Reasons To be Not Cheerful...Here's Three

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BENIDORM
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Reasons To be Not Cheerful...Here's Three

Postby BENIDORM » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:16 pm

First of all I'm thinking of suggesting a new heading..

......Moving Away from Andalucia...

I've read so much this week about how fed up some members are with living in Spain, to the point were they are seriously considering going back to the UK or somewhere else. So I've been thinking about the possible real reasons, why this should be so.

Now I'm really not trying to put off people who are contemplating moving to Spain, just trying to warn about possible problems...
The three main reasons , in my opinion, why there is so much dissent are...

1....Financial Problems.

2....Boredom.

3....Loneliness.

1.. Financial problems can of course affect anyone , even the best planning can go wrong, and being short of money can lead to masses of problems like breakups of relationships, bad health etc. And if anyone is in this situation, I can imagine that it would seem as if the whole world is against them..There are always solutions and of course I would suggest that the first thing to do is discuss any problems with family, friends or colleagues...nothing to be ashamed off..And they may come up with a good solution.

2..Boredom, well after moving from a busy life in the UK, and when the initial novelty of not having much to do , wears off, then boredom can 'kick in', perhaps not any shops near by to trawl, not many friends around , nothing left to clean etc. Again there is always something to do, if you know where to look, don't give in...Join a club, or even form a club, or find a good hobby..

3.Loneliness..Not quite the same as boredom, not everyone has the ability to mix, so once depression sets in, it takes a lot to get out of..Again it is really important to try and make touch with someone who can introduce you to other people and help you to get involved ..

I know that I'm only 'scratching the surface' of problems that can occur, but if you have any of the three above problems, it can blur your vision about living in Spain and make big problems out of nothing..

I've mentioned many times before that I don't believe anywhere is perfect, so perhaps it would be worth giving what you've got another good go..Of course if you've really decided that you've tried anything, then yes, the answer is to pack up and go...nothing to be ashamed of, I doubt that anyone will think any less of you...

And to the newbies just moving or recently arrived, please don't be put off, but just be fore-warned that you might have to expect some difficulties ahead..

The above is only my personal thoughts, based on past experiences of myself, family and friends...I could be wrong.. :wink:

I'm sure there are lots of other solutions out there.....somewhere....

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Postby JET » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:58 pm

My personal opinion is that we have it so easy we have become complacent and I think that is so in the uk but more obvious here. Everyone seems to be seeking something. Children at a certain age, Paents split up because it is not working it is not what I envisaged my life to be etc., I personally think we have a good life in Spain because of the climate and cost of living (even though that has risen in the last 3 yrs it is still a lot less than uk) in comparison to salary.

As I have said before we have satellite and internet so we can watch our english programmes and talk to our friends in uk very cheaply.

The other thing I do not understand are the contributors to the forum who live in UK and visit here so unhappy and aggressive (whats up doc) why post :?

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Postby karandjon » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:28 pm

Also JET, i think it is how people look at it. I agree we have it easy here, but far from being complacent, we are thankful for it. Not a day goes by when i dont thank our lucky stars that we are able to live like this. And, like you say, although cost of living has gone up, it is no-where near the cost of the UK.
Benidorm is right - If you are a person of a certain disposition, you may find yourself swept away feeling bored, lonely etc. If you are of a more "sunnier" nature, well, then, Andalucia is your Oyster!!! :lol:
vino, sol y aire, y seras rico como nadie

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Postby Cassandra » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:17 pm

Good advice for 'retirees' Benidorm but a hobby taking up a couple of hours a week can't replace a job if you've made the mistake of 'retiring' too early :?

Unless you take up the ever popular hobby of being a bar fly of course, that takes up whole days and I've heard that even the odd week can disappear when you get really good at it :lol:

Don

Postby Don » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:30 am

Nothing you suggest is wrong Benidorm but I think you could equally apply the same to moving around the UK. Having done it many times (move around the UK I mean), the balance of moving house to get job advancement and proximity to family, especially elderly parents or grandparents is a challenge in itself. Many years ago I moved from Exeter to Aberdeen and it took longer to drive back to Devon that it now takes (door to door) to fly to Spain. Scottish property laws are different to English laws and believe me there are also language and cultural barriers.

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Postby pwwm » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:57 am

We took early retirement nearly four years ago and have not looked back, no we are not bar flies as someon has suggested, We live in a mainky Spanish area, made Spanish friends, we continue to scuba dive being totally self sufficient for that.

We just dont get time to be bored, busier almost than when at work and OH was in high powered job. Life is what you make and yes Jet I have also wondered why the people living in the UK and have a holiday home here complain so much.

