea and teach English. How exciting is that? What an adventure that will be!

What I have found is that in telling people our story it inspires some of them to take the chance and follow their dreams. It may be a job change, a move to their dream house or to another state, a dream to start their own business, a dream to learn a new skill or to start a new hobby. I love when they share their dreams with me.

So, I wish that when telling our story, I could convey the feeling that we get from living here amongst this community. I wish I could convey how special it is. I hope that in talking with us or in reading my blog you get a feel for it. I will continue to try to share with you why this is our happy place.  I don’t think I will ever tire of sharing our story.

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