• An American Expat in Spain

    Truth be told, I agreed to move to Spain and become an American expat having never been here before. No pressure at all, right!?  It was during a time when we were done having kids but weren’t ready to completely settle down for the next 30 years. So after some research and lots of late night discussions over wine or coffee – or sometimes both – we decided to stop questioning and start packing! Call it an enormous leap of faith, but also one of the most exciting parts of our move. The unknown waiting to be discovered.  What would we find? Who would we…

  • best vintage furniture spots

    9 Vintage Furniture Stores in Barcelona

    If you’re in Barcelona and wondering where to find unique history-rich furniture that doesn’t come from IKEA stores, read on. One of my favorite passions from back in the states was restoring and painting vintage or second hand furniture. I loved this hobby so much, I ended up turning it in a little side business for myself. It was one of the things that was hardest for me to walk away from once we decided to move to Barcelona. People ask me constantly why I don’t continue the art here. Honestly, the furniture market and logistics in Spain are very different from back…

  • best apps for expats and travelers

    My Favorite Apps for Tourists and Expats in Barcelona

    How in the world would we survive these days without the convenience of technology? Things that seemed virtually impossible 20 years ago are now a finger swipe away. I’ll admit, sometimes I think about the fact that our family has moved to the other side of the globe and wonder if we’re crazy! Language barriers, cultural differences, currency conversions, metric system, city navigating. It’s all overwhelming if you stop and think about it long and hard. But then I’m reminded of how modern the world has become. How very easy it is today, thanks to the internet and tons of useful apps, to…

  • coronavirus lockdown

    What One Week in Coronavirus Lockdown Has Taught Me

    To date, more than 233,000 people across the globe (NY Times) have contracted the COVID-19 Coronavirus. And 17,000 of those cases have been right here in Spain, which is now considered one of the top three most badly affected countries battling the epidemic. As Spanish residents like us wait at home in lockdown mode, the world is bracing itself for what comes next. Being isolated from family, friends, coworkers – it all feels so confusing! And turning on the TV or reading news articles doesn’t exactly provide clarity and comfort. It’s hard to decide what source to believe anymore! So, I’ve taken a…

  • 7 Expat Lessons One Year Later

    “What row are we again, hun?” I asked my husband as we stepped onto the airport tarmac leading us towards a United Airlines Boeing 757.  “Uhh, I think Row 19…..seats A through E,” my husband responded and laughed as he checked all five of our boarding passes.  We were in for a long nine-hour flight.  Non-stop service from Newark, New Jersey to Barcelona, Spain. As we found our seats, shoved carry-ons into overheads and got situated I felt a strange and familiar feeling come over me.  Deja-vu really does exist! Exactly one year ago (down to the minute!) we were boarding the same flight at…

  • tips to help anyone learn the basics of catalan

    An Introduction to Barcelona Language (And It’s Not Spanish)

    One of the biggest misconceptions about Barcelona is that Spanish is the primary language. But contrary to popular assumptions, there are several other languages spoken in this country other than Spanish depending on what region you come from. Like many things, we didn’t find this out until after relocating here! Different Languages of Spain In northern Basque region where 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 comes from the region of Spain known as Catalunya including Barcelona, Girona and stretching as far south as Tarragona. This…

  • How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Spain

    When my family and I first moved abroad and became expats in the amazing city of Barcelona, we didn’t take notice to how we may have…”stood out” amongst locals. I mean, with so many other things to worry about and decisions to make, there simply wasn’t time to NOT look like a tourist those first few months. Looking back now two years later, it amazes me to this day that we never fell victim to pickpocketing – since we didn’t exactly blend in! And here’s the thing. Standing out in a world of wallflowers is never a bad thing. But when you’re an…

  • 4 Qualities Being An Expat Won’t Change

    It’s inevitable that choosing to uproot your life and move abroad to another country will forever change you. In some ways, such as language development and cultural appreciation, for the better. In other ways, such as gaining some extra pounds indulging in the local cuisine, for the less. But after almost two years living abroad, I can confidently say there are a few qualities about myself personally that are planted in my American New Jersey identity and won’t change. Whether I relocate myself in Barcelona or Brisbane, it’s who I am. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that! Related Article: Why…

  • 6 Barcelona Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

    Before moving to Barcelona, I used to think Americans holidayed more than any other culture. Always a party, always a get together, always some reason to celebrate! And while that is certainly true and one of my favorite things about being American, the Spanish are in a whole different category when it comes to holidays or festivals. It seems like every two weeks our children are off from school for one holiday or another. Most of which I had never heard of before living here. It was so confusing the first year of our expat assignment. Who are we celebrating? Why are we…