-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
El Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Cadiz, Spain.
-Are you living alone or with your family?
My husband Marcus and our 2 children, Blewes 8 and Deven 6
-How long have you been living in Spain?
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Spain?
We always wanted to relocate to another country and decided on Spain. After making many inspection trips covering the whole coast of Spain from Barcelona down to Valencia through the Costa del Sol and up towards Huelva, we discovered El Puerto de Santa Maria, a very, quaint traditional Spanish town with a great ambience and gorgeous beaches.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
No need for visas as it is part of the EU.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
It's quite easy to get social security cards, so that you can benefit from the Spanish national health service or even better pay for private medical care, which if you shop around is not as expensive as Bupa.
-How do you make your living in Spain? Do you have any type of income generated?
When you are a foreigner and live in a relatively small town (like we do) it is near on impossible to find work. To start off, we set-up our own drive-thru carwash (the 1st of its kind in the province). We have since sold this and having bought land, built our own house and set-up business here, we decided to set-up Luz Concierge where we help and advise other British people who wish to move here, having done so much ourselves and fallen down many holes, in this very complicated bureaucratic system, we help and advise others on all aspects, from renovating properties, acquiring licences, sourcing schools to contracting reliable builders etc... whatever your need we have either done it or know how to.
-Do you speak Spanish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
Yes, we do speak Spanish. In the beginning we did not speak a word, we are self taught and have loads of Spanish friends (which is very important if you want to integrate into the community). The dialect here is very different from text book Spanish and is full of phrases, here there is a phrase for everything.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Of-course, I miss them loads, but our house is an open house and all family and friends visit regularly. Now, having lived here for 4 years, we have some great friends and the kids are a great source of meeting new people.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
Who knows what the future will bring. For now we are very content with our lives here and the kids are really settled.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
We bought land and privately contracted a constructor to build our house, which we designed. With the economic crisis, house prices have dropped but it still does very much depend on the area that you choose. To give you an idea a 3-bedroom terraced house would cost approx 300,000€.
-What is the cost of living in Spain?
Still good in comparison to London, but it has increased.
-What do you think about the locals?
The locals are really friendly and appreciate it if you try to speak their language.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Spain?
The positives are a more tranquil life, great climate, outside living, fresh, fresh fruit & vegetables and quality time with the family. The negatives, the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy and the bureaucracy!
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Spain?
Do your research and it is advisable to use a company like us at Luz Concierge to help you through the frustrating Spanish system, our website is www.luzconcierge.com. We give honest advice and tell you how it really is.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Spain
www.LuzConcierge.com making your transition as smooth as possible.