WE DID IT – American Refugees


We made it to Spain intact — 2 humans, 3 dogs, 2 cats and 14 suitcases — in the middle of a pandemic. The Spanish Customs officials seemed to be waiting for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to show up, with us as their faceless retinue.

Some have called us crazy. This self-projection, this shadow-revealing, ad-hominem attack, falls on our deaf ears. Sorry, rabid patriots, look in the mirror. Your madness clearly engulfs us, with so many of our family, friends, acquaintances and business associates in clear denial of historical context for what is happening in the once-admirable USA. It seems to me, honestly, that the entire country is either confused or mentally ill, poisoned by division, hatred, ignorance, confusion, and emotional violence. For years, I’ve felt like a bodhisattva baking in a hell realm. Ain’t much you can do when your whole country is sick and you have no clout as a lone voice in the wilderness. If nobody is listening, well, then, one must act (relatively) alone to preserve health, mental well-being, relationships and capitial. We meditate upon your recovery from afar.

The only option I saw was escape, at least until after elections and their aftermath. We do not have the resources to be trapped in an anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-liberal cauldron of misinformation, misdirections, obfuscations, and confusion. The scariest thing, to me, was so-called Christians promoting evil as doctrine. Talk about The Upside Down.

It seems like a miracle that we made it so far, and it sorta was. There are many who have our eternal gratitude, and I will list them at some point. But it was also the result of a hella-lotta research, planning, hard work, project management, and heart-pounding stress. Most essentially, to pull off the amount of luggage and animals we brought, we needed a great deal of help from friends, including one friend in particular, Sunny, who went so far beyond any reasonable person’s friend-limits that she deserves to be a beneficiary in our wills.

We got this far, but we’re not by any means out of the woods yet. We are still in quarantine, just now coming out of our jet lag on day 6. There are stories to tell. Lessons we have learned. Every time I called my sister to cry or vent or to share some unbelievable happening, she told me that we should be filming our journey as YouTube special. If only there had been time for this, it would surely have provided amusement and hours of great entertainment to people in lockdown back home. But alas, we did not have time. Though our planning began years before, the crunch we experienced in the final month, the final week, and the final days before our departure nearly, literally, killed us with stress.

I’ve never taking so many sedatives in my life. Prescription Lorazapam and Clonazapam. Quasi-legal cross-border-over-the-counter diazapam, one of the perks of living 10 miles from the Mexican border. Yes, there was Emergen-c and Zinc and ethyl alcohol and masks galore, as well as my personal tequila-shot nuclear option, after faced with high-exposure COVID scenarios, for example, after shopping at Costco in the Chula Vista Mega Contagion Zone. But alcohol was for clearing out the bugs. It was no match for the stress. I admit that I sank so low as to pop my dog’s Tramadol pills to stop the palpitations. And this coming from someone who never uses narcotics. I don’t like them. But along with the daily aspirin, I had no shame in trying to stop a heart-attack. In the last month before we left, it was constant heart palpitations and anxiety attacks. This was the hardest and most high-stakes project I ever tried to pull-off, for the survival and well-being of my family.

And we did it. We are slowly recovering. Getting our health back. Moving around outside, actually walking around, moving the bodies, for the first time in nearly 6 months of shut-in-level quarantine in Southern California.

So now, from the other side of the journey, as we peer into uncertainty and an unforseeable future in a foreign town that we’d never been to before, in a country we barely know, I begin my Captain’s Log. Hopefully, our tales with inform and amuse you, and for anyone planning to undertake emigration, I hope to spare you some of our pain and learning curve.

Things are changing by the minute — the news regarding the rules of emigration are changing — you’re going to have to juggle an ecosystem of constantly evolving rules and changes with downstream impacts.

I would not recommend our level of migration to anyone not extremely well-versed in project management, or at least organized to David-Sedaris-Level of anally retentitve organization habits and documentation managment.

Disfruten, y hasta pronto!

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Ciao for now, American compadres. We watch the election and other news from our homeland with great angst and anticipation, hoping for sanity to prevail.

Captain Eva, over and out, Sitges 22.10.20

2 thoughts on “WE DID IT – American Refugees

  1. Eva! I am so glad to hear you and Paula have arrived safely…though it sounds that you barely made escape velocity! Bless Sunny whomever she is. I continue to hold you in Heart and I can’t wait to hear more.

    Much Love, Emyo Darlene

    Liked by 1 person

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