Greetings from Madrid!
Robert and I needed to make a decision about returning to Spain. After continuing to pay rent on our vacant flat, it was time to head back or pull the plug. If we selected the latter option and gave up the apartment (along with our winter clothes, Robert’s musical equipment, and a bunch of other personal items we left behind), it would have required significant emotional and logistical effort to eventually redo the heavy lifting we had already accomplished.
Additionally, our visas must be renewed by 4 November, and there was considerable uncertainty about the Spanish government’s willingness to do so (despite the ongoing health crisis) had we only spent four and a half months in the country.
After evaluating the numerous pros and cons of coming back, the decision was actually pretty easy. Our resident cards enabled us to reenter the EU despite the travel ban. And Spain is so much more affordable than the US; the Europeans have seemingly learned hard lessons from their recent experiences with public health; and, most important, we missed Madrid (I mean, where else — besides Italy, perhaps — can you find blue cheese gelato?) Having been back for four days now, I understand that I missed it more than I had realized.
My crystal ball has never been very accurate, and no one knows what the future holds. We remain cautious in our neighborhood ventures, but practically everyone here wears a mask (whether required or not), and appropriate social distancing has appeared universal in our nearby outings so far.
As always, the tremendous love and support from family and friends have been instrumental in advancing our adventure. We simply cannot thank you all enough.