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Moving Abroad After 30

Carlie: Hey there! It’s Carlie with another episode of the Expat Focus Podcast. It’s one thing to dream about living life in another country, but it can be quite daunting to make that dream a reality. Especially if you’re, say, a little bit older than fresh out of college.

Today’s guest, Cepee Tabibian, tried and failed a few times to move from the USA to her dream life in Spain. She finally succeeded at the age of 35 and formed the 
She Hit Refresh community to inspire other women aged over 30, to follow in her footsteps.

We’re going to talk through some common considerations for women when it comes to moving abroad in your 30s, what new work and visa opportunities are available for US citizens in Europe, and what Cepee sees as the 4 key elements to a successful move abroad. Now Cepee is a fellow podcaster, so after you listen to this chat, be sure to search for her “She Hit Refresh” podcast.

Cepee, I wanted to start by asking you about how She Hit Refresh came about, but actually it really ties into the fact that you say on your website that you tried and failed a few times to move abroad. So I’m really curious about, and I don’t want it say it like that, but I’m really curious about your failures and how you failed <laugh> so many times in your mission to move overseas.

Cepee: Yes. What a great question. I think it’s great to talk about failures because that’s how we get to success, right? So first, just briefly on how She Hit Refresh even came about, is when I finally found success moving to Spain. I live in Spain. I’m originally from Houston, Texas, and I moved to Spain in 2015.

About two years after I moved here, well, actually during those two years that I was first here, I had so many friends back in the US ask me: How I did it? Wasn’t I scared? They feel too old. I moved at 35. And so just had a lot of people asking me about what I was doing and how I did it. And also, after moving to Spain, I met so many incredible women in Madrid that had done what I did. I kind of thought I was the only one, right, later in life, and I have air quotes, making a “radical change” in my life, starting fresh in Spain.

But I met so many incredible women. So, it just kind of that made me think, there weren’t a lot of resources when I was trying to move abroad at 35, for women my age. There were tons of resources for gap years straight out of college and for solo female travel for women, over a certain age, but not for women who wanted to radically change their lives.

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So that just got me thinking, you know what, all these women asking me questions back in the US, I’m meeting so many incredible women abroad, let’s just make a Facebook group where we can all share resources and help each other. And then, yeah, after a year, we had 4,000 women in the community and it just kind of has grown from there.

Carlie: So, you did move successfully overseas at 35, but before that, were all of these failures. When was your first fail?

Cepee: My first…

Carlie: How old were you when you first failed?

Cepee: When I first failed in life? Well, when it comes to Spain, because my heart was always in Spain. I’m now 42, but I first came to Spain when I was 21. So, it was back in 2001. Fell in love with it, but only came for a summer. Sorry, I wasn’t going to stay. But I tried to move here in 2006 and kind of failed. I came to teach English on a very popular program called the North American Language and Culture teaching program, that a lot of people, Americans do or North Americans do, to come to Spain.

But I tried that and then after a year, I just didn’t want to continue to teach English. And at the time, that was really the only path for me and really for Americans who wanted to live abroad. It was either, you know, teach English abroad or maybe become a journalist and go with a newspaper abroad. But the online world didn’t really exist. So, I tried that and failed.

And then I came back and I did a Master’s in Spain. I thought maybe that was going be my way into networking into a job. That failed. For I would say probably about seven years back and forth between the US and Spain trying to find a way and just not having it work out and just really realizing that I didn’t want to, like, I generally didn’t want to teach English in Spain, but I really wanted to be here, but really I probably should just like be an adult and use my degree and get a job in the US and kind of just acquiesce and take the path, that conventional path, that everyone takes and that my parents were pressuring me to take.

But you know, after all of that experience of moving back to the US, I would say five years later is when, in 2015, I thought, you know what? I still have this dang dream to live in Spain. I’m 35. If I don’t do it now, then when? So, let’s just go, let’s teach English one more time. Cause that’s the way I’m gonna get my foot in the door. But I’m not going get stuck doing that. I got to find a way out.

