After living in Spain a few years.
Its almost 17 years now that I have been living in Spain and i have seen and experienced many things here good and bad that others can benefit from.
Many People, like me, had or have a dream to move to Spain in search of a better way of life. If you have lived and worked in the UK then there are now many reasons why a move to sunny Spain seems like a great idea.
Each year thousands of people move to Spain and over the years my work here as been helping them set up home here in the way of building, maintenance and renovating their properties and businesses here. I have seen people from all walks of live move here and many have struggled and some moved back to the uk.
So what is it that means some do well here and others struggle?
The way of life in Spain is a lot different than the UK and this is why many like it here but it can be frustrating with the language and paperwork if you are new here. Many times i have seen people move here after doing little or no research of work or areas to live and think to myself that they will find it hard after a few years but they are full of excitement and not about to listen to anyone tell them other wise and i would never put them off their dream.
There are the open mined ones who know its different and are willing to adapt to the way of life here and they make a real effort and these are the ones that make it here.
Yes you can live here in Spain and not speak any Spanish and just mix with a small local group of expats and many do this and are happy, thats great and i understand that.
Spain has so much more to offer though and there is a different way of life that many dont see as they dont really mix with the locals other than to say “Hola” to their local waiter or neighbor.
I am not knocking people who want this way of life as they do enjoy Spain and are happy with their life here but If you move to a new country and try all the new things, mix with Spanish people more than English and go out of your way and make an effort to integrate with Spanish people, you will see a very different way of life here and have some amazing experiences.
ie, Years ago i joined a Spanish walking club to get out and practice my poor Spanish and after a few weeks with them I made some new friends who invited me to a party at a Spanish house full of all Spanish and it was a real eye opener of how Spanish life was here and i loved it. The Spanish people can be so friendly and welcoming. These walking trips lead me on to meet new friends who invited me to new places and this is how i found and married my new Spanish wife.
After you have lived in Spain a few years, if you make the effort you will have many new Spanish friends and these people will expand your horizons and opportunities that could help you find better deals on car insurance and better places to eat and even work or jobs here in Spain that you may struggle to find if you stay in expat groups.
Now these expats groups can be very helpful and personally I would recommend you find these groups when you first move to Spain and seek out their local knowledge as it can be invaluable when you first move here. It was very useful for me when i first moved here but it is easy to get set in the weekly boose meetings at the same old bars talking about the same old things.
Some times i feel like the smug wise old owl when i see people move here like the guy who moved here a few years ago and when i asked what he was going to do here he said” work in a rent a car shop in town” i asked how his spanish was and he said that he didnt speak any spanish but it would be ok as he was just going to only rent to the British. No good telling him that all the paper work and telephone calls would be in Spanish though. Anyway he lasted about 1 year here.
I dont think i know it all even after nearly 17 years here and i am still shocked and peed off about the paper work here but i do have some experience now and want to pass it on to others so that they can see firsthand what it can be like living and working in Spain.
Personally i love it when i see people move here from the uk to start a new life here as i remember how great i felt the first few weeks here. It really is a great adventure. There will be many hard times here too and you will have struggles along the way as you still would if you lived in the UK, but if you follow just some of my advice you could save time money and heart ache.
Its all down to effort like anything in life. How much research have you done before you move here and how hard are you really learning Spanish, these 2 things above all else can mean the difference of making it here and struggling here.
When you see and hear these people living the dream life in Spain well remember that they have been through it all and had to learn to adapt here and if they can do it then so can you.
“If you want what others have got you need to do what others have done.”
Stop saying “I would love to do that” and start saying “I am glad i did that”.
Life is meant to be lived and life is short so start living your own dream life now before its too late.
It really is a warmer healthier and safer way of life in Spain and after almost 17 years here I can say Spain is everything and more that i expected and i for one would never go back to that rat race way of life again.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain?
There is loads more useful help tips and advice in my 2 new books take a look below.