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-   -   Are you living the life you moved for? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/you-living-life-you-moved-710389/)

megmet Mar 23rd 2011 1:38 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by fionamw (Post 9257541)
Ref social life - no-one seems to have mentioned socialising with Spanish people; our thoughts on that one are that there will be some you can invite or who will invite you but integration is a whole different thing which may (or may not) ever seriously be possible
Ref language - DO NOT ever underestimate the impact of not being able to communicate fluidly (as distinct from fluently - I mean the speed of the thought process before the mouth works!)
Ref bbqs & weather - yip it's the % chance of a decent day that makes a world of difference!
other than that, over to you bil:

Nowhere is perfect. I repeat NOWHERE IS PERFECT. The trick is to find a place that you really like, and then strive to iron out as many of the niggles as you can.

No Spain is not what I expected.....its a whole lot better!
As retired expats our experience will be different though from those with a young family who still have to work.
We now don't go on holiday, as simply going out for the day always has the feel of a holiday about it, go one way and it's beautiful mountains and lakes, go the other and the Med is only an hours drive away.
On top of that there is so much history and culture right here on home ground, all summer long there are ferias and fiestas....one long party if that's what you want!
Actually living here though is very different from how you see it on holiday, ordinary life takes over just as it would anywhere in the world.
Spain isn't perfect, but if you pick your location well for your needs it comes close!

We are fortunate that we have Spanish family here down on the coast and also Spanish friends of many years standing.
This probably makes us less inclined to mix with other expats, we do have a few friends amongst that group but mostly our friends are Spanish as are our neighbours, they have all totally accepted us and include us in all that goes on, we on our part include them also...they were at our BBQ on Sunday.

The one thing that we were not prepared for in our move was the difficulty understanding Andaluz.....its not at all like the Spanish we learned and when spoken at full speed leaves you shaking your head in bewilderment, but we do live out in el-campo in a small hamlet so that's to be expected, it's only an hours drive from the coast, but it's a world away from the Costa del Sol. :D

megmet Mar 23rd 2011 2:01 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by sensationalfrog (Post 9258037)
thing is,i have been lucky all my life to live in very nice places,then 12 years ago,i moved to fuengirola,to some its a kind of paradise,people from coventry love it,they can see the sea,to me its just a dump,cant wait to move back to north devon,over the 12 years i have seen thousands of brits come and go,all so keen and loving it when they move here,6 months later,skint,dream has gone,i have no sympathy any more as they wouldn't listen anyway,i have a 'bouncers' clicker that counts numbers,i click when i see a brit bar change hand in the fuengirola area when walking my dogs,in about 5 years i am at 952,thats just what i have seen,move here to retire,sure,to work,no!!

I know exactly what you mean, it's thirty years since we first visited Fuengirola, back then it was a very small town and you could clearly identify what had been the original fishing village.
Back then we loved the place, but over the years we watched it grow and change...not for the better! Now it's grown into a large town with no style and totally lacking in a plan, I know some still enjoy the place for holidays, but we now don't go near it unless we really have to do.

Like you we have seen Brits arrive full of their dream of running a bar, sometimes they lasted a few months, but sometimes it was only three weeks before their dreams were shattered and they had to return to where they came from.
I often wonder why it is so many think they can move here to run a bar but imagine they will be able to spend all day on the beach as if on holiday, they just wouldn't think that way back in the UK....would they?

HBG Mar 23rd 2011 7:36 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 
I’m somewhat between the gushers and the odd complainer. We live pretty normally after many years in Spain and would only go back under extreme circumstances, but a lot of people do go back, on top of the obvious ‘publicans’ who should never have come in the first place, although I know several that have made it in Spain, but they’re in a small minority.

We found that the extreme enthusiasm at first wore off pretty quickly, were troubled by boredom for a while and then settled down to living normally, much like the UK but with sunshine and the sense of adventure when living abroad. And we’re both still working, though at a leisurely, self employed pace.

We lead active social lives, mostly among expats, but with Spanish friends too, and I can honestly say that I don’t find Spanish people any different to British people, leaving aside the fiestas and other minor stuff dictated by a wonderful climate.

I admire the few expats who try and integrate fully, but the reality for the great majority is that you don’t have to try that hard – most Spanish people are quite happy having you in their country as long as you behave properly, (and contribute financially), and some knowledge of the language is appreciated.

johnnyone Mar 23rd 2011 7:57 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by megmet (Post 9258058)
We now don't go on holiday, as simply going out for the day always has the feel of a holiday about it, go one way and it's beautiful mountains and lakes, go the other and the Med is only an hours drive away.