Carlie: What was it that meant all the other times weren’t successful? Was it the approach you took? Was it just what was happening in your life? Was it a technical reason with visas that meant you couldn’t stay in Spain?

Cepee: I love this question. Yeah. So, I would say it’s two parts. So, one, yes, the challenge was always the visas because I would’ve stayed in Spain if I could’ve got a job here that wasn’t teaching English. And my background’s in marketing. But the obstacle was getting the visa. There just weren’t a lot of opportunities for US citizens to get hired. Just because it was so difficult in Spain.

And it is still that way for US citizen citizens to get hired in Europe, generally the country has to do a labor market test. And that means they have to prove that no one in the country or even the whole EU can do the job that they could hire you for. So that was a very big obstacle.

And the second obstacle was that there wasn’t, like I mentioned before, the internet wasn’t really a thing, so there weren’t alternatives to like having to work in country. And at the time, obviously we didn’t know what was to come. But really, you know, with how I’ve been able to stay now it’s really tied to the opportunities that have opened up over the years in terms of remote work and being able to work online.

Carlie: I have to say, I’m really impressed. And the overarching theme of this episode is moving abroad in your thirties, but you spoke about wanting to move to Spain and knowing you wanted to move to Spain at 21 when most people are really just thinking about going abroad for a gap year. So, you had this conviction, like you knew where it was you wanted to be, at quite a young age, even if you didn’t make it happen and stick until your mid-thirties.

Cepee: Very true. And you know, I think we all have different journeys. For those of us who have been able to move abroad, there’s always that trip or that experience, that plants the seed that we want to leave our home country and go somewhere. And I was very fortunate. I mean, my parents are both immigrants in the US but even growing up in an immigrant household, I never really wanted, you know, thought of leaving the US.

But at 17, I had made some friends in high school that were exchange students, students from Europe, whose parents got transferred to Houston for work. And one of those friends was from the Netherlands and she moved back to the Netherlands. And for my 17th birthday, I begged my parents to let me go visit her, because she was my best friend. And to my surprise, they said yes <laugh>. And that trip was the trip that really opened up my whole perspective, of like what was out there and this curiosity and that travel bug was born. But it was when I got to Spain that I was like, this is my place.

Carlie: Planting that seed is so important. I remember in high school, my older sister got to go to Japan for a study trip. My other sister went to France and because I dropped my languages early, I got to go to Sydney in Australia. So just a different state for like an arts trip. And that was my equivalent of my sisters going abroad. And so, I didn’t actually make my move overseas until I was 28.

And I thought that was, you know, like it was either buy a house or blow out my career and go and start again in another country. And I always think I was a bit of a late bloomer, but it’s really, you know, you spoke about having that trip when you were 17. It’s really about, I think when you get exposed to those ideas that maybe, maybe there’s something else out there, maybe there’s something further afield to discover, you know?

Cepee: Definitely. And I think it’s so funny how kind of wherever we are in life if this is our trajectory and it doesn’t have to be traveling abroad. But sometimes we think that we are a little bit late or we’re too old, you know? And I think that’s something that I talk about a lot. I mean, that’s where She Hit Refresh really came from, even me at 35 thinking I was too old. Now that I’m 42, I look back, I’m like, oh my gosh, 35 was so young <laugh>.

Like I know women in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond who are radically changing their lives by moving abroad. But I think that’s something that hinders people: is just feeling like they’re too old. And really in the grand scheme of being 28, like when you moved, that was so young, right?

But at the time, I think especially 30 is that magic number. And a lot of people ask me, why, why is She Hit Refresh 30 and above? Like, what is that? I’m like, for women, especially, I think when we’re approaching 30 or around that number, we just feel like we need to have it figured out. And if we don’t, we’re trying to get on the path to tick all the boxes.

So, the idea of like radical like moving abroad, like that’s just going to take you way off path. Like that’s something you should have done when you were 20 in that gap year. Now it’s just too late. That’s what a lot of people think. I really want to remove that narrative and let people know that it’s never too late, right?

