Why we chose to move to Spain

Angela Piper
5 min readMar 7, 2022


Valencia Espana street daytime
Street View of Valencia Spain

“You’re joking, right?”

That is what most of our family and friends said when we told them last summer that we were moving abroad. There were so many questions that we were still figuring out when we shared the news with our families and very publicly on social media (see for yourself here) but we knew we were going to do it.

We had committed to leaving the United States, the place we were born, got married, bought our first house and had all three of our children…and we were going to become expats.

But let me back up and tell you how it all started.

I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes version of our backstory. After 8 years of marriage, 2020 hit us hard. We had our daughter, the last of our three children, two weeks after Texas went into lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. We were isolated and stressed enough with a newborn at home, but then we added onto it e-learning with our boys. One who was in preschool at the time and had to be dragged to the computer for assignments, and one in 1st grade who also required additional zoom time for speech, occupational and physical therapy-all enforced by me as we did it virtually.

I say ‘all enforced by me’ because at that time my husband was managing a to-go only restaurant. Because all eat-in restaurants had been shut down, and he worked in an area with a lot of essential workers, his business was booming. He was short staffed and overworked. The majority of 2020 he clocked in around 80 hours a week. We never saw each other. When we did, all we saw in the other person was more stress. We didn’t chat beyond sharing necessary information. We went from a couple that talked about everything for hours on end to a couple that had learned to internalize it all. We both thought we would just be adding unnecessary burden to the other by sharing our personal struggles-so we talked to people on the outside instead of to each other. By the end of 2020 neither of us was sure if our marriage was going to make it much longer.

In the summer of 2020 we began working hard to commit to finding each other again. And we did. We made it a priority to go on monthly dates (not easy in a pandemic, but we did it), we had weekly “couch dates” (yay for Netflix!) and we made the conscious choice to go back to the couple we had previously been that could talk about anything and everything. In doing that, we also learned that we had to make some changes.

Kissing Couples Photo
Date night September 2021

After spending some time experimenting with voice acting as a fun hobby, David learned that he could make voiceover and audio narration into his full time job. So he did. He left his stress and anxiety inducing position as a restaurant partner in May of 2021 and never looked back. The change was an adjustment for all of us, but one that opened the door to let joy back into our home again.

Then, a week before his 38th birthday, David looked over at me and said,
“Sooo you might think I’m crazy but stay with me. What do you think about moving to Europe?”

In response, I had a 48 hour long panic attack.

Schitt’s Creek panic attack gif is exactly how I was feeling

But then…

I found myself googling “live abroad”, “become an expat”,“best countries to move to in Europe”. And after two days, I said something just as crazy.

“You know…let’s do it.”

After a few additional weeks of research, we realized that the best place for us to go was Spain. As we poured over websites, articles and books for the things that were important to us, one spot seemed to show up in all of our lists. Alicante, Spain. (I’ll sharing the things we were looking for on my blog next week.)

Once we both realized we were thinking the same thing we started looking for homes to rent in Alicante.

Before we could think twice, we told our kids. We knew that once we told them, they would want to tell their grandparents-and that’s exactly what happened. So, without a plan, we told everyone we knew that we were moving to Europe.

“But how, but why?”

We’ll get into the how in another post. (Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss it.) As for the why…

Them. Our kids. Their future. To put it really bluntly, we were raising middle class white children in America. They had a certain privilege that both my husband and I are well aware of.

The privilege of being white in America can frequently come at a cost many are not conscious of. One that I have personally found myself paying.

Willful Ignorance. Unenlightenment. The idea that the experiences we are having are the same as what other people are having.

I have learned over time that what I choose to not know is harmful to those whose reality is. Relationships that I have made and fostered over the years have helped me see just how harmful some of that willful ignorance can be.

I don’t want that for my children. During each of their pregnancies I prayed that no matter who they grew up to be, that they would be kind, that they would be compassionate. The best way we know how to do that is to expose them to other cultures and cities and ways of life.

We daydreamed as a young couple about traveling and family vacations, and sharing other cultures and experiences with the family we didn’t yet have. As we began to acquire the means to do so we came to realize vacation didn’t seem like enough.

And so, we are here in Spain. Our boys (and soon our daughter) are attending an international school with children from Spain, Russia, China, Ukraine, England, and Mexico. They are learning other languages, yes. But more importantly they are learning what we always wanted them to. That they are not the center of the universe and that laughter and compassion do not require a translator.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! I’d love it if you know of someone who might enjoy this post if you’d share with them. If you would like to read more about our travels, mishaps and fun be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here.



Angela Piper

Wife to @davidpipervo & Mom of 3. 📚 Best Selling Author 📍Dallas girl in Spain 🇪🇸 🖊️ Currently writing NYT’s next bestseller