I know that I am guilty of encouraging this by regularly contributing articles on this subject but isn’t it about time that people stopped surfing about Spain and just did it? In fact, I feel that people are just so Spained out by all the websites, forums and books dedicated to the subject that it could actually be putting them off.
Now, that would be an interesting statistic to find out how many people change their minds about moving to Spain after doing internet research and what put them off the most i.e. forums, blogs, articles etc. When we moved to Spain three years ago, apart from a couple of basic websites to look at, it really was stepping out into the unknown. In fact, without any guidance, we hardly knew where to begin and to be honest it was actually quite exciting. But we of the internet world had to put a stop to this adventure and force feed you with everything that we wish we had known before we made the move.
I wonder if with all the blogging and forum posting that goes on, are we sharing too much? Should we just let you all find your own way and not be swayed by the experiences of others. Is it really too much mothering on our part to let you know of every possible danger and every unforeseen circumstance or incident that could possibly affect you? Just because I had my bag stolen in Banus does it mean that you need to be aware of this now? What right have I to advise you not to enter Banus without at least an army of five friends in tow and no more than twenty pounds in cash in your wallet. Its good to be prepared but too much information is a dangerous thing as it gives you preconceived ideas about what Spain is going to be about, leaving you totally thrown when you finally get here. You may even find yourself having to undo everything that you have learnt, to start fresh from the beginning having wasted all that time on the forums.
Wouldn’t that time be better off spent doing more practical research, perhaps visiting the country and getting a proper feel for everything and building your own impressions before you chicken out. You get to a point when you can become all spained out so you actually feel like you have been there and done it. At this point there is no need to do it for yourself as these people, the forum posters, have gone and ruined it for you. The sad thing is there are those professional dreamers who never ever make it to Spain, but live voraciously through the lives of other Brits on the way to becoming or who have already achieved expat status.
But don’t for one minute think that the expat forums are a virtual hangout reserved for the Brits. On the contrary, there’s even the odd intrigued Spaniard who drops in. He or she is, of course, embraced by the British posters who hang off his or her every word, coming from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. It just all seems so much more authentic if it is coming from a Spanish person and perspective.
Some might argue that you aren’t being forced to surf and look for info but the problem is that people know that it is there. It is just to tempting to miss out on, a bit like resisting that big wedge of chocolate cake in the kitchen! You may even go to the forums with a question in mind, just one question to be answered and put your doubts at rest. From that point onwards you are hooked and gradually become more and more dependent on the information that they provide. Although, it does take some of the excitement of the unknown in a way, it does add to the build up associated with the move and certainly helps to know that you aren’t alone!So it looks like forums, blogs and information on Spain are here to stay and will continue to expand to the point where future relocators can finely tune their move to the very last detail.