Age in Spain: Getting out more

Age in Spain: Getting out more

Credit: ThisisCool_Productions/

Moving to our rural community in Galicia, we were more of a curiosity than anything else. Americans move to the Costa del Sol or the Costa Brava, not the geographical centre of the rainy Spanish province tucked up above Portugal.

As far away from the capital, Madrid, as you can get. Let’s face it, where we live isn’t sexy. No one is in a bikini getting a suntan or enjoying a fruity beverage under an umbrella on the beach in mid-March. Where we live is a work-a-day place—filled with farmers and tradesmen. And tractors.

Everyone here knows everyone else except us. And they don’t need to broaden their circle, especially to include linguistically challenged Americans who dress weird and are always smiling, as Americans are known to do. So, we had to find another way in.

After we moved to the farm, Jeff and I decided we wanted a dog. Our neighbourhood dogs visit regularly, but we wanted one of our own. Finally, a shelter responded to my inquiry, and we adopted our new Labrador, Fergus. And I began walking him on the trails in the area, through villages, and into town.

At first, people were sceptical of the American woman and her little puppy. Then, they started stopping their chores to pet him. Soon, I began to recognize fellow dog walkers. I would get a tip of the cap or a barely discernible chin nod. Then, they would allow their dogs to interact with Fergus and chat.

Jeff and I were in town recently. A man smiled and nodded at me as we passed.

‘Who’s the guy?’ Jeff asked.

‘Just one of my dog-walking friends. Fergus knows him.’

Jeff just laughed. But he really should get out more.

Kelli Field is an American expat writer/blogger living in rural Galicia, and a volunteer for Age in Spain. 

Some of her other writing about moving to and living in Spain can be found at

If you’d like to get in touch with Age In Spain, we can be reached at (+34 932 209 741)

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Kelli Field