• Spain's news in English
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Sienna Brown launched Las Morenas de España after making the move from NYC. Photo: Jenny Peñas

Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life

The Local · 27 Sep 2016, 13:17

Published: 27 Sep 2016 13:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Three years ago, I quit my well-paying job in the heart of New York City and decided that I wanted to move to Spain. Leaving all of my family and friends behind, I did the research, took the necessary steps, secured a job and made the move to start teaching English. Now, when I made the decision, I knew that being a teacher wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I knew it would allow for me to live in a country I love. 

Since that time, I have started my own business, created a meaningful community of both expats and locals alike, grown to have an international following and most importantly, come to feel as if Spain is my home. Now, I’m not here to toot my own horn, but instead to share my story so others can understand that what it is you dream of, can be attainable.

So often, people reject the idea of moving abroad because they feel it will hinder them professionally. They truly believe that if they leave the US, meaningful opportunities won’t be available to them. In the age of entrepreneurship and with common terminology like, "digital nomad,"now more than ever, it’s possible to work from anywhere in the world... you just need to have the desire and work ethic to make it happen.

Moving from the "greatest place on earth" to a city in the south of Spain, might have just been the best professional move I could have made. Here’s why making that big move can set you up for success.

You Have To Think Outside Of The Box

Getting up and moving to a completely different country forces you to think outside of the box. When you’re an expat or frequent traveler, you will quickly learn how to adapt to new situations and think of creative ways to go after what you want.

Whether it’s learning a new language, starting your own business or simply figuring out what to use to substitute your favorite products from back home... the skills you’ll gain will set you up to grow both personally and professionally. 

If you’re a certified yoga instructor, start by giving afternoon classes until you create enough buzz to do it full-time. If you’re an amazing photographer, use your skills to collaborate with local models or businesses until you have a large enough portfolio to pitch to CN Traveler or Travel and Leisure. You get my drift, but being creative and patient is key when figuring out how to go after what you want in the workforce while abroad.

You Can Connect And Learn From An International Community 

Living in a different country, especially if you go alone will open up doors and put you in front of many different types of people from all over the world. Your network will expand tenfold and you’ll be inspired to surround yourself with like-minded people from across the globe.

Since living in Spain and launching Las Morenas de España, I’ve met an amazing array of long-term expats who have worked hard to create a life they truly love and do meaningful work along the way. There are so many change makers and influencers that have knowledge to share, so connect, reach out and learn from others. THRIVE, an innovative conference in Madrid is the perfect example of putting yourself in a situation where you can connect with and learn from others, realizing the importance of creating a meaningful life, no matter where you’re located.

You Have Time To Invest In What You’re Actually Passionate About

Let’s be honest with ourselves… work/life balance in the US is not sustainable.Comparing habits and work structure in America with some countries in Europe, it’s hard to imagine why some would choose a life feeling overworked and under-appreciated.

Story continues below…

When living abroad, odds are, you will have much more free time for yourself and how you choose to spend that time is up to you. For some, that means exploring new parts of the world through travel and for others, that time can be invested into honing in on things that you’re passionate about and finding the ways to make it your profession. You’ll be able to devote the necessary time and effort to the things you’ve always wanted to.

ADDED BONUS: Cost Of Living

In many foreign countries, the cost of living can be cheaper than what we’re used to in the US which can allow us to save, invest, live comfortably while pursuing your dreams and advancing both personally and professionally. I’ll be honest, the quality of life that I’ve been able to attain since living in Spain has allowed me to sustainably grow a business I care about in a way I wouldn’t be able to back in the states. 

If you want to find out more about professional growth and development while living abroad, find out more at THRIVE on November 5th in Madrid, Spain.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available