You could probably write an encyclopedia of tips for living in Spain. Everyone has their own priorities and there is a plethora of personal experiences that people love to share.
Here we look at a sprinkling of tips from members of the Costa Women Almeria group on Facebook. Do you have any of your own to add? Drop them into the comments at the bottom.
- “Try to converse with the locals even a little can go a long way. And brush up on your mimng skills for a while” – Vickie Berry
- Jacqui Malpass agrees, “Yes! My neighbours do laugh at my antics. But I love to stop and ask how they are. Sometimes I do the sensible thing and use the app on my phone.“
- “There’s a site called Tradduka.com. It’s great! Type in English and it gives a Spanish translation. I learn from that too for day to day things” – Bev Holmes
- “Learn to be very patient” – Mary McHarg
- “Relax! Some of the Spanish only have two speeds… slow and very slow, especially when dealing with paperwork. Just go with the flow and don’t get stressed” – Adrienne Ruiz
Asking for and providing help
- “Joining forums and groups….most questions can be answered in them…don’t struggle in the beginning alone” – Bev Holmes
- “Be a friend – we were all new once. Share your experiences and friendship with new people who have moved to Spain. Part of the fun of being a ‘foreigner’ is that you make friends with people from different cultures and speaking different languages than from your home country!” – Ali Meehan
- “If you dont ask the question, you will not be given the answer!!!” – Michaela Talbot
Preparation and queuing
- “Be prepared. If you are doing anything ‘official,’ take with you any piece of paper you might possibly need. Trust me it feels great when you have a folder and need none of it but were ready to produce it… in triplicate!!” – Andrea Lowe
- “If you need to post letters or go to the bank don’t plan anything specific for that morning! Great places to practice Spanish with the locals in the queue.” – Sally Scamell
- Further to queueing, Susan Leach says, “You just have to ask, ‘¿Quién es el último?,’ and once you know who you are behind, keep your eye on her (or him) until it’s your turn” – Susan Leach
In the campo
- “Buy candles and torches. I have torches in key strategic places like attached to the fridge and in the drawer in my bedside cabinet” – Jacqui Malpass
Finding somewhere to live
- “Rent before you buy – many places change during the seasons and what once was where you wanted during (say) the summer may be dramatically different during the winter” – Ali Meehan
Eating and Drinking
- “Eat local food and although we can get UK products try to embrace what is available. As a veggie and almost vegan, I know that it is often tough to eat out. So I eat well at home and eat chips when out” – Jacqui Malpass
- Julia Hubbard added to that, “I’m vegan too… 6 vegan restaurants in Alicante so I might have to move“
- “Drink you can now afford it” – Mary Rice (Ed: In moderation of course Mary, ha ha)
Don’t get sucked in
- “Don’t take too much notice of anyone english if they are moaning lol, just nod and shake your head a bit and don’t get drawn into any gossip” – Deb McAndrew
Spain is different
- “Stop comparing daily activities to the UK or Ireland. This is Spain and things are done differently here. Embrace that, and life will be much less stressful” – Elle Draper
- ” Just be. Forget all the restrictions you had and put on your self in uk. Just be” – Cathy Whalley
- “Enjoy your life here as much as possible” – Astrid Filon
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.