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spain what are your views on living in spain?

(12 Posts)
Ihatemytoes Fri 22-Mar-13 15:14:32

I used to live in Madrid. I absolutely loved it, but we were in a bit of a bubble because my husband had diplomatic status, so a lot of our day to day stuff was dealt with by the Emabassy. Having said that, I was ready to return when we did. I loved the weather, except in the summer when it was regularly 40 degrees, but I found it quite lonely at times, despite being a Spanish speaker. I liked that there were seasons, well, winter and summer anyway(!). My children went to a British school, (they were the only Brits in their classes, all the other children were Spanish), which was really good for them in terms of learning the language. I would say, if it's possible for you to keep your property in the UK, and move there for a year or two to see how you like it, then you should.

fussychica Fri 15-Mar-13 18:59:37

Well it's certainly different from Essex and Stowmarket (your earlier post).

We lived there for 8 years and had a property there for a couple more. We came back 18 months ago. Echo everything that's already been said re weather, quality of housing, increasing utility bills, employment prospects and the state of the economy.

Personally, I wouldn't go now, especially with children, as the education system is under huge financial pressure. Our son was educated in the state system from 10 and we feel he just got out in time by going to Uni in the UK.

There is definitely a change in the way foreigners are perceived due to the economic situation and rule changes on tax, welfare and health care are being introduced to draw in as much money as possible and restrict access.

Personally, apart from the weather(most of the time), my pool and my lovely Spanish neighbours I don't miss much and am glad that I left when I did.


peterpie Fri 15-Mar-13 16:51:04

Hi there

Firslty, let me say there is more to life than the weather grin

I live in Madrid and like Goodtobetter says the climate is very extreme. Yes, there are more hours of daylight in the winter which is nice but like the South of Spain the Summers in Madrid and the rest of central Spsin are extremely hot, so hot that there is very little you can do to fill the days. I find it very difficult entertaining 2 young children for weeks on end in such temperatures.

Winters can be very cold and the price of gas has soared recently. To give you an idea, our last gas bill for just 2 months was a whopping 360 Euros and we live in a flat!

Believe me when I say the grass really isn´t greener. I find there is a growing hostility towards foreigners where I live. Talk of immigrants taking "our" jobs is now unfortunately becoming a reality and the general mood is low. Lots of cuts in health and education and businesses folding left right and centre.

I´m still not convinced by the idea that Spanish people are friendly. Maybe
it´s more common in touristy areas? I don´t know... Where I live I don´t find people are particularly friendly, in fact I find people are generally much more friendly and prepared to make small talk when I am back in England.

As a fluent Spanish speaker it has taken me years to get used to living here. I still find it hard and if I could turn back the clock then I wouldn´t have come. Sorry to sound negative but would rather be honest. Good luck to you, whatever you decide...

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Mar-13 22:44:57

In Andalucia, the winters can be lovely, lots of sun, but it's cold. Colder than you'd think, especially at night. Tonight where I am it will get down to 1º. And the VAST majority of houses have no heating, old houses, modern houses, heating. They are generally crappily built too, so damp is very very common. Some winters it just rains for weeks and weeks on end. Then, suddenly it all changes, like a flick being switched and it's summer and the temps ramp up and by June you're well into 35º territory and by July you're talking 40º plus. You can do NOTHING in that kind of heat except lie around in a darkened room. By 11am it's too hot to be out and it isn't cool ever until well after dark.
It's a very different climate.

piratecat Thu 14-Mar-13 22:07:07

my step parents live in that part of Spain. semi retired, but he found work by finding a niche and earns enough to live basically on, mortgage free as they bought outright.

The summers are blisteringly hot and long. air con is a luxury they can't afford to run, so that's a consideration. Their winters although shorter than here, can be very cold, very cold indeed if you've no central heating. They have a log burner.

That's a little I know about living there!

Takver Thu 14-Mar-13 22:01:02

We lived in a pretty rural remote part of southern Spain for many years, and on the whole really enjoyed the experience. We never planned to move 'forever' and eventually moved back to the UK to be near family, but it was a great adventure. I can't speak too highly of the Spanish people in our area, their friendliness and general welcome to us as immigrants.

However, as mentioned above, Spain is really going through a bad time right now. At the best of times finding work as an immigrant - and unless you already have fluent Spanish, an immigrant with poor language skills - isn't going to be easy. (We are both self employed and DH had an ongoing contract when we moved out there which lasted for several years providing a baseline income, so we weren't job hunting.)

I would agree with GoodtoBetter, people think that the climate is a plus point, but certainly where we lived, it really isn't. Winter is fine, but summer is very, very hot, which is great if you're on holiday, but not so great when you're working.

You also need to be prepared for the psychic wear and tear, if I can put it that way, of working your way through a foreign 'system' as an incomer. My respect for immigrants to the UK from non-European countries who manage to navigate our various bureaucratic systems has increased dramatically! Even though the Spanish system is recognisably similar to the UK, you start with no NI number, no NHS number, not knowing which office does what - your marriage certificate 'won't do' without translation, certification . . . you get the picture.

Having said all that, so long as you're prepared, and have a source of income worked out, Spain is a great place to live. I love the Spanish language, the general sense of community, and overall attitude of the people I knew.

Maybe now might not be the best time to move there, but if you don't speak it already you could start to learn the language, otherwise work on improving your fluency, make long visits, talk Spanish with your children - who knows what things will be like in 5 years time!

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Mar-13 21:46:49

Spain is very big country and so the weather varies greatly. In the North they have very cold winters and in a lot of Spain the summer temperatures are very high, for instance in Andalusia it's as hot as 42º for weeks on end. I actually think the UK's temperate climate is a much easier climate to live in than the extremes in a lot of Spain.

BegoniaBampot Thu 14-Mar-13 19:08:21

my Husband would like to move to somewhere like Spain as he hates the weather in the UK. I'm also curious as to how people really find it, are you glad you moved, where do you live etc. We have a 10 yr old and a 7 yr old so would probably be looking at International schools if we ever made the move. Money or finding jobs isn't an issue.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Mar-13 07:00:14

The economy is in a mess and there's no work. i really wouldn't turn up here and look for work if I were you, because basically there is none. There isn't a benefits/welfare system here either. You pay into the social security system if you work legallly but you don't get any unemployment benefit until you've worked for a set period (I think it's a year, can't remember). Then you only have a set amount and once that's used up, you get another job or go hungry basically. You can forget housing benefit, child benefit, council houses or any of that. I really wouldn't come now unless you have a job offer from a large company on a long term contract with good pay.
Sorry, don't think that's what you want to hear.

staceyfordy Tue 12-Mar-13 21:25:09

thanks for reply. i left school and qualified as a nursery nurse but haven't done it for 3/4 years since i had my son and last year done a beauty therapist course which i qualified in September smile its nice to no what other people think of the country i have seen in my visits the work situation isn't great.

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 12-Mar-13 21:09:46

My sister lives in Spain. She's lucky she works for a company who allowed her to relocate and work from home. It wouldn't have been possible otherwise as the job situation isn't great there. What line of work are you in?

staceyfordy Tue 12-Mar-13 21:02:59

I have visited the Costa Blanca {torrevieja area} since i was a child and would like to no in every way what its like to live out there. Its always been a thought of mine but with a young child and wanting another child is it to risky. Everyone seems to move there but unfortunately move back. I have 2 very different qualifications behind me but work seems to be very risky.Any opinions or information would be great. tahnks smile

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