Felices Viajes

Last June, I spilled the beans about our move to North Carolina and Bart’s acceptance to Duke’s MBA program.

I hadn’t hinted at all about it on my blog, despite the fact we’d spent more than a year talking seriously about an MBA (and the previous six tossing around the idea more casually).

But now, we have another move coming up that I haven’t been keeping secret for months and months and months, because we didn’t know about it months ago.

In fact, things were only finalized on Friday.

A few weeks ago, Bart came out of his office and said, “I couldn’t help myself. I put in an application to do an international exchange semester in the fall.”

And then, a week or so later, Bart was notified that he had a slot if he wanted it and we had our pick of about 15 different MBA programs all over the world.

After poring over the list and weighing all the pros and cons of each place, we finally decided on. . . .

Barcelona, Spain.

We’ll be there for four months this fall, September through December, while Bart attends IESE.

Ella is begging to learn Spanish with Bart (she’s kind of obsessed with the idea of other languages), and I’m already scheming how many side-trips we can take while we’re in Europe. Ani has absolutely no clue.

(All of this also means we are trying to rent out our house not only for the summer but also the fall. So if you’re looking for a temporary home in Durham. . . . ).

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  • Reply Stephanie April 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    HOORAY! How exciting!

  • Reply april April 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    WOW, exciting! I don't think I'd ever have the cajones to do that. Good luck to you guys – I can't wait to see those updates!

  • Reply Jenna Hatfield April 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    That's SUPER awesome! Looking forward to following you there via your blog!

  • Reply Lena April 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    wow, that is soooo cool! Barcelona is great and really close to Germany (well, closer that North Carolina :)) If you want to take a side-trip to Germany, I'd love to give you tipps 🙂

  • Reply Kelly J. April 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I'm super excited for you guys! WHAT fun!

  • Reply Laura April 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    How wonderful! Barcelona is beautiful with to a to do! What a great adventure for you all.

  • Reply Laura April 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Ella may be disappointed, though — Barcelona speaks a different dialect than the rest of the Spanish-speaking world. Cousins, but hard to read even if you speak "regular" Spanish.

    • Reply Laura April 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Huh. Since I was thinking about it, I looked it up and learned that Catalan (spoken in Barcelona) isn't even considered a dialect of Spanish (Castillian), it is it's own separate Romance language. Who knew?!

    • Reply Señora H-B April 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      They actually speak both there – Catalan and Spanish – so it will be a double adventure for all of you!

  • Reply Betsy April 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, you guys only make BIG changes! Congratulations, this is incredibly exciting!!

  • Reply Meghan Splawn April 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Wow! So exciting – I can't wait to read all about your adventures!

  • Reply Jessica April 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Wow, congratulations!! My sister is a missionary in Spain and currently living in Barcelona! I'm not sure for how long – her final post is in the Canary Islands and she's in language training right now.

  • Reply Sherry April 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Well that's exciting! I'm a little sad that the Spanish you learn will be with a terrible accent, though.

  • Reply smalldog April 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This is amazing! Congratulations and what a spectacular choice! Now, can we persuade your adventurous clan to take a weekend jaunt up to London?

  • Reply Rachel April 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Wow, that is fantastic! How exciting for all of you. And I can't wait to see posts about your European adventures!!!

  • Reply Katie April 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Wow! That sounds like so much fun! I have never lived outside of the county I was born in. Every once in awhile I think it would be fun to move somewhere completely new, but it's not on the horizon for us.

  • Reply Andrea Smith April 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Wow!! So exciting and I thought you'd never leave Round Rock!! I can't wait to see all your posts!

  • Reply RA April 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    SO EXCITING! Awesome, awesome.

  • Reply Jenae April 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    LOVE IT! I am so excited for you guys! Living abroad is on my list of things to do. Now that Seth's at BYU it's a real possibility… once he gets tenure taken care of! 🙂 I can't wait to keep up on your adventures.

  • Reply Rachel at Maybe Matilda April 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, that is incredible! What a cool opportunity! We briefly toyed with the idea of going to Australia for a few years after chiropractic school (I've forgotten the details, of course) but I wimped out because it would have been a few years, not months. I've always wondered what that would have been like. I'm excited to see all your adventures 🙂

  • Reply kaley April 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    How exciting – and such a great experience for your family! Barcelona is my favorite city in the world (besides San Francisco of course!)

  • Reply Señora H-B April 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I'm SO excited for you guys! I love Spain with all of my heart. I can't wait to read about your adventures there. Churros con chocolate, paella, seafood like you've never had before, oh. my. gosh. And there is so much to see and do in Spain alone! I am giddy for you!!

  • Reply Mimsie April 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Like all other commenters, I am thrilled for you and your family. What an adventure ahead of you!

  • Reply Chelsea April 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This is incredible!! What an amazing opportunity!

  • Reply Stevie Storck April 14, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    How exciting!!! My husband and I are newlyweds and we are dreaming of buying a house, going back to school, starting a family and traveling abroad but aren't sure how and when we can make all of those things happen. It's so inspiring to see you and your little family doing it all! What a great experience it will be for all of you! I can't wait to read about your adventures in Spain!

  • Reply Melanie April 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I'm so excited for you! You have to promise to blog the heck out of those four months so that we can all live vicariously through you!

  • Reply Paige Flamm April 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    This is so awesome! Congrats to you guys! You're going to have the time of your life. Although I am sad this means your time in NC is even shorter now!

  • Reply Nicole Murray April 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    What a fantastic adventure! Congratulations!

