• celebrating easter in spain

    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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • La Pobla de Lillet, Spain Photo Gallery

    Month: November 2018 Accommodations: Air B&B – Mas Merolla, Gombren Listing link here – https://abnb.me/8r6AAq74L0 Our Favorite Thing To Do: This home is situated deep in the countryside of Catalunya in the heart of tiny Gombren. Surrounded by nature, the smells and sounds of this incredible home are the perfect getaway from city life. We spent our time hiking and exploring the area – little trails, lush meadows and shaded forests. It was a perfect weekend of outdoor simplicity for the kids – technology free! Our Best Tip: The nearest town of La Pobla de Lliet where you’ll find several small shops and…

  • 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…

  • True or False Barcelona Rumors

    It’s one thing to do your research online when moving to a new place, like I did when our family relocated to Barcelona. But you only really find out what’s rumor or truth until you see and experience for it for yourself! Turns out, lots of rumors about Barcelona aren’t actually true. If you’re lucky enough to visit or live in this incredible city, learn the facts from someone who figured things out the hard way. 7 Rumors and 1 Truth About Barcelona LANGUAGE – Everyone speaks English: FICTION It makes me chuckle when I look back on the advice we received from…