A Plan Emerges

Way back when we started this process, the immigration services New Relic contracted with told us to expect the paperwork for residence + visa to take about 30 business days. So earlier this summer, when the documentation was ready for everything to kick off, we bought a cheap flight on Norwegian Air for July 22, a good couple weeks past that 30 day processing time. Smooth right?


It turned out we needed to physically show up at the Spanish Consulate in San Fransisco to request the visa process start. That required an appointment, which was backlogged almost two months beyond the “normal” timing the immigration service was expecting. Our appointment date? September 4th.

This development left us in limbo. We’d unsuccessfully petitioned the consulate for an earlier appointment since my visa was supposed to be fast-tracked, but as June closed out, July departure was looking less and less likely.

Complicating that further, we needed to leave the house we were renting toward the end of June. We had enough trips, family, and friend visits to pack out until our July departure date. But “hanging” for all of August? :massive-sigh:

Our residence paperwork completed, so we had the necessary numbers to rent a flat in Barcelona, open bank accounts, etc. A plan emerged. With those cheap flights, it wouldn’t be outrageous to take our July 22 flight out, then come back in September to settle our visas. We can live in Spain for August as visitors, get a flat, start sorting out the new shape of our life there, then come back for the visa.

Apart from expense, the only other hang-up is around my eye condition and insurance since I won’t be working for New Relic Spain until the visa is through. “Luckily,” my eye is at a stable (if crummy) stage. We’d only see the retinologist once during that month–a lot of wait and see–so I’m trying to schedule with my referrals in Barcelona. At worst I’ll  just postpone a couple weeks to see the doctor stateside when we’re back in September.

All this to say… it’s T-minus one week until the Clarks leave for Barcelona and our new adventure!

¡Adios a los Clarks Fiesta!

At long last, the day has come… the Clarks are leaving for Barcelona (more on that in a bit)!

To celebrate and connect with folks one last time before we go, we’re throwing a potluck picnic at Columbia Park. We’ll bring soft drinks, some beer, and a fried chicken main dish. If you’re inclined bring something to share, but please come hang out with us one last time!

There’s a water feature and playground for kids, along with plenty of shade. We recommend bringing something to sit on.


Saturday July 21, 2018

7701 N Chautauqua Blvd
Portland, OR 97203

Goodbye Portland, Hello Barcelona!

Through a series of wildly unexpected occurrences, the Clark family is moving to Barcelona, Spain! New Relic has an office, which made obtaining work in another part of the world so much easier.

Why are you going you might ask?

  • Both of our kids have been in Spanish immersion at school, which has been fantastic. We want to see that immersion deepen and include us too, so moving to a Spanish speaking country seemed like just the ticket.
  • Amber and I have both had wonderful, life-shaping experiences in living overseas. This was an un-missable chance for us to give our kids the same opportunities.
  • A variety of tough circumstances around our house have left us in a spot where we had to rent. Ask me about it over beers/whiskey sometime and I’m happy to share… bottom line, we found ourselves needing to rent, so why not rent in Barcelona.

There are a number of common questions that come up too:

  • When do you go? Hopefully July 22. Look for more news in this space.
  • Where will you live? We don’t know exactly–we’ll be finding housing in the first weeks after we get there, but we’re aiming for walking distance from New Relic’s offices downtown in Eixample.
  • What about schools? That’s still also up in the air, but with the kids already speaking Spanish we’re confident we’ll find a good place for them, even if it entails ramping up on Catalan.

We’ll be using this blog for posting some stories and pictures from our travels since not everyone shares the same social networking sites these days. I hope you’ll join us!