Where could you get to in one hours drive when you lived in the Uk? There must be many places of beauty, interest, culture etc.
I understand all the points being made about weather etc..etc. but for me you cannot beat the UK for diversity.

licinius Mar 23rd 2011 8:15 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by AdrianTO (Post 9257370)
those that aren't retired, they are working, often not very succesfully. Nothing against them, but the lack of fluent Spanish, coupled with the dearth of of job opportunities makes Spain a very difficult place for Brits moving here.

Not being stuck in a full time job in Spain means that you almost have an ideal scenario where you can enjoy actually enjoy that vacation lifestyle that so many hope for when they move here.

I think that post is a tad unfair. Sure Brits that head to tourist resorts get stuck in a rut but we don't all fall into that category. Those who want to be successful will be, those that want to bum around will.

Life is a bit different for me because I commute to a north sea oil platform each month, sure the 2 weeks of work is a drain, but then I get 3 weeks of the vacation lifestyle you talk of :thumbsup:

JLFS Mar 23rd 2011 8:20 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 
A couple we met about a year ago did, they bought out in a little village, not too far from the coast, they got what they signed up for at the time........Spanish neighbours, fiestas, country walks and so on.

They were not British, they were Danish, I met them their English was really good and their Spanish was exceptional, judging by other expats that I have met in Spain. and they were very well settled, and had lived there for a lot of years.

The hubby became ill, some kidney problem or other, Their neighbours in the village (clump of houses really) rallied round and helped with doctors appointments etc, as the wife did not drive, and is seemed very unlikely that the hubby would be able to drive again.

The woman who shouldered most of the burden, told us she was happy to do it "mientras".
The friend we were with asked what "mientras" meant, and she said "mientras they make arrangements to go home".

JLFS Mar 23rd 2011 8:25 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by licinius (Post 9258574)
I think that post is a tad unfair. Sure Brits that head to tourist resorts get stuck in a rut but we don't all fall into that category. Those who want to be successful will be, those that want to bum around will.

Life is a bit different for me because I commute to a north sea oil platform each month, sure the 2 weeks of work is a drain, but then I get 3 weeks of the vacation lifestyle you talk of :thumbsup:

I think your post is a bit unfair too, not everyone who wants to be sucessful will be, life gets in the way, illness, family problems, etc.

Dont forget Spanish business fail too, so to put that all Brits who put their mind to it will come out winning, is pie in the sky.

agoreira Mar 23rd 2011 8:26 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by johnnyone (Post 9258549)
Where could you get to in one hours drive when you lived in the Uk? There must be many places of beauty, interest, culture etc.
I understand all the points being made about weather etc..etc. but for me you cannot beat the UK for diversity.

I agree with you as well, agree with some of the points made,but also can't understand why it's not possible to do that in UK. We were out on the coast, walking beaches all day yesterday, having a cafe lunch(outside in the sun even), and currently planning where to go today. It's a great day, we'll be out all day, in some stunning scenery, pub lunch on the coast, and knowing Álora area quite well, I know which I prefer. Tomorrow will be the same, we have our ex neighbours over from Portugal (they've had enough, selling up) we'll take them to the St David's coast, their favourite area. Agree with Fuengirola, plus I'd include a whole more of CDS in that, there are lot nicer places than that part of Spain.
Chapeau to the people that speak Spanish, I do a bit of it myself, but I'm not sure why people think it makes them better than the rest, by telling us they only have Spanish friends, they don't mix with Brits. Is it some form of elitism? Should we be impressed? True there are some awful Brits living there, but there must be just one or two that are OK. A mix of the two maybe?

JLFS Mar 23rd 2011 8:29 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by agoreira (Post 9258596)
I agree with you as well, agree with some of the points made,but also can't understand why it's not possible to do that in UK. We were out on the coast, walking beaches all day yesterday, having a cafe lunch(outside in the sun even), and currently planning where to go today. It's a great day, we'll be out all day, in some stunning scenery, pub lunch on the coast, and knowing Álora area quite well, I know which I prefer. Agree with Fuengirola, plus I'd include a whole more of CDS in that, there are lot nicer places than that part of Spain.
Chapeau to the people that speak Spanish, I do a bit of it myself, but I'm not sure why people think it makes them better than the rest, by telling us they only have Spanish friends, they don't mix with Brits. Is it some form of elitism? Should we be impressed? True there are some awful Brits living there, but there must be just one or two that are OK. A mix of the two maybe?

Wow I am impressed, your French is good too, and dont forget soccer rat.:rofl:

agoreira Mar 23rd 2011 8:34 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by JLFS (Post 9258593)
I think your post is a bit unfair too, not everyone who wants to be sucessful will be, life gets in the way, illness, family problems, etc.

