Living Abroad (And Pets)

On my previous blog post I talked about autumn and the approaching winter, and it got me thinking about something I never quite grasped. The idea of migrating to the Mediterranean countries for the winter.

When I was younger, up until few years ago, I really didn’t understand when older Nordic people would move from their countries to Spain, France, and other Mediterranean countries for the winter. I used to love winter, snow, cold air, and especially the time when you can already smell the spring in the air and when the days are slowly getting longer and longer.

Maybe the change started when we lived in Spain some years ago and experienced the difference what sunlight means during the winter. Because that is what we lack in Finland for the whole winter season – there are parts of Finland that have the Polar Night, a time when sun doesn’t rise at all above the horizon. During that time even Southern Finland has sunrise around 9.20 and sunset at 15.00 (3pm).

“Easy For You With No Kids!”

So this year we decided to join the elderly people and flee the winter to our second home in Spain, and whilst some of you might think it was easy because we don’t have any kids… It actually isn’t. So kudos to you, who have kids and do this kind of a logistical master move.

First we had to make sure that my dad manages the house during the time when we are absent. And that might be the most major hurdle as my dad is one of those “of course I can manage, it’s like a walk in the park” -kind of people, even though he is 75. But luckily, lately he has been more accepting to the fact that he needs help. It is especially important when it is all snowy and cold outside.

But yes, we don’t have children which makes it just so much easier. We don’t have to find schools or day care for them, and don’t have to inform their current schools that they will be absent for most of the winter season.

But instead, we have two doggos, one of whom really isn’t into travelling at all, not even a short car drive. And they need their vaccinations and their travel kennel, and everything that comes with it. Ever thought how much work it is to open a cable tie at the airport without proper scissors? If you have a good idea on how to do it, please leave a comment as I need this!

And because of the doggos, we really don’t want to move for a few weeks. They get stressed as much as we do with the travel, so it is better to make it worthwhile for them as well. Give them time to get used to new environment and new scents and everything!

But Your Home?

We are lucky in the sense that we have a holiday home in sunny Spain, so we don’t have to do a trial run to find a short term rental. But if you are considering going to Spain, or elsewhere, go there for a week and, after arrival, arrange as many viewings as possible. If the place is short term let, they might be in a bad condition or there might be anything else you don’t want for the price you don’t want to pay.

We don’t live near the sea, but we have a gorgeous view of the mountains, and all the necessary amenities are just nearby. And like I mentioned, there is the sunlight and place to take the doggos for their walkies. Connections to bigger cities and airport is a great bonus!

Also, we are lucky as our home in Finland will be occupied by my dad for the time we are absent.

So, All Set?

Like one of my idols, Ms. Edina Monsoon said, tickets, money, passport! We might be ready, but as we had to be ready well in advance, we still have to wait. Wait and hope COVID doesn’t make an unwanted comeback this winter and mess up our plans, again.

If you need any advise on how to relocate to another country, feel free to leave a comment and I can try to assist.

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