Location, location, location but not without Preparation, preparation, preparation..
Yes, the location, location, location theory has been well documented and is of course a very important part of the moving process but even more important when leaving your home Country for a move abroad, that you can not afford to overlook is the preparation and planning of your proposed move.
Every single person, couple or family has unique motives, desires, reasons and circumstances in their idea of moving to a foreign land. I want to focus on Spain because this is where we have lived for the past four and a half years and where we help people who would like to move to this particular part of Andalucia.
The fundamental reason for starting our relocation business in the province of Cadiz is to help people like us who come up against so many brick walls and difficulties when first entering and living in a foreign Country.
The idea of this article is not to scare you but to warn you that if you haven't done your homework before selling up lock stock and barrel you will be in for a rough ride; only the toughest survive and the strain it can put on a relationships is tough, even harder if you have a family in tow.
It really is hard to fathom how many people still decide they are going to move and live in Spain but do not have any idea where they want to live, what they will do for work, etc.Even those that do and come with the idea of setting up some kind of business seem to forget that in nearly all cases they will have to deal with the Spanish; whether it be to order goods, take deliveries or deal with general services .you will need a grasp of the Spanish Language.
Now, I can hear all voices shouting down at me "NOT IN THE COSTA DEL SOL YOU DON´T, MATE"!!!!!
But the Costa del Sol is saturated with British run bars, shops, hostels, B&B´s, etc.. I have heard of people running bars, working long hours and only breaking even due to the high competition and cut throat price wars. The established and successful have probably been there 20 years or more.
For those who read this that are thinking of moving to Spain, I would like to give you a few practical tips to help you try and succeed, especially when it comes to preparation.
- Give yourself as much time as practically possible before your planned move
- Read books about moving to Spain and investigate on the internet
- Outline all your reasons for moving to Spain, write them down and then try to find out where abouts in Spain fits all your needs and desires.
- Try and narrow down 3 or 4 areas that tick the YES box for most of your requirements.
- If you can, and this might be difficult and expensive if you have a family, take a trip of about a week or so to discover if your choices come up to scratch in reality. Go out of the holiday season (Oct/Nov)
- If you are going to be buying property, make sure you do your sums correctly and get professional, independent, financial advice
- Think about how you are going to support yourself, financially
- Start up taking Spanish lessons before you rush into buying you might want to think about renting for a while.
These are just a number of things you can do to help avoid the pitfalls, insecurity and language barriers when moving to Spain. It is possible to come up against some real trouble with bureaucracy, ignorance and conflicting information as well as lack of knowledge on specific matters, within some local authorities and government departments when moving to Spain.
With all of that said; once you come to terms with how things work in Spain, learn not to expect things to happen as you are used to and join in the relaxed mañana way of life I do not think you will regret it!
The quality of life that you can have in Spain for you and your family can be truly fantastic. The outdoor life in Andalucia is great for children and adults alike, living under clear blue skies, eating fantastic food and drinking outside, where children are welcome in bars, the fiestas and the siestas, whether you enjoy mountains or beach or even both, I can honestly say for me the Costa de la Luz and the province of Cadiz is definitely, Location, location, location.
As for the Preparation, well, I know from experience no matter how much and how well you prepare there is always going to be something happen that you just cannot predict but the more time you put into the preparation of moving to Spain, the easier your life will become when integrating into the Spanish culture and way of life.