Create a Life You Love

get your copy today!

My new book is here!

How to quiet outside voices so you can finally hear your own.


Business owner and mom of two — desperately seeking a smaller life.

I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

hey there

The beginning of the story

get a copy

Get my new book!

Girls Night Podcast

Navigating big decisions & life transitions — one girls night at a time!

TOp categories

The Gift Shop

Matching shirts and meaningful gifts for best friends.

Books & Courses

Books, courses, workbooks, and guides to help you create a life you love.

Create A Life You Love: Comes out on April 30th!

“Wait… why are you moving to Spain, again?”

If you're asking that, you're absolutely not alone. I think everyone in our lives are trying to wrap their minds around why we'd rent out our house, sell our cars and basically all of our stuff, and pack up two toddlers to move to the other side of the world.

I totally get the confusion. If we were moving, say, for a job — that would be so easy to explain. “Oh, I/Carl got a new job.” Easy peasy to explain.

But that's not the case.

But some of the reasons aren't so fun — the biggest one being that the life we've built for ourselves here in Nashville just isn't working for us anymore. While it's been so wonderful and so good for so long, in the last year or so, we realized it was just TOO BIG.

Our life changed completely when our girls were born — in the very best way. But ever since, I feel like we've been piling on more, thinking that if we just add one more thing to our lives, or to our Amazon cart, it'll make everything so much easier. (I will say, some things DID make the transition into motherhood easier — I have them all listed right here!)

But then last summer, we finally had to stop and realize that we weren't in charge of our life anymore, our life was in charge of us. The pace, the schedule, and the cost of it all was drowning us. We had to do something different.

Carl and I both own our own businesses. Neither one of us has a traditional job. And that means that neither one of us has a no-matter-what salary that comes from someone else. We're in charge, which means we're also in charge of keeping the lights on. And in some seasons that's been easier than others.

(This last year as I've been working on my new book, I haven't really been able to do much else, which means it hasn't been the most lucrative season for my business.)

The trickiest piece of the financial pie, however, has been childcare.

Carl and I both work full-time-ish (sometimes more, sometimes less), and financially, that's what's best for our family. It also helps that we're both doing things we LOVE — the work we truly feel we're meant to do in the world.

And so because of that, we need childcare, and this has been a struggle since day one.

It turns out, finding a great babysitter isn’t like ordering a pizza. You don’t just call for help and have it in thirty minutes or less. Instead, it’s more like online dating — tedious, discouraging, and I’d even say heartbreaking until you finally meet someone and fall in love.

Daycare wasn’t any easier. I called around to try to find space for the girls, only to discover that I should have gotten us on a waiting list the second I found out I was pregnant—and even that would have been too late. In most places in metro Nashville, it was going to be at least two years before we could get spots.

And then there was still the question of paying for it.

We recently did our taxes and so I know the number exactly. We spent $39,189 dollars on childcare last year. That’s more than it would have cost to send both of my toddlers to the University of Tennessee.

And that's WITH family in town to help us.

So just under a year ago — at the end of our rope (and scraping the bottom of our bank accounts), we decided to leave the city we’ve lived in and loved for the last 10 years, rent out our dream home, and move 30 minutes north to lower our cost of living a little. (And to be closer to grandparents!)

If we finished out the year here, our childcare bill would be $32,000. It’s better… but like… is it? 

So that's just one of the reasons we've decided to make a much more drastic change.

Note about the cost of living in Spain:

This move is going to drastically reduce our cost of living for a few reasons. (Surprising? Maybe! Lots of people think Europe is more expensive, but that's not always the case!) Here's how this works out:

1. Since we're not living in our primary residence, we've been able to rent it out to another family — providing us with a new income stream.

2. Instead of having to wait until Kindergarten to be eligible for free public school, our girls will get to go right away — which will save us (*checks notes*) about $32,000 a year for the next two years. (Note: We will be paying Spanish taxes!)

3. If we were to move to Barcelona or a more expensive part of the country, our housing cost might be comparable to what it is here, but we specifically chose a smaller, less expensive city, which means our housing cost will be roughly half of what it is here. (We will also be in a much smaller space — which we're totally fine with!)

4. Living in such a walkable city with good public transportation means we don't necessarily have to own a car — which not only saves a car payment and gas, but also insurance. We're selling our cars here, and if we can, we'd like to avoid owning a car in Spain.

Last note:

The cost of living in Spain right now is significantly less than the cost of living in the US. However, that's relative to an American salary. (Which we will still have — working as digital nomads). It's important to note that life for Spaniards who are being paid Spanish wages is as tight if not tighter than it is for us here in the US. We just want to be really careful to paint an accurate picture here. And we're also working hard to be responsible and respectful in the way we enter a new country and economy.

So many aspects of our life will be different in Spain and I'm so looking forward to it. We need a reset, a break, a moment to breathe and re-evaluate.

We need a moment where we can sweep the puzzle pieces to the floor and start over. “Okay, what's important to us? What's actually essential? What do we want to make sure to keep, and what can we live without?”

At the moment, we're going through our house piece by piece and sorting everything we own into three piles:

  1. Take to Spain (We're just taking a handful of suitcases. TBD on exactly how many. 🤪)

  2. Keep and store (We only have a small closet to store things in, so we're being really selective. The filter I'm trying to use is, “How will I feel when I open up this closet in a few years? Will I be so happy to find this thing? Or will I wonder, “Why in the world did I keep this?!”)

  3. Donate/recycle/toss (I've fallen in love with Trashie bags — I'm trying to be really responsible in how we get rid of things, and Trashie's been a huge help!)

It's an overwhelming process, certainly. Especially because with it, we're trying to figure out Spanish health insurance, our visa application, saying goodbye to so many people we love, and all the daily stuff like our normal work and what's for dinner.

But with every pile we tackle (from receipts and stacks of papers to what we want to do about insurance and whether or not we want to have a car (we've decided we don't!)) — I'm feeling two things.

1. I'm feeling so proud of myself.

    In theory, I know I can do hard things. I know we all can do hard things. But with every puzzle I solve, every uncomfortable/intimidating task I tackle head-on, I stand taller and taller. It almost feels like, “If I can do this, what CAN'T I do!?” It's a really cool, empowering feeling.

    2. I'm feeling lighter.

    Less to worry about, less to manage, less to navigate, less to pay for. So often we think that our quality of life improves with the more we have. But sometimes, I think it may be the opposite, and I'm feeling that freedom already.

    According to the paper chain we made with the girls yesterday, we leave for Spain in 22 days. We have about 40,000 things to do between now and then, and depending on the moment, I'm tired, overwhelmed, OVER-THE-MOON EXCITED, teary, and about a thousand other emotions.

    But we're doing this. We're lightening our load and going on an adventure and I can't wait to see what happens next.

    If you want to read the backstory on why we're moving to Spain, make sure you check out this post (the full backstory is also in my book, Create a Life You Love)!

    + show Comments

    - Hide Comments

    add a comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Sign up for my newsletter and get weekly emails with stories, resources, updates (and discounts!) you won't find anywhere else. 

    Get on the list,
    and never miss a thing!

      Let's be friends!