I Think I'm Sure!

OK, anyone reading my previous post knows I made some life-changing decisions this summer, which I promised to share with you in my first post for September.

What is it I hear you asking?

Well Hubs and I have decided to leave the country that has been our adopted home for the last 10 years! Bearing in mind we had only come for 1 year in the first instance, I think we can rest assure that no-one can accuse us of not having "staying power".

So why are we leaving?
There are a multitude of reasons, but principally we both have lone, elderley parents. When we left, we never envisaged still being in Spain when old-age struck both our parents. Hubs is an only child, and altho' I have a sister who lives 10 minutes away from my Dad, I might as well be an only child.

This summer saw lots of unexpected ailments, emergency calls for the ambulance and hospital stays, that made us realise it was more stressful being in Spain and directing everything from here, than being in the UK.Altho' Spain is only about 3 hours from the UK, it is still difficult to fly out every time they have a problem.

Altho' we won't actully be making moves until Spring (due to work commitments we would like to honour) I made a list of all the silly things I miss about the UK (leaving aside the obvious of family and friends).Here are some of them.

I miss:

* having some of the best hairdressers in the world at my fingertips,and knowing the explanation of what I desire won't get "lost in translation".

*I miss being able to go to the best concerts and theatre productions at a moments notice. I haven't been to a pop concert in the 10 years I've lived here, as Spain is not usually on the concert route for many of the big stars.

*I miss the seasons. Yes waking up to blue skies is wonderful, but too much of a good thing...........

* I miss cosy nights in. It's impossible to do "cosy" in 40ÂșC heat and the air-conditioning blasting

* I miss being able to spend a Saturday afternoon wandering around some of my fav bookshops in London.The Spanish are not big readers. When I first arrived in Seville in 2001, there was only 1 bookshop in the whole of the city, and that was religious bookshop frequented principally by nuns and friars-really, I'm not joking! During this time Amazon became my best friend.

* I miss living in a city that doesn't judge you by the clothes you wear,the car you drive or the religion you practise. Seville/Spain is an extremely close-minded, classist and traditional country/city.Sometimes the "village mentality" can take it's toll

*I miss the build up to Christmas. There is nothing really like it in Spain, as Easter is the bigger celebration of the two.

* I miss having a pile of Sunday papers to read at my leisure over hot croissants. All my newspaper reading has been done on-line since moving here, as by the time international press reaches my city, it's already out of date. I really do miss holding, rustling, folding, highlighting and tearing bits out of my weekend papers.

*I miss not always being the "foreigner".

So these are just some of the points I put on my list and refer to every time I get a wobbly moment. I am sure I will change my mind a thousand times before the time arrives. But sharing my decision with my blogger friends (only) means I now feel committed to seeing this new chapter of our lives through.And I'm sure I will be blogging about many more wobbly moments, and asking all my wonderful friends for some advice.

So dear friends, what would you miss most about your city/country if you emigrated?
Would love to hear your thoughts as always.


  1. Having only lived in the USA my entire life, I'm not sure what I'd miss. I would love to find out, though!

    My Mom lived in Sevilla for a few years when I was a young girl. She still has such fond memories.

    Your beautiful blog is one I read regularly.

  2. Oh wow, big changes afoot!
    I have always wanted to move but I would never do it whilst my old mum is still with us, I want to be here for every single day she has left in this world.

    If I moved in the future, hmm, I'm not sure, I have lived in America but didn't really miss anything well actually yes, British sarcy humour - and self deprecation!

  3. Vanessa, I wish you a smooth transition come springtime! I know these are decisions that aren't made lightly. I moved from Canada to the U.S. 5 yrs ago and while it is still North America there are a lot of differences. I can totally relate to not get cozy with degree temps for a large portion of the year. It's always hot and humid here in FL. I miss the change of seasons and of course my family and closest friends. I hope to move back to Canada in the next few years, the education and healthcare system are also far superior, which will be important once we decide to have children.

    Thanks for sharing these details with us! It makes me respect you even more, it's hard to live out of one's comfort zone and you are doing it beautifully and full of class! xo

  4. Wishing you a smooth transition back lovely! I know what you mean about parents though, my brother is in LA and i'm in Greece... Sometimes I do worry about not being 'there' for emergencies. Luckily my mum spends as much as she can over here with me though!

    There's going to be a lot you're going to miss, but Im sure this will be a new chapter in your life, very exciting indeed!

  5. I applaud your decision! It would definitely be a difficult one to make. It sounds like there will be alot of good things to go home to even though you will miss Spain. I would love to uproot and move overseas (at least to try it) but the same reason keeps us here (MIL is 82, we are the closest to her). xxBliss

  6. You have such inner strength. I have moved countries at least six times. So I know that it requires a fair amount of energy. xx

  7. WOW!! what an adventure you will be on in the months to come. I'm certain it was not an easy one ... family is the most important. Sending you many hugs and blessings during this time of change ... Your new chapter in life will be filled with excitement, and re-discoveries ...

    I came to Canada - when I was a small child.. but I often think about returning to Portugal.. perhaps one day I'll make the move... wishinh you a fabulous day! xo HHL

  8. I have only ever lived in the UK but one day want to live in Spain when the kids are older and they would be the thing I would miss the most.

