Small Pleasures Equal Expat Bliss

2 Nov

I’m simple to please— a good food, good wine, good company kind of girl. The problem is I move a lot. Since graduating from high school in 2005 I’ve lived in Washington, DC, Worcester, MA, Amherst, MA, Granada, Spain, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Seville, Spain, El Puerto de Santa María, Spain, and Madrid, Spain (in addition to the time I spent in my hometown Sutton, MA). That’s nine places in six years! So each time I move I need to search out the good food, good wine, and good company all over again. Thank God for the internet. I don’t know how people made friends before Facebook and Twitter, how they discovered decent restaurants before Tripadvisor, or how they found their way to the closest supermarket before Googlemaps.

I’ve found that when moving to a new place the smallest things can bring the greatest happiness.

Some examples of expat bliss:

Finding out one of my favorite supermarkets was hidden on a side street around the corner.

I love Lidl!

Realizing my neighborhood had a wonderful shoe repair shop (it’s much cheaper and more responsible to fix my shoes than to buy new ones!)

I brought my boots-- good as new for 8 euro!

Discovering my neighborhood’s marketplace—something I was missing from Seville and unknowingly had right here all along!

My neighborhood (Pacífico) has its own market with plenty of Jamones!

Meeting some other expats for a holiday tradition.

"Pimp Your Pumpkin" My first expat party in Madrid

Trying authentic Argentine empanadas made by the sweetest lady that brought me back to the streets of Buenos Aires.

Argentine empanadas at the Pacífico Market!

Empanada de Maiz

Taking our first visitors to “our park” El Retiro and enjoying a beautiful Fall day.

One of our first visitors-- she enjoyed the park!

What simple pleasures get you guys through the day as expats? How do you meet people when you move around frequently? Please share!

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7 Responses to “Small Pleasures Equal Expat Bliss”

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures November 2, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    What a beautiful post! Honestly, when I’m traveling my #1 small pleasure, gasp, is Starbucks!!!

    • Lauren November 2, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      Thanks Andi! Starbucks is definitely a small pleasure– I especially love their Fall pumpkin spice lattes (I might have to go there today)!

  2. Cassandra Gambill November 2, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    You lucked out having your fav supermercado so close! It looks like you won the shoe repair lottery, as well.

    My small pleasure would be watching a beloved TV show, like “The Office.” Nothing like American slang and pop culture references to revive and remind!

    • Lauren November 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Oh I know! For me it’s more like a guilty pleasure… I have to watch myself or I could spend an entire afternoon on I love Modern Family for some cultural references!

  3. cat November 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Who is that baby!! So cute!

    • Lauren November 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Ale (& my) niece Elisa! Such a cutie pie right?

  4. Eileen黃愛玲 November 5, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    I admit, I moved around since I was little. My dad was in the army. I moved constantly. I remember in the middle of the night, my dad would wake me up and tell me to hop in the car. I couldn’t really talk to people because I was born mostly deaf and I was in the middle of speech therapy. 🙂

    I am on the verge of debating if I should move to Taiwan to learn Mandarin. Right now, my simplest pleasure is authentic Cuban cuisine in South Florida. Can’t get any better than that. 🙂

    I really like your blog. 🙂

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