Who lives in Spain?

(70 Posts)
nkf Tue 02-Sep-08 07:15:44

Whereabouts? Is it as wonderful as people imagine?

bebespain Tue 02-Sep-08 08:35:01

I do!

We live about 40kms from Madrid in a village in the mountains.I am probably not the best person to comment as I am not very happy living here and would love to go back "home"

There are many things that drive me mad about living here: crazy drivers, paperwork, lack of M&T groups, outspokeness and general lack of manners, terrible TV, lack of good international cuisine, ....I could go on but I won´t blush

Yes the weather is better...am struggling now...Hopefully somebody with a more postitive outlook will be along soon

Are you thinking of moving nkf?

Cies Tue 02-Sep-08 08:40:09

I do!

And I have a more positive outlook to bebespain grin.

I'm in Galicia, in the north west. It's very different to most people's image of Spain, in that it's green, it rains, you don't get 40 C sweltering heat...

I love and always have loved Spain and living here. I moved here after studying Spanish at Uni, and a couple of years later met DH who is Spanish.

Um, all I can say is I can't imagine living in UK. But that's probably because I haven't as a working adult IYSWIM.

bebespain Tue 02-Sep-08 21:53:55

I knew somebody more positive would come along soon!

Its funny Cies as I also loved Spain and as I did my degree in Spanish I always imagined I´d come and live here one day. It just hasn´t worked out as I thought it would sad

BTW I love Galicia, where exactly are you...?

patoamarillo Wed 03-Sep-08 14:22:46

Thank you bebespain!!!!
Im so glad someone else is struggling also, may list of "whats it like in spain" would look very similar to yours. Always feel so bad as everyone assumes it is really wonderful, and all the people I meet here have the "love it here, the people are so friendly and foods great" I live in Cantabria, and yes the area is beautiful and theres more sunshine that the UK, but...

arhhh!!! wont go into full rant as may not stop at moment.

bebespain Wed 03-Sep-08 16:29:40

Oh yes Pato! Everytime I go back to England I get comments like Ooh I´m so envious...Ooh aren´t you lucky...Ooh all that sun..Are you near the beach...?!

Arhhh...goes for a lie down

Cies Thu 04-Sep-08 08:31:32

Bebespain, I'm in Vigo.

It's probably wise to add the proviso that I don't have any children yet - am ttc. I'm sure once that happens I'll miss things like M&T groups that I would expect to have in UK.

About 4 years after moving here I did have a bit of a wobble, when everything that had once seemed so fun and different suddenly seemed annoying and different. But I got over that. smile

claricebean Thu 04-Sep-08 08:42:21

Yes, I'm in Cordoba, Andalucia. I love it. Why do you ask, nkf? Are you thinking of moving to Spain? I have 4 DC. We do decamp to the UK for a large part of July / August when it hits the high 40s here though (hottest city in Spain).

macaco Thu 04-Sep-08 19:37:12

I'm in Sevilla. I'm happy here. have 1 DC 5 months, married to a Spaniard.
There are things that wind me up, bad service, limited shopping, firecrackers (maybe that's just my pueblo!) but things can be annoying anywhere and for me the good outweighs the bad and my life is here now.

patoamarillo Fri 05-Sep-08 11:16:56


Woke feeling more postive today, maybe because Im off to UK for a week :0. So thought Id write in a couple of things I like about being in Spain.

1: Sundays & Festival days are still respected, i.e. the shops are shut and people have a day off. Also if the festival day falls on Wednesday it stays on wednesday and doesn´t get shoved to the following saturday!!!

2: Hours of sunshine: I live in the north so not always sunny spain, but you do get a peep of the sun even in the darkest months of winter. ive never heard of anyone here complain of SAD. (But they do all go on about just-back-from-holiday induced depression.

3:Cafe-Bar life, something badly lacking in UK. A local place for all generations to sit and have a coffee/beer/coke. My local is great, open till 12 am (way past my bed time but still have the option should I want to), and you are as likely to find a group of teenagers with burgers as a group of oldies playing donimoes. Spainards can still mix their generations well.