Carlie: Now sitting on the other side of it. Yeah, absolutely. I think you can move abroad at any age. But yeah, when I was in my late twenties, I really felt that pressure. I had really established myself in my last career and I was really at that crossroads. I was like, okay, now is the time to put all my savings into a property. And then that felt like a really big commitment. It felt like if I do this, I am tying myself to this job, to this house, for at least the next, you know, 8-10 years before I could think about doing something else again.

And is that what I want? And that was really the catalyst for me to go no, there needs to be something else. I need to do something else first. And that something else is move abroad. And I guess a lot of women, as you said, we hit or approached that big three zero and it really is like a door knock and you’re like, okay, what should I have achieved by now? Where is my life? Can I change it? Or is this my path? But sometimes it’s really hard to actually get through past that threshold of thinking, right?

Cepee: Yeah, it totally is. Because I think also if you’re getting to your thirties, in your thirties and beyond, you have worked towards things. Whether that is your career, maybe, yeah, maybe you do have a home or a mortgage. You’ve built a community, you have your friends, you have your families, whatever else you’ve created. So that is a lot different than if you’re like straight out of college when you’re totally free and you’re untethered, and you don’t have responsibilities.

So, as we get older, we do acquire responsibilities that can make it feel harder, right? To just pick up and leave and shake things up, start from scratch, because we have so much security in our lives. And really making a move abroad is where you’re just like leaping into the unknown and that’s the thrill of it. But that is really scary and it’s natural that as we get older, we are more risk averse, right?

So doing something really risky can sound crazy. And I think, if you’re sharing this, again air quotes, “crazy idea” with people around you who haven’t done this, they can confirm that. Are you crazy? You’re going move abroad at what? At 35? Like, what about your career? This is what people ask me, what about your career? What? Don’t you want to get married and have kids? Like somehow moving abroad is going inhibit that. And assuming that that was what I even wanted.

So I understand why people are fearful of making a change later in life, but I always say this is like one of my favorite quotes that I came by. Like for me, I had a good life in Austin, but for me, I really felt like that good life was getting in the way of a great one. And I knew that even though things were good for me in Austin, it just wasn’t what I wanted. And I felt like there was something greater for me out there and I had to take that leap and just have faith that the journey was going to unfold how it needed to. But I had to, I had to make that leap.

Carlie: And it was absolutely in Spain.

Cepee: It was absolutely in Spain. I mean, I had toyed with some other places too because I had traveled from the time I was 21 to other places. But really Spain, felt like the long-term place.

Carlie: So, you said the first time you moved abroad you were teaching English, and actually when you moved at 35, you decided to teach English initially as well. This is something I’ve battled with and talked about on this podcast before. When I moved from the UK to France to be with my boyfriend, we did two years long distance. Before I was like, okay, I’ll join you in France and see how I go.

The one thing I was defiant about was that I would not move and leave my career in London to go and teach English, because that’s the best thing I could do. I don’t know if you had a similar feeling about, well, whatever I need to do to get me to this country, or did you really, like, I was so career driven that it was a real ego battle to think that I would have to, and this is not to say anything about teaching English. I know I probably couldn’t teach English. It’s quite a skill and I don’t have that skill, but in my mind it was lowering my ambitions if that’s the best I could do to be able to live in France.

Cepee: Yes, I totally get you, because I battled with that. So, I will throw this out there. And I’ve said this publicly before. So, I was a serial job hopper in my twenties. The good thing that I had going for me is that when I was 35, I had worked since I was 18, but I hopped around a lot. So I hadn’t built this career that I was walking away from. So that I think helped a little bit.

