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A family moves from the UK to Galicia

It's all about the family. And the sea, and the wine, and the food....

A family moving to start a new chapter, and a Spanish family reunited after many years apart. We are planning towards a move to Galica, to live with my wife's parents and aunts/uncles and to give ourselves a new life away from exorbitant UK property prices and council tax....

This blog is about our research and planning, and then about the move, and then about our new life as ex-pats/new residents.

Learning Spanish - inc Gallego : and Portuguese?
20 January 2016

Partly a post, partly a question out to the community,


I need to improve my Spanish - Castillien (spelling?) as well as learn the local Gallego.

I already speak a level of tourist spanish, but aspire to manage both family dialogue and business.  Gallego is very ingrained and a part of the area now - tv channels, government/business as well as the local community and culture (maybe it has been for ages : sorry - I learnt/heard that Franco had banned it, and since has made a comeback : quite like Welsh).

It is an appalling statement, that in being together for 10+ years, my wife and I have not managed to teach me and the kids much at all.  Hey ho.  Life priorities.


So anyway, 6 months before we move : then a period of time when I'm still mostly in the UK working.  So stages of being increasingly fluent please...


I'm starting at the moment with Duolingo on my iPhone which feels accessible and feasible to do for circa 15mins most days.  BUT it had a 'placing test' which I got mostly correct but then it said I was an utter failure and I'm stuck covering the absolute basics and I will soon lose my motivation!  Does anyone know of a better app to try or how to manage Duolingo better?

Then how about Gallego : doesn't seem to be generally an available option with the typical iphone apps.  One suggestion was to learn Portuguese to then ease the transition to Gallego later? Any thoughts out there?


I have a couple of spanish contacts in London, so I hope to use them occasionally over the next few months to develop some business/IT spanish vocab, phrases and overall fluency.



Like 0        Published at 00:02   Comments (1)

Oh, another quick update FYI : Progress following the 14th Nov post
13 January 2016

Oh, just to offer a piece of good news progress.

14th November I offered a blog post about our current debt, and the intention to go freelance/contracting.


Well hurrah - fate/universe did provide and a month after that I did start at a new workplace, having set my own limited company up and sealed the deal on a contract at over £500pd yay!  I'm working very near where I have been for the last 3 years, so the London commute is still relatively ok : just a long train ride in from Sussex, but no tube.

I've been there for 4 weeks now, so already billed and received payment for some (which shows the company in profit already, what a great type of business to run!!) and by this point today, I have now earnt roughly enough to guarentee the family income for the next two months at least.

The contract is a 6 month, to mid June which could be perfect.

If all goes well, the plan would be:

- keep same family budget/income through all this year per month

- the above includes having £7k saved to cover not working through July and August, starting back in Sept

- save £5k towards the moving out/moving in costs

- possibly making a start in paying off the debts.

I also have a potential offer of a loan from a sibling to help towards clearing the debt (against family estate/will in the future)


Continuing to work from Sept onwards for a period of time eg 6, 9 or 12 months further should then:

- Allow to continue a circa £3k a month family budget : for Spain life and for UK/Spain split life and travel for me

- Clearing debt within hopefully a few months

- Saving to be able to invest in the home and land in Galicia : getting Pigs, cultivating the land, fixing up and improving the family home, maybe then in the future investing in building our own Yurt type ecohome.

- Affording trips back to see family, participate in things, come back for festivals.


fingers crossed.  It's a big ask for it to all go smoothly



Like 0        Published at 23:46   Comments (2)

we're coming...... booked and ready... well, booked
13 January 2016

1st of July 2016.  We are coming/going/leaving/arriving.


We booked our ferries last night so it's real and really happening.  On the 1st of July: one self-drive van (see below, advice/tips needed), one normal family car with roofbox, two adults, two children, two cats, and three gerbils - with a temporary travelling teenager : will all be getting the ferry at portsmouth to move their lives to Galicia.  24 hours, then a 6 hour drive from Santander to near La Coruna/A Coruna and we'll arrive at the family home to get a nights sleep, then awake to unpack and start our new life.

The complex logistics start slightly beforehand with finishing work (a freelance/contract role by mid/end june), packing our things, hiring a van, filling the van.

Then the continue after we arrive.  we'll keep the van for 10 days, then I -solo- will travel back to Santander, back on the ferry (on my own on my 3xth birthday! 11th July), back to portsmouth and home.  Then drop the hire van back.  Then have a day to relax in the UK, then on the 13th fly back from LHR to La Coruna/A Coruna.

This should be the start of an x weeks holiday/settling into the house and land prep - although in the heat of July/Aug hopefully not too much.

Then sometime in August (flights not booked yet) I will return, sell or freecycle our remaining things, put some into storage, and clean/handback our rented house.  Help our teenager (by then, 20) move into a houseshare probaly in Brighton, start back at work in london (new or extended previous contract), and then start a period of weekend travelling to/from Galicia.   [already looking at booking the flights now : around 150 gbp return Fri 5pm / Sunday 3pm.


wow.  so it's real.


Advice particularly needed with regard to Self Drive van hire.  I am NOT taking a Luton which I think is the root of the problems I've read about to do with laden weight and Spanish police pulling and fining UK Drivers.  I am assuming a LWB transit, although may reconsider to a SWB.

We're not taking a whitegoods although quite some stock of books etc which of course are heavy.  and some plants.  But hopefully should be under 3,500kg  (european breakdown cover max: LWB are 3300 KG unladen I think).

Any advice, horror stories or reassurance anyone?


Next planning update to come soon.






Like 0        Published at 23:37   Comments (4)

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