Just like that…1 year went by! It has officially been over a year since we moved to beautiful and sunny Malaga. We left Canada with expectations of this life we were about to create, about our weekends traveling Europe and looked forward to not having snow between December and April.

And wow it was everything and more! Moving abroad has taught us many things from being patient and not rushing… to living life to the fullest and with no regrets.

READ MORE: HOW WE MOVED ABROAD! OUR FULL STORY

READ MORE: LIFE ABROAD…6 MONTHS UPDATE

Couple smiling at camera
This was 2nd or 3rd day in Malaga! We decided to walk to the beach

Before moving abroad we considered canceling everything and not moving. It was a scary decision. Not everyone wants to leave everything behind, quit a well-paying job and jump into the unknown. But we did… we knew we would regret it if we said no to this opportunity. 

What can be the worst thing to happen? We don’t like it? Then we just buy a ticket and move back. That’s is something we kept saying to each other.

This past year, we have learned so much. We learned that:

  • LIFE IS MORE THAN A 9-5

Before moving abroad our life consisted on:

~Working 5 days a week.

~Waking up early

~Jumping in the car and driving to work.

~Working 9 hrs and sometimes 12 hrs.

~Getting home late and exhausted from the day with no energy left to do anything.

You might be saying…well that’s what my life and many people’s lives look like. But here’s the thing, we didn’t enjoy that lifestyle. After moving, yes! We still have jobs. But we get to live in a country where life is enjoyed. Where we are living life the way we want to live it. Where you get many more holidays and people’s lives don’t revolve around work.

Some of you might disagree but we believe life in Canada is more about living to work. In Spain, life is about working to live. And many people should learn from that!

Don’t get me wrong, life in Canada is amazing. It’s a beautiful country, where you have a great quality of life and have great healthcare. But we didn’t want to stay in Canada just because of that. There’s so much more out there to see and experience.

    Girl walking castle in Malaga   Girl sitting in front the bridge in Ronda, Spain. Puente Nuevo

Like I said before, we still get to work but we also get to fully enjoy life. We get to go to the marina at lunchtime for a walk and by the end of the day, we are not exhausted and get to go out and do something fun. 

  • THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE

This past year we got to travel more than ever. Visited places that it would have taken us years and years to see because of only having 2 weeks off a year.

We got to visit the incredible rock formations and the sunny south coast of Portugal, the Algarve.

READ MORE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR YOUR ALGARVE TRIP.

We got to have a typical Parisian breakfast by the Louvre museum on a weekend away. And got to sit at Champ de Mars and enjoy a glass of wine while the Eiffel Tower was beautifully light up.

Couple standing in front of rock formations    Girl sitting across Eiffel Tower

We also got the opportunity to walk through the white villages of Southern Spain and to further explore Andalusia.

READ MORE: 5 MUST DO ROAD TRIPS FROM MALAGA

We also took in the stunning views of the Bay of Kotor and enjoyed its sunset with a glass of wine. Collin had the best fish he’s ever had. Oh and we visited towns such as Perast.

Girl sitting on hedge in Perast, Montenegro    Girl standing looking at the Adriatic Sea

We also got the opportunity to walk the walls of Dubrovnik and to kayak in the Adriatic sea while taking in the sunset.

I know..all of this in about 9 months! Before moving one of the things we looked forward to the most was traveling. I got the travel bug back in 2016 after our trip to Italy. After our Italy trip, all I wanted was to see more of Europe.

READ MORE: KOTOR, MONTENEGRO. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

READ MORE: TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

  • SPANISH CULTURE IS AMAZING. 

Visiting a country for a week or two doesn’t allow you to truly immerse in the culture. You don’t really get to see how people live, the ups and downs. Since living in Spain we have gotten to see how people live their lives. We have been able to be a part of festivities, holidays and celebrations. 

Spaniards are always ready to celebrate something. Every holiday is celebrated to the max and it’s incredibly fun to live it with them.

Not just holidays, we also get to enjoy their food and to speak their language. If you have followed us for a while you know I spoke Spanish before moving. Collin knew some Spanish but now is fully fluent.

  • TAKE TIME AND RELAX

The North American lifestyle is GO, GO, GO. Moving to Spain teaches you to relax. It teaches you that there is nothing to rush for. People will be late for appointments, at restaurants, you will wait longer for the bill and things might not happen when you were expecting them to happen.

But you know what? You get used to it. You learn to embrace it and laugh it off.

A couple sitting at the port in Malaga having a glass of wine
On weekends we walk to the marina and enjoy a drink
  • THERE’S ALWAYS TIME FOR:

There’s always time to stop for an afternoon beer, for a coffee and really whatever you want. Spaniards are in no rush and I love it. It was tough getting used to it but once you are used to it life is great lol. 

  • LESS IS MORE

Before moving to Spain we had a house. We decided to rent it while abroad. With that came the fact that we had to take care of all our furniture and personal items. While emptying our house we realized we had way too many things. Stuff we haven’t used in years and things we knew we no longer needed.

View of Malaga from AC hotel
View from the AC hotel

We learned that we only really needed what would fit in 2 check-in suitcases and 2 carry-ons. That’s all, we didn’t need all that extra stuff. Every time we want to purchase something we consider it many times and go back and forth to then realize we don’t need it.

We now keep only the things we use constantly and are mindful of whatever we purchase.

  • ADAPT TO CHANGES

Life abroad is fun and exciting but it also is stressful and scary. You are going into the unknown, you ask yourself “Will I really like it there?” or “Am I making the right decision?”. 

On Sundays we like to relax or take bikes to the fishing village!

Many changes come your way, you need to adapt to a new way of life. You adapt to not finding everything you want at a grocery store. To everything being closed on Sundays and many other things.

When talking to family and friends they are surprised about some things we say about the way life in Spain is. 

They can’t believe we had to wait 4 hours to open a bank account. They also can’t believe that on Saturdays we have to plan what were eating on Sunday because the grocery stores are going to be closed.

All I have to say is, we decided to move abroad, when we said yes to living abroad we said yes to all of these changes. What did we have to do? We just needed to adapt!

We had to adapt to the people, to another language, to a different culture and to another way of life. 

After being away for a year and living in Spain we get to say that it’s all worth it. That change is good. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary but exciting at the same time.

A year ago we bought a one-way ticket, hopped on a plane and decided to live abroad! It has been a life-changing and incredible adventure that we would do all over again. We currently don’t know how much longer we will live abroad, we don’t know if it’s a place we want to call home forever or only a few more years. We are taking it one day at a time! At this moment we are fully enjoying this crazy adventure we decided to begin 12 months ago.

A year ago I also started this blog and Life on a Coast. Thank you everyone who has supported it and shared it. Through this blog, I have met incredible people from all over the world. I am incredibly happy and grateful for that.   

If you have never lived abroad I encourage you to do it! You will see a different side of the world. You will learn and grow so much. 

Couple with the Adriatic Sea behind them
One of our adventures! We walked the Walls of Dubrovnik

 

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