How I Spent 10 Years To Get Where I Started



1. Elope mid-week at the Seattle courthouse, giggling in your work clothes as you read the standard vows, head spinning. Follow up with Thai food.

2. Take your entire wedding kitty, and spend it on your honeymoon. Leave the day after eloping with your brand new passport and land in Barcelona.

3. Travel around Europe for two weeks, seeing Italy and Malta along the way.

4. Fall in love with Barcelona.

5. Spend 18 months back home wondering why you’re not loving your job anymore.

6. Move to Texas for two years where you get promoted over your boss, she tries to make your life hell and you wonder, seriously, “What am I doing here?”

7. Sell off that massive Texas house you bought, move to Boston, where you start your dream job. Spend two weeks sitting in a cubicle with no assignments, time given to you to “set up your laptop and complete new hire training” both of which you completed on the first day. “Holy crap, I have to get out of here.”

8. Spend the next year saving 50% of your income to quit your job and become a world traveling writer and photographer. The motto is, “F&ck it.”

9. Travel around the world and become a writer.  Spend two whole years of mucking about to finally make a living at it.

10. Have a baby.

11. Keep traveling for three more years.

12. Have a second baby.

13. Live in Mexico for 10 months when your realize: holy crap, we stopped traveling! When did we become expats? Look at your children suspiciously.

14. Plan your great escape: Europe!

15. Research like mad. Where should we settle down?

16. Choose Spain for a number of really good reasons.

17. Research cities, looking for a place near the ocean, but not full of retired expats, has good schools, walkable, multicultural, and of course, lovely.

18. Remember your 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up. 10 years. 10! How does that even happen?

19. In the end, look at your spouse and together decide what you knew was inevitable all along.

20. Barcelona.

Next year, amid the craziness that is three years in the making… our documentary is coming to film festivals in the US, my book is due to my publisher and I still have two countries to visit for it and a slew of language exams to sit and we have a lease until Dec 31st on our Mexico home, but at some point in the early spring, we will rent a small flat in Barcelona and start our life there. Just 10 years later, instead of walking through the Gothic quarter as newlyweds, we’ll be there as residents, as parents of two kids, as a family.

Happy anniversary to my husband Drew, whom I was lucky enough to snag 10 years ago today — October 16th, 2003.



  1. Congratulations, Christine. I’m looking forward to reading about your upcoming adventures in Barcelona. I was there this fall and I fell in love with it too. What a fantastic city! Best of luck to you both for the next ten years and many more to come.

  2. Caitlin Fitzsimmons

    Yay! Good choice – good luck in Barcelona!

  3. Roxanne Rockett

    LOVE this post & had to share it! Congratulations to you both, way to truly LIVE.

  4. malia yoshioka

    Awesome and congratulations! I have been a fan of Almost Fearless for years – so happy to see that you are constantly seeking (and finding) new definitions of happiness, success, and joy, while doing things that you love with the people you love. You and your journey are an inspiration!

  5. Megan DaGata

    Congratulations Christine! I love it! I can’t wait to read about your adventures in Barcelona. I can only hope to have a similar story one of these days. Gracias para todo. Buena suerte en su nueva aventura!!

  6. Emily McIntyre

    Christine, what a wonderful story. I’m 3 years in, at the end of the month, and I hope to have my own 10-year story to reminisce about. So far it’s been terribly exciting–two Midwesterners traveling the country over and over and drinking coffee with our toddler.

    Congratulations and many blessings for your next 50 years.


  7. I love saving 50% of income. Currently, saving 20%. Never occur to me of saving 50%. Will like to work towards it!

  8. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    Happy anniversary to the two of you! While life has come full circle for the two of you, what a FULL circle the journey has been, no?

  9. congrats! so much good news, a new home for you and your family, and a ten-year anniversary! enjoy the expat life and let me know if you’re ever near Ghent!

  10. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    Happy anniversary! I live in Southern Spain and have been here for six years. I look at my husband suspiciously and often ask, ‘Why did you make me stay here?’ and then remember it was the tapas and the wine and the siestas, too. If you need any expat hints for Spain, definitely get in touch!

  11. Trishia Jacobs-Carney

    Congratulations!! Rod and I really enjoyed Barcelona.We were there at the end of March and it felt like summer. We, too, got lost in the Gothic quarters. Loved Parc Guell.

  12. Patricia Sands

    Congratulations, Drew and Christine! I’ll be watching to see if your doc is coming to Toronto … will promote like crazy if it is! Onward!

  13. Happy anniversary guys! That’s one hell of a full circle. I hope we get to cross paths in Europe at some point 🙂

  14. For some reason I find this incredibly encouraging – I often feel like I have no direction, or more like my parents give me crap about the direction I’m going. It comforts me that you have managed to have such a beautiful life even while doing all sorts of different things.

  15. It’s awesome to see you’ve achieved so much of what the mainstream would consider a ‘normal life’ without sacrificing your desire to travel!

  16. Kim :: Simpler Pursuits

    Happy Anniversary, Christine + Drew! It was fun to read about your 10 years together and how you ended up going back to Barcelona. It’s such a lovely city and I look forward to reading about your new Spanish adventures!

  17. Lauren Rinehart

    I love this post. You are an inspiration for us other hopeful world travelers. Happy Anniversary!

  18. I am seriously considering moving to Barcelona and taking a Spanish lover. Maybe I will see you guys there?

  19. Congratulations you two! Funny how things come full circle. It’s pretty inspiring. Best of luck in Barcelona!

  20. Aaaaaaaaaaaaawww sounds so dreamy alhough I’m sure many parts weren’t! Love the fact that you’re so dedicated to living your dreams

  21. sarah horcoff

    Love this post! I’ve been following you for over a year now and as always what you write resonates for me and my own life path. I visited Barcelona many years ago in my early 20’s and I swore that I would one day live there. Recently after going through some very challenging life experiences I sold everything and moved to Mexico with a goal of creating mobile work so that I can travel as you have done. I’m currently in Puerto Vallarta myself so if you have time for a chat I’d love to meet you in person or I’d welcome any advice you can give a newbie following in your footsteps…almost literally lol!
    All the very best to you and your family on your newest journey to Spain.

  22. Rebecca and the World

    Congratulations and happy anniversary! What an amazing ten years 🙂

  23. aw, I just found your blog and was so endeared to read this entry! what a wonderful (and very reductive, I’m sure!) way to put it. hoping to continue following your journey as you begin your next decade of family life and travel.