Things to consider before moving to Spain

People often talk about “living the dream” when they reflect on life in Spain. For those of us lucky enough to live here, there are certainly those moments when you pop down the shops and end up strolling along a palm tree lined beach, or go to a business function by the pool, or enjoy your morning coffee on the terrace in December and you think – wow, what a place! However, like with any place, if you live and work here, you have take the good with the bad. Before coming to find a “dream” in Spain, be realistic that you aren’t moving to be permanently on holiday and that living in another country can be tough.

I would never try to put people off from moving here, it’s a stunning country, with a wonderful lifestyle and I am incredibly glad I came. However, it’s sad to see people come here with unrealistic expectations and then be disappointed, so here are a few things to prepare for.

1. Living in a foreign country can be hard – you move away from your support network of family and friends into a country where you aren’t fluent in the language and don’t understand the system, so you need to be prepared for difficult moments. However, if you move to a place such as the Costa del Sol, there is a large and friendly expat population with lots of groups you can join to meet people and integrate into the society.

2. Spain has lots of awkward bureaucracy to contend with, which can be daunting and frustrating – but there are also some great translators/fixers out there to hold your hand and help you through it which will certainly save a lot of stress.

3. Things don’t always move at the speed you’d like them to – Some days you will be frustrated with the “mañana” attitude where everything can be done tomorrow, but of course it’s this attitude which keeps the pace of life slower and the lifestyle so enjoyable!

4. Spain has been hit hard by the recession and salaries are generally lower than in the UK – it’s not an easy place to make your fortune, but there are jobs available and you can create opportunities with an entrepreneurial spirit. There are also excellent career prospects for those with financial service or gaming experience in Gibraltar.  

To prepare for life in Spain, I’d suggest learning the language, doing your research and getting professional help where required. Living on the Costa del Sol is great if your Spanish isn’t perfect, as there are lots of services to help non-Spanish speakers and also a supportive expat community.

Living in Spain, you are likely to have the same problems and annoyances that you had at home, but at least here you can relax on the beach or sip cocktails on a sunny terrace after a hard day at the office! If you come with realistic expectations, you’re likely to never look back – I certainly wouldn’t change it!

A great way to see whether or not life in Spain is right for you is to rent long-term. This will give you a flexible option to “try before you buy” make sure that you like the lifestyle, get to know the areas and explore work options before you take the plunge and commit to buying property. We have a range of Costa del Sol long-term rentals available from Benalmadena to Sotogrande and can offer a host of practical advice about making the most of this beautiful place. To find out more email info@homerentalontheweb.com or call (+34) 952 83 95 95.

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