Pond Jumpers: Spain

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We Are Moving To Spain

Posted on June 13, 2010 at 6:02pm Madrid / 12:02pm Cincinnati by Kelly Larbes

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We are moving to Spain. We are moving to Madrid, Spain in July. It just seems crazy to say. I’ve wanted to live in Spain and to work for a talented innovation and design consultancy for a number of years now. I am so excited that I get to do both! And I know I am super lucky to have a wonderful husband who is enthusiastic for another new adventure.

We have fallen in love with Croatia and we will miss it dearly, but I will save that discussion for another time. For now, I want to share some of the things I am looking forward to most about living in Madrid.

Becoming fluent in Spanish

I studied Spanish at Lakota West High School and Ohio University, but I never reached a very good level of fluency and now I forget half of what I learned. One of my goals is to become fluent in Spanish within the first four months living in Madrid. I know four months is a pretty arbitrary time line, but I figured I needed to set a date for my goal to help motivate me. By fluent, I mean I’d like to be able to speak comfortably and intelligently (even if I still make grammatical mistakes) and to understand anyone speaking Spanish, whether it is in person, on the phone, in a movie, or eavesdropping on the street.

I haven’t devised a precise plan on how to accomplish this yet, but I know my biggest obstacle will be getting over my nervousness when speaking Spanish. I need to not worry about how stupid I sound right now.

Working for DNX Group

I am very happy to introduce DNX Group, the design and innovation consulting firm I’ll be working for in Madrid once my work permit gets approved. Most of DNX’s work focuses on studying how people use all different types of technologies and how to improve those experiences. Their clients include many of Spain’s largest companies (Caja Madrid, Telefónica, RTVE, etc.) and Spanish divisions of other worldwide companies (Coca-Cola, MTV, Nokia, etc)

I’ll be joining a team of about of about 40 professionals from all different fields including engineers, programmers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists and designers. It is a group of very smart people (at least the 10+ people that I have talked with are) and I can’t wait to join them. Here is an article about them if you want to learn more. And here is Google’s English translation of the article.

Learning about a new culture

I’ve always enjoyed talking to people with different backgrounds and different nationalities because they always seem to have fascinating stories. Living in Madrid will give us the opportunity to meet a lot of Spaniards and to learn more about their culture.

Learning about a new culture isn’t just interesting to me, but I think it also makes me a more tolerant person and gives me insight to appreciate more things in my life I’ve always taken for granted.

New places to visit

Obviously I love visiting new places and seeing new things. Living in Madrid will open up an entire new region of places that will be easy to visit. Spain has a wonderful train system that will make short weekend trips anywhere in the country convenient. And Madrid’s airport hosts a number of discount airlines, such as Easy Jet and Vueling, making travel throughout Europe cheap!

Big city living

I’ve always thought it would be fun living in a big city. Madrid is a big city, Europe’s third largest after London and Berlin. There are over 3 million people in the city and over 6 million in the metro area (similar to Chicago). I’m looking forward to the variety of life: distinctive people, random weirdness walking down the street, and lots of different activities. There will always be fun happenings: lots of cultural entertainment, sporting events, art exhibitions, music concerts, recreational activities and more. And there is an excellent metro system to get us all around the city.

There is so much to look forward to. Surely there is a lot I haven’t even thought of yet. Eventually we will return to our true home, Cincinnati, but for now, I am very excited to make Madrid our new home.

10 Reader Comments to “We Are Moving To Spain”

  1. Jennie on June 13, 2010 at 7:50pm Split / 1:50pm Cincinnati

    I’m sad you’re leaving Croatia too, but have a great time in Spain!!

  2. Alison on June 14, 2010 at 9:43am Split / 3:43am Cincinnati

    Congrats on the new job and the big move! Spain is definitely a place I would consider living as well. It’s so beautiful and rich in culture. Best of luck with all of the move preparations and I can’t wait to read about your new adventures!

  3. MOM Klocke on June 14, 2010 at 6:57pm Split / 12:57pm Cincinnati

    It sounds like you have once again set your goals and are about to attain them. Your entire life has been setting goals and being able to reach them and then set a new goal or goals to attain. I wish you the best.

  4. Christine Gilbert on June 14, 2010 at 7:17pm Split / 1:17pm Cincinnati

    Woah! Congrats! That will be so amazing… but what will happen to the name of this blog?

  5. Jen on June 15, 2010 at 2:43pm Split / 8:43am Cincinnati

    How exciting for you two! Glad you will be so close to London – you can pop over for a visit. :-)

  6. Kelly Larbes on June 15, 2010 at 10:20pm Split / 4:20pm Cincinnati

    Thanks for the kind thoughts and emails from everyone. We’re going to have to change our blog to Pond Jumpers: Spain! We haven’t quite figured out the logistics yet – I’ll be working on that next week. Yes, we will be close to London! And you definitely have a place to stay if you make a visit to Madrid.

    We have so much to do in the next few weeks!

  7. Kim Snapp on June 17, 2010 at 9:24pm Split / 3:24pm Cincinnati

    Congrats on all your success! I am very excited for you and I look forward to your new chapters on Pond Jumpers: Spain!

  8. Amy on June 18, 2010 at 3:31am Split / 9:31pm Cincinnati

    Kelly!!!! I’m sooo jealous!! You’ve come full circle! hahaha. I’m so excited for you really!! ¡Felicidades! Si tienes la oportunidad de ir a Cádiz otra vez, salude a nuestra familia española! 😉 ¡Ayyyyy! ¡Yo también quiero regresar a España! ¡Les deseo lo mejor!

  9. Kelly Larbes on June 21, 2010 at 10:43pm Split / 4:43pm Cincinnati

    Kim – Thanks! We just bought the domain name! Now we own Pond Jumpers: Croatia and Pond Jumpers: Spain (they will both point to the same web site).

    Amy – I didn’t know you had a blog too. very nice stories. Do you post them on Facebook? You definitely should. Espero que puedes visitarnos en España.

  10. Elisa on June 22, 2010 at 8:27pm Split / 2:27pm Cincinnati

    Felicidades!!! Me da mucho gusto por ustedes. Nos vemos el domingo para comer una deliciosa pizza.

    I think I might start commenting only in spanish so I can help with your goal of refreshing your spanish?