How to Move from America to Spain and Keep Your Job

Written by Abby Nieten on April 14, 2017

Posted in Human Resources

“Jobs fill your pocket. Adventures fill your soul.” – Jaime Lyn Beatty

Some jobs (or, rather, companies) enable adventure. Formstack is one of them.

Marketing Operations Analyst Charlie Holcomb knows this firsthand. In October 2016, he and his wife moved from the Midwest United States to Madrid, Spain, and they plan to be there for at least two years.

Charlie took one day of paid time off to travel to Madrid. The next day, he opened his laptop and got back to work.

How was that possible?

Formstack is a remote-first company, providing all the resources and processes employees need to live and work anywhere in the world. And they do. Formstackers (as we have aptly dubbed ourselves) are scattered across multiple regions in the United States, as well as Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and now Spain.

If done right, remote working can be a game changer. Take a deeper dive into Charlie’s story to see why:

Embracing the Travel Bug

Charlie has admittedly always had a bit of a travel bug.

“I recall having conversations about travel long before I joined Formstack,” he said.

Charlie’s wife has a background in foreign languages (specifically, Spanish and French) and has previously experienced the value of cultural immersion through study-abroad opportunities. When she expressed a desire to teach abroad, Charlie’s job with a remote company put him in the perfect position to explore travel possibilities. They chose Spain as their new home for two reasons: his wife’s language fluency and the opportunity to explore other nearby countries.

Ultimately, Charlie and his wife hope to grow as global citizens. They are fully embracing the unique opportunity they’ve been given to explore different cultures and try new things for an extended period of time—without the burden of quitting a job or scrambling for employment.

Trinity College in Dublin

Touring Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Exploring the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

CAT Bar in Barcelona

Hanging out at the Cat Bar in Barcelona, Spain

Becoming a Remotie

Before moving to Spain, Charlie lived near Formstack’s Indianapolis headquarters and worked from the office four to five days a week. With the move, he has become a full-blown “remotie,” getting to truly experience the positive remote culture Formstack has cultivated.

“No video call goes without catching up, or small talk, and most days I look forward to attending meetings,” he said.

The transition has not been without challenges, though.

“Top to bottom, Formstack is a team filled with incredible people, all of whom I genuinely look forward to seeing and working with every day,” Charlie said. “Leaving that community for relative isolation was the most difficult part of the move.”

The other challenge? Remote working often makes it hard to separate work from life. To combat that, Charlie carved out a desk space in his apartment.

Remote Working in Spain

Primary apartment workspace

Remote Working in Spain

Standing desk area to mix things up

Building a Remote Culture

Without Formstack, Charlie’s move likely would not have happened. He and his wife may have found a way to travel abroad for a few months at a time, but a complete move would have remained a dream. Thus, he’s extremely grateful for Formstack’s support of his family’s endeavors.

“So often, people have to move their lives to accommodate their career; Formstack has provided the opportunity to move my career to accommodate my life,” he said. “It turns the conversation of work/life balance on its head.”

Other Formstackers have also experienced this flexibility. Growth Team Lead Lindsay Johnson has lived in three states (Utah, California, and Nevada) since joining the Formstack team in 2015. And Software Developer Fermin Carranza splits his time between Florida (specifically, Miami) and Argentina. Even CEO Chris Byers has moved from Indianapolis to Oklahoma City and back to Indianapolis in his seven years at the helm.

Formstack makes it all possible through effective communication and an array of tools—such as Zoom, Slack, and Jell—that promote easy (and fun!) remote collaboration. Maintaining a thriving company culture with a distributed workforce is far from simple, but Formstack has found its sweet spot. And Charlie? Well, he’s found a new home where he can do the same great job.

Remote working fun facts

Formstackers in Madrid

Want a chance to experience Formstack’s awesome remote culture for yourself? Click below to explore our current job opportunities!