Monday, August 22, 2011

Preparing to Expat- Coruna, Spain

One of the issues that I wonder about the expatriate life is the logistical side of things. How do you go about setting up a life in another country? Some times I have a hard time keeping things together here in NYC much less in a new country with new rules, a new language and just about new everything! Mandy of Married up with Wine is here to tell us about her preparations for her upcoming move to Spain. -T

Hi Everyone!! I’m so excited to guest post here about my experience so far with expat life…or at least, preparing for expat life since we haven’t left the States yet.

Back in December of 2010, my husband and I got news that a position in Spain was opening up through his company. We immediately agreed that we’d want to take the opportunity and live abroad as long as we could. Then the job was pushed back. And back. And back. Then we got a confirmed start date for August 1, 2011. We were elated!

Then the job was pushed back again until October. Oy. Putting my future in the hands of others has not been an easy undertaking for me, since I’m usually the type that likes to plan, plan, plan! In exchange for the uncertainty and frustration this has caused though, we do get quite a few financial perks when it comes to our living and relocation expenses since we are moving for a job. Hopefully, it’ll all even out in the end.

So, while we’ve been waiting to depart, I’ve had plenty of time to think about and prepare for the logistics of moving from one country to another. We’ll be living in the Coruña, Spain area and have a 3-week vacation/house hunting trip scheduled in September. We’ll be given $2000/month for rent, so we are excited to see what kind of properties we can afford on our budget!

The pin is where Coruña, Spain is located. It’s about 6 hours from Madrid and 2 hours from Portugal.

We also have two dogs, both Wire Fox Terriers, that are accompanying us on our move.

They’re about 25 pounds each, so not too large, and since we get $3,000 per dog (!!) to transport them to Spain, we called on an international pet transportation company, Worldwide Pet Transport. Their fees were well within our budget, and I feel much better knowing that Wrigley and Zoe will have someone dedicated to their care while in a stressful situation like an airport. They also take care of all of the paperwork on getting the dogs into Spain and can drop them off at our new doorstep if we so choose. I feel like it’s a very convenient and assuring service since our dogs’ safety is a priority for us.

The dogs are also determining where we’ll live since they absolutely require a yard. They’re the kind of high-energy dogs that start eating drywall if they don’t get enough exercise in every day, and walks just don’t cut it! So that rules out most city flats, but I’m just fine out in the country with a nice garden as long as it’s a bike ride away to the city and shops.

A beautiful property within our budget…I hope we can find something like this on our house-hunting trip!

The biggest challenge I anticipate: I don’t know Spanish. Rosetta Stone was provided by my husband’s company, but they say the best way to learn it is to live it, so that’s going to be a huge personal project that I’m taking on. I want to embrace the language and culture as much as possible while we’re in Spain. This probably means making an ass out of myself fairly often, making mistakes and saying things terribly wrong. It’s scary to put myself out there like that, but in order to get the most out of the experience, I’ll do it and hopefully emerge from it all with decent Spanish conversation skills.

Overall, we are incredibly excited for this move!! It will give us a chance to experience a radically different lifestyle while traveling and experiencing new things at every turn. We are currently contracted to be in Spain for a year with a high probability of being extended. If our contract isn’t extended, we’ll probably try to obtain a position in another country through my husband’s company–Australia, Japan, Romania, Poland and Thailand are just a few of the possibilities. For now though, we’re trying to focus on the next year and all of the adventures we’ll have!

I’ll be blogging all about our three-week vacation to Madrid, Andorra, Montsant, Barcelona, Bordeaux & San Sebastian and about our house-hunting trip in Coruña, as well as our move and transition into Spanish life, so be sure to check out my blog, Married Up With Wine!


Rycrafty said...

I didn't know something like that pet service existed! It's so convenient, and would totally reassure me about my pets' safety.

Try Anything Once Terri said...

Thanks, Mandy!

I didn't know that there were services like that that specifically catered to dogs! How cool! Also you both are perfect for House Hunters International! ;)

Diana said...

That is so exciting and a very big leap to take as well. I remember Mandy from WeddingBee!! I hope you find the perfect house and that everything turns out great. PS going to check out her blog too! :) LOL about the House that show!


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