Permanent Move - General Playa Flamenca discussion - Playa Flamenca forum - Costa Blanca forum in the Alicante province of Spain
MedB Clinic
Harmony FM
ATIVAR SIGLO XXI
Parasol
Ol Comunicacin
Mk Builders
Spanish Dream Property
Costa Caretaking
Gran Alacant Insurances
AA Free English TV
Just One Small Step - Counselling
Aeromax
MedB Health
MedB
Caser Expats
Fincas Inland

Join the Playa Flamenca forum

Join the Playa Flamenca forumMy name's Jan and this is my website all about Playa Flamenca in Spain. Register now for free to talk about General Playa Flamenca discussion and much more!

Permanent Move

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:08pm
7 replies336 views7 members subscribed
Grahame

Grahame

Helpful member

Posts: 151

Location: Playa Flamenca

124 helpful posts

Hi All

This is, I suppose, a question aimed at all expats

It is so easy to get caught up in the dream of a move to sunnier climes

The reality though might be very different and only retrospect will reveal the cracks

So

For a couple considering a permanent move

For those who have been brave enough to make the permanent move, recently or not so recen

What are the down sides ?

What do you miss ?

Do you have any regrets ?

If you had the chance again now would you make the same decision ?

To me these are the simple and most important questions. Everything else is attitude and logistics

all expat responses will be much appreciated 

Cheers

Grahame

RayD

RayD

Legendary helpful member

Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:48pm

Posts: 4351

Location: Catral

3259 helpful posts

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:48pm

What are the down sides ?

None, as far as I am concerned. I have a better and cheaper lifestyle than I did in the UK. I have a bigger property than I could ever have afforded in the UK and, living in a Spanish town, I have become part of a new culture and accepted into a new community. It's possible that the property could become more difficult to manage in later years and we would have to downsize.

What do you miss ?

Nothing to be honest. I see more of my children than I did in the UK, as they were spread around. We eat Spanish food and have a whole new country to explore with its culture and architecture.

Do you have any regrets ?

None at all, except not doing it earlier.

If you had the chance again now would you make the same decision ?

Definitely. With hindsight I would have perhaps done it earlier, but it was promoted by the fact that for several years I had travelled abroad every month on holiday. I decided that I might as well stay abroad, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to discover several different countries before settling in Spain.

There are some things I might have done differently, but the learning experience of moving to a foreign country wasn't too steep.


Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:22am

Posts: 2000

2525 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:22am

Hi Grahame,

With the Costa Blanca in the midst of a terrible storm, the idea of being "caught up in the dream of a move to sunnier climes" isn't far from my mind either - and I live in Spain, LOL!

Hubby and I took early retirement and moved here aged 58 and 55 respectively.  His parents had moved here more than 15 years ago, in their early 70s and said they wished they'd done it sooner, so we knew the area and always had it in mind that we would make the move ourselves eventually.


What are the down sides ?

Absolutely none for my husband, but after the initial excitement of moving here, a year in and I was missing work.  So I thought about all the things I used to say I never had time to do alongside a demanding career and set about finding how I could do them, now that I was retired here in Spain.  The selection of activities you can do here, alongside online resources for study and research, were my saviour.  Wherever you're planning to move to, make sure you can get a good internet connection - it's amazing the number of people who move here, assuming they'll be able to access fibre optic as standard.

What do you miss ?

Good quality white wines, family and friends - not necessarily in that order, of course!  Proactive (or even responsive) customer service - but I'm sure that when Spain has caught up with some of the things we take for granted in the UK, there will be a loss of the nostalgia many of us love about Spain, such as Sundays being for family and friends, not shopping.

Do you have any regrets ?

Initially, I wished I'd delayed the move for 5 years, but in hindsight, the uncertainty around Brexit and what it may mean for us, could have delayed our decision indefinitely - had we not moved when we did, we may not have moved at all.  My only regret is not taking Spanish lessons when we were in the UK - we used DuoLingo for a few months, but since we started taking formal classes in Spain, I wish we'd done something similar in the UK before making the move.

If you had the chance again now would you make the same decision ?

Yes, definitely.

Kind regards,

Kim


Cheryl

Cheryl

Super helpful member

Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:08am

Posts: 1187

Location: Albatera

1089 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:08am

As Kim says, it really is a step back in time.
All the things disappearing from UK high streets are here in abundance; butchers, bakers, ironmongers, independent shops everywhere outside of shopping malls and more banks than you know what to do with. Large stores in Alicante area have to close on Sundays for 6 months of the year and siestas are adhered to with many places opening and closing at different times.
The Spanish celebrate everything enthusiastically and as loudly as possible, as a family, and in my experience in a traditional Spanish town, are usually very welcoming and I can understand those that sometimes get fed up with my rudimentary attempts at Spanish. Like Kim, I wish I had learnt more before we moved over. Being so caught up in renovations we have learnt more "builders Spanish" than anything else and I look forward to when it is all finished and I can start taking lessons arranged by the local town hall.
I also wish I had used a gestor from the very beginning to help us through the bureaucracy.
We miss our daughter and will miss great chunks of our grandson's life (due in April).
Unfortunately signs of the crash are still very much in evidence with so many closed up shops and businesses and plenty of poverty.
Spanish houses can get very cold in winter, just search "Heating" under "Everywhere". Right now Storm Gloria is wreaking havoc with rain, snow, wind and waves and there will be flooding in various places so do a bit of research on Gota Frías and how it affects the areas you are interested in.
No regrets at all. Plenty of frustration to start with, yes, frozen stiff over our first winter until we had heating installed but sorted now.
Like Ray, we have a bigger house with much more land (3,000 m2) and have far reaching views to the sea, not that I can see any of it now through the heavy rain.
Keep your wits about you, decide if you want ex-pat (can become quiet out of season) or Spanish areas, never use the abogado (solicitor) recommended by the estate agent, remember that agents are there to sell the dream and should not be expected to give any negative feedback about properties and take your time, there are so many properties for sale here it is unlikely to be going anywhere any time soon.
All the very best, whatever you decide.

