• 4 Must-Know Tips for Visiting Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

    Like Times Square in Manhattan or Big Ben in London, Barcelona has its iconic Basilica de Sagrada Familia drawing in millions of visitors per year. It’s an awe-inspiring structure designed by the late Antonio Gaudi and whether or not you’re into architecture – it’s a must see! When you have the chance to live in a foreign city, you quickly learn the “dos and don’ts”, the “secrets and scams” of landmarks such as this. I’ve put the following tips together for Triptipedia http://www.triptipedia.com , the online encyclopedia of travel tips, to make your visit to Sagrada a delight instead of a mess, trust me. 1.…

  • 5 Reasons Why Moving Abroad with Kids is Awesome!

    Before we became expats and made the decision to move abroad, my husband and I would sit in front of the TV and watch HGTV’s House Hunters International. Each week a new family was featured relocating across the world to a life unknown. We marveled at how they did it. Left their familiar hometowns, packed up and shipped out – either because they had to or because they chose to. And of course every episode ended with happy smiling faces of parents and kids all settled in and thriving in their new foreign country. “Yea, right!” we would laugh. It can’t be that EASY! I…

  • Must Reads if You’ve Ever Dreamt About Moving Abroad…

    I’ve always been a bit of a “personal development” junkie. My parents are entrepreneurs and from an early age instilled a “go for your dreams” mentality in me. Real Tony Robbins stuff that I kind of live for! In my 20s, I read books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I like to think these authors gave me the confidence to try new things and the drive to keep growing. After two years of living abroad in Spain, I realize the important role these books and many others played in getting our…

  • 4 Reasons Expat Kids May Be Unhappy (Are Yours?)

    Did your expat kids start off on the right track in their new foreign life but after the first few months and once the initial excitement wore off, they had some setbacks? Or what if, from the get-go, your kids just weren’t excited about the move? And even six months later or more, they still haven’t embraced the idea of this new life. First off, it’s OKAY! Do they truly hate their new life and new country? Most likely, NO. The emotional ups and downs all expat kids experience are completely normal. But as most parents do, we feel a responsibility to solve our kids’…

  • 4 Different Spanish Potato Dishes

    If you plan to visit Barcelona or even to live here (lucky you!), three things you’re guaranteed to fall in love with are the weather, the architecture and of course THE FOOD!  It only took my husband and I a matter of days to dive into Spanish tapas and what we found was a ton of Spanish potato dishes! Our favorite quickly became patatas bravas,  Think deep fried potato wedges served with both a sweet aioli and spicy salsa. And after two years of eating our way through the streets of Barcelona, we realize every restaurant has their own variation – which keeps things interesting…

  • 4 Realities of Everyday Expat Life

    “So, how’s your three year vacation going?!” someone once jokingly asked regarding our relocation to Barcelona. We laughed right along and agreed that with the sun and palm trees, the very laid back attitude of Spanish culture and the ease of weekend jaunts to virtually anywhere in Europe, it can absolutely feel like a vacation! At times. But the reality of everyday expat life as a family (with three young children) isn’t always easy peasy! We truly love living here, it’s been the experience of a lifetime! But anything worth it in life brings about sacrifices and in our case, some major inconveniences.  One of…

  • 6 Hopes for My Expat Children

    When we decided to take the leap and move from the U.S. to Spain, my head started spinning.  So many questions, even more worries – and tons of hopes!  I prayed my expat children would meet others from all over the world, try new and interesting foods, pick up a foreign language and grow more independent as a result of their new “expat” status.   Looking back after two years abroad, what we got was so much more!  This journey is a part of the canvas of our family forever.  As my children grow up and this incredible chapter becomes a distant memory, I want them to…

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to the Language of Barcelona

    One of the biggest misconceptions about Spain is that Spanish is the primary language. But contrary to popular assumptions, there are several other native tongues spoken in this country depending on what region you come from. Like many things, we didn’t find this out until after relocating here! In the northern Basque Country region where the beautiful Bilbao and San Sebastian are, the language is called…Basque. In our home city of Barcelona the first language is Catalan. Cata-who?! Yes Catalan, which derives from the region of Spain known as Catalunya including Barcelona, Girona and stretching as far south as Tarragona. This dialect is also spoken…

  • Dressing Like a Local in Spain: Your Go-To Guide

    After two years of living in this fantastic city and trying desperately to look less and less like an outsider, I’ve come to several fashion conclusions. There are some definite DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to dressing like a local in Spain. In other words, fitting in like a local versus standing out like a…tourist! Regardless of what time of year you visit Barcelona, these tips will help you to plan accordingly and look the part! We first set foot in our new home city during the last week of August. The DEAD of summer. At the time I just couldn’t be bothered with…