Carlie: The pressure was off…

Cepee: Pressure was off. It was like we’ll just find another job. But I still had the ego battle because I had taught English in this program at 26 and I would be coming back to the same program at 35. And honestly, it’s a program, at the time, now it’s changed a bit, most people going to this program, were straight out of college. So, I was going be the 35-year-old working alongside, you know…

Carlie: The mature age student. Yeah…

Cepee: Right. I was going be the old one…

Carlie: The mature age teacher. Yeah…

Cepee: Exactly. Now, in these programs, there’s plenty of women in their thirties, forties, and above. So, I don’t want to scare anyone away from that. I think for me it was really like, I need to get to Spain. This is my ticket in and so I’m going to have to suck it up and do it. Like for me, the ego was in the way, like what are my coworkers going think? Like I’m walking away from this job, and I have to tell my boss I’m going to go teach English in Spain? What I’m going tell my family, my friends?

And really at the end of the day, it just didn’t even matter what they thought. Because I was going to live my best life and it was the best decision I could have made. But I knew for me, because that was my fear too. I’ve seen that a lot for people who don’t have a background in teaching, don’t want to teach but really want to live in Spain or whatever country it is.

They come with the hopes of doing it for a year or two and finding a way out and then 10 years later they’re still teaching English. And there’s limitations around that, financially. When I was in my twenties that was fine, to make the money that I think teachers make here in Spain. But as you get older, like I wanted to have investments, I want to have financial security. I knew teaching was that limitation…

Carlie: Want to live by yourself, maybe…

Cepee: You want to yeah, not have a roommate. Exactly. Things like that. Go to a nice restaurant when I want to. And so, there were limitations, and I was fearful that I would fall into that trap because I love Spain so much that I would do anything to be here. But on the flip side, I knew like if I hustle, I can find a way out. And luckily that is what happened. But there was luck in there too.

After a year of teaching here, when I came at 35, I got really, really lucky, and a Spanish company sponsored my work visa for a marketing role. So that really helped open the doors and also helped me break through some limiting beliefs that I had about, you know, what I could achieve abroad.

Carlie: I did a workshop last year about limiting beliefs, and it’s crazy, the amount of negative self-talk, influences the decisions you make and the outcomes you have in your life.

Cepee: A hundred percent. And I think also surrounding yourself with people that also have limiting beliefs, that just reinforces your limiting beliefs. Right? I know. And those limiting beliefs, like they say, if you anyone has done any work on limiting beliefs, they’re there, to sometimes to protect us. Some of them are rooted in real things in Spain.

There are a lot of limitations, and I would say in Europe for US citizens to get out of teaching or get out and get hired, get a work visa to work in maybe what your background is in here. That is a difficult thing. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult, and I’ve seen that in kind of the teaching English space of people who move here, who don’t necessarily want to do that forever, but feel like that’s the only thing they can do. And they are hanging around people who also feel like that. So, they reinforce that.

But I think for me, once I was able to break out of that and you know, get an opportunity to get a work visa and also meet other US citizens who were living here, who weren’t teaching English, it really started opening the realm of possibilities for what I felt was, yeah, feasible here in this new chapter of trying to make Spain work.

Carlie: And what is that realm of possibility particularly for American citizens now? Since 2015, we’ve notably had the global pandemic and this gigantic shift to remote working being considered so much more normal than it was just three years ago. Has that worked in the favor of American citizens that may have found it difficult to live in Europe, for example, long-term before?

Cepee: Totally. And that’s how my doors opened, right? When I got the work visa, I got the work visa to work in marketing for a Spanish company, but it was working in social media, which I really didn’t have that much experience in, other than like, talking to family on Facebook…

Carlie: Hey! We all have experience in social media, right? How many hours are we scrolling Instagram?

Cepee: Right? That was my experience when I got hired, but it allowed me to hone skills that I could do remotely. And that was around 2017, when remote work was a thing. But I would say it wasn’t really like it is now.

Carlie: You really had to have the right culture in your workplace, didn’t you?

Cepee: Yeah, exactly. And where I was working, it did not have that culture…the Spanish company. So, I actually quit that Spanish job knowing I would lose my work visa, but I hated it so much. And then I was kind of in the free fall of like, oh my God, I want to stay, what can I do? I’m in this spot again. And I realized that with remote work, I could get work as a social media marketer remotely working for companies outside of Spain and I could get paid a lot more, because it would be like a US salary and there was a visa now that allowed me to do that.

