I think I’ve said it before, but I never really saw myself living in the U.S. as an adult. I always assumed I would reach my mid 20’s and bail. Welp, here I am, with a house, family, garden, and Alex is outside, building a floor level deck in our yard— basically, we’re not going anywhere, for a long time— if ever. But from time to time, I think and audibly ask, “well, what if we moved to another country?” and then Alex and I go back and forth on ideas and the perks and concerns. School for Marlowe, jobs for us, housing, you know, all the basic and most standard concerns. Maybe one day. Maybe not, but we love our home, so I guess it’s okay for now 😉 What are your thoughts? Would you have the guts to pick up your family and leave your country? I’d like to think I would. I enjoy peeking in on expat family blogs from time to time— people who picked up and re-rooted with kids…. because even if we never do it ourselves, it’s so wonderful to see other peoples expat dreams come true.

Rachel White of The Rachel Boulevard blog is here today to share a bit of her expat family adventures… all the way from Barcelona! (Swoon!) I’m sure you’ll love her! Two of my personal favorite posts of hers: living simply and wikipedia calls it an adjustment stage. Be sure to check out her travel blog 🙂  And as a bonus, she is offering one lucky ohdeardrea reader a small Kate Spade Saturday travel bag of their choice, just use the rafflecopter widget below. I hope everyone is having a great week 🙂

“I’m Rachel. A wife, a Mom, a blogger and expat currently living in Barcelona, Spain.  My husband, Brandon, and I have been self-diagnosed with a wanderlust that can’t be cured & it seems we have passed it on to our little ones.
Living abroad has been a beautiful experience for our family. Here’s why.
When first moving to Spain, we only had each other to lean on. No family, no friends, no familiarities, it was just us. Although, my husband is a fluent Spanish-speaker, which has obviously made things easier, its little things that have brought us together. Little things, like grocery shopping, figuring out our son’s schooling, setting up utilities. Nothing was easy. The small things can be amazingly difficult in an unfamiliar place but when we figured things out, we celebrated as a family. These little accomplishments bonded us in a way I never could have imagined.
We are seeing the world together & have the beautiful perspective of seeing it in our children’s eyes. It’s the sweet, “look at a that” as my son points to a solo fallen rock that sits at the bottom of an ancient stone wall.  A little detail that, although maybe of little importance, we had previously looked over. Any parent knows the beauty of a child’s perspective but it is so much more enhanced when living abroad. The cultural differences, the language variance, the surroundings, it’s all seen differently through those little ojos (that’s “eyes” in Spanish, which is pretty much the extent of my Spanish but I’m learning haha). 
My blog, Rachel Boulevard, is about these daily beautiful experiences abroad. I hope you’ll stop.”

Find Rachel: 
(follow her instagram for lots of other fun giveaways!)


  1. I love this post.

    I married to a Guatemalan and I've never left the states. When we got married I could never see myself abroad and I didn't want to. But we changed as a couple and craved more. We live in the small town I grew up in and I realized it couldn't come close to what we dreamed of. We didn't want to live in Guatemala since it isn't the safest and have settled on Costa Rica. I'm a travel nurse and plan on traveling the country before settling down in central america and being a stay at home mom.

    People think we're nuts because we haven't been and although that's a requirement before we pack our bags, we are so sure. I stalk CR blogs and instagram accounts and am generally obsessed with their positive and active lifestyle.

    Pura Vida!

  2. My boyfriend and I are spanish but now he's living in Portugal and I'm living in France and we're starting to consider settling in France for some time. After studying in Italy for 7 monts (erasmus!!!) I believe that everyone should live abroad at least for a short period of their life. It opens your mind in so many ways, good and bad experiences, and you kind of transmit this feelings to others once you're back in your country. I'm sure that with kids it's different and a bit harder, but they're more flexible than we think and that's for sure a life-changing experience for them.