4:A quiet place, its possible to find a beach, even in summer, with no-one on it!!!!

5:Lovely people, example: just last weekend an old woman gave me a huge bag of lemons (she has lemon trees in the garden) just because she thought my DS was gorgeous and I cant argue with that.

Anyway this is getting quite long but you get the picture.

bebespain Sat 06-Sep-08 09:25:20

Glad you're feeling more positive pato

That's a lovely post and helps put things into perspective. Has helped me too wink

Yes the fact that you do see daylight even in the winter is a huge advantage and makes such a difference to your mood.

And I must say I really like the fact that Sundays are still a day of rest here and there's none of that shop, shop, shop mentality. Here in Madrid the shopping centres do open once a month and its a real treat!

Have a great time back in the UK!

macaco Sun 07-Sep-08 07:46:17

I definitely agree with the shopping thing although I wish things like museums would open more than just Sunday morning and that swimming pools/gyms would open more at weekends. It's nice you can't go shopping on a sunday but it would be nice to have more options for things to do than just eating/drinking/going to the park, some of which even are closed on Sundays!!! Maybe it's a huge conspiracy by all the bars and mesones to get us out to eat!

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 09:58:07

Thinking of moving there but much later. Not now as I have small children. But I love going there and would like to spend more and more time there. Not sure about totally relocating.
Just wondered how hard it was to make a life there and how one manages being a foreigner.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:03:49

My sister lived in Spain for four and a half years. She hated it - it was the worst country she had ever lived in (she has lived in England, US, France, Luxembourg, Italy and now the Netherlands).

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:10:02

Really? Why did she hate it?

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:14:50

She found it very nouveau-riche - all the relatively well-off women spent their lives working in corporate jobs/at the beauty salon/swimming pool/golf club/shopping centre and left their children with very sub-standard childcarers (as tiny babies) or in nursery (all day from infancy). That didn't tally at all with her modus vivendi - she's an intellectual sort who devotes a lot of energy to her children's upbringing.

She hated the long lunch break and late dinners too, and the very hot summer weather.

I think she was bored stupid. She is way happier in Amsterdam.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:19:45

Interesting. I always assumed it was very family friendly. All those long late dinners with three generations of the family getting together. Where did she live?

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:24:57

Outside Madrid - in the same suburb her husband's office and her children's school was located in. She didn't have any choice - the logistics of daily life would have been impossible otherwise.

She didn't find it remotely "family friendly". She was shocked that children returned home for lunch with the maid and then returned to school and their parents returned home for lunch separately later. Ditto dinner.

Amsterdam, however, she finds incredibly family-friendly.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:28:23

Sounds a bit grim.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:29:11

But presumably an unusual set up as it's sounds more affluent than average.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:31:48

Corporate middle-class suburb. Having a maid isn't unusual in Spain (or here in France). Affluence would be two or three maids.

I think that it is easy to dream of a Spain where all the generations live together happily etc but if you move there as a foreigner your family won't be there so you can't have that set-up.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:34:18

I know. I'm not imagining doing that at all. It's more thinking about extending the amount of time I stay there. And perhaps living there for months at a time. Later on in life.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:37:05

I think it depends what you want out of life.

My sister certainly couldn't see herself bringing up her children there and having the kind of family life, with lots of cultural activities, that she wished for.

Her PILs have a house in Spain for their retirement - in a lovely place by the sea. Her FIL is busy drinking himself into a pickle because he is so bored...

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 12:21:21

There are lots of bored retirees in Spain.That's for sure.

costamum Sun 07-Sep-08 12:43:16

I live in Seville - have 2 DS who were born here. Moved here nearly 9 years ago and have to say that I do find it very family friendly. It must depend on where you live or circumstances - there are no maids dropping/picking up kids from school - grandparents perhaps - and I would say we are living in a fairly average middle class area.

