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Barry O'Leary

Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Bringing Up Bilingual Children Just Isn’t That Easy

Posted by: bazseville on Monday February 13, 2017 (23:53:24)   (9711 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

Bringing up two Spanish kids to be bilingual is immensely harder than I expected. Since arriving in Seville, back in 2005, I’ve spoken to many British expats about getting their kids to be completely bilingual and have come across a vast range of experiences.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

You Can’t Beat A Bit Of Country Air In Spain

Posted by: Carole on Saturday July 11, 2015 (21:48:40)   (1642 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

As I sit here on my new writing table, out in the patio hiding under a shelter with an inflatable swimming pool next to me to dip in now and then and cool down as it’s 40 degrees outside, I think back to last year when I was cooped up in a flat in the centre and realise how much better life is nearer the countryside.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Be Careful Of Dodgy Estate Agents In Spain

Posted by: Carole on Saturday June 06, 2015 (12:28:15)   (2568 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

The process of buying a house in your own country is stressful enough. So add the complications of having to learn new house and bank related vocabulary in another language, figuring out the different laws and processes, plus the fact that in Spain there are a lot of corrupt money thieving estate agents, then there’s no wonder that the grey hairs on my beard have started to sprout out like little strands of water cress.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Hats Off To Spain’s Baby Popping Out Team

Posted by: Carole on Saturday May 02, 2015 (12:19:24)   (1915 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

Whether you’re a future Mum or Dad to be, nine months is a long time to play with ones uncontrollable imagination. The older I get, the more I worry. I suppose because you realise just how cruel life can be at times, so I rarely let my guard down these days. So when my wife announced that we’d be expecting our second child nine months ago, the neurotic part of my brain started going into overload. Will the birth be okay? Is it worth going private, or should we choose the NHS?

Just to fill you in on the first birth. We decided to go private with a company called Sanitas, which towards the end of the nine months I was calling Cacitas (caca = poo). What exactly did we get for €90 a month?    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Did You Become An Expat For Love?

Posted by: Carole on Friday March 06, 2015 (23:47:38)   (1786 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

One minute I was on a plane heading for Sevilla to try to learn Spanish, and the next I’m watching a stunning Spanish lady walking down the aisle towards me, yes me, to become my wife, wondering, how the hell did that happen? And to think, I wasn’t even intending on staying in Spain for long, and I definitely didn’t want a girlfriend stopping my plans to travel more. But that’s the thing about love; you never know when it’s going to take control of your life and turn you into a soppy fool.

Have you fallen for someone in another country and given up everything to be with them? There must be a ton of expats who have become enchanted by a local girl or guy and made that tricky decision to make a go of it with someone with a different nationality. Quite a few of the expats I know here, the long term ones with kids and a house and several points cards for the local Spanish supermarkets, have decided to stay here because of amor – love.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Why Everyone Should Have A Bash At Being An Expat

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday February 04, 2015 (12:06:02)   (3132 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

Is it only the brave who have the guts to live abroad? Do you have to be a little bit mental to give up the safety of your own country and explore the depths of the unknown? I guess you do in a way, but everyone should be able to make up their own minds about whether being an expat is for them.

Being an expat might not be for you. You may hate being a foreigner, have absolutely no skill at speaking another language, or cry yourself to sleep at night because you miss your local pub so much. It’s worth giving it a go though. What have you got to lose? Being a foreigner is fun, learning another language is fulfilling, and your local will always be your local, unless they shut it down and turn it into a pizza restaurant (which happened in my case).    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Onwards And Upwards

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday January 06, 2015 (14:58:42)   (2392 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

2014 was a revolutionary year for me, and a turning point in my life. For ages I’d been toying with the idea of going back to England, or moving from Sevilla to another city, preferably a less traditional one, or just one with a beach, but during last year a few things clicked into place which made me realise I’ve become a true expat.

So, what happened? Here’s a little breakdown on why last year was such a turning point.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

You Can’t Beat Christmas With Your Own Kind

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday December 02, 2014 (01:27:18)   (2084 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

Boy am I glad to be heading back to London for Christmas. Last year I spent Christmas in Seville, not really through choice, but we’d just had a baby and decided it would be better not to fly back, mainly because of Mr Jack Frost, but also because the only airline with free flights was Ryanair. It was the third year I’d been away from my homeland for Christmas, and the third year I’d come to the conclusion that you can’t beat spending the festive period in your own country, with your own kind.

I’m not saying that Christmas in Seville wasn’t special, most holiday periods are excellent here and Spanish people know how to have a fiesta. However, given the choice, I’d prefer to be back in England, mainly because that’s where I have all my childhood memories.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

How You Know When You’ve Become A Life-Long Expat

Posted by: Carole on Sunday November 02, 2014 (19:37:10)   (4000 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

Are you wondering whether you’ll be an expat for the rest of your life? Until about a year or so ago I was, but now I’m sure I will be. After living in Sevilla for nine years it’s been a constant battle in my mind whether or not to make that permanent plunge and be an expat in Spain forever. I still get that odd craving to quit my job, pack up everything in a caravan and drive around the world, I still might one day, but I belong here now, at least for the time being anyway.

How do you know whether you’ve become a life-long expat?

Here are some sure signs.    more ...


Columnists > Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

5 Things I’ve Learnt In My First Year As An Expat Dad

Posted by: Carole on Sunday October 05, 2014 (11:30:10)   (3442 Reads)

Barry O'Leary

I made it through the first year and my hair still hasn’t gone grey. My son was one last week, it’s amazing how the year has flown by, but at the same time I’ve learnt loads being an expat Dad. A lot of what I was worried about before the birth was true: we had a lot of sleepless nights, the first year is expensive, and it’s easy to get poo on your hands while changing a nappy. However, there are a few things that I wasn’t expecting being an expat parent.

Life goes on

Everyone says that your life changes; and it does, but not as drastically as you may think.    more ...