• The Best Spanish Cocktails to Drink This Summer

    One of the first things we noticed about living in Barcelona was how free-flowing and acceptable alcohol is at any time of the day! Breakfast beers, siesta cocktails and happy hour glasses clinging are acceptable (as well as expected) here! Since bars and restaurants have been shut down thanks to COVID-19 for the last 10 weeks, people here are anxious to indulge once again in their favorite tapas and cocktails alfresco! Maybe it’s because we’ve been stuck indoors for so long or haven’t dined out in what seems like FOR-ever. But one thing is for sure! We plan to go ALL out this…

  • What It’s Like Living Abroad During a Global Pandemic

    No matter what corner of the planet you’re on, the global pandemic has been the focus of all nations. Businesses have shut their doors, many people have lost their jobs. And sadly, thousands have lost their lives. It’s a scary, uncertain and stressful time for us all whether you work on the front lines protecting and treating the sick or are sitting at home waiting for what comes next. Here at home, where we haven’t left the apartment to do more than take the trash out or grocery shop, it feels like we’re in mourning. Mourning the loss of travel, the loss of…

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    Hair Care Secrets from Spain Discovered

    If there is one thing about my beauty regimen that I’ve been trying to understand since moving to Spain it’s the secret to hair care! I can’t quite figure out if it’s the hard city water in Barcelona or the fact that I’m about to turn 40 next year, but my hair has been such a problem lately. Maybe I started noticing it more after observing how luscious, thick and simply gorgeous Spanish women’s hair is! What’s the deal? Their locks appear healthy and unphased by the harmful effects of city water, over-processing, or the environment. What do local Spanish women of all…

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    Celebrating Easter in Spain

    The Easter Holiday, otherwise known in Spain as Holy Week or Semana Santa, is undoubtedly the biggest religious holiday of the year. Celebrating Easter in Spain as an American expat has really opened my eyes to the different interpretations and traditions involved. All of which are special and sacred. Since our family has only been living abroad for two and a half years, we feel a certain tug of war when it comes to holiday time. We want to continue to celebrate the same traditions from back home that our children have come to love (and expect). Such traditions like Santa Clause, Trick…

  • 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…

  • Hotel vs Vacation Rental – The Ultimate Comparison

    Remember that adorable Christmas movie The Holiday staring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet? Two single gals in opposite sides of the globe looking to escape everyday life – so they decide to do a house “switch”! Love that Rom-com! And these days, trading the hotel experience for a more intimate vacation rental is common! So which is right? Which is best? The rise in popularity with vacation rentals like those offered on Air B&B or VRBO Spain“>Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) is the assumed cost savings. Why pay for a hotel room when you can rent an entire home for the same amount,…

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    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…

  • 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…