Madrid, I imagine is pretty much like Paris in terms of bringing up kids - I say this as I have family in Paris and due to work commitments, they have nannies and au pairs who basically look after the children from first thing in the morning till 8 pm when the parents get back.

macaco Sun 07-Sep-08 12:45:04

Anna, sounds very well off/pijo to me. No one I know down here in Andalucia has a maid, Spanish or not.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:44:47


One of my sister's maids had a maid grin

bebespain Sun 07-Sep-08 17:27:53

I have met several Mums in the Madrid area who have maids/live-in helpers.

In my experience so far many Mums return to work when their children are very small and therefore have no option but to place them in full-time nursery. I have come to the conclusion that that is why there is very little in the way of day time activities for Mums and babies/toddlers (Unless set up by ex-pats)There simply isn´t the need.

Another affect of this for me is that I find it very difficult to get to know and make friends with Spanish mummies as the majority have returned to work. Thers no one about during the day. I find it very isolating living here with a small child

macaco Sun 07-Sep-08 17:50:04

I think they return to work because, certainly down here in the south, the contracts are all shit and you get 16 weeks statutory leave so most go back and put their kids in nursery full time cos they have to. In Seville even in well off areas I don't think the norm is maids/au pairs, as costamum says, more grandparents...they often do HUGE amounts of childcare.
The one thing I would say is that to move here with kids and not speak the language is haaaaard. If you come with a spanish DH or meet them here then you have a kind of way in to spanish society. otherwise I think it's very hard to meet anyone, make friends. How can you if you can't speak the language.
And I am ASTOUNDED by the amount of Brits who seem to think it would be a good idea to move here when they don't speak A WORD. How do they think they'll live?
I think it IS family friendly here, but in different ways. It's like everything about living here. it's neither better or worse, just different. For me the difference is I like it more than the UK.

bebespain Sun 07-Sep-08 20:18:39

Good point macaco. After all as the old saying goes "Spain is different" grin

Personally I could never live anywhere where I didn´t speak the language. I find it hard enough and I speak Spanish very well.

I suppose a lot of the Brits stick together and help each other out, its the only way to get by I suppose.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 21:35:09

I suppose it's the holiday dream that doesn't translate. I'm a bit guilty of it myself though I have no intention of opening a bar or renting out villas.

macaco Mon 08-Sep-08 08:11:12

Well, I think that's what goes wrong for a lot of people. They come here on holiday and love it and think life would be the same and it's not. Then they discover all the little things we've said we don't like about it, plus they can't speak to anyone so can't do anything for themselves or make friends or understand any of what's going on around them. So they end up in their little enclaves, getting pissed and whinging about Spain.
Nowhere is perfect. But there is enough here that I like for me to stay. But I'll say it again...I don't think anyone should even consider it unless they are fluent in Spanish and even then prepared for it to be very hard at first.
What I did was different. I came here, liked it, met DH and sort of stayed. I could have gone home anytime. I was always renting and on short term contracts. Thats' different to burning all your bridges and selling up at home and buying here.

macaco Mon 08-Sep-08 08:11:47

I know you're not suggesting that nkf, just talking about what many expats do..

costamum Mon 08-Sep-08 21:07:31

I absolutely echo what Macao says. I am married to a spaniard but couldn't speak when I first got here but learned and am now more or less fluent! But it was very hard and it took me a while to get over the differences between here and the UK - right now I wouldn't change anything - I too am really happy bringing my kids up here!

patoamarillo Thu 18-Sep-08 20:05:28

Just got back from some time back in UK and catching up on this thread. Found it an interesting read, I dont know about the maids/live in help, but do know of many cases of abuse use of grandparents. Ive been quite shocked with the young mums attitudes, I also believed very much in the family orientated view and to a large extend my DPs family is like that. However, many young mums I meet seem to want to carry on as before, ie working, going out and the most bizarre for me "parents only holidays".

