I never really realized that moving abroad was a dream of mine.
That is until I got into blogging and discovered that there were bloggers, freelancers, and digital entrepreneurs who actually lived a location independent life. A life where they could travel and all they needed was an internet connection to run their business.
Now that’s impressive.
Ever since learning about that, I thought to myself “can you imagine ever living in a foreign country and making it your home?” At first, I thought it was crazy. But the more I learned about it, I realized just how amazing travel really is.
I wished I could move abroad one day or simply just travel out of the country and experience new things. It just became a dream, I never thought it was actually possible. Plus, I am not a full-time blogger (yet) and still far from it. I still have a day job just like most bloggers out there.
I figured it would never happen because I could never support myself in another country. I couldn’t just up and leave. Until I was presented with an opportunity from my university to live abroad.
It was like the opportunity had the absolutely perfect timing and just fell in my lap. It was the chance to live aboard by teaching English part-time in a primary school in Spain. I jumped at the chance and my life has forever changed because of it. Now it’s not the location independent lifestyle so many bloggers dream of… but man, it’s pretty darn close.
And that’s because the gig only required me to work just 16 hours a week and the rest of my time could be for whatever I wanted it to be.
Sign me up!
Fast forward to now and I honestly feel like I’m living the dream. I work a bit at school and I have the rest of the time to grow and expand my blog into a business. I get to see the world, meet new people, and experience a new culture + language.
I can definitely say that moving abroad has completely changed my life. Permanently.
Maybe moving abroad isn’t for everyone. I know not everyone feels the same way about it and it can be a little scary to think of living in a totally different country, but I feel like it’s an experience everyone should try if they can. Learning to live in a different culture and lifestyle can do you a lot of good and there are a few reasons why it so strongly impacted my life.
1. I improved my language
This is a big one!
I’m from Miami and my family is Cuban, so naturally, I speak Spanish. It was my first language, BUT I ended up losing some of it over time because I quickly learned English and completely stopped practicing it. Now I can’t speak it as well as I’d like to. Pretty crazy, I know.
I instantly regretted it when I grew up. I speak it pretty well, but still get tongue-tied and have some trouble understanding it from time to time. It’s a different kind of Spanish here and a totally different accent but I was excited to speak all the Spanish in Spain.
Very few people fluently speak English here so I was forced to practice. And I’ve only gotten better and feel more confident with it. I learn new words every day and I’m even hooked on Spanish Netflix. Being exposed to Spanish on a daily basis put me ahead of the game and I’m excited to get even better at it.
Now I find myself always taking note of things in Spanish and teaching myself vocabulary, grammar rules, you name it.
I’m totally loving Spanish!
2. I learned to live a different lifestyle
I LOVE the lifestyle here. I LOVE living abroad. It was so hard for me to get used to the whole siesta thing (yes, it’s very real.) It was hard for me to get used to the fact that the bank only opened for a few hours three times a week or the fact that literally nothing opened on Sundays.
I found it tough when I didn’t have the luxury of having my car here and having to rely on public transportation. And the biggest toughie for me was getting used to the lack of air conditioning and clothes dryers here.
But it just opened my eyes to another way of living. My way of living in the US is not the only way of living and it might not even be the best way of living for some people.
In the US, the days feel like they go by so fast and we often wish we had more hours in the day. Here in Spain, the days feel longer and the general atmosphere is more laidback and relaxed. It’s a dream life and a “no pasa nada” attitude.
And that’s the way I want to continue living my life even when I go back to Miami.
3. I met new people
If I hadn’t decided to move to Spain, I would have never met these new people in my life! I’ve made new friends and relationships here. And I have to say, they are better relationships than I’ve ever made at home.
I came to Spain with my boyfriend so I was lucky to have someone there by my side. But the countless amazing people we met just made everything easier.
When we were missing speaking English with other people, we had friends right there to chat with. And we got to make friends from other parts of the globe (not just from Spain) which is pretty cool. I normally too introverted to go around making friends but I’m so happy I did.
4. I grew my blog + business
With all the extra free time I’ve had here, I’ve managed to grow my blog into a business. Like for real.
I’ve grown my email list, ventured on a new journey of freelance writing, and managed to surpass the amount of money I made with my blog all of last year.
I got into the world of woo-woo + manifestation and I’ve been able to land clients because of it. Every month my income has been steadily growing and I feel more clear on who I am here to serve.
Changing my mindset and becoming more confident in myself changed the way I look at things. I became more positive and willing to try new things with my blog. This new change of scenery made me feel inspired and more creative than ever. Before moving abroad, I used to deal with that after impostor syndrome. I thought I wasn’t good enough.
But things changed and I realized that NO. I am not an impostor. I have the skills and people are willing to hire me.
And as a result, I began reaching my goals — the ones that I set for months and never reached.
I reached my personal goals, my income goals, all of them and then some. Like wow, I am so shocked and humbled by the experience of such quick growth in a short amount of time. I finally feel like what I’ve been waiting for and working so hard towards is coming my way.
I realized that working on yourself and being happy first is the number one thing you have to focus on in order to become successful.
5. I discovered myself
Who I was before I moved to Spain is not the same person as I am right now. It’s the truth. Moving abroad and living in a foreign country made me learn so much about myself. It was difficult in the beginning. From figuring out how things go in a new country and living off random Airbnb’s until we figured out how to rent a place, it felt like there were quite a few hurdles at first.
At times, I was homesick and there was some pretty severe culture shock.
I was unhappy with my previous jobs and I was unmotivated. I was unsure of who I was and I was unsure of what career path I’d end up on. And I felt like I needed to fit the mold of the perfect college grad that lands that amazing corporate 9-5 job they’ve always dreamed of. That just wasn’t me. Honestly, I wasn’t really passionate about anything.
I was terribly shy and awkward and I was always afraid of what people thought of me. I wasn’t confident and never really made any huge life-changing decisions for myself because I was so afraid of change. The truth is that I was afraid of being seen as selfish.
But when I said “Screw it. I’m moving to Spain,” when I decided I was going to live abroad — everything instantly changed for me. And I never realized how much I would end up learning about myself.
And I grew as a person.
I had to put myself out of my comfort zone for the first time in my life and actually do something that made me nervous/scared/worried.
I stood in front of a classroom to teach when in reality, the old me wouldn’t even dare to raise her hand in class.
I lived on my own for the very first time and I tried new things I normally would’ve never tried. New foods, new activities (hello, paddleboarding!), new friends, and a newfound confidence in who I am.
Now I know who I am and I know what I want in my life. I’m actually excited about the future now.
Would you ever consider moving abroad?
Moving abroad wasn’t easy, but Spain has now become my second home.
Moving abroad really changed my life. I really believe it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I’m a better person, a better blogger, and a better friend/sister/daughter/girlfriend because of it.
Is it crazy?
Is it scary and beautiful?
Yes and yes.
But I would do it again in a heartbeat.
For more information on the program that allowed me to move + live abroad, check this out.