When the World is Your Oyster: Choosing a Location

We are planning an extended stay in the Andalusia region of Spain this Spring, and I keep finding myself so conflicted.  Should we stay in a city center, like Granada or Sevilla, or stay in a small village anywhere in the region?  The ability to easily use public transport or walk to anywhere we’d like to go are huge factors for us, as we are planning to do without a car, most if not all of the time.  We want to immerse ourselves in the food and culture of Andalusia, and see all of the amazing things the region has to offer, like the mountains, beaches, Moorish castles and ruins, orange and olive groves, and just everything that makes Southern Spain such an amazing place to visit, but we also want to be in a place that is comfortable, and homey, and most importantly, has stable internet access, since Scott will be working remotely while we are abroad.

I’m not sure what kind of experience we want our children to have: faster paced urban, or less anonymous small town life.  For that matter, I can’t decide what experience I would prefer!  The one thing I’m certain of is that I want to have a terrace with a view of something beautiful, whether that be the Alhambra in Granada, or a lovely plaza or garden in a village, or the mountains or sea doesn’t really matter to me.  I just want a place to sit and admire the landscape, and marvel that we have been presented with this amazing opportunity to live in a foreign land.  I wonder if our children will start to think of Andalucia as home?  I hope so, because one of the outcomes that I most desire to give them is that they will think of many parts of the world as home, and not just the United States.

When the world is your oyster, and the options are wide-open, it can be a daunting task to commit to a single place.  My wanderlust is high, and in the back of my mind this thought keeps flashing by like a LED banner sign “but you have so much time, you could see so many places if you just moved around.”  I have to keep reminding myself that this trip is about immersion, not about seeing as much of the world as we can in the time we have allotted.  It helps that I clearly remember how exhausted I was during our last family trip abroad.  It was an amazing experience, and we saw so much during that nearly 6 week, 9 country odyssey, but it was rather grueling at times, and being tied to hotel reservations and train schedules made it far less spontaneous than we prefer to be.  This trip is about living as a local, and having the time to actually figure out what that means in Andalusia.  We will certainly take a few road trips on the weekends, and venture afield from our home base, but the heart and soul of the trip is to just hang out in one place and live.

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