I met DP in UK and moved here with him after visiting for several years but have to say have found the transition much harder than I thought. But after reading the post on homesickness maybe Im just stuck on number 4...!. Maybe this time next year Ill be on number 5 and loving it.hmm

chicca Thu 25-Sep-08 19:00:47

can i pop in to say hello - i live here too. Moved here 6 years ago to Arcos in Cadiz province and have recently moved to El Puerto de Santa Maria (nearer to Cadiz itself). It's a bit change from Arcos and I have seen maids here-in uniform!!
We, well I, have had many of the same moans as everyone else and on a daily basis have to remind myself that we are better off here - for now.

abuela Sat 27-Sep-08 13:09:03

I just moved back to spain 3 months ago having been back in the UK for 2 years and its good to be back. There are so many things about spain that I missed (a few that I didn't too)
I live in a small village in the countryside in Valencia province and the life here is very family oriented.(no maids in my village!) In any country in the world I think life is very different in the city, particularly in more affluent areas. Bebespain when you mention bad manners are you referring to the spanish or the ex-pats?

fussychica Wed 26-Sep-12 18:06:25

Lived in Andalucia for 8 years - loved it! Missing the sun right now.

captainmummy Wed 26-Sep-12 18:22:22

I'd like to move to spain, but you're right, I am expecting it to be like a holiday! I don;t speak much spanish (have been doing lessons) but would hope to learn - I do have german and some french and I would hope to be part of the society (eventually)

I'd move anywhere out of the UK to be honest, especially somehwere with some sun, and a slower pace of life.

Those in the north - i've been told it rains as much as the UK? Is that right - bearing in mind we've had notghing but rain this summer? I was looking at cantabria or galicia, also at Calpe and valencia. Not decided yet, but not looking to work over there. Places like Seville i think might be too hot, also there are tarantulas there!

peterpie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:51:39

It´s funny seeing this thread again some 4 years later, I was bebespain back in 2008!

captainmummy - I don´t live in the North, I am in Madrid, but it is my favourite place in the whole of Spain. It does rain a lot there but not quite as much as in the UK and even so the Summers are much more guaranteed to be pleasant.

It´s pretty rural, (Galicia especially) and unemployment is a big issue with lots of young Spaniards having to move away in order to find work. English is not as widely spoken as in some of the more touristy parts of the country.

You talk about a slower pace of life.... confused From my point of view this is a total myth about Spain. I am a SAHM but my DH works in the capital and it´s far from being a slower pace, his working day is very long, much longer than when he worked in the UK and employers here don´t offer flexible working hours as much as they do back "home". For most Spanish families both parents have to work full time, with many children dropped off at school at 7am (before school club) until 4pm and beyond from the tender age of 3 or even younger at Nursery. This is a total contradiction to the family life idea often perpetuated about Spain. Granted it may not be quite the same in a village "up North" but I imagine it´s pretty much the same scenario in any big Spanish city.

Believe me when I say there are more important things than sunshine wink

fussychica Thu 27-Sep-12 18:33:13

I resurrected this thread by accident!

Andalucia is tooo hot in the summer and the winters can be very harsh if you aren't near the coast. We had -8 and heavy snow one year which broke one of our lemon tree in half sad. When we moved house we installed central heating! Where we live(d) is very rural and doesn't have the fast pace of life that peterpie experiences. English isn't widely spoken other than the busier costal resorts.

We came back partly because of the terrible unemployment situation, especially for youngsters. Our son decided on a UK Uni rather than one in Spain so we all came back - still have our house though - well you can't sell anything there at the mosad

Galicia is really nice but personally I wouldn't want to live there.

captainmummy Thu 27-Sep-12 21:19:54

Wow - I didn't even notice that the thread is 4 years old!

lagartija Sat 06-Oct-12 15:39:11

I used to be macaco and I've since had a DD and am now a bit hacked off with Spain and would quite like to go back....but can't without selling my property, which is basically impossible.

lagartija Sat 06-Oct-12 15:39:39

a DD as well as the DS I had when I was macaco.