  3. Hi Drea! I'm a new subscriber (found you on Pinterest) and this post is really interesting to me because my parents raised me in France and Holland and I've just settled into suburban American life to raise my own kids, so I've been thinking about the differences a lot lately. Briefly, here are some pros and cons for raising kids in Western Europe:
    your kids become fluent in another language, making them better communicators for the rest of their lives
    they gain a word view at a young age. This is huge. Lots of people never fully understand that everyone is not like them and doesn't think the way they do.

    School is just tough. Think corporal punishment, creativity squashed, no open dialogue between parents and teachers.
    lifelong friendships take a hit. your kid will never know a peer who they can fully identify with unless it's someone who's been on the same traveling journey that they have. this really came into play for me when I was dating and hoping to be married. I finally found a wonderful husband who was also an american raised in france. hallelujah!
    grandparent and cousin relationships don't go as deep.

    I'll stop there. Thanks so much for your blog, I love reading it.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway! Our family is living in another country, too. Chihuahua, Mexico. We are going on our third year and I love it. Totally agree with everything Rachel wrote. We have another year here for our job commitment… then who knows what is next! I'll check out Rachel's blog and instagram. I've been an ohdeardrea reader for years (never really commented, though) so I like to check out Drea's recommendations. Thanks again 🙂

  5. Barcelona is number one on my list to move to. I finish my degree in 2 years and then I'm hoping we can just pick up and leave. You only live once right !?

  6. seriously, great giveaway! *fingers and toes crossed* for the win. maybe, with one of these bad boys, i'd ACTUALLY take a little trip with my husband…just the 2 of us (without the 2 year old). See, we've been married 2 years now and have never taken a trip (nope, not even a honeymoon) together. so lame. this bag could be some motivation 🙂 -Misty @ http://www.momistabeginnings.com

  7. I've lived abroad for months a couple of time and love to travel, I always try to travel at least once a year. But I've been thinking about moving to another country lately, looking for better opportunities, but still have the same worries (except I don't have children). I don't think I'd move if I didn't have to…I kind of love my home and enjoy living close to my family. 🙂

  8. I've lived abroad 6 years and it bothers me how so many Americans approach the idea of living abroad. The first thing they think is hmmm what country do I want to go to? And that's completely the wrong way to start because most countries don't want you at all. We get confused since we can cruise into any country we want with our shiny American passports. But that's bc they want our tourist dollars. Not because they want us to stay and use their awesome public health systems or whatever. I don't mean to be a total downer but ex pat life is phenomenally more difficult than it seems.

    • You know that moving to other countries is in absolutely no way exclusive to Americans, right? Thousands of people world wide are moving to others countries everyday. There's no reason that someone should feel they are destined to a life in one country just because they were born in it. And no one is denying ex-pat life is difficult, it is many, many ways, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't live and try it.

  9. I'd love to live abroad for a while. I've travelled in Europe and North Africa a little, but not with children. And I know they would just love it.

  10. Hi, I stumbled across your blog and this post interests me as I upped sticks and moved (we are a family of 5) from England to the very most, deepest South of France 10 years ago. Our children were then 11, 9 and 7 and none of us spoke French. We turned up with a van load of possessions and a dog and started from scratch!
    In those years we have a house, lots more animals – and the dog who came with us is still going strong! My husband works for himself renovating houses, I'm an artist and work with film photography although right now I'm also training for a certificate in herbal medicine. Our kids have done well, 2 are at art school and the youngest is about to sit her exams. I totally understand Rachel's remarks about getting utilities, registering at schools etc being major victories. It's really hard work, often deeply stressful process but we love our life here, it was a positive thing for our family to do.

  11. Thanks for letting us discover Rachel's blog! I am from Barcelona but living in California now and it's always special for me to see how other people manage the situation of moving to another Country (this time is specially fun as it's my own city). For now I don't have kids, so I guess I had things a little bit easier!

    • complete and total side note—— your user name was in my dream last night???? I have no idea why— the dream was very splotchy, but I think it belonged to a man in my dream. Creepy, maybe, but thought you might get a laugh out of that. And Rachel's photos are stunning! Must visit spain! 🙂