Our family of five is moving to Granada, Spain in July 2016. As soon as we tell people we hear, “What made you decide to do this?” so I thought the best way to start off this journal is to answer that question.
Because Jason has worked for a global company for the last 16 years, we have had the opportunity to travel around the world (Jason much more than me, but I’ve been lucky to tag along on quite a few occasions). Because of that, living overseas has always been on the back of our minds. However, the older our children get, the harder it is to imagine requesting a work assignment (usually a minimum of three years) overseas. Over the summer of 2015 we started talking about living overseas again, but with our oldest, Robbie, starting at our amazing local high school, we just didn’t see asking him to spend his entire high school career in another country, especially because he had been accepted into his school’s Digital Film Program, which he had been looking forward to since we moved to Seattle in 2011. We also wanted our other two children to finish out their elementary and middle school years at their current school.
What to do? Since Jason likes to say he’s been steadily employed since the age of 12, he decided he shouldn’t feel too guilty for taking one year off to spend it with his family. After (briefly) considering a trip around the world and talking to a few other families who had taken a year or two overseas in one spot, we decided that would be the smartest way to go. Having our children learn a new language was a must, and since the kids and I had all been exposed to some Spanish, a Spanish-speaking country seemed the logical choice. Spain became our destination because we knew we would be able to travel inexpensively to other countries in Europe that the kids had already expressed an interest in visiting, plus Jason and I had been there twice before, and it always struck us as a place we might want to live someday. In fact, if you’ve seen our house in Seattle, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that we chose it partly because it reminded us a little of the homes we’ve seen in Southern Spain.
We narrowed down our choice to Granada because of weather, language (Castilian vs. Catalan), location, and the fact that we’d been there before (granted, only for a day!). Visiting the blogs of Jed from Bucking the Trend and Bianca from Our Year in Spain confirmed for us that Granada was the right place for our family.