Cies Sat 06-Oct-12 15:54:03

Funny re-reading these comments four years down the line!

Times are very tough at the moment for most Spanish families, and I for one would think very hard about moving out here now.

lagartija Sat 06-Oct-12 16:07:48

So many of the expats I know here are moving back. My DH has been unemployed for a very long time and there's nothing on the horizon at all. If it weren't for having to sell a property I'd be inclined to go back myself. Not to say I wouldn't miss Spain, but i'm feeling vulnerable here in a way I haven't before.

captainmummy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:43:58

lagartija and cies - things aren't great here either! I don;t think prices here are any cheaper than spain, in fact I think you;'ll be shocked at the price of stuff (council tax, food, HOUSING, electricity) Unemployment is rising, youngsters are not getting jobs, people are getting to retirement age and realising thaat they can't live on their pensions and staying in work longer, and the weather is crapper than ever!

I'd love to move away, anywhere really.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 13:52:24

Very very weird experience reading this thread. I saw the title on Active Convos and thought interesting. Clicked on it. It turned out to be one I started four years ago. And if that wasn't weird enough, the husband of many years that I was discussing moving to Spain with is no longer my husband. And Spain is in recession. And I am still posting on MN. Weird.

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 15:58:22

Sorry to hear about your marriage break up nkf. My life too is very different, although I'm still in Spain. It's not that I want to go back to the UK but it's all getting worrying.....and at the end of the day I'm only a resident here.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 16:03:05

Thank you. Sorry to hear that you feel vulnerable in Spain. I hear the unemployment problem is very bad indeed. I guess you can't rent out houses there any more.

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 16:23:07

No, there are millions of empty homes and millions of half built ones that will never be finished.

captainmummy Sun 07-Oct-12 17:19:30

nfk - did you ever move to spain? Where were you looking?

lagartija - I'd hope to be able to get a bargain-price then? Although I'm realisic enough to know that I'm not going to be moving there for at least 5 years, and I'd be renting for a while first anyway. I did think about buying a small 'holiday' home over there, but don;t want a flat/apartment, and any remote place left for months at a time will be vulnerable to thieves.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 17:23:01

No. I didn't. And I don't think I ever will now. The love affair with Spain was was part of the love affair I had with my ex and it's all over. To be honest, I haven't even been to Spain since the divorce. And although I miss it, I don't want to.

peterpie Sun 07-Oct-12 17:55:01

I´m sorry to hear how things have worked out for you nkf...

I also had a love affair with Spain before I moved here. That´s what is so strange for me, I always wanted to live here but once I did I found it wasn´t the Spain I knew as a student.

We would also find it more difficult to move back as we bought a property here and we´ve got no chance of selling it unless we gave it away! How I wish we had just rented now .Property prices have dropped but nowhere near the amount that is realistic enough to get things moving

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 18:00:25

It's okay. I'm not as sad as I realise I sound. I mean, I am a bit but I also think, well there are other lovely countries and we never visited those because we always go to Spain.

It sounds to me as if many people feel trapped in Spain now. And that must be hard. Is it the same everywhere? What about moving to a big city?

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 18:56:18

Same here, peterpie would never shift this house now in the current climate without losing so much I couldn't afford anything in Britain, and have no job to go back to in Britain, but would probably have enough from a house sale to not be eligible for benefits, but not enough to buy...vicious circle. Also, it's not like I HATE it or anything, just it's lost its shine in many ways and I find the future worrying here in many ways, for me and my kids. For various complex personal reasons I haven't been back to the UK for about 6 years and I miss it. Don't know know when on earth I'll ever be able to go back either. I was thinking about (and may still do) of starting a thwarted dreams/parallel universe thread as I've been wondering a lot lately about what ifs...what if I'd gone back to the UK/not bought here etc....would I be happier?

