For Karen McCann and her husband the prospect of early retirement left them feeling a little bored. They had always been avid travelers and a visit to Seville in Spain convinced them that it would be the perfect place to start a new life.
They moved with their dog in 2004 and have loved life there ever since. Karen’s past career as a journalist has led her on to becoming a successful travel writer with two of her travel books already achieving No 1 status on Amazon. The couples experiments in travel – including a nomadic journey through the railways of Europe and a journey they made completely without luggage have allowed them to embrace their new lifestyle and do things they would never have done back home.
We caught up with Karen to discuss the process of moving, life in Seville and how becoming an expat allows you the freedom to truly enjoy yourself.
You’ll find details of Karen’s books and her blog at her website http://www.enjoylivingabroad.com
What I learned from Karen’s interview:
- Be prepared for paperwork if moving to Spain. They are experts in it! The McCanns have to regularly renew their visas and do find that things may differ between what the internet tells them and what they might find out when they get to the consulate. This is the Spanish way of life and you need to embrace it. Make sure you start your visa process in your own country before leaving to allow more time
- Be willing to try before you buy into it permanently. The McCanns rented their Cleveland home for six months to make sure they were happy in Seville before returning to sell up. Being clear on what you want is important as you will feel some emotional pull during the process and you need to keep reminding yourself of your objective.
- It’s not difficult to relocate pets. The McCanns were able to move their dog reasonably easily with them but be conscious of their new environment and whether it is a large contrast to what they are used to and if they will be happy there.
- Spain is a step back to a more simpler time. Siestas are still the way in the southern regions and house calls by doctors are still quite common! The Spanish love the family environment and for many westerners moving it’s the return to the simpler life that often brings back memories and has the greatest appeal.
- Don’t overpack! I love the experiments these guys do and their journey without luggage sounds like fun. It’s interesting to know however that not having nightwear is the one thing that a luggage-less traveler will struggle without!
- For about life in Spain check out our interviews with Molly Piccavey and Alan and Heidi Wagoner