My husband and I made the decision to leave the US about 2 months ago now. We each went straight into research mode after that. He is a software developer (read: professional nerd), so his tack was to start gathering and reconciling numbers, trying to figure out where in the world we can afford to live the way we want. My method leaned more toward learning about different cultures and ways of life that I thought I could tolerate, finding a place I'd want to live, being rather introverted and laid back myself, but live affordably, because I'm the tightwad between us. There was definitely more than one country of interest to us, but eventually we settled on Spain. There are so many reasons why Spain, not the least of which is that I am actually of Spanish heritage.
We have finally settled on three locations within Spain to explore on our first visit; Valencia, Alicante, and the Axarquia area east of Malaga. Thanks to Costa Women, I have already made a friend in Spain that I'm really enjoying exchanging emails with, and I have started making some professional contacts, such as a realtor in Valencia. Since we are attempting to make our first visit during the first three weeks of March, I'm hoping to gather more professional contacts for these areas, rather quickly.
The Valencia realtor, Graham Hunt (let me just pimp his youtube channel here for a moment, because I found his videos very informative - https://www.youtube.com/user/Valprop) has given me some specific areas based on our criteria to help narrow down our search within Valencia, but I still need someone to help point out similar areas in Axarquia and Alicante.
Many discussions have been had (and oh so many more to come!), comparing and contrasting our notes, constantly making sure we are on the same page and reaffirming that this is really happening! Calling it daunting would be an understatement! My husband and I both are feeling it.
First daunting task, what do we do with all our stuff?! We have more than just our own household's worth of 'stuff' to sort through and deal with. Both our moms passed away fairly recently, leaving us with all of their belongings. We're tackling it slowly but surely, and making good progress. I even have my (grown) kids' rooms just about gutted. The fire is definitely lit here!
I've gotten some of our friends in on this, to help move and sell stuff, with friends getting first dibs on everything we're selling. I've received the gamut of responses about the move, from real anger that we're leaving them behind, to being happy and excited for us, and everything in between. So while they are pissed that I'm leaving them, they are looking forward to gathering cheap or free stuff for themselves before we go, as well as future European vacations with accommodations already made.
As an introvert, it is not my natural inclination to make anything about me public, but I am doing it for two reasons. First, I'm hoping that others will find my experience helpful as they move forward in their own journeys. Second, I have a feeling I'd kick myself if I didn't document this just so I can look back on it and see my progress. This is a pretty huge life event, after all. It's a little scary, but really exciting!
Just remember, Breathe.