Sitting here this morning with blue skies and about 24dg of sun, off for Sunday meet and churros with friends sitting by the beach.

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Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:40 am

I do fully agree with all of the responses to my posting,and I fully understand that every ones needs and situations are different, and without knowing the complete details of each individual, it would be very difficult to offer possible advice to ways of resolving their situations.

I possibly understand , more than some, why many people can't settle or miss the 'buzz' of their previous lifestyles,but there are so many different factors that can affect the way you live your lives wherever you reside.

I have lived and worked in Spain for quite a long period, but I did leave Spain at one point, and when I got back to UK it was only a few weeks before I realised that I really missed Spain, I had misread our feelings,got it wrong, and then I started the whole proceedure of 'going back'...I've also met numerous people over the years who have done exactly the same as me, and they , like me, are unable to explain the reasons for their feelings..

I'm very comfortable living in both countries, and at present divide my time between both, but I can, because I am now semi-retired, and have no reasons to be tied anywhere, previously children and work did restrict whatever I wanted to do, and I was happy to accept that situation.

If anyone is in the position that they can split their time between different countries, then that is a good solution, but I can understand why a younger family would find it very difficult , and would have no alternative but to go back, if their situations are causing big problems, but they can always come back again, at a later date.
I'm still a big believer that it is always possible to find a solution to all problems, and all I can say again , is I would advise everyone to talk about their problems , and don't be embarrassed about seeking help.

I'm not trying to force my views on anyone, I'm just trying to be helpful, as I know many other contributors are.... :wink:

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Postby Cassandra » Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:40 am

The barflies remark was made tongue in cheek :roll: of course I know that only applies to a small minority.

I don't understand the moans of those who have holiday homes either, other than the very genuine concern of the legality. Given the current situation you could arrive for a holiday to find your house no longer exists!

When our house was our holiday home I thought it was paradise here but I realise now it was just the contrast to our lives in the UK. We also have only Spanish neighbours and our village remains predominantly Spanish although there are quite a few more British and other non Spanish than when we first bought. But I repeat what I said before. We are not all the same, we need different things at different times in our lives and it's equally wrong for those of you who are totally happy here to knock those of us who aren't. If I was to get a hobby that would give me enough to do to stop being bored I would have to get a job to pay for it but if I could get a job I wouldn't then need the expensive hobby- catch 22!

I'm genuinely pleased for those that are happy with retirement here and hope it continues to be like that for you. I wish I could be content with it and so does my husband who would like nothing better than for me to suddenly turn into the hausfrau he always wanted!

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Postby Campo Kenny » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:14 am

Let me just (feebly) try to answer pwwm's post which asks the question "why do people with holiday homes moan about it"......the same thing has been said by others so deserves a response by someone who falls into that catagory and (maybe?) being accused of that.

Let me just say, on all my postings I go out of my way to say how much I love Spain...why else would we have put a large chunk of our savings into bricks and mortar there if we didn't? be a bit daft really wouldn't it.

We worked up to our current casa via the townhouse route (to test the water and see if we liked it) with a serious aim of us both wrapping up our business's (which I actually did) selling our UK place or swapping it for a few renters to bring an income and then living the life of riley for the rest of our days......both of us youngish it seemed a no brainer, let's do it, place in the sun and no need to work.....Eutopia.

We've had beautiful stays there and as many say met great people, done the proper Spanish thing and the memories of the villages, balmy evenings shared with good people and lovely lifestyle will stay with us forever without doubt.

Yep, I've loved it or rather we've loved it :idea: , but we just could never set a date for the final move, sure many long winter evenings planning it but never doing it..............don't forget everything was set up for us, not a problem.
It was last year when it dawned on me (long before the current Euro crisis and the Vera thing) that I personally felt our 3 week or one month stint was enough for me at any one time............I was scared to admit this to OH as I thought it would shatter her dream and ambition to get out of the stressful job she holds down the dreary English winters she like all of us sometimes complain about.
Imagine my surprise/relief when during one conversation when we both confided in our innermost thoughts about our plans.
To be honest it was a relief at first, but then for me anyway it turned to sadness knowing that the thing we both really wanted and dreamed about was not actually going to become a reality........not in the forseeable future anyway.

We've owned in Spain for 6 years now, and have probably spent 1.5 years actually living there. Like many of you we have intergrated and experienced the gifts and hospitaly from people when we arrive....the bags of fruit/veg, the box's of raisins etc. it makes you feel priviliged, accepted and humble without doubt, but at the end of the month I personally am glad to be going home............home being the operative word, which I am clumsily trying to explain.

