Journal Posts

A Lullaby For The Old World Order

 Journal

I realized this morning that I haven’t really given an update since I was smack-dab in the middle of our lockdown here in Spain. Most of us here spent 98 days essentially locked up in our apartments, only venturing outside to quickly get some groceries or to go to a pharmacy. It was one of the most intense and invasive lockdowns of any country anywhere, and many people here really struggled to cope with it. While I didn’t mind being at home, especially since I had many renovation projects on the go, the inability to even go for a walk […]

Spanish Quarantine: Day 20

 Journal

Tomorrow marks the end of the third week of forced quarantine here in Spain, and unfortunately at this point there still is no end in sight. At the start of this week both the active cases of COVID-19 as well as the number of deaths seemed to be on the cusp of plateauing, but yesterday brought new highs for both. I normally try to stay up each night until midnight, mostly to see what the latest numbers are – while they aren’t complete, usually there is an update shortly after midnight that gives some indication of what the next day […]

Spanish Quarantine: Day 12

 Journal

This morning I woke up and like most days since the quarantine started here in Spain, immediately checked the official statistics to see if the curve has started to flatten yet. Today’s update shows rough 5,500 new cases since yesterday with another 443 people having died. roughly the entire capacity of Surrey Memorial Hospital back home in the Fraser Valley. While these numbers are slightly less than the ones from the day before, I’ve learned not to get too excited with a low day on the charts since often the next day more than makes up for it. What these […]

Solidarity In A Time Of Crisis

Social Commentary

On January 7th, 2020, I was on an airplane flying from Vancouver, Canada, to Valencia, Spain, fully unaware of what was occurring in Asia with regards to a novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Little did I know, in roughly two months we would be on lockdown here in Spain for the foreseeable future in an effort to curb the rapidly increasing countrywide death rate associated with COVID-19. Like many countries who now find themselves in a similar place, Spain mostly ignored the lessons we should have learned from Italy, and Italy largely ignored the lessons they should have learned […]

Social Responsibility In The Age Of The Location-Independent Traveller

 Climate Change

I live a fortunate life. I have a profession that effectively lets me work from anywhere in the world, all while making an income generally in North American dollars. Popularized by such ‘visionaries’ as Tim Ferris, my lifestyle, and the lifestyle of potentially a billion people by the year 2035, is likely a new world norm. No longer are people like me stuck in offices – we can get on airplanes and work from anywhere in the world – from the remote jungles of Vietnam, to the beautiful mountains of Spain’s Canary Islands, to the wineries within a few stone’s […]

Tapas Forever

 Journal

Hey everyone, I’ve started a new website called TapasForever detailing my goal for living for a year in Spain. If you’re interested in the journey, or perhaps want to move to Europe for a year or longer in the future, head on over and check it out. I recommend visiting the Start Here page for information on the various resources that will be available. I’m looking forward to getting my visa and checking off a lot of boxes in terms of things I would to accomplish in life (Spanish language, I’m looking at you!). Cheers, Duane

How To Open a Bank Account in Spain as a Non-Resident

Moving To Spain

So if you’re here, you’re likely thinking about moving to Spain at some point. I know this, because that’s my end goal as well. Maybe not forever, but likely for a year or more. One of the first hurdles you may encounter is opening a bank account. Once you have a long-term stay visa or a temporary residence in Spain, you can open an account as a resident. But there are certain advantages to having one sooner. For example, I thought moving larger amounts of money from Canada to Spain would probably be much easier when I am actually physically […]

Building an Outdoor Farmhouse Patio Table

 Journal

I’ve been in the market for a new outdoor patio table for quite some time. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t really want to spend a huge amount of money on one, which is why I originally was looking at buying a used one. As I live in a cottage, I really wanted a wood table for my outdoor patio as opposed to a metal one. I spent the last few weeks looking at used offerings in the area, but everything looked pretty beat up or just in an older style that wouldn’t really fit in with my decor. I started […]

New Beginnings

 Journal

I realized recently that it’s been almost a full year since I wrote anything on this website. I have tried at various times over the last year to sit down and write, but the words just wouldn’t come. But tonight I thought it was probably best to blow the layer of dust off and finally write an update. And the main update is this: last year my heart broke. As many people know I was in a pretty serious relationship; it unfortunately ended almost a year ago today. As an engineer, I’m trained to solve problems, often difficult ones. But […]

Opening a USD account from Canada with TD

Preparation

A friend of mine is making preparations to leave on a big European adventure, and trying to get everything ready before she leaves. One of her recent questions on Facebook was regarding how to be paid as a US-based contractor via PayPal and not lose any excessive money due to currency conversion. This is actually a tricky problem for a few reasons. First, most banks in Canada only deal in Canadian dollars. If you want to deposit USD into your CAD account you can, but the banks usually tack on an extra 2-3% to the base rates as another way […]