    If you ever need a "Whirlwind Weekend" for Bratislava, or possibly for Prague, I bet Nate could give you some tips.

  • Reply Elaine April 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    What exciting news! We had two days in Barcelona en route to our Mediterranean cruise last May. It was a wonderful city. Catalan actually has a lot of French influence. One side trip we took was to Montseurat, about an hour from the city. Fabulous mountains. We also visited Sagrada Familia, a cathedral that was started in 1872 but only consecrated in 2012 and still very much under construction. Gaudi's work is fantastic. I wish we'd had time to see Park Guell. I have a feeling Ella will love its whimsy. Do you know yet where you will be this summer?

  • Reply Feisty Harriet April 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Oooooh!! So awesome!! My sister and bro-in-law went to the Czech Republic for an internship, and they loved so many things about it! (My niece was 2 months old when they left, and their super tight budget meant they actually ended up renting an apartment with no bathroom in it (!?!?) and sponge carpet instead of any type of sanity floor. I would definitely not recommend that type of budget….eeeww!)


  • Reply Kristi April 14, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    What an amazing opportunity! Blaine served his mission in Spain, we will be dying of jealousy over here!

  • Reply Stefanie Hathaway April 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Wow, thats huge! You'll love it, I'm sure!

  • Reply S April 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Soooooo excited for you! I hope you can do a lot of side trips! In 2013 we spent 10 months in Munich, Germany and took a lot of side trips (short ones and long ones) all over Europe. It's definitely different doing Europe with a kid (our baby was 6 months – 15 months while we were there) but it's also very doable. Not that you want / need any advice, but I'm glad to share! And don't worry too much about learning Spanish – of course any vocab you can pick up will go a long way with the locals, but almost everyone in every major European city speaks enough English that you can get by without speaking the local language. (But then again, you probably already knew this – didn't you do study abroad in Europe before?)

  • Reply Meg {Boo Boos & Briefcases} April 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    How amazing that will be! Congratulations! Can't wait to follow along with your adventures on your blog!

  • Reply Allison April 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    yay!!!!!!!!! SO excited for you!

  • Reply Lauren April 15, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Congrats! I can't wait to read about it. 🙂

  • Reply Jodi April 15, 2014 at 3:21 am

    oh WOW! How exciting! That's something I really would like to do. I mean, I know we were in China for 3 months so we kind of have, but I guess I would like to try something for a little longer. What I want to know is what other places did you get to pick from? And when can I come visit!? Ha!

  • Reply Elisabeth @ Bella April 15, 2014 at 3:56 am

    so so so so exciting!

  • Reply Tamsen April 15, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Wow! So exciting. Looking forward to reading your posts from Spain.

  • Reply Vanessa April 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

    ¡Enhorabuena! Barcelona is the only city I've been to in Spain, so of course I can confidently proclaim that it's the best city in Spain (ha). I'm so excited to read about your travels!

  • Reply Becca April 15, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Woo hoo!! Fabulous news! Can't wait to hear all about all your adventures!

  • Reply Lindsay April 15, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Wow! Congrats! That sounds like quite the adventure!

  • Reply megan April 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Awesome, guys!

  • Reply runtspickins April 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Whoa congrats! And good luck with renting your house!

    (If responding, please email or comment a blog post of mine.)

  • Reply Alysa Stewart April 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, what an adventure! (and bonus points for the proper spelling of "poring"!)

  • Reply Stephanie Lee April 16, 2014 at 3:47 am

    WOW!!!! Such AWESOME news! I'm so excited for your overseas adventure. And your girls will be at such fun ages for it!

  • Reply Emmaco April 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    What a great opportunity! Just wanted to comment that when we were in Spain a few years ago now we found the high speed trains amazing to get around the country and indeed Europe. Some great deals can be found if you book through national networks e.g. sometimes family weekend tickets are really cheap etc. Generally booking ahead is a good idea to save $. I found Man in Seat 61 ( super useful in Europe.

  • Reply Heather April 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    WOW! What fantastic news! Every time I hear of one of my friends having the chance to live abroad while their littles are young, it makes my heart sing. I know you'll have a phenomenal time, and I'll get the privilege of living vicariously through your blog and instagram posts! Good luck finding a renter.

  • Reply Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy April 17, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Spain! How exciting. Can't WAIT to see pics and hear all about it!

  • Reply ellen April 17, 2014 at 2:39 am


  • Reply Laura April 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Wow that is so exciting! What an amazing adventure for your family! Spain is one place I've always wanted to go… I've heard it's just beautiful. I am dyyying to see all of your upcoming photos! Congrats!

  • Reply Ashley April 18, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Ohhhh my goodness!!!!!! How amazing!!! Wow. We need to talk!

    PS…I'm catching up on your blog posts this week…That skirt, yes! That popcorn, yessss!!!

  • Reply preethi April 18, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Whattt??? This is the greatest! So exciting! And now I want to visit.

  • Reply Katie April 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    What a fun adventure! We lived for a summer in Italy for my husband's internship and it was the hardest and greatest experience of our lives! (But we didn't have two kiddos!)
    Best wishes!

  • Reply Camille Millecam Whiting April 22, 2014 at 6:10 am

    So amazing! And my best friend from HS is there with her husband and children working for the state dept. Please look up the Claytons, or you'll likely run into them at church 🙂

  • Reply Laura Fernández May 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Hi! I read tour blog from time to time from Spain. Great to ear such good opinions of my country. In fact it is an amazing place to live. Barcelona is a great city. I you need help let me know!

  • Reply Meghan June 2, 2014 at 3:59 am

    How fantastic! You guys will love it over there.

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