  9. Wow that's big news! I love how you've made a list of the things you've missed about the UK. It must be exciting to go back. Congrats on your decision, sweetheart :) xoxo

  10. My family is here and I moved back home from San Diego. So I do miss my friends there as well as the weather, the ocean of course, a different lifestyle.

    That said the midwest is wonderful!

    Be sure to join my Fashion Giveaway from Fresh Produce!!


    Art by Karena

  11. @Robin-thank you so much for joining me and your lovely kind words. Hope you won't be a stranger here ;-)

  12. @Tabitha-yes humour is something that really doesn't translate very well.It's so lovely what you say about your Mum too xx

  13. @Karla-thank you Sweets for stopping by. I know how busy you are. I didn't realise you were from Canada; on Hubby's must-see places list. Sometimes, just moving within the same Continent can still seem like a culture shock.
    @A Brit Greek-Thank you sweetheart. It's actually surprising how many people are in similar positions re elderly parents. It's something we never really think of until it hits us square between the eyes. Mind you, if your Mum has your Grandmas' genes, you've got nothing to worry about ;-)

  14. @Steppingmyway......yes, when you're young, escaping and travelling is great fun. But a sone gets older there is something about going back home.
    @Fashion,Art-lovely to see you here. Wow! six times. You are a "professional ex-pat". I'm sure I will be coming to you for advice ;-)

  15. @Celia-Thank you sweetheart. One day I am sure you will travel to Portugal. What a pity it won't happen while I'm in Spain. I am only 1 hour away from Portugal-we could have met up x

  16. @LookingFab-Just keep your vision in mind, and everything is possible.It is a lovely lifestyle I must say.
    @TheAlternativeWife-Thank you Sweets. Hope the hols are going well xx
    @Karena-Thank you for popping over. I think family is always a deciding factor for most people.

  17. Wow, a big decision indeed - but, reading your post, one you sound totally ready for.

    I have both lived and studied abroad so feel I've had my fair share of it.....I would go abroad for a couple of years if work dictated it but not for longer. I love the idea of spending a few months somewhere in the future but then returning to London.

    Good luck!

  18. Interesting... I am with you on Christmas! It's my absolute FAVORITE time of the year! I couldn't live somewhere that didn't give it the emphasis it deserves! I wish you the best of luck - and hope your family gets to feeling better soon!

  19. Vanessa, what a tough decision you two have made. Having recently moved to Austin (hot and dry) from Seattle (gray and misty), I understand and sympathize with everything you miss about England. What I miss most about Seattle is good Asian food and temperatures below 90 degrees. However, I am in love with the people in Texas. I can't wrap up in a cashmere sweater in the summer anymore, but I feel the love of people in every aspect of my life here and that's better. Right? People are better than cashmere...at least, so far!

  20. Oh wow Vanessa!! I'm sure you have been happy in Spain, but looking at that list of things you have missed in the UK......sounds like you left some of your heart there. Well of course you did, your parents, but that list says alot more than that. How exciting for you! God always has a plan.

  21. So sweet of you to consider your parents! I know that is a huge decision to have made to leave where you are and return home. That has been a huge factor and decision for us trying to return to work in Brazil hopefully soon ~ dh's parents health is declining. But as of right now they want us to go and pursue our dreams there so we'll see!


  22. How good of you and your husband to be such loving children! You seem very positive about the whole situation, too. I wish you the best of luck in it all :)

  23. pps. Aw, thanks for your comment about my nanna!

    I hope the book comes in handy - let me know if it's any good, i'm also a sucker on learning/reading new things too. But since i'm not about to turn my blog into a money making machine it doesn't really apply to me...
    If you have friends in advertising - they're usually a really good source for anything brand-worthy and could be helpful in helping with defining/designing your own brand.

    Thanks for the hugs!

  24. Sounds good to me, I can understand why you want to move back. Just saw your comment and I wanted to say thank you for suggesting Liz Earle to me!

  25. So proud of you for making this big change!! I too am in the process of emigrating. I've done the leaving of home part and am just waiting for the arriving at my new home. :-) It is scary and sad and exciting and wonderful all at once. And it's exhausting. :-) I miss having my own place, my own bed, my own car, my own spot where I can be just me and no one can come in unless I say so. :-) But I will have that again one day. xo

  26. This is such a huge, life-changing decision! I can totally understand your point, and it´s so wonderful that you´re both going back home to help your parents!
    And I totally relate to all the things you´re missing! I wish you all the best, and a lot of courage for organizing your moving!

    xx Ivana
    Style in the City

  27. Aww~ So Poetic! It must be sad leaving place that you like but exciting at the same time for a change! it's going to be Great!)


  28. As I read your post I think the problems you mention are mainly related to living in a small southern city like Seville. Barcelona is no way like that. We have (and have had for more than ten years) cinemas where you can see films in original version, a lot of book stores with foreign books and foreign newspapers and magazines and we barely celebrate Easter (Easter it's mainly a South thing)and all kind of nice, enticing coffee and tea shops, bars and restaurants. Have you visited big cities like Barcelona or Madrid? I am not at all identified with your vision. I don't see the life of a Spanish big city.

  29. Some things which we have to leave are for genuine reason like old gold by which you can turns jewellery for cash with very good price.


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