First Things First, Visas

Getting Legal – The Non-Lucrative Residency Visa

  A few posts ago, we explored getting a long term student visa via a language school. If you don’t need to learn Spanish, there is another straightforward  residency visa you can apply for in Spain: The Non-Lucrative Residency Visa. This is an option you may not have considered yet, especially if you aren’t familiar […]

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First Things First, Visas

Getting Legal – The Student Visa

The second most common question I receive after the where should I live question is the “How Can I Stay Legally as an American?” question. There are several ways to get residency in Spain–either for the short or long term. I have a long overdue interview I need to publish on this from someone who […]

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First Things First

Where to live in Barcelona

 A run-down of Barcelona barrios (neighborhoods) One question I get a lot is “Where should I live in Barcelona?” to which my answer is: It depends. It depends on your lifestyle, what you are willing to pay, and which conveniences you need and the inconveniences you are willing to put up with. Do you want […]

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First Things First

Where to get a phone before you get to Spain?

As I recommend in my upon arriving to Barcelona post, the very first thing to do is get a Spanish phone number! The easiest and fastest way is to buy a cheap, pre-paid phone when you get there, but what if you are the kind of person that wants everything taken care of before arrival? […]

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First Things First

Five things you must do upon arriving in Barcelona

 First things first Assuming that you have arrived and settled into your short term accommodations, your first or second full day in your new home Barcelona should look something like this. 1. Get a pay-as-you-go Spanish mobile phone.  This is absolutely your number one priority. Don’t worry, it’s easy and it’s cheap. You don’t have to […]

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Daily Life

Where they will be good to me

Posted on 09 December 2016

In my early years of living here, the smallest acceptance or kindness would mean so much. Before I arrived, I took certain (OK many) things for granted. After arriving, and even still today, it’s quite simple to make me happy: Good customer service (so rare…), a helpful bank teller, a compliment from a stranger (wait, […] Continue Reading

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Daily Life

A late August day

Posted on 23 September 2016

1 PM on a late August day. Walking through the old part of the city on a hot and still day. You can feel it will rain soon, the air has that quiet weight to it and you can smell the rain. It’s hot, but the sun is no longer beating down, the sky has […] Continue Reading

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Daily Life

Evening stroll

Posted on 11 June 2016

  I frequently take a twilight stroll through my neighborhood in summer. This twilight hour is between 8:30 and 9:30PM, and it’s when everyone comes out. Last night was a typical walk and it went like this: I go down my street toward the Arc de Triomf monument. There are people on benches under the […] Continue Reading

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Daily Life

The Repatriating Question

Posted on 21 November 2015

“So when are you coming home?” As an expat, this is a question you will hear a lot. Out of all the expats I know, there is just a small handful who actually have an answer to this question. And for most of that very small group the answer is “never”. Everyone else just doesn’t […] Continue Reading

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Spanish Celebrations

Festa Major de Gracia

Posted on 17 August 2015

  It’s that time of year again. Time to wander through the throngs of people gathering in the neighborhood of Gràcia to check out the street decoration contest, dance to some live music, eat street food, buy drink after drink, follow the correfoc parades, and lose your friends as you stumble through the crowds until […] Continue Reading

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Daily Life

Where is the Volume Control Knob?

Posted on 22 July 2015

  …because I would like to notch it down, just a tad. Let me explain. Shouting is literally (and I don’t use that word as a misuse of the word figuratively. I mean Literally with a capital L) considered a normal speaking volume here. The other day I was in a shop selling specialty products […] Continue Reading

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Healthcare

Dental work in Spain – Do I dare?

Posted on 11 June 2015

  I need to get some chipped teeth fixed. I ask for recommendations and receive a few. I make an appointment with one that seems good. The receptionist looks like she brushes her teeth with tobacco. The dentist is about 30 and has a rotten front tooth. This is someone who is supposed to make […] Continue Reading

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Daily Life

Caught in a summer storm

Posted on 09 June 2015

  This time last year I got caught in a sudden summer storm. I left my office and was just reaching for a Bicing (shared city bike) around 9:00PM when the fat drops started to fall hard and fast. Within 30 seconds, the ground was completely wet as I made a run for shelter below […] Continue Reading

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