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Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

San Pancho, Mexico
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1,109 posts
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Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Hello! We are a team of writers and researchers preparing a book called "Retirement without borders. The book has been contracted by Simon & Schuster, which assures it will received wide attention as the definitive work on the topic.

We are currently looking for Americans who are living in Spain who can share their experiences (both pro and con) gained from living in their chosen country. I currently live in Mexico so I know that there is the official party line and then there is the reality of making your home in a foreign land.

If you are interested in helping us, please e-mail me at :

hartinsanjose@hotmail.com

or respond here and we'll get the ball rolling. The first step would be a short questionnaire. It won't take much time and you will be credited in the book. Thanks in advance for your help.

Barbara

Madrid, Spain
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368 posts
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1. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Just to clarify, are you looking for Americans abroad in general or only people who are retired or of retirement age?

San Pancho, Mexico
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1,109 posts
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2. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

No, it isn't necessary that you be close to retirement age. What we are looking for is people who can give us info on things like

1. What will most American's miss/not miss about the states

2. What kinds of things do Americans tend to do when they live there (volunteer, work, start businessesses, relax, etc.)

3. What kind of relationship is there among the expatriates and the natives

4. What is healthcare like -- costs, etc.

5. How are communications (cell phones, internet, cable tv, etc)

Its a pretty short questionnaire and really is focused on trying to help readers choose what is right for them. For instance, I live in Mexico in a small fishing village of under 1,000 people. People not willing to learn Spanish should not come here. People wanting culture should not come here. People wanting night life shouldn't come here. But, they have options in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Matzatlan, San Miquel Allende).

The more people willing to receive this questionnaire by e-mail the merrier! Thanks for inquiring!

Barbara

San Pancho, Mexico
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1,109 posts
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3. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

By the way, if you know other Americans who don't hang out on Trip advisor, let them know!

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

A book about Americans living or retiring in another country, interesting, but Spain is nothing like Mexico. It's modern, progressive, creative, with a history rich in culture. It's also a working democracy, something Mexico misplaced somewhere along the road.

The only expat settlements you'll find are those of other nationalities, as most Americans, whom I am aware of, choosing to live in Spain tend to integrate into the local community, becoming part of the social fabric. Why else would one move to another country, especially Spain or France?

San Pancho, Mexico
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1,109 posts
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5. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Hi Robert -- Exactly! We are not looking for ExPat communities -- but rather people who have chosen to adopt a new country and become part of it -- to integrate and live among their newly adopted neighbors.

You're right -- Mexico isn't for everyone -- at least not where I live. And that is the point. If you are nearing retirement age you have to ask yourself some questions like:

1. Am I willing to learn a new language

2. Do I want to sit on my butt or become involved

3. Is culture important

4. Is beach vs city your thing.

5. etc. etc.

Robert, if you will e-mail me at hartinsanjose@hotmail.com I would be happy to mail you our brief questionnaire. Your thoughtful response to this post tells me that you are just the kind of person we are looking for. We are not writing a book about any one place that is perfect for everyone. Its not one of those "How to lay on the beach and eat shrimp for $80/month" books. This book was commissioned by Scribner to address the growing concerns of Baby Boomers looking forward to the next stage.

Look forward to hearing from you (and other Americans living abroad) who would be willing to help.

Barbara

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
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21,790 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

There is an American Society in Barcelona just as there is a Dutch society etc (in Madrid too, I expect). Not sure what that says about integration or not (but in the melting pot of the States, Poles still get together, Italian-Americans do etc). If you move to a small town in Spain you may have no compatriots to interact with but in a big city it's your choice whether you "go native" completely or not .

In any case even if like me you speak the language fluently and have a husband born locally, it's still good to meet with other "incomers" who share your experience of living in a foreign country, and these can be immigrants from anywhere, not necessarily compatriots. As Spaniards are not noted for their geographical mobility even within their own country these days (they study in their home-town, then take up a job there afterwards, often living in the same building as other family members or certainly in the same barrio) they often fail to appreciate what adjustments people have to make to live here.

Certainly in Catalonia if you are an "imcomer" the lack of family support (compared with close-knit Catalan families) probably makes you more likely to look to other foreigners for your support network , just as in the States or UK your support network is friends and neighbours rather than family in many cases.

Barbara, if you contact www.bcnwomensnetwork.com and explain your project I'm sure you'll get responses from American members (there is a wide age-range and over 20 nationalities in the group) . You cd also contact www.barcelona-metropolitan.com which is the Eng-language monthly for expats here. Good luck!.

Simi Valley...
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119 posts
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7. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Hi Barbara:

I am not an expert simply someone interested in buying the book when it is ready. So please put me on a e mail list for contact when that takes place please. Thanks!

Seattle, Washington
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9,278 posts
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8. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Barbara,

You can send the quistionaire to my yahoo email account:

robert2533@yahoo.com

USA
1 post
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9. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

Hi, I am interested in receiving the questionnaire. I'm a writer (and librarian) working on articles about Americans choosing to retire (and die, presumably) abroad. Please send me the questionnaire, and would you mind if I asked you a few questions too? I'll send you a direct email as well.

Pamela

10. Re: Americans in Spain? Maybe Local Experts?

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