A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas & the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & regularly. The fact that we will rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
I swear every other post I share has a mention of the amazing community that is Team Kaptain Kenny Travel. I’m not embarrassed about it at all, as it’s connected me to some incredible people and given me the opportunity to follow along on on their adventures, and nothing is more true when it comes to Alannah of Life on a Coast! Moving across the country is never easy, but what about across the World?! Leave that to Canadians Alannah and her husband who moved to Spain over a year ago and have been using Malaga as their base to Jetset around Europe. Find out what made them take the plunge and take that huge step moving across the World and what makes their life in Spain so exciting. Excited to share more below about May’s WanderWoman!
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
Hi! My name is Alannah I am a Canadian living in Southern Spain. I love to travel, explore and learn about new cultures. I also enjoy family time and working on my blog (lifeonacoast.com)
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I think one thing people might be surprised about is that I actually grew up in Venezuela. I was born in Canada but moved to Venezuela when I was young. My mom is Canadian and my dad Venezuelan. I moved back to Canada when I was 19 yrs old.
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
Growing up I didn’t get to travel that much but I knew it was something I would do as soon as I got the chance. My first trip to Europe was not too long ago actually, we went to Italy (2016). It was my husband and I’s first trip together. We had such an amazing and incredible experience. Since then, we have travelled much more and every time we get time off we hop on a flight to go somewhere in the world.
Now that we live in Europe we are always on the hunt for cheap flight deals around Europe. Always searching for the new country or city to go to. We are definitely taking full advantage of it.
What prompted the move from Canada to Spain and how has it been adjusting to life in Spain?
In January of 2018, a move to Spain was not in our plans. It wasn’t even something we were thinking about, we can say it came out of nowhere. We had just bought a house, we were slowly getting settled and had talked about starting a family.
The reason we moved to Spain? Because of a job opportunity my husband had. Actually it's pretty funny, my husband sent me a screenshot of this job posting he saw online. The offer was to move to Southern Spain to work as a software developer (which is what my husband does). I received the screenshot, laughed and said “apply, let's see where it goes. It would be fun”.
He did apply, after many interviews and Skype calls with the company he got offered the position. To be honest, we couldn’t believe it. He was told he got the job in June and 3 months later we were living in beautiful and sunny Malaga, Spain.
In those 3 months we: sold most of our things, rented our house, quit our jobs, went to Spain for 2 weeks (we had that trip already planned), got married and then... bought a one way ticket! Crazy right? But totally worth it.
Just shy of the 1 year mark from moving to Spain, what advice would you have to those looking into doing the same?
If moving abroad is something you have always wanted to do GO FOR IT!!! Do your research on housing, job opportunities, quality of life etc.
Before you move be realistic, know that you will have ups and downs and that it won’t always be easy but trust me it will be worth it. Definitely recommend having a game plan and make sure you are moving because of the right reasons.
My husband and I had different reasons for saying “YES” to moving abroad. We wanted to enjoy life a little bit more, we knew having a 9-5 job and only getting two weeks a year to travel wasn't what we wanted at the time in our lives. We wanted an adventure before having kids.
Another big aspect for us was: we don’t want to live with regrets. We knew saying no to this opportunity would be something we would regret later in life.
What is your travel style?
I am a planner, I like to have an idea of what the trip will be like. I like to know what I am doing and I do lots of research before visiting a new place. I am also the traveler that stays at Airbnbs, I love having everything I need (kitchen) and can’t beat the prices.
I am always in for an adventure either renting a vespa and exploring Tuscany to trying a new exotic dish in Spain. I’m not a solo traveler, I always travel with my husband but would love to go on a solo trip one day.
Top 3 bucket list places you’d love to visit?
What do you miss most about life in Canada?
I would say the most obvious which is family and friends. We are lucky that we get lots of visitors in Spain which makes it easier.
To be honest there's not a lot of things we miss. We miss the little things like: the efficiency when getting things done (grocery shopping, opening bank accounts, renting a place or even not being able to get things done online).
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
Don’t overpack!! Honestly that has always been a problem. I can now say I’ve been getting better over the years but it is something that took time. This year I am going to try to only bring a carry on. We will see how that goes lol.
Another thing would be...don’t plan too much or expect to see everything. It is nice to have room to just enjoy walking around without having to many things to do back to back.
Best & worst travel moment?
Best travel moment would have to be hands down when we rented a vespa in Tuscany. This was a total highlight. We decided we wanted to explore others cities or smaller towns while visiting Tuscany, so we thought a great way would be by renting a vespa. We had Cortona as our home base and took the vespa to Montepulciano and Pienza.
We drove through vineyards and stunning landscapes, it was more than we ever expected. It was a unique experience and definitely the best moment during one of our travels.
Worst travel moment would have to be when we arrived at the Ottawa airport ready to check in for our flight to Costa Rica. We were super excited, it was during our Christmas break. We had a 2 weeks trip to Costa Rica with the family.
When we walked up to the counter to check in, they told us one of our connecting flights was cancelled and no others flights would be leaving there for a couple of days. The airline wouldn’t cover any expenses or guarantee the flights later on. We ended up still checking in and thought we would go to Toronto and figure it out there. While waiting to board our flight, I decided to call the airline to start figuring out about our connecting flights. They were super rude and had no interest in helping.
After being on hold several times and many tears laters we ended up having to cancel all our flights and purchasing new ones. We had to drive back home and go to the airport the next day for our flight. It was a horrible way to start our trip but at the end made the best of it and had an incredible time in Costa Rica.
What’s next for you/the blog?
I am constantly working on my blog and I am loving it. I started my blog less than a year ago. I am improving and learning everyday more and more. I love to document our travels and life abroad.
But in general, my blog has lots of content coming. Many trips coming for the next 2 years which only means lots of fun content so stay tuned for that.
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
Go explore and see the world!! There’s so much out there to see, go off the beaten track and submerge yourself in different cultures and languages.
You only have one life so take full advantage of it. Move abroad if that’s what you want. Many people will say its a crazy idea but coming from someone who did it I can only say “you will not regret it”. Go for it!!
To continue following along with Alannah's adventures abroad be sure to click on her links below and give her a follow!
Youtube Life on a Coast