“To be truly bilingual, I believe a child needs to be able to read and write in both languages, as well as to be able to speak both. By being fully bilingual children have more options. If they decide at a later date to work or study in the UK, having recognised English language skills is a definite advantage.” Sue Aitken
“There are three lessons I have learned about life as an expat. It helps to be adaptable, patient and have a big support network.” Marisa moved to Bordeaux with her husband and young family in 2009 for a 3 year trial period. They are still there today.
“Even though I’m Italian, after many years of living abroad I found returning to live in Italy harder than I had expected. Once again many things were different. I felt the only familiar thing was the language. Anything else I struggled to understand or to make sense of. I had to learn to live in my own country.”
“Whether we’re learning about a famous local artist or an old monument, the kids see the look of curiosity and wonder in our eyes and they become instant students of whatever we’re learning. It’s honestly surprised me how much their love of learning has grown on this trip.”
English-speaking women’s health specialist Dr Victoria Howe talks to MumAbroad Life about stress, hormones, the menopause, digestive health and a new diagnostics and prevention pack designed specifically for women at the new Turó Park Medical Centre in Barcelona.
Barcelona is widely promoted as an investment property ‘hotspot’ with newly renovated homes in high demand. Here is an amazing selection of stunning properties offered by our partners Lucas Fox International Properties.
Pirineu in Boca is a new concept in Barcelona: a multifunctional space combining a butchers shop, restaurant, delicatessen, take-away and a Romanesque art exhibition space. All products are hand picked from small, artisan producers in the Pyrenees.
“When pregnant, a woman’s diet should be designed to provide the “building blocks” for the baby, to help her with all the changes her body is going through and to keep her balanced and harmonious.”
“Integration is difficult in the early stages and if your French isn’t good it’s even harder. Even though it can be deeply uncomfortable you simply have to throw yourself in at the deep end and try – you will be respected for it and find that you fit in, in no time at all.”
“I’ve always loved wine and innately understood it somehow, and then my years working in the fragrance industry in New York gave me a good basis for sensing different aromas and understanding why things smell the way they do.” Ambika Kumar
“A quote is affixed to my bathroom mirror with the reminder, “we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” I am not there yet but each day here I am able to loosen my grip on “what should’ve been” a little bit more.”
Want to watch all your favourite TV programmes from back home? One expat Dad found a way and set up a business offering the service to others.
MumAbroad was founded by Rebecca Laidlaw, an Internet Marketing consultant & Carrie Frais, a Journalist and PR executive. Carrie lives in Barcelona and is Mum to Poppy (7) and Bertie (5) and Rebecca lives in Oxfordshire (UK) and has 3 children, Ollie (7), Sophie (5) and Theo (1).
“In 2007, we were both living in the beautiful city of Barcelona, having each just given birth to our first child. With no extended family to help with childcare, we looked for other resources to help guide us through this challenging period of our lives. We were surprised at how difficult it was to find easily accessible information about activities and services for parents. It soon became apparent that there was a growing niche for an English language website which would offer parents from the International Community valuable information such as child-related services, schools, family activities, shops, family holidays and restaurants. After extensive research and the help of scores of mothers, Barcelona Mum was born, offering a comprehensive and personalized guide to family life in Barcelona. Within a few months MumAbroad Spain was launched, incorporating the whole of Catalunya and subsequently Madrid, Andalucia, the Costa Blanca and the Balearics. As the site gained momentum, MumAbroad France, MumAbroad Italy and MumAbroad Germany were established and in 2014 the four sites were amalgamated under one roof.
We believe that, in the majority of cases, parents are the best judge of anything child-related, so that is why our site is based purely on recommendation. Every service, group or activity on our website has been recommended by at least one Mum or Dad. In our interview section, you can read about other mums’ experiences of living abroad as well as interviews with a host of childhood experts. In our Women in Business section, we’ve discovered some inspirational ladies, who have established successful businesses in and created a life for themselves, many of whom have had to juggle work and family life. Our forum allows parents to share concerns, offer advice, advertise services, buy & sell items and virtually meet others in an online community.”
Carrie & Rebecca