Each month we ask an expat to tell us about their experience when they packed up and moved to Spain. Some of our writers moved permanently, others just for part of the year. Whatever they decided, each have a story to tell that might help you in your move to Spain.
Today we asked Henrietta Carey to tell us her experience when she moved to Spain.
My Experience moving to Spain
The things I miss about England is the beautiful countryside and have of course a lot of friends. I MOVED TO SPAIN 12 years ago with all of my children. We moved to the Estepona area after selling the house back home. I wasted no time in getting over here to start a better life for my family. Of course I knew it was a risk, maybe it wouldn’t work out, but I had to know and so me being me …. I did it.
How it all began…
The first things I did were to buy a property so we were all secure. I looked at different locations and found one that was right for me. Everything went very smoothly, all my goods arrived on time and with no damage. My children loved it … freedom, something that is so important to all of us. I was always worried when I lived in England, about simply everything, was I doing everything right? And I mean everything. Did I have the right furniture, the right clothes, the right car, was I feeding my family the right food!! Were my children doing the right studying at school, the right sports etc. etc. It was just exhausting and it never ended.
Taking the leap
Then I moved … and for me it all changed. I could breathe and it was wonderful. After managing to get my feet on the ground and my children into International school and all things sorted with a nice routine through the day and week, I could finally look around me and take it all in.
A spot of useful advice
As I said, I moved to an area near to Estepona and San Pedro, very close to all amenities. I didn’t know any Spanish and for quite a while I had to rely on friends that I had made, to help me out with translations, so I bumbled along. I learnt very quickly that you really need to get the translation correct and to make it very clear what you want. For that I suggest to anyone reading this that if you don’t have anyone you know fluent in Spanish you can go to an administration/ translation office and ask them to help you, they will deal with phone calls and documents for you. It is always very important that you make sure you know what is going on. The bureaucratic systems for all providers (i.e water, electricity, taxes, hospitals etc) work in a very different way to what I was used to and what I expected.
Heading in the right direction…
Over the last 12 years, systems have improved immensely and there is now a central information hub where the different government departments can match up information. There has also been a lot of financial input into the leisure infrastructure making the whole area very pleasing to tourists and residents here.
You will find many information leaflets on how to move to Spain. If you are choosing to buy a property here, no matter what size, it is always a good investment. The rental market for short term (holidays) or long term is very strong here, so you will never have a problem if you decide that Spain is not for you as it will be so easy to rent your property out.
Just a short flight from England, it is just so easy to switch to a different lifestyle. To jump off the treadmill. For me, it was about …. Being able to control my life and for all of my family to feel safe and happy.