And there’s actually more visas now. So, in Spain and lots of countries and Europe, there are visas that allow you to live here, these were not options when I was much younger, but to work here or to live here, if you have passive income, or if you have a remote job, some of those are considered kind of retirement visas. You don’t necessarily have to be retired, but if you have enough savings in the bank you can qualify for a visa to live in in whatever country. Spain has one of those. Portugal has one, France has one.

But now there’s the rise of digital nomad visas. Like if this was a thing when I was 21, I would have moved here right away. So digital nomad visas are wonderful because they can bypass that whole process of trying to find a company to sponsor your visa, because you can bring your remote job from wherever your home country is with you. And live in a country in Europe. Or any other countries, that have the digital nomad visa.

So now there’s so many options that make it much more feasible and much easier for US citizens. Also, a lot of British citizens are looking at this now because they also are having that same issue. And I think it’s just wonderful with the rise of remote work and the rise of these new visa options. Really, people are seeing that it is so much more possible and feasible to make a life abroad happen.

Carlie: I think these nomad style remote work visas are also really beneficial for those of us in our thirties who may be a bit reluctant to dive in headfirst, on a move abroad and completely commit. But, oh, here’s an opportunity to ask my boss to do an extended, you know, remote stint from another country for three or six months. And then if I like it, I’ve got my feet wet, I have the security, you know, I’m not jumping in headfirst, in a terrifying way, I’m not doing it the scary way. You know, I’m starting in the shallow end.

Cepee: Yeah. And that makes it so much more manageable for people. Like you don’t have to, I always say, like close up shop in your home country. You can rent out your home and you know, you don’t even have to really change too much. Like you said, you can go like taste it out, test it out, and then if you like it stay and maybe it just wasn’t for you or maybe that wasn’t the right country, and you can just go back to your life back in your home country. So, I think it’s a brilliant way for people to try out the moving abroad life zone. Also try out different countries. Sometimes you just don’t even know where you want to go. I knew exactly where I wanted to, but some people have a top five, so maybe you could try them all out.

Carlie: Cepee, I’m really curious. The women in your She Hit Refresh community, can you talk me through where they generally start and where some have ended up on their journeys to live abroad?

Cepee: So, the community is very global, but I would say the majority of the community is based in the US or talk about the US a lot also. That’s where I’m from. And also, I think US Americans need more handholding because we do live much more isolated, right? Like women in Europe, they’re bouncing around countries left and right. They know how to do that. I know the Aussies are traveling a lot, so…

Carlie: Cause we’re so far away from everything else.

Cepee: Exactly!

Carlie: You have to…

Cepee: You guys get out. I think in, in the US there’s not always a lot of examples of people who are moving to other countries. And so, there’s a lot of women who come into the community with that curiosity, with that, again air quotes, “crazy idea”. And they come in and there’s so much validation that what they want to do is possible.

So, some of the women, like the stories that I love, one in particular is actually a woman who lives now, not too far from me, but she’s award-winning author. She was a tenured professor. So, she left a professor position to move. She’s a wife, mother, she moved with her kids. And in 2020 we worked together and her dream was to move to Spain because her husband is actually from Spain, but he left many decades ago.

So she had spent time in Spain back in college, but never lived here. And then many decades later in 2021 we finally made that leap. And I thought it was incredible to kind of see her go through all of the motions of the hesitations. You know, looking at the challenges. It was in the middle of the pandemic. And just the fears of leaving security and also it wasn’t just her, she had to think about uprooting her family and her children and leaving a tenured position, which is a big thing to leave.

And she made that leap. It was her dream for a long time. And I actually just saw her earlier this week and she said: No regrets. You know, no regrets. And I think it’s incredible to see women do that and she did it in her late forties, which I think is just incredible.