Ain't that the truth, oh that it were that easy! Just wanting to be successful is in no way a guarantee of success. I can't imagine anyone starting a business not wanting to be successful! :confused:

agoreira Mar 23rd 2011 8:37 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by JLFS (Post 9258598)
Wow I am impressed, your French is good too, and dont forget soccer rat.:rofl:

Sorry, I was thinking in Spanish, "Chapeau a la gente...."

fionamw Mar 23rd 2011 8:39 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by HBG (Post 9258520)
(SNIP)

I admire the few expats who try and integrate fully, but the reality for the great majority is that you don’t have to try that hard – most Spanish people are quite happy having you in their country as long as you behave properly, (and contribute financially), and some knowledge of the language is appreciated.


Rosemary - sorry I obviously didn't read closely enough!

HBG - back to the Spanish~integrating bit, sure our neighbours (and we're in deep campo so we're hardly Brit ghetto material:lol:) are happy having us here, we do behave properly, we do try to spend as much of our money in the village rather than on the coast, we use local (Spanish) forges, tyre supply, builders' merchants, hairdressers (well OH & son do, I prefer both sides of my head to have the same length hair:eek:) etc etc and yes, I may not always be fluid and am certainly not fluent, but our son is and I can have a relatively speedy conversation with anyone even in machinegun Andaluz - it helps if both parties are buoyed up by a copa de tinto, of course - BUT do I think we're integrated, absolutely not
is it partly our own fault, well yes of course, but it does take two (or more) nationalities to tango & despite how much I love the countryside (UK or Spain) here it adds tenfold to the difficulties of becoming part of the community
Oh, and Agoreira has a good point about not discounting Brit friends - a mix of most things is the best medicine!

Rosemary Mar 23rd 2011 8:46 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by agoreira (Post 9258596)
I agree with you as well, agree with some of the points made,but also can't understand why it's not possible to do that in UK. We were out on the coast, walking beaches all day yesterday, having a cafe lunch(outside in the sun even), and currently planning where to go today. It's a great day, we'll be out all day, in some stunning scenery, pub lunch on the coast, and knowing Álora area quite well, I know which I prefer. Tomorrow will be the same, we have our ex neighbours over from Portugal (they've had enough, selling up) we'll take them to the St David's coast, their favourite area. Agree with Fuengirola, plus I'd include a whole more of CDS in that, there are lot nicer places than that part of Spain.
Chapeau to the people that speak Spanish, I do a bit of it myself, but I'm not sure why people think it makes them better than the rest, by telling us they only have Spanish friends, they don't mix with Brits. Is it some form of elitism? Should we be impressed? True there are some awful Brits living there, but there must be just one or two that are OK. A mix of the two maybe?


You will certainly have a better day than we will because it is raining hard here at the moment and looks set for the day.

We do not think that it is a form of elitism at all. We tend to emphasise it because so many seem to think that everyone who moves here lives with other Brits. We chose to live in an ordinary town with ordinary people because we knew that the "forever holiday" would not suit us as people. Our Spanish is terrible but for the past 4 nearly 5 years have managed to survive with it out of necessity.

Rosemary

agoreira Mar 23rd 2011 8:54 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by fionamw (Post 9258609)
Oh, and Agoreira has a good point about not discounting Brit friends - a mix of most things is the best medicine!

There are few Spanish living near me in UK, but through classes, meetings etc, I know most of them. I would say without exception, they have all integrated perfectly, they are all married to, or living with Brits, so all speak good English. They all seem to have loads of Brit friends, partake of local activities, most of them are into rowing! But what they don't seem to do is ignore each other, they all seem to have their regular "quedadas", eat Spanish food together etc. The forums of Spanish in UK is no different, they are always getting together somewhere. I don't see the problem.

JLFS Mar 23rd 2011 9:16 am

Re: Are you living the life you moved for?
 

Originally Posted by agoreira (Post 9258629)
There are few Spanish living near me in UK, but through classes, meetings etc, I know most of them. I would say without exception, they have all integrated perfectly, they are all married to, or living with Brits, so all speak good English. They all seem to have loads of Brit friends, partake of local activities, most of them are into rowing! But what they don't seem to do is ignore each other, they all seem to have their regular "quedadas", eat Spanish food together etc. The forums of Spanish in UK is no different, they are always getting together somewhere. I don't see the problem.

I remember those get togethers, Italians were very much the same, when anyone got hold of "fabes" and the necessary meats, everyone had a fabads.

Everyone loved to see their own countrymen, and would have liked to do it more often, but, as most were working.

But I did not hear anyone say "that they only mixed with Brits, or only wanted to mix with Brits".


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