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 18:56:40

Where in Spain are you btw peterpie?

peterpie Mon 08-Oct-12 14:43:13

Yes, it is a vicious circle lagartija. My DH (Spanish) was very open to the idea of looking for work back in the UK and a couple of years ago a job came up but when we sat down to analyse things financially it would have been a real struggle and to have to leave an empty propery behind would have only added to the list of stresses. Needless to say the job didn´t come to fruition.

I am lucky in hat I have been able to go back fairly regularly over the years and although it is not perfect I always feel I would be happier living there. Don´t get me wrong there would be other different issues to deal with but I still think they would be easier to cope with when on your own turf iyswim.

I am now expecting DC3 and so going back seems even less likely at this moment in time...

I live just outside of Madrid

lagartija Mon 08-Oct-12 22:39:27

"on your own turf" that's what I think is getting to me atm. I feel more of an outsider lately and more homesick. I'm fluent (I work as a translator/teacher) but I miss all those little cultural references. The olympics opening ceremony made me really homesick (I even started a thread about it.) I went on holiday to Holland and loved it as I think it reminded me of the bit of the UK I'm from. I even found myself looking at the guardian jobs page the other day. There was a job I could do, something in fact I thought of trying to move into years ago, but chickened out and was still enjoying Spain then. I think if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I'd go back to the UK...iyswim.

peterpie Tue 09-Oct-12 11:16:08

Me too, "all those little cultural references" I mean. I really don´t want to be a foreigner anymore and as the years go by I find myself retreating into my shell more and more which is not good. I am a SAHM and Spain isn´t a good country to be one of those is it, I have become weary of trying to find other Mummies that are around during the day, they are few and far between. I must be mental doing all this again grin
That´s a shame about the job but don´t beat yourself up about that, hindsight is a wonderful thing and my God how I tortured myself for years wishing I could go back in time, it got me nowhere.
I often think I would be better suited to living in a country like Holland. (I hate the heat!!) I went to Germany for a wedding in the Summer and I felt much more "at home" there. It reminded me of England, the landscape, climate, the parks, the bread, even the people to a certain degree!
I remember your thread about the Olympics, I posted on it. I was back at the time and I have never felt more proud to be British. The music, creativity, diversity, culture...it was fabulous!

fussychica Tue 09-Oct-12 15:04:43

We returned to the UK last year but still have our place in Spain. As you all say we would be sellling for peanuts if there was anyone buying. I hate leaving it empty and found the news about the terrible flooding in our region last week really worrying as I couldn't get through to my Spanish neighbours for a couple of days. Luckily everything seems alright but it's an old cortijo so it's not really an ideal lock up & leave place. Really missing it right now as the weather is so crap here and DS back at Uni. Going for New year but want to go today!

peterpie Tue 09-Oct-12 20:57:08

Aww fussychica, I do understand how much the weather has an influence especially when it´s constant rain and grey skies. I don´t like the heat but equally not keen on rain, some kind of happy medium would suit me much better. I am from North West England so well used to rain and grey skies and it does get you down after a while.

I am glad to hear that everything is OK with your place, I saw what had happened on the news and it was awful. You must have been out of your mind with worry, you feel totally powerless when so far away.

Do you mind me asking why you returned to the UK?

fussychica Wed 10-Oct-12 10:21:07

peterpie We came back for a number of reasons. The house in Spain is large and my dad who lived with us in a self contained annex died very suddenly and I found it difficult being there. Only DC then decided he wanted to come back to UK for Uni so we thought perhaps it was time to do the same. In a way it was a good job we did as DS was rushed to hospital in the middle of freshers week last year with a spontaneous pneumothorax shockso it would have been even worse if we had been in Spain. However, not having been able to sell the house in Spain has been a strain and we have pretty much given up on the idea. After a recent trip there we fell in love with it all over again so I won't be surprised if this time next year we aren't back there, even if it's only for the short term.confused

lagartija Wed 10-Oct-12 12:09:53

Sorry to hear about your Dad, fussy. My mum lives with us too. It's the reason really I'm stuck here as if she hadn't come I'd probably have been forced back by lack of work and the impossibility of buying here without help. I do love it sometimes and I think in some ways I have a better life here, but sometimes I just miss the UK and I struggle sometimes with the idea of never living in the UK again.

