The process of Moving to Spain
all photo credit to Isabella
Hello, my absolutely beautiful Astrology Soulmates! Recently, I’ve been getting a lot more comments and requests for me to talk about my experience moving abroad. And, if you follow me on my YouTube channel, you’ll know that I recently moved my entire family to Spain, including the dog!
I’ve been waiting to share my experience until I was done going through the entire journey and I was fully settled. So today, I felt inspired to share this journey and the idea of living in Spain with all of you, especially those that have been thinking about making a move abroad and maybe don’t know where to begin.
In this particular post, I will share how to get a visa, a little something about the Spanish system and network, the reason for our move, and suitable places to live. If you’re curious about other forms of visa or ways to make your way to Spain, I’ll be providing further information on that in future posts, so make sure to stick around!
To start this article, I want to share the reason why we moved to Spain.
I think our why sets the tone for any decision that we make in our lives: we must come back to our why over and over again, especially as things get frustrating.
The first thing to note is that my move was motivated by both a great need for change and the nodal cycle returning in its 19 years fashion. The nodal cycle before, saw me wanting to leave the United States, but staying for other reasons. As well as Uranus hitting my Sun! There was nothing more for me than to get ready to make a massive move. Furthermore, as an Astrologer, I tracked the cycle of my life through my progressed chart. I knew I was heading into my progressed last quarter phase and beginning the journey into my personal slow down and winter. That meant that I needed to plan for my energy to slow and shed, and to prepare to say goodbye to major pieces of myself whole preparing for the next layer of my journey. While that was happening not matter what I chose or wanted, I could absolutely take responsibility for creating a daily life that would support this time and transition. For me that was a daily life of more beauty, rest, healing, and creating. Depending on where you are in your life progression, you may decide to make choices that support you as well. Check out where you are here.
For my family and I, moving abroad came down to being drastically ready to challenge the way of life we were told we had to live in the United States. Looking at the way the rest of the world was engaging in community, healthcare, food, and living life instead of working to live, were all huge encouragements for us to rearrange our lives completely.
For me particularly, I could no longer support the idea of a government that is allowed to put poisonous chemicals in the food that we eat, that charges insane amounts in our healthcare system, and a daily routine that was looking to suck the literal life out of me.
I knew that there had to be something else.
As a person who loves languages, it was also equally important for me to be sure that my family and my children were not only exposed to other languages (as they have been since their childhood) but had absolute fluency. I wanted them to be able to navigate the world and open their own doors as they continue on their journeys of choosing how they wanted to live.
While I realize that languages were an option in the United States schools, there was no real push for fluency. We practiced that within our own home, but it didn’t seem like it was enough. I wanted them to be exposed to fluency and to the honesty of unfamiliar cultures, to understand that while all people are biologically the same, cultures really change people as you interact with them. I needed my very American children to not read about that in books, but to experience the culture in their bones, to see it in front of their eyes, and for it to be wrapped in all their senses. So, that way, as they go out into the world, they will understand how these dynamics fundamentally change a person’s engagement.
I wanted this opportunity to make them richer and wiser in their own experience of the world. Also, I have a 9th House Sun (the traveler) and my gift to my children is access to the world via passports and experience.
The cost of living was a huge change and motivator for us.
As an entrepreneurial Astrologer, I make fantastic money and I’m very proud to say that in my profession, but, in the United States, it was beginning to equate to almost nothing. I was noticing the way that certain tax brackets become available to have advantages taken of, and I also began to pour my attention to what else the world had to offer. One of my main resources of new education came from Andrew Henderson and his concept of, "Go where you are treated best, and run towards what you want!" Simple concepts with a huge impact on how I started interacting with the life as a whole. While I am not a 7-figure earner, his ideas applied to everything I was interacting with and had me asking questions about if I was where I was treated best, and am I treating those I am engaging with the best as well. As well, what does it take for me as a woman and human to be MY very best so that I can offer my very best to the communities I serve? These were/are my thoughts now. There are several other books that have given me new windows of perspective and changed my life. I hope they can do the same for you.
I think in the end, it all comes down to the fact that I have a ninth house Sun and I know that there is opportunity to expand beyond what I have been taught and what I have been told—I have a genuine curiosity about where the rich resources of the world can take all of us.
So finally, after prayer, much conversation, research, and a good amount of astrological transits, the decision was made to move to Spain.
And first things first, we had to do a lot of research.
Once the decision to move abroad is made, there is a lot of research to be done. A great place to start is looking at the cost of living in the location you’re thinking of traveling to. For us, it was the cost of living in Spain, which turned out to be one of our great motivators for moving there.
Cities are generally more expensive, especially if you're living anywhere close to the city center, but you can definitely save money by living further out. Depending on whether you prefer city life or a small pueblo life, this will help you establish the best places that are suited for you as well. As for us, we live right smack in the middle of Seville, where all of the action and noise happens to be. (Mercury in Gemini here..hehe) If you haven't used the comparison calculator numbeo, here's a link to this fantastic resource.
Another thing to consider when looking for your ideal place to live is what type of climate you want to live in. The northern part of Spain has cooler weather, mountains, and also options for skiing if that’s something you’re interested in. On the contrary, if you’re after warmer temperatures all year long, the South of Spain where we live is ideal: Areas like Seville, Cadiz, and Rhoda may be great options for you.
Another key factor in considering where to move had to do with transportation.
