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Travelling around Europe long term - anyone done it?

11 replies

Rhubarb · 30/07/2002 14:30

Ever since my dh and I went travelling around Europe for our honeymoon I've been desperate to do it again. Now that dd is two and I've been at home with her for that long I am getting itchy feet. The plan is for dh to finish his job (he's a digger driver so he could take it up again when we get back), rent the house and go travelling with me working. We were thinking specifically of France as we find the language easier to learn.

So does anyone know which are the best places for temporary jobs and cheap accommodation? Has anyone done this? Is there anywhere I could go for information? Any tips or advice appreciated!

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Lucy123 · 30/07/2002 15:07

I've never travelled with a child, but some friends of ours came by on their way around Spain / Morrocco with a 2yo and a 4yo (or poss 5). I was absolutely aghast at the idea of travelling with children, especially in Morocco, but they had a great time.

Anyway if you fancy Spain, then the Costa del Sol (where we live) is actually nothing like as tacky as everyone thinks and there are plenty of jobs for English speakers (bar work, teaching English, that sort of thing). Spanish is also very like French and I picked it up quite quickly, although there are plenty of English people here who never bother. Finally accomodation is cheap in the autumn, but not the summer.

Don't know about France I'm afraid - I'll leave that to someone else. But either way it might be worth doing a taster course in TEFL (English as a foreign language) or even a full TEFL cert before you leave as then you will be able to pick up private teaching work wherever you are (by advertising in supermarkets, etc)

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Rhubarb · 31/07/2002 16:10

Thanks Lucy, I was considering a TEFL course, but our University only does it full-time and the Open University does one that costs the earth! Anyone know where I can do one part-time?

I have had experience in teaching and am doing a course in Sept for teaching children with special needs, will this not do? As for Spain, well I'll keep that in mind, thanks very much! Whereabouts do you recommend for accommodation?

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ticklebyday · 01/08/2002 15:23

Lucy123 (sorry to change the thread)

Intrigued to hear that you live on the Costa del sol, this is one thing that dh and I would love to do.

What are the schools like? Are there any english speaking ones? I'd love to hear about your experiences, and get some advice to get over there.

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jessi · 01/08/2002 18:32

Me too Lucy123. My questions are :

*What are rental prices like for houses
*Do they have nurserys, are they expensive
*whats the weather like in the winter
*Do you miss home alot

Many thanks!
Jessi

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littlesister · 04/08/2002 13:40

I've been waiting in anticipation for Lucy123's reply to Jessi and Ticklebydays posting - I to am interested in moving to Spain.

Does anyone have any experience/advise in doing this? Where's a place to consider moving to for ex-pats which has good schools/jobs/nursery care, etc....

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Lucy123 · 04/08/2002 14:13

Wow all these people waiting for my post! Sorry I hadn't noticed this before. Now where do I start?

Anyway we moved here 2 years ago and we live between Marbella (posh end, high rents but you get neighbours like Sean Connery and Antonio Banderas!) and Fuengirola (much more Spanish, cheaper but with the stag parties in the bars near the beach). Rents vary enormously, but here large flats with shared pools on long term lets go for around E700 per month. A long let is a year, but you get the right to renew for 5 years - much better than the UK! Prices are cheaper in Fuengirola, near Malaga and inland (we're 400 mtrs from the beach!) Short lets are much more expensive in summer, but cheaper in winter. Prices to buy agin vary, but are around Brighton prices in Marbella (E100,000 for a 1 bed flat) but much cheaper elsewhere. Look at the local ex pat paper site for more details.

The big in order of proximity to Malaga airport (for cheap flights!)towns are Torremolinos, Benamadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona. All these towns have all the amenities you'll need, but also the big villages are very well provided for: La Cala, Coin, Ojen all have schools, med centres etc (and I don't know about the others). All have several public Spanish schools which have special staff to help ex-pat children who don't speak Spanish. There are also several private international schools, mostly near Marbella but I think there's one in Torremolinos and another the other side of Malaga. Can't remember the website, but search on internatioonal schools Spain for details. As far as I know the schools are good (dd is only 3 mths)

Nurseries are in every big village, but they only take kids from 18 mths. There is also more than one ex-pat nanny agency, but I haven't tried them. Jobs for fluent Spanish and English speakers are pretty good (again look in that local paper) but even if you don't speak Spanish there's a lot of bar / sales / cleaning / teaching / IT work. If you want a proper teaching job (well paid that is) though you need to be here in time for the start of term in September. As a standby though the black economy is flourishing among ex-pats and if nothing else a few hours of dog-walking/bar work/teaching privately through an ad in the local shop should be easy to pick up. I would not recommend you do this long-term though as you need to be paying Spanish social security to get the any routine medical appointment (although many ex-pats simply have health insurance instead).

Health care is excellent in general but there are big gaps. In particular pre-natal care is good, but there is no public post-natal care at all. I have since found out that there are several UK midwives working privately though.

And living here is great. It's a bit hot for me in the summer so I stay indoors, but in Spring/Autimn it's lovely and is never cloudy for more than a week even in January. It can get a bit cold winter evenings, but never drops below 5 degrees C and if you can find a sun-trap you can even get a tan! Also I love the atmosphere of Spanish towns in the evenings and the general laid-backness of the people. Be aware though that many of the villages along the coast are so full of ex-pats that this atmosphere is missing (we're in Calahonda and it's missing here - we're going to move), but it's only a taxi-ride to Marbella / Malaga (possibly also the other major towns - haven't tried yet)!

Lastly anyone who's seriously considering moving to Spain should read Moving to Spain by David Hampshire.

Have I missed anything?

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littlesister · 04/08/2002 14:25

Thanks for that - I did start a separate thread on this in the hope that you would spot it.

I've added a few extra questions on my "I want to move to Spain thread - if you get time to have a look at it I'd be really grateful.

Thanks for all your help.

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jessi · 05/08/2002 17:07

Thanks Lucy 123, your a star... told dh what you'd said and he was very interested. He wanted to know what kind of work you do out there? Nosy bugger! Hope you don't mind me asking!
Thanks
Jessi

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Lucy123 · 05/08/2002 17:40

jessi. Might make you a bit sick here. We (dp and I ) are both web programmers and we work freelance for UK clients - so best of both worlds all round. Actually I am a teacher (English and IT PGCE qualified but not for schools). I looked for teaching work, but as we moved in October there were only a few jobs of the 2-hours-a-day-you-don'y-need-to-be-qualified-for-this variety. I know there are better and reasonably paid teaching jobs out there though as I've seen them in the paper since.

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Mopsy · 05/08/2002 19:21

Looks there might well be a mass exodus of Mumsnetters to the Costas...Lucy I had a quick look at the employment section of that expat paper and one ad caught my eye: someone's recruiting men to appear 'wearing masks and capes' in erotic films!

So maybe our dh's and dp's could find themselves a starring role while the ladies lunch - on the beach!

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Lucy123 · 05/08/2002 20:51

Mopsy - cool! there was an ad this week for people to do voiceovers for "soft erotic films" - I almost felt like applying myself!

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