To answer the "why do they moan" question I feel we don't moan, it's more like we can afford to tell the truth.
I'll be brutally blunt about this and may deserve a flaming :!: , but one of the main reasons for deciding it wasn't for us was in fact the unhappiness and the divorce rate in couples we knew or knew of over there........it certainly seemed a bigger problem there than we experience here and it certainly did stand out and worried us.......OH in particular.

We felt with quite a few couples we met (as you certainly meet more people there than in the UK...I'll concede that one) that they were in fact going overboard in their description of their new life. We'd ask nice ordinary questions as you do and because we were interested in doing the same as them, the answers in a lot of cases were transparant, i.e.
"how do you like it here?" ......."absolutely faaaaaantasic, better than anything in the UK"........"what's the food like?"........."faaaaaaantastic, better than anything you can get in the UK" :? etc. etc.
We felt as though we were treading eggshells with some people, if we mentioned anything nice about the UK they'd knock it and if we said something nice about Spain we'd invarioubly get "OOOOOHH yesss, you don't get that in the UK do you"

This all became too one sided for me (speaking personally), you felt out of order saying anything negative or remotely truthful about this perfect paradise as it was these peoples new home..........yet they wouldn't bat an eyelid to use the "not like the UK" cliche at every opportunity. Now I found that offensive, it was OK for them to knock my HOME but I wasn't even allowed to say "the water pressure is low today" or you'd get "this is Spain, chill out, think of what you'd be doing in the UK now?) :?

Ok I've laboured the point and to be honest after six years there we have a lovely set of English and Spanish friends. The English couples are very,very, very happy with their new lives and it shows............they'll knock Spain too, they'll knock the UK too they are normal like me and most posters here and appreciate the right to be able to tell the truth and speak as you find without this self-justification., everything is perfect mode a lot of people adopt..........it is so easy to tell the folk who are content and these are the people we choose to mix with.

So in summary I do not knock Spain, I feel eqipped and entitled to tell the truth as I would about the UK. As I once said on here if you could throw all the good points from the two countries into a melting pot you'd have the perfect world, but it ain't going to happen.

We were going to make the move and on balance the good points of the UK outweighed the good points of Spain...in our opinions only.
We may change our minds, the option is always there and we do hope God willing to spend many more lovely holidays in a place we both love.

Sorry for the long winded post.

Kenny

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Postby Babby » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:37 am

Campo Kenny I agree with some of what you have written, but I do feel that if you have a strong marriage / relationship it doesn´t matter where you are in the world, you will be happy. Why should living in Spain mean you are going to end up in divorce? The majority of expats living here, in my experience, who have come to retire, are not with their original partner, they are living a new life in Spain with their new partner or are both divorced and living together. Some think perhaps that life in sunny Spain will solve all their problems. Wrong :(

My personal feeling is that life is life wherever you are, you still have to cook, clean, wash the dishes, do the ironing and other chores. Join in and help with the community activities, there´s so much to do if you look around. It´s not about laying by the pool /sea with a glass in one hand and a fag in the other.
I used to be indecisive but now I´m not so sure.

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Postby spanish hopes » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:15 pm

You are right Kenny, we shouldn't have to explain our feelings or reasons to anyone, simply because we haven't yet made the move or are happy to be 'Holiday Home' owners.
You did though and so will I.
25 years ago I was in a good job, working long hours and earning excellent money. We were enjoying life and spending as fast as we earned it. Young and with plenty of time ahead of us to prepare for the future. We were living in a free house which came with the job.
We suddenly realized that the future we were putting off preparing for wasn't really that far off. The area in which we then lived was prohibitive as far as buying was concerned (at least it was to us) especially as we had a very comfortable free home. A relative who stayed with us regularly was in business selling property in Spain and we asked him to look for something we could invest in that we could sell upon retirement to buy a house in the UK. He did.
Soon after buying we were given the opportunity to purchase our UK home at a discount.
At that time we hadn't even considered moving to Spain on a permanent basis.
We began to visit regularly, watching the little fishing village grow and develop. We made friends, lots of them and fell in love with the place.
We then began to plan and dream about retiring out there.
When we were younger our lifestyle and energy levels meant we met lots of people, had a busy social life. Moving with the job we found that we were getting older, less socially active and therefore meeting less new friends in the UK, but each time we visited Spain our circle was growing.
We are now retired (or in my case semi-retired), we have our UK house up for sale and will move to Spain as soon as it is sold. We both have plenty of interests and hobbies to fill more days than we will get each week, so have no fears that we will get bored.
I will have a regular income from my works pension, I will have no mortgage or rent to pay so we will be in an enviable state.
I think the people with problems are those who still need to work, who need to pay a mortgage, and who have no other interests. I never even considered moving when I was in that position.