We decided as a family that we no longer wanted to have the burden of a car with all of the intended maintenance that comes with it, insurance, and so on. So, for us, and especially with how much we enjoy walking, living in a place where walkability was accessible was a key factory.
If you enjoy walking, biking, and using public transportation, first of all: you will love Spain! But also, you may want to live in the bigger cities where all these means of transport are widely available. On the contrary, if you still want to drive and have the independence of that experience, you might enjoy the countryside or the suburbs better. You can still drive in the city, but it’s harder to park your car or find places that have parking—although you can pay for garages.
We already had the experience of relying on a car in the United States and everything that comes with feeling trapped underneath that. One of the things that was really great for us in considering our move was imagining how we would like to have our days set up: How would we like to experience the energy of our days? And let me tell you, we were ready to drastically alter the way we were currently living.
Because we were bringing a teenager, we also did a fair share of research on schools.
Depending on the level of your child’s Spanish, opting for a bilingual or an international school may be best. If they have the ability to speak Spanish already, the public system here is also quite fantastic, so that’s certainly an option to have in mind. For us, we sat with our daughter and discussed her plans for life and how best to go about getting there. We opted for a language school for her Spanish (and soon Japanese as well) and an online school to finish high school earlier while also receiving some college credits at the same time. Her goals are to become technically strong at her craft, and now she has a nice chunk of time to prepare for college, and her career.
Now, with the basics of your research done, let’s talk briefly about getting a visa.
The first thing to know is that there is a well laid out process to getting your visa on the Spanish consulate website for your particular location. You can search Spanish consulate for your state and the documents you need will be laid out. Here is a general place to start. If you want to know more about this process, let me know!!
We hired an Attorney ( Hi Marina and team) and company to walk us through our move because we didn’t want to miss a single item. I’ll share that information here. And, YES, it was VERY affordable and saved us THOUSANDS of dollars and stress! We also followed and follow this couple religiously on Youtube! We also opted to apply for our visa in-country instead of in the United States so that we could have our visa last for three years instead of one.
In our case, we came to Spain on a digital nomad visa and were the first of a new wave of digital nomads to come here on it. Spain had only just opened their digital nomad program in January of 2023 and by June of 2023 we were fully through the process and living in Seville.
Now, at the time of sharing this, it is January of 2024, and we will be receiving our residence cards to fully integrate into our new Spanish community soon. It was also VERY important to us to come on a visa that would help the economy (as much as possible) without taking from it (as much as possible). Being digital nomads, we cannot take jobs in Spain, and we have chosen to rent from landlords who are in certain areas of the city, so we don't drive up the rent prices of the locals by moving into their buildings. Coming on a digital nomad visa was the best option for us, but there are plenty of other visas to experience Spain.
You can come as a teacher, specifically teaching English as a second language; you can come as a specialized worker such as a doctor or a nurse whose skills can be transferred; you can come on a shorter visa and be a tourist for 90 days; or you can come as an au pair. If you are a little bit further along in your journey, you can also come as an entrepreneur looking to start a business. And if you’re really ready for the big leagues, you can come on Spain’s golden visa, where you make an investment that is quite large in exchange for residency.
Oh, and don’t forget, you can absolutely come to Spain as a student whether it’s a college student or a language student at one of the language institutions. These are just some of the options, and I will explore this further in future posts.
Although we came on a digital nomad visa, I had previously prepared myself to travel the world as an English teacher.
Before the digital nomad visa was announced, I’d gotten my certification to teach English as a second language in any country in the world. The TEFL company I used in the training I went through was here. And I will tell you, it was absolutely fantastic training and I have continued their training to sharpen my skills. So, if you’re interested in learning more, click here to find out about the TEFL organization that prepared me to be able to work anywhere in the world.
Now, one thing you cannot escape is understanding the Spanish government system.
And what I will tell you is that patience will be your absolute virtue. Be prepared to put your signature on a lot of documents.
In Spain, they have what’s called “mañana culture", or “it depends.” Spanish bureaucracy is very real, and often leads you to walking in mini circles. You will typically need one extra paper or one extra document than you currently brought with you, and I promise you, there is no way of getting around this system—unless “you know a guy.”
My solution to this was to have way too many documents for our given appointments. This was great advice given to us by our attorney and has not failed us yet.
The other thing to know is that if you are kind and you are patient, typically the people in the bureaucratic system are really helpful. Speaking Spanish will go a long way too!
But, have no doubt that you will be navigating the Spanish system to include government websites, in person appointments, health insurance, taxes, and all of these things—and you will absolutely be doing it in Spanish while in Spain. But, have no fear, if your Spanish is not that strong, there are translation services you can hire as well. Still, I highly suggest learning some Spanish if you’re planning on coming to Spain. They get tired of this pidgin Spanish pretty quickly.
So, if you have ever dreamt about moving abroad and felt like it was too complicated; or you ever wished you knew someone who did it and could guide you through the process; or if you just feel like you don’t even know where to begin: Then I really hope that this beginning of my travel series of an expat astrologer in Spain gives you helpful information for your journey towards moving to Spain, or elsewhere.
Feel free to share your feedback with me down below and let me know if there’s something specific you’re looking to navigate. I’ll be bringing you more articles and information, sharing my experience, but if there’s something you’re looking to know about, I want to get you to the right place and help your dreams unfold!