This is the first time I’ve written a blog post in Europe. Actually, this is my first trip to Europe! My daughter and I are in Barcelona, Spain. Her reaction as our plane was descending over the city has summed up our experience the last couple of weeks here: “it’s sooooo beautiful!”
She was right, the way the city looks from above is beautiful, and the architecture and people of Barcelona are no different. People are polite and relaxed, the bus drivers say good morning to everyone, and the fresh bread, donuts, and coffee on every corner keeps us happy.
Enjoying our time so much here has got me asking myself, since I’m a single parent who has done quite a bit of traveling with my daughter, “should I move to Spain?”
Should I Move to Spain as a Single Parent?
I never thought I would be asking myself that question before. Actually, I never really envisioned even coming to Europe. But we’re here now, and we kinda love it. Is it a perfect location? No, it has its flaws, but the upside might be worth it.
So, what would possess a single parent who’s lived on 3 continents (now 4) with his 5-year-old daughter to settle down in Spain?
Let’s take a close look at the pros and the cons that I see.
The Downside to Living in Spain
Firstly, the taxes are quite high. I’m a writer, so I would move to Spain under the autonomo visa, which is perfect for freelancers. But, the taxes on income here are a flat 20%. Plus, you’re required to pay into their social security which can take up to another 10% of your income.
Living in Spain means giving them most of your money.
Next, my Spanish sucks.
I thought it was good a few years ago when I was Costa Rica, but it’s quite awful now! I guess I have a lot to relearn, and my daughter is getting her first full go at it as well.
Lastly, none of our family lives in Spain. When we’re in Asia, Auburn can visit her grandparents and Chinese family members. When we’re in the United States, we can visit my parents, siblings, and new niece.
In Spain, it’s just us.
Reasons not to move to Spain as a single parent:
- High taxes
- Language Barrier
- Isolation from family
Positive Reasons to Move to Spain as a Single Parent
The culture, climate, architecture, Mediterranean Sea, food, transportation, and healthcare systems are just a few reasons it might be a good idea to settle in Spain as a single parent with young children.
For starters, if we spent the next three years here, Auburn would spend her primary school perfecting Spanish. She would also have access to the Spanish healthcare system since I would be paying in the social security. We can swim in the sea and I can teach her to surf here.
Most importantly, Barcelona feels safe to me. My daughter is my first priority and when I take her outside in Barcelona, I never feel a sense of danger. It’s an inviting city that seems like a wonderful place to raise children.
Reasons to move to Spain with children:
- Beautiful climate
- Pleasant culture
- Good food
- Nice location
- Good healthcare
- Solid education