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We are Franklin and Danielle and we’re a continent-hoppin’ couple!
We’ve left the United States and moved to Europe in search of a different lifestyle. We’ve traded a lifestyle of accumulating unnecessary junk and spending way too much time at the office for a lifestyle that’s filled with fun adventure, travels around the world, and fulfilling our wildest dreams.
We document our adventures and post them regularly on our official YouTube channel so that you can follow us every step of the way. We look forward to having you join us in this amazing journey!
Wow, where do we possibly begin?! In retrospect, we have done so much since we moved abroad that it seems like it all started ages ago when in reality our journey only started in 2014 while living in a small city called Saint Petersburg, Florida in the USA.
Our home was a 1100+ sq. foot waterfront townhouse, we owned two cars, we were members of a boat club which gave us access to a fleet of 23+ boats, and we both had stable, well-paying careers. Our dogs, Fry and Molly, were also with us at the time and surely enjoyed watching the dolphins and manatee swim by every morning from the rear patio as much as we did.
From an outsider’s perspective, it probably seemed that things were going really well for us… and they were! However, the reality of it all is that we weren’t truly happy. We spent our money on so much junk that we thought would make us happy but those things only brought us more stress and financial responsibility. In addition, we couldn’t even fully enjoy all those fancy things because our “live to work” lifestyle didn’t allow for much, IF ANY, free time to enjoy them! Nevertheless, for a while, we continued to live blissfully blind to the reality of our current lifestyle.
Backtrack a few years prior to moving to Florida, we were living in New York and, while still enrolled in college, Danielle studied abroad for a semester. We remained together during her studies abroad and I visited her in Salamanca, Spain because almost every of our many Skype conversations was about how amazing Spain was.
My visit to Salamanca was my first ever glimpse at the European lifestyle. I was amazed by the popular European perspective that your work is simply a means of living and that your life should not be your work. The opposite American perspective of just “work, work, work” was so common in the USA that I never even bothered to question it prior to my visit to Spain.
I sat there in the stunningly beautiful Plaza Mayor, Salamanca’s city square, baffled by the crowds of families that would gather there day and night, weekend or not, to spend time with each other. I watched as elderly people dressed in very fashionable coats met with friends at cafes just to chat over some wine and crisps/potato chips, fathers and mothers sat on benches at 10:00 pm while their kids chased pigeons or flying bubbles, and dogs calmly roamed free throughout the square greeting everyone.
As much as I loved Spain’s good work-life balance, I still put barriers up and told Danielle it would be too difficult for me to find a job abroad.
When Danielle returned from her studies abroad it was obvious she wanted to go back to Spain. Once we graduated college, she moved back to Spain and lived there for a while with one of my family members. We remained together but I stayed in the USA and moved to Florida while Danielle finished up her time abroad.
When Danielle returned to the USA and moved in with me in Florida, I still wouldn’t budge on my finding-a-job-and-moving-abroad-is-too-difficult excuse. The truth is that I was simply terrified of the idea even though Danielle had suggested that we move abroad for only one year.
It took numerous jobs at various companies for me to realize that I hated our lifestyle and that the career I thought I wanted was filled with nothing but even more unhappiness and stress. However, as I sat there at work staring at my computer monitor completely zoned out and hating my job once again, I did not tell Danielle that I was considering the possibility of us moving abroad. I wanted to be sure of this decision before I proposed it to Danielle because I know how much she loved living in Europe. If I ever proposed that we move abroad, I knew there would be no turning back because if I did change my mind, it would crush her heart and she would probably leave without me at that point, haha! (seriously, she would…) 🙂
Before making my final decision on whether we should move abroad, for months I researched how to get the dogs abroad, what it would all cost, how to find a job abroad, the risks and pros/cons, visa requirements… you name it, I looked it up. I quickly realized that moving and finding a job was definitely possible and, while complex, it was not complicated nor difficult.
I walked into work at about 8:04 am, 4 minutes past my 8:00 am start time, and my manager threw a fit.
That was when I had enough… After all of my numerous contributions as an employee with nothing but 10 vacation days/year, 2 sick days/year, and a lifestyle that was fully devoted to my career, I realized then and there that no matter what city we move to or who we work for in the USA, our happiness was going to continue to suffer. This was not a life for us.
I stood up from my desk not caring if anyone asked where I was going and quickly called Danielle at her job. I told her how fed up I was with our lifestyle and confessed for the first time that I had been researching moving abroad for quite some time. I proposed that we sell everything and move to Europe with the dogs… her answer was an immediate “YES!”. CAPITAL LETTERS AND EVERYTHING. In much joy, her exact words were “YES! I don’t even need to think about it and I’m not giving you the slightest chance to change your mind. Yes, let’s move!”
We sold, donated, and gave away almost everything we owned. In the end, we were left with two suitcases each and our two dogs. Finding a job and figuring out all the logistics was a long process but we can’t express enough how much it was all worth it!
Through this blog and our YouTube channel, we’ve documented every step in the process and today we continue to share our experiences and adventures abroad with you all!
Thank you so much for reading our story and, if you haven’t done so, check out our YouTube channel where we share the whole adventure!
Franklin and Danielle
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