Expat family adventure in Spain

Dana Bascati and her daughter Credit: Dana Bascati

Seeking a similar lifestyle to Australia’s, Dana Bascati’s family adventure began with an unexpected twist.

The international family was already used to different types of experiences and environments. “We are an international family from three different countries: my husband is from Ireland, I’m from the south of Russia, and our kids are Australians,” said Dana.

From work trip to whole family move

Yet, moving to Spain was not in their initial plan. “One work trip to Spain was enough for us to move the whole family!” she says.

Initially unplanned, their relocation was inspired by Spain’s culture and welcoming expat community. “We were searching for a lifestyle similar to Australia’s but based in Europe, ideally in an expat-friendly location,” said Dana.

However, the transition was not without its challenges. Adjusting to Spain’s traditional bureaucracy proved difficult.

“Paperwork is the worst” she noted, “Having lived in Australia and the UK, where most things are done online with a click of your fingers, I was shocked to see how old-school all the systems are in Spain.”

Language barriers added another layer of complexity since Dana’s family does not speak Spanish yet and a large part of the locals do not communicate in English.

“It hasn’t caused me big problems as I manage to communicate, and I guess after years of living in different countries, you adjust faster even if you can’t speak the language.”

A journey of no regrets

Despite these challenges, Dana affirms the family found what they were looking for in Spain. “We found what we wanted,” she says, “My heart is in Madrid. I love the culture, the style, and the opportunities of this beautiful city.”

Reflecting on their experience, she remains positive about their choice. “So far, so good. No regrets, only positives.”

She now shares her daily experiences in Spain on Instagram, posting humorous content about motherhood, relationships, and travel through her profile.

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Written by

Talyta Franca

Talyta Franca, Class 2026, Northwestern University in Qatar.