Another woman, Cindy, is one of my favorite stories. So, Cindy, wow, she joined the community in her fifties. She’s a mom of four, divorced, and she left the US to travel the world, like solo backpacking, which I love, in around 2018. And she did that for like four or five years now? And she just moved to Portugal on the D-7 visa last year.

And what I love about her story, and I have her on my podcast and she talks about this, is that on her travels around the world, she met her now international love, this Frenchman, and they travel the world together and it’s just incredible to see these women that are really taking control of their lives and creating these lives, I don’t know, of magic, these magical lives out there for themselves. So those are some of my favorite stories.

Carlie: It’s something I really couldn’t have imagined in my twenties. One, that I would still be abroad 10 years later, but two, that women in their thirties, forties, fifties would be living a similar life or making the decision to change their lives, at that stage of life, to live abroad. But the more I see it, on social media, in news stories, YouTubers, the more inspired I am, and the more I realize that what you do in your life is really limitless.

Cepee: Oh, you just gave me chills. It completely is. And I think, you know in a space like, She Hit Refresh, or wherever you go, where you find your people, it is so powerful to see examples of your dreams in action, right? So, for me, even though I’ve already moved abroad, I’m so moved and inspired by these women who are living life on their terms. And I think that really gives permission to other people, right? To live out their dreams.

You don’t have to be confined to the box of what maybe society tells you is the way, the path of a successful life or what you should be doing or where you should be focusing your time and energy. And so, I just think it’s so incredible how by choosing to live life the way you want to, you allow other people to do the same.

Carlie: Cepee, I know a lot of people would approach answering this question by just saying… just do it, do it, you know. But I’m really curious for people that do want to make a change in their lives, and maybe take their lives abroad and they are well-established in their careers, maybe in their mid-thirties, forties. Where do you begin? If you want something that’s more realistic than: just do it?

Cepee: I have to giggle at…

Carlie: But the planners among us, right?

Cepee: Yeah. That’s why I’m giggling. Because I mean I’ve always worked on a whim and when I was younger, I did tell people, just do it. But now that I have some wisdom under my belt, definitely the wiser way of doing this is to have a plan. And so, there are so many aspects to look at when moving abroad, but really you can distill it to kind of four things that you need to figure out.

And I would say, one is starting with defining what a move abroad looks like to you, because it’s different for everybody. You know, there’s not just one way to do it. There’re people who want to move to one country and stay there forever. There are some people who want to do what we were talking about, maybe a digital nomad wants to try out a few different places.

Some people just want to like live in their home country half the year and live somewhere else, in another country half the year. So really define what it looks like to you. And again, going back to the teaching English, like you don’t have to teach English, you don’t, there’s not one way to do living abroad.

So think about how you want to do that? Do you want to work in the country abroad? Do you want to work remotely? Define that. On top of that you need to figure out the money situation. So, there’s no way around that. You don’t by any means have to be rich or wealthy to move abroad, but you do need to figure out…

Carlie: But I mean it’s helpful, but..

Cepee: It’s helpful. It definitely makes it a lot easier. But you can move abroad on a budget, right? You just have to know how you’re going to financially support yourself. But you know, after those two things, really one of the biggest things is the visa.

So, we have to be practical. We can’t just move somewhere because we like that country and we’ve always dreamed about it. You need to really look at where you can move and where you can move is going be based on what visa you can get, right? And then after you’ve defined what that life looks like, how you’re going to pay for this lifestyle and what visa can you get. Then you just got to put the plan into action. So, I think those are the areas that people really need to focus on.

And I think finding, there’s so many Facebook groups, not just mine, but so many Facebook groups and I say Facebook groups, because I feel like that is where you can get so much incredible information. Tapping into those groups can really help you put all this information into action.

And then we’ll just drop that. I am launching a bootcamp to help people walk through these steps. So definitely, want to help people because I realize these were the questions that keep coming up for people who want move abroad of like, where do I even start? And really these are the kind of the first steps that you got to take to make that dream a reality.

