Moving Abroad with Kids
- October 29, 2018
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello there, mamas and papas. Those of you who follow me on Instagram might have noticed some pictures from Barcelona popping up in my feed over the past two weeks. Things have been so busy that I haven’t had time to get a post up but finally, here it is; and with it comes our news: we’ve moved to Barcelona for the year. With Marc starting his own business and me being mobile for CloudMom, we figured now or never.
We had always dreamed about spending a year abroad with our kids. My imagination led me to the rocky beaches of Spain, long lunches in a plush French garden, or strolls through historic museums. Contrast these cultural treats with the overwhelming practical reality of moving five kiddos across the Atlantic within the span of a few weeks!
Like other practical challenges in life, moving requires planning and organization. Our move hit us quite suddenly. The idea emerged in late July, when we starting researching schools and apartments in Barcelona on the Internet. Then, we needed to get up to speed on the process of applying for visas.
There was a lot to do and little time. Just as I suggest regarding babies, toddlers or older kids, when it comes to moving your family, prioritize and execute step by step. Each day, I jotted down ten tasks I wanted to accomplish. One by one, I tried to get through them. Once your in it, moving ahead, being productive, you feel good. What freezes us, stresses us, is lack of progress. So keep that in mind. If you dream of another place, go for it. Figure out what you need to do and each day move a little closer.
In addition to breaking things down into small parts, prioritize which to do first. In our case, the visa took priority. We needed, for example, original birth certificates for the children with an apostle that then had to be translated. It took time to order and process these documents so that had to happen first. We scheduled an appointment with the Spanish Consulate and rushed to assemble what they required.
Next up, finding a school. I began emailing and texting friends here and getting their views. One friend, Sarah, introduced me to the Spanish school her children had attended, which has a large portion of its curriculum in English. We visited in late August and thankfully, they admitted all five of our kids.
Once we had the school figured out, we looked for a place to live. Working through a real estate agent, we rented the least expensive apartment we could find in the area we were required by the school to live. A few IKEA orders followed and we were up and running for the most part. We got pretty much set up, but many items are still missing. During dinner with another family last weekend, Marc and I shared a fork.
During the coming weeks, I’ll continue to share tidbits of our adventure and its inevitable ups and downs. For now, let me say that through this incredible challenge, we’ve grown closer as a family. We’ve had many chats and many meals, and the kids have a new perspective on their lives.
Sending love from Barcelona and check back in this week for more fun content.
Thanks for reading! xo