fussychica Wed 10-Oct-12 15:29:39

lagartija I think we would still be there if dad was still with us as I wouldn't have up rooted him again. I miss him like mad even though it's almost 2 years ago since he died. At least he had a fantastic few years living his dream. Strangely we rarely missed the UK when we were in Spain but I do feel that with the crisis things are changing and not for the better so sometimes I'm glad we're out of it (certainly glad my DS is). We have settled well here in the UK but still having the house means we are drawn to going back whereas if it had sold that would have been the end of it. Now DS is talking about going to the house next summer as part of his year abroad (he's doing Euro languages) - all very unsettling.
Do you really think you'll never live in the UK again? That's hard to contemplate if you aren't totally happy in Spain.

MediaEspanola Tue 16-Oct-12 21:16:18

Hope you don't mind me just jumping here in the hope that there may be some of you knowledgeable about Spanish/English divorces, I could use help with my thread here

Amapoleon Thu 01-Nov-12 22:27:21

It's funny seeing this thread four years on. I have lived in Spain for 10 years now and have never really settled. Like everyone else we are stuck because we won't be able to sell our house. We actually now live between Spain and Gibraltar due to my husband's work. When I moved to Gib, I thought it would be paradise because it is British, in reality i am now a foreigner in 2 places! I went to UK for the first time in ten years ,this summer and it felt like coming home. I'm fed up of always being the foreigner and want to come home. I have no friends or family left in Spain, everyone has gone back because it is just too hard to live here. I have good friends in Gibraltar but just want to be in my own country again. There are good things about Spain but not enough to keep me here hahaha. My kids have led quite sheltered , simple lives and I do worry about them going back to the UK but on the other hand there seems to be a lot more for them to do. My dd was blown away by WH Smiths, that says it all really.

fussychica Fri 02-Nov-12 16:47:28

Amapolean how old are your kids now? DS had led a very simple, quite sheltered life in Spain - what an oldie like me would call a proper childhood! He has settled right back into UK after spending his entire teens and more in Spain. I think he did the right thing by not picking a uni in a big city so it's been an easy adjustment for him. We were increasingly worried about his future prospects in Spain - afterall it's bad enough in the UK where unemployment is running at a fraction of that in Spain.

Sorry to hear you are another one who never really settled. Like you, many of our British friends left Spain over the last couple of years and you could feel the place being dragged down, economically.

Since my last post DS has been told he must spend his year abroad in France rather than Spain and we have just accepted an offer on the Spanish house - now keeping fingers crossed that it all goes through and we can move on with our new lives in the UK. However, the bloody weather here does make me miss it all the more so I'll not rule out spending time there again.

Amapoleon Tue 06-Nov-12 20:05:24

Hi my kids are nearly 6 and nearly 12. I am not worried about the little one. Well done on selling your house, that is no mean feat in the current climate. I had a really long chat with a Spanish friend and came away knowing we have to properly get out. It was so depressing, she really felt she had no hope.

fussychica Wed 07-Nov-12 14:31:34

Amapoleon the house is selling at just under 60% of the original valuation/asking price - hard to accept that it's significantly less than we paid once we add in the reform costs (it was a semi - ruin) but have to move on and having it is stopping us from doing just that. Hoping for completion in the next 4 weeks.(Pleeease!)

Your kids are both young enough to settle back - if you are going to do it though the next year or so is probably giving the eldest the best chance to settle and get familiar with the UK education system before GCSEs start. Just choose your spot in the UK carefully if you want to minimise culture shock!!

Sorry about your friend - our neighbours are retired and fairly comfortable but I know they worry for their twenty/thirty something kids and still hep them out.

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