But people also, when it comes up in the group, when people hit roadblocks or obstacles and are like, I have to delay my move by X amount of time. I’m like, you know what? That’s actually a blessing. It gives you more time to save more money, more time to plan, more time, you know, to gather more information, more time to declutter and downsize, right? So, having time helps. But I also want to let people know, you don’t need to have a runway of like five years, 10 years. Like this is something you can make happen. This can happen in the next 6-12 months if you know exactly the steps that you need to take.

Carlie: Cepee, looking at how you moved abroad at 35. Is there anything that you would do differently about that particular move?

Cepee: Hmm. Oh, I haven’t actually thought about this. You know what? I think in my case, I wouldn’t do anything differently…

Carlie: You had enough practice runs…

Cepee: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. Like I had enough practice runs, but also, I’m so grateful that I just did it and didn’t overthink it. I had a runway too. I really wanted to be irrational and just like, as soon as the idea planted in my mind, like, okay, I want to try this again. I really wanted to move in the next like four months. But I had been offered a promotion at my job and I talked about my friends who were like, stay, do the promotion, but also let this idea sit, make sure it’s not a fleeting idea.

And I’m so glad I gave myself that extra runway, just to plan and save money and feel really excited. I think I felt so much more excitement and fear because it can be scary once you approach the due date, right? The D-day when you’re going do it. But I just had so much excitement and so I think I’m so happy for myself for doing it. And I think I did, I think the best that I could and luckily it all worked out.

Carlie: Were you up super late the night before, like repacking your suitcase? Because that was my reality.

Cepee: Really? You were repacking? I think I was up with butterflies in my stomach of like, oh my God, it’s happening.

Carlie: It’s like, how many dress shoes do I need to bring? How many pairs of jeans? Maybe I need more underwear. Do I really need to bring this? Will I find it in the UK? Oh, I wish I’d had more sleep the day before my flight.

Cepee: <laugh>

Carlie: Just finally, can you tell me what do you love about your life abroad in Spain?

Cepee: Oh, wow. So many things. But if I had to choose just a few. I think one is just being around Spanish culture. So, if anyone out there listening has been to Spain, you know, Spanish people know how to live. They got the zest for life. So just being around this warm energy is just so invigorating. But aside from that, what I love about my life here is the freedom, the freedom that it gives me on so many different levels.

I mean, one is I don’t kill myself working to have a comfortable lifestyle here. And I think that is so liberating in itself, of being able to live somewhere that’s relatively affordable. I feel very comfortable here. I’m not in a consumer culture, so that’s very freeing. I don’t spend a lot of my time shopping, whereas when I go back to the US, I am such a shopaholic.

Carlie: Me too…

Cepee: So, it’s so nice to not spend time consuming. And I think the safety, I want to mention that too, because I think it’s really important as a woman to feel safe. I mean, I always state this too, no matter where we are in the world, we always have to keep an eye extra eye open and be vigilant as women, but I feel so much safer here in Spain and just that sense of safety is incredibly liberating as well. And so I think, yeah, to give you one word, freedom is what I love about my life abroad in Spain.

Carlie: Well, She Hit Refresh is the name of your community and also your own podcast. So, make sure you check out Cepee’s podcast. She Hit Refresh. And where can listeners find you if they’d like to learn more about your community?

Cepee: Definitely, yes. You can find us on Facebook through She Hit Refresh, the community. Of course, visit our website. She Hit Refresh. Tons of resources there. We have the move Abroad Bootcamp coming out at the end of March. If you’re listening to this after, you can still come visit the site, when we have some future ones. We have tons of resources on the website. So yeah, come find us there and on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, all the places.

Carlie: That’s it for today, find out more about Cepee and her online community at shehitrefresh.com. For more podcast episodes like this one, head over to expatfocus.com, where you’ll also find free moving, destination guides and other resources to help your move abroad. If you like what we do, be sure to follow and subscribe, and I’ll catch you next time.

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