chl (Mar 27 2008, 03:35 PM) said: > original post
My family are seriously thinking about leaving the uk and weve thought about Spain,we have never been before.
We think wed like to be away from the busy places and be in a small village where our young children can mix with locals and Brits.
gocat (May 19 2008, 08:38 AM) said: > original post
I realise this is a fairly old thread but I thought I'd add something just in case you're checking back and for those people thinking along the same lines. We moved to Tarragona province southern Catalunya two years ago and although we don't regret it, life has been very hard and we wish we'd read more about the down side along with the hundreds of 'life in the sun' type TV programs and books out there.
The most important thing is research, research and RESEARCH! When you say you are 'seriously thinking of leaving the UK' and are thinking of Spain but have never been I nearly fell off my chair. We spent six months travelling around Spain living in different areas to get an idea of the sort of place we wanted to be. So the first thing to do is research an area then book a flight, hire a car and get around as much of that region as you can. Spain is a very diverse country and ranges from green and lush in the north west to dry and barren in the centre. The south of Spain (Andalucia - away from the coast) is a VERY different country to, for example, Catalunya. Personally I find rural Andalucia has more in common with north Africa than it does with Europe.
The regional differences in Spain cannot be under emphasized - the first language in Catalunya is Catalan, not Spanish. Children don't start learning Spanish at school here until they're 7 years old, and Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish it's a completely different language and has more in common Portuguese than Spanish. Galicia, Valencia and Pais Vasco (among others) are also areas with different languages, so moving to any of these regions would mean learning two new languages if you want to integrate (and that's essential if you live outside the big expat areas)
Buying property in Spain. My advice here may sound cynical but I can't urge anyone thinking of buying in Spain to be as careful as possible. Never believe an estate agent. They are there to make commission and will not act in your best interest and there is very little regulation of the market here. Do not rush into a purchase - it's a buyers market here now and prices are going through the floor so the power is completely with the buyer. If you're thinking of moving this year I would rent for at least a year before thinking of buying. This will give you time to get to know an area, pick up some of the language and see how you like the life and as a bonus,if you decide to buy, prices will be even lower after your year here.
The rain in Spain? Contrary to popular belief it does rain in Spain, it also gets very cold and when 99% of houses have no central heating and are very badly insulated winter can be awful. Our first winter here was spent wearing 4 or 5 jumpers all day (yes, literally) and 2 duvets on the bed. When it rained our house leaked like a sieve and when it stopped raining the mould started growing on the walls because of the damp. We also had to throw away clothes, duvets and other bedding because the mould got to them too.
Another major consideration is how you will earn a living. If you're not retiring on a decent pension then you'll obviously have to start making money somehow and this isn't easy. If you don't speak excellent Spanish your chances of finding work with a Spanish employer are close to zero. Unemployment here is on the way up, wages are low and immigrants (including EU residents) are at the bottom of the list for jobs. You must have a realistic plan of what you'll do to earn a living and enough savings to keep you without any income for at least a year. We've been here 2 years, work 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day and only just now breaking even.
Finally, again maybe cynical, but I believe it's true - choose your friends wisely. It's often the case that people 'fresh off the boat' are targeted by less than honest people (often of their own nationality) and to put it bluntly, ripped off.
Sorry to ramble on and I realise I've painted a negative picture but I know, particularly in the UK, people are bombarded with TV progammes and books on how great it is moving to make a new life in the sun. It can be and there are certainly loads of good things about living here but most people are shocked to discover how hard it can be and I don't want anyone to go through what we have had to without knowing about it first.
debbie (May 19 2008, 11:08 AM) said: > original post
Excellent, spot on advice!
I said something along those lines, on the Tortosa Forum. Probably less diplomatic, though, lol.
I hasten to add, that I m no longer a member
Great website, by the way.
lee8 (May 19 2008, 03:56 PM) said: > original post
So why did you and Mitzy, bilw give me such a hard time last year.
If I had a pound for everytime Mitzy told me "I`ve not experienced that" i`d be retired in Spain.
Mind you Mitzy if you`d been in bloody Spain more than five minutes you`d have noticed more.
debbie (May 20 2008, 04:15 PM) said: > original post
I got banned for voicing my opinion.
lee8 (May 26 2008, 05:33 PM) said: > original post
People don`t like opinions, especially when were free, somebody should point that out to Mitzy and his girlie friends.
Although now there all moaning why is the site so dead, duh becuase there`s only 7 members treating the site as if its MSN and new members are drowned in everything except living in Spain !!!!
Often you get somebody asking a reasonable question if other regulars think its boring they`ll do hijacking causing suddenly 3-4 pages of one line stupid remarks, and the mods join in.
Expats are just being used by the sites because content isn`t always important, its traffic, and hijacking pays more than say Expatica gets.
I no which I prefer.
debbie (May 26 2008, 07:11 PM) said: > original post
Why you still here then?
Bored shi*l***, like the rest of the 7 members on here.
lee8 (May 27 2008, 11:53 AM) said: > original post
Life isn`t boring,its the ungrateful idiots who believe there life boring is the problem, its simple to correct, if your bored go and do something you want to do.
And if your always bored, take a lot of drugs and drink
Writting the few seconds it takes to respond is quiet entertaining.
And rarely somebody will come here asking for advice, and hopefully two things will happen, I`ll give advice and they`ll find it useful.
Unfortunatly as in all walks of life, somebody will take the disscussion to other levels.
But hopeful it will be helpful to somebody.
chl (Mar 27 2008, 04:35 PM) said: > original post
My family are seriously thinking about leaving the uk and weve thought about Spain,we have never been before.When we have sold our house we will visit but which part of Spain not sure.We think wed like to be away from the busy places and be in a small village where our young children can mix with locals and brits.Can anyone suggest any place thats worth a visit?