Is Spain Forever?

Published on 30/03/2009 in Expat Life

Living in SpainRelocating to Spain requires a lot of careful planning, energy and most importantly money. It is a huge investment and a risk. How can you possibly know that it is the right thing to do until you do it? Nearly everybody that does take the risk has the best intentions and really wants to make it work.

Actually making it to Spain is enough challenge for most people so they tend not to think beyond getting through the immediate following few years. 

But what about long term? Can Spain really offer enough forever?

Of course, age plays a major part in the equation. The concept of forever for a retiree is not the long road ahead for the recently graduated expat looking to make a go of it in the sun. The retirees have made the conscious decision to spend the final part of their life in a warm climate, enjoying a relaxed lifestyle.

The UK can’t offer what they enjoy. And even if they did have an inkling of desire to return, sometimes it is impossible as life savings are invested in setting up retirement lives in Spain. The recent graduate is more likely to feel that Spain can’t offer him or her what they want, long term, in the sense of career progression.

During my time in Spain I have come across expats that have been here for as long as I have been alive. Many were children when their pioneering parents brought them to a very different Spain to the one we know today. Expats were scarce in those days and they were paving their way for the millions that followed over the past thirty years. Likewise, they left behind a very different UK and Spain is more home to them because that is all that they can remember.

Despite this they often retain a strong sense of Britishness and more often than not speak to their children in English even if they have Spanish spouses. Spain for that generation of expat children was definitely forever and they would always return to it. However, I wander if the children of this recent influx of expats will stick around for long.

They will have grown up with a mainly British influence despite attending Spanish schools. Surrounded by British friends, watching satellite television and affordable frequent flights back to the UK inevitably enables them to stay in touch with the very latest in the rapidly evolving British culture. And when you are sixteen or seventeen being a part of the latest is more attractive than a laid back lifestyle. I daresay that they feel the pull far more than previous generations.

For anyone to say that they plan to live in Spain forever is an unrealistic commitment. As a nation our cultural attitudes have evolved. We are more flexible and are more willing to seek new challenges than recent previous generations. Unlike our parents and grandparents we aren’t prepared to make do with the same foods, ways of life, people forever. We crave new things so we outgrow old things.

We are younger for longer and reach middle age much later than before. When you are faced with so many options and possibilities in life, it is inevitable that you will have a more experimental approach to things. So for the ‘new’ expat Spain is less likely to be forever than it was in the past especially those that haven’t reached retirement age.

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain




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Comments:

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