This is a real life experience from someone who looked at the reasons to move to Spain, which ultimately led to the decision to cease the day and do it!
Here is Sarahs’ story as I am sure it applies to most of us who were or are in a similar situation?
The most obvious reason first.
I love the sun. Nothing makes me more miserable than being cold and constantly looking at grey skies. It’s fine when we get a heatwave in the UK like last year but that hardly ever happens and you can’t rely on the British summer.
I’m happier when I’m warm – the husband has always said I’m solar-powered and need to live in a tropical climate, which is quite strange considering I’m a pale, freckly redhead!
The Costa del Sol has an average of 320 days of sun a year and even in January, the average temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. The thought of waking up to blue skies almost every day makes me very happy.
More family time
In the UK we go to work and school, come home, have dinner, watch TV for a couple of hours, go to bed and start all over again the next day. If you’re lucky there might be a few days in the summer when you can go to the beach or pub garden after work but those days are few and far between.
If you’ve ever been to Spain you’ll know that people eat dinner later and stay out later as it’s so warm. After work and school, there’s plenty of time for more fun – a swim in the pool and a BBQ throughout the year are high on our list!
The cost of living
A big factor in our decision has been the difference in the cost of houses between the UK and Spain. Here we have a very small 3 bedroom house on a new(ish) build development. We don’t have enough space and it’s not in the best area, but to move we would need another £75k at least. Unfortunately, this is more than we would be able to save to move house in the next few years.
In Spain on the other hand, we could have a house bigger than our current one for around £100k less. With the money we’ve made from our house sale, plus some savings, we would only need a very small mortgage in Spain meaning we might finally be able to get the kind of house we want.
The general cost of living is cheaper too. Food costs less, rent (we’ll be renting for 6 months) is lower, there’s no council tax…
More time outdoors
After being cooped up at work all week, the weekend arrives and… it’s usually cold or rainy so you either stay indoors or pay a fortune to do something like cinema, bowling or lunch out.
If you stay indoors then no doubt the kids will be glued to the TV/tablet/phone/games console for most of the day. You’ll probably have lots of arguments and bribery to get them to do something else.
In Spain you’re outside most of the time, enjoying the weather and fresh air. I am so looking forward to this and getting Little H away from the computer as at the moment it’s all she is interested in doing.
Like most working parents our lives are full of stress. I blame the rushing around constantly from work to school, as well as the high cost of living.
There are bound to be plenty of stresses still in our Spanish lives, but we plan to rush around less. People are much more laid back there for a start.
I’ll be working from home, the school has a bus that takes the children to and from school, and there’s hardly any traffic on the roads.
I will have to let you know how this ‘less stress’ plan goes!
A new adventure
Maybe it’s an impending midlife crisis (I’m 40 next year, the husband has just turned 40) but we feel totally stuck in a rut here and life feels the same day in and day out. It definitely feels like a case of ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’ at the moment.
We’re in need of an adventure, some new surroundings and I guess a new life. Since Little H needs to go to school we can’t pack everything in and travel the world, so another country is the next best thing.
So, in case you were wondering why we had decided to uproot our family and leave the country those are just a few of the reasons.
We’re under no illusion that there will be bad bits too. We already know it’s going to be hard work, we have to learn another language and we will miss our family and friends. But hopefully, the good will outweigh the bad.
I’m sure I’ll blog again in the coming months to let you all know whether the reality has met our expectations or not!
With the Pound strengthening against the Euro, you can get a lot of property for your money with the exchange rate.
Do you dream of moving abroad? If so, what’s stopping you right now?