Thinking of Moving to Spain?
If you are thinking of moving to Spain, you need good, accurate advice!
If you are one of the many thousands of British and other European people that are looking to move over to Spain, then you will no doubt be looking for good advice and guidance to help you decide, or move forward!
Well accurate information is always a problem… different people say different things and before you know it, you don’t know what the correct advice is and you are totally confused. I know exactly what you are feeling…. I now live in Javea on the Costa Blanca, Spain, but there was a time I went through the dilemna of making the decision and wondering… “Have I done the right thing?”
Information for people moving to Spain
I have to admit, it is a brave decision to give everything up and move to a foreign country… especially one that has a different language. Let’s face it, it is less daunting to move to a country such as Canada or Australia because they speak the Queen’s English! So the language barrier in Spain is a problem. However, there are ways to beat this, and I’ll write about that later.
If you are a British Citizen, as I was, then there are plenty of reasons why you are more than likely wanting to leave the UK. Some of these reasons could be any of the following:
- A badly managed country with a government that simply hasn’t got a clue!
- Too expensive to live, with extortionate, ever-increasing living costs.
- The horrible, depressing weather.
- The rising crime rate.
- The disappointing schooling for your children.
- The badly run hospitals’ and health care system.
… And I’m sure there are many more reasons too! My sister has just made the decision to move to out here to Spain, she has a 5 year old daughter and was worried about her schooling standards and bringing her up in a place where serious crime was rising fast! She wants a better life for her, a better education, a better health care service, a better climate, better long-term opportunities, and to make a better life for herself and her family.
Everyone has their own reasons, but most people simply want a better lifestyle and that is exactly what you will get – Viva España!
Are you worried about having to say “No hablo Español”?
The Language Barrier – There are ways around the problem
Many people put off moving to countries that speak a different language simply because of the difficulties this will cause. Many people opt for ‘language safe’ countries such as Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand because it will be easier for them to integrate within the social network – there are no language barriers.
Well there are ways around this problem in Spain. The first, and most obvious way around it is to learn the language! You will be accepted very quickly by the Spaniards if you simply TRY to speak Spanish! They really do appreciate the fact that you have come to live in their country and are actively trying to speak the native tongue.
But the other way around it is to join and live in an area where the community is predominantly English. Personally, I did this without actually realising that the area that I now live, was mainly occupied by British expats. For a person that isn’t interested in learning a new language… that’s great! But I wanted to learn Spanish and by moving into this expat area, it thwarted my learning efforts somewhat.
“How could this have possibly thwarted you learning Spanish?” …I hear you asking.
Well simply because of this… I did not have many people to practice with. Sounds silly I know, but if I was living in a Spanish village full of Spanish people, I would no doubt learn the language quicker. I can honestly say that there is not a shop, bank or business along my main street that is not speaking fluent English.
So, I think that everyone should make an effort if moving to Spain, you’ll really enjoy the fun involved in learning a new language.
Important Issues to think about
Of course, there are many important issues to consider before ‘taking the plunge’. If you have children, then you have to think about schools and how they will ‘fit in’. If you have a mortgage on a property over here you will of course have to think about work. If you are a pensioner, you have to think about how much your money is worth when it gets passed through the ever-changing exchange rate into euros, plus… will you be entitled to free health care? Not at the moment! Not unless you are prepared to come out of retirement and start working that is.
There is lots more to think about too. Transport… bringing your own? Then you need advice on what to do as your vehicle will only be legal in Spain for 6 months without making certain changes to the vehicle and documents. Even the shoes that you wear whilst driving is now an issue in Spain… no sandals or shoes without proper heel supports are permitted.
If you want to become a resident of Spain, then you will need to apply for a residencia, which will cut the ties with the UK. But there are things you need to take into consideration before you take the plunge, one being the lack of health care back in the UK once you decide to become a resident of Spain.
If you have any questions on moving to Spain, please contact me.