Roztowe

Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:13pm

Posts: 19

Location: Los Balcones

13 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:13pm

I found there was little to do that didn't involve bars and drinking. I became quite bored and missed shows and theatres.

I admired the Spanish health service enormously but the health insurance I had to have was very high.

I found the food cheap and the variety good. I liked finding vegetables being 'seasonal' again.

I disliked ex-pats criticising the UK which some did copiously and loudly. I found that some expat groups could be gossipy and unfriendly if you didn't want to go out for endless meals and drinks. I was never once invited to anyone's home, although I issued invites to mine. It was all about socialising out, which tots up financially.

I think, for me, the best place was the UK and I returned. I visit on holiday now and it keeps its magic that way.

Also, electricity was expensive, customer service poor and cold in houses in the winter. I found the Spanish friendly generally. Bus fares were excellent!

I'm glad I went home after 5 years though.

RayD

RayD

Legendary helpful member

Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:19pm

Posts: 4351

Location: Catral

3259 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:19pm

You need to think carefully about what your aspirations are concerning your status in Spain.

Spain is a foreign country, even more so after brexit and you are no longer an EU citizen, and you will be an immigrant.

Do you want to be a brit in Spain, a brit amongst brits in Spain, or adopt Spain as your new country and fully integrate with the indigenous population.

The answer to that will influence where you live, and also your loyalties. Will the UK be "home", or will Spain now be "home"?

Will you transfer to Spain lock, stock and barrel, or will you have an escape route back to where you came from? For some, making the clean break is difficult, even more so adopting Spain as your new country and Spanish people as compatriots, and learning the language.

I was an avid film goer in the UK and missed it for the first few months in Spain. Then I realised that there were plenty of films, theatre performances and concerts in our town and my wife and I go to them regularly - all in Spanish of course.

I started to eat food I would never eat in the UK - I was always doubtful about shellfish and strange things like pulpo and calamares, but after a while got used to them here. We eat vegetables here which may have seemed a bit "exotic" in the UK but, again once you start eating them they become everyday favourites.

Electricity is about the same price as the UK and Iberdrola and Scottish Power are actually the same company, although Iberdrola customer service is a lot better.

I've found it best not to criticise the Spanish system for not being geared up to the british, and not being the same as in the UK. It is what it is, and I have had to adapt my ways in coping with it.

Unlike Roztowe, I've never had a problem with customer service in Spain, but I've never had a problem that couldn't be sorted out by talking to the other person face to face. Learning Spanish of course helps a lot.

The cost of living is a lot cheaper, especially food and drink if you buy from Spanish shops and supermarkets. Council tax (IBI) is a fraction of what I paid in the UK, as are my car outgoings with tax,  insurance and petrol.

White goods are about the same, although delivery and taking away old items is quicker.

The one mistake I made in my first year was trusting other expats to help me out. I gravitated towards them as I didn't speak Spanish yet and was nervous and unsure about how to approach Spanish people. In all cases the brits seemed to find me an untapped source of revenue and I did get ripped off a few times, including being charged 150€ by a non Spanish speaking brit who took me to Elche for my NIE and handed me over to a young Spanish student for 15€!

So, make of Spain what you want to and, whatever you choose, it's a lovely country with a wealth of culture and really welcoming people. I've never met racism from a Spanish person and the only fights I have seen were between brits around a brit bar in Catral and another between brits outside a bar in La Marina urbanisation.


Roztowe

Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:58pm

Posts: 19

Location: Los Balcones

13 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:58pm

I thought I'd add a bit more. 

I learned both grammatical and oral Spanish the five years I was here, which helped enormously of course. 

I was 57 when I bought a house and settled in Los Balconies. 

I found electricity expensive as I had to use more of it, no piped gas and air conditioning and fans and electric heaters in the winter used a lot.

I think in the end I missed the British culture and having a full choice of company. When I come over I see very few expats now, just my Spanish friends.

I'm glad I tried it and am happy how things worked out. Just don't expect paradise. Good luck.

Tessa2018

Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:09am

Posts: 58

Location: Playa Flamenca

16 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:09am

Interested reading your comments - what kind of heating did you have installed? We use the AC units for heat but don’t really like air quality they produce and would like something better

Sign up for free or login to reply to this topic

Want to reply to this topic? Login or register for free to post your message:

Find more General discussion topics from a particular area:


Register for free!

Login to your account

Gran Alacant Insurances
Spanish Dream Property
Just One Small Step - Counselling
Costa Caretaking
AA Free English TV
Mk Builders
MedB Clinic
Caser Expats
MedB
Harmony FM
Parasol
ATIVAR SIGLO XXI
Fincas Inland
Aeromax
Ol Comunicacin
MedB Health
Advertise your business here