Settling down is a marathon, and it does not happen overnight! I would say there are are two stages of “settling down” for us.
The first stage is when we arrived in Barcelona, “let’s get it done” mode, things you have prepared earlier is for now: applying legal status, registering for Spanish healthcare, knowing the neighborhoods, finding an apartment, settling kids to school, waiting for our belongings to arrive from Taiwan, adapt to the new city, and finding the family routine!
The second stage is building a network, “take your time, go with the flow” attitude. Open a social circle, learning the culture and language. Barcelona is a multicultural city and it takes time to experience it.
It is a milestone to reach this point, take a deep breath, and beat jet lag.
Walk around the city and be touristy!
It feels exciting to arrive in a new place, so many interesting things around. However, don’t get carried away , remember to stay focus after well-rested.
Settle down with children
Kids hate changes in general, but they usually adapt better than adults. We tried to tell our children where we are and why we are here
My 2.5 year-older daughter Luana expressed a few times to me in the first week: “go home!!”. My guess is She was feeling a sense of losing something, such as her toys and grandparents. We told her that this is our new home and we are all together! A new school, new friends, a new park, it is an adventure. Both children seem to unsettle and anxious the first few weeks, they cried more than usual.
Create activities to lighten the mood or take them to the park. engage them with a simple activity like grocery shopping, let them choose the food they like, things that generate their interests.
We also visited nursery school on our first day, to meet with the teachers and making sure it’s a safe environment. First school day was set one week after the visit to ensure the jet lag is well-adjusted.
It is always possible the plan does not go your way! Stay positive when things don’t go according to plan.
The first week after kids enter school (of course, the early couple days are always tricky😂), both Luana and Maya caught the flu and were taking turns having a high fever. It was both physically and emotionally challenging.
My husband found out that it takes weeks to get registered in the town hall and to receive a Spanish ID. At that moment, we didn’t have “few weeks” to wait. Without an ID, no bank account, no mobile/cable provider, no long-term apartment rental, literally everything.
We had a hard time finding a suitable long-term apartment. It was over our budget, doesn’t accept pet or required job proof, etc.
We are grateful that everything was fine in the end. There is always a solution, try talk with people, friends, or immigrations attorneys. . Daniel found out that there are three daily walk in quota for ID application to receive on the same day by talking to the security guard. (How lucky!!)
Reconnect with the local family and friends
Building a supportive network. Friends and family are always an excellent source to start. My husband’s grandparent was originally from Barcelona and moved to Brazil during the civil war. We are fortunate to have cousins and family members to receive us in Barcelona.
Social media is always a great way to reconnect with friends!
After moving abroad, keeping in touch with oversea family is also critical. The Challenge Of Staying Connected With Oversea Family
The golden rule here is to be more proactive, reach out to others instead of expecting someone to come to you.
Setting Family goals
Goal setting can help the family to stay align and focus.
We want to do what we always love as a multicultural family. Our two main goals are 1. save up to travel 2. develop our lifestyle and values.
We are grateful that almost everything we have prepared for this international moving has landed smoothly.
nanani.world is about the second stage of moving to Barcelona, how we explore the world as a multicultural family and embrace multiculturalism.
Welcome to our adventure!