This week our Expat Interview is with Natali Drake. Of Spanish heritage, Natali lived in Barcelona until she was seven, before moving to the UK. She is back now, and settled right in.
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When did you move to Spain, and where from?
We moved from London to Spain in Jan 2010. My husband works for a large shipping company and they offered him a job here, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
Who came with you?
My husband and eldest daughter who was only 10 months old at the time, we went on to have our second daughter out here a year later. Then two and a half years after moving here we married in the stunning mountain chapel of Gaucin (se picture).
Where in Spain do you live now?
Estepona, on the Costa del Sol
Do you work? As what?
Last year I started my own Marketing Consultancy helping small lifestyle businesses out here target English speaking customers. I write copy for their websites, manage social media platforms, blogs, art direct photoshoots, over see ad campaigns…the full package. I am also a writer. I have just completed my first novel (which is at the editing stage) and am the editor for www.clickthec.com – the only picture-led online mag about the beauty of the Costa, its people and their passions.
How are you with speaking Spanish?
I am fluent as my father is from Barcelona. I was brought up in Barcelona until I was 7, so history is repeating itself with my 5 and 3 year old girls being brought up by the sea too!
If you could change one thing about Spain… what would that be?
In Andalucia especially, it would be their lack of business initiative and bad customer service. I love that they are so family orientated, but it’s frustrating as a customer (and employee) when a business cares so little about promoting itself, making the most of what they offer and listening to their clients. And they have no shame about keeping you waiting or letting you down!!!!
What is the best thing about living in Spain?
Other than the food and weather – it’s definitely their close family values. I love that they are not hung up on our OTT PCness like in the UK. My girls’ teachers hug and kiss them, people say what they think, being with the family and eating together is more important than your status or what you earn. I know I am contradicting myself, I guess I am more Spanish than English just when I choose to be :)
What is your favourite Spanish dish?
Mixed paella (but only the way my Aunty makes it)!!
What is the predominant nationality of your friends in Spain?
British, although lots are like me and have Spanish parentage.
If you won the Euromilliones – would you still live where you currently are?
I would travel the world and wouldn’t settle anywhere – although part of my heart would always stay here. Maybe I’d get a villa here…or a yacht and go up and down the coast.
If a movie was made about your life – who would play you?
Angelina Jolie. Well who wouldn’t have such a beautiful and powerful actress play her – plus I admire the balance she has in her life with work, family and charity.
If you had to describe yourself as a sandwich filling… what would you be?
Probably a selection of both simple and exotic fillings all mixed up that sound completely weird together but work well. And far too much of it – so that it makes a big mess but you really enjoy it!
Right – now is the chance to tell us all about your business/website/blog if you have one (or more of course). Go for your life!
Managing all marketing, branding and PR aspects of your lifestyle business in Spain. From the simplest services (such as social media and blog writing) to fully integrated advertising and promotional campaigns.
The only picture-led online magazine about the beauty of the Costa del Sol, its people and their passions. Photography by the highly acclaimed photographer Jeremy Standley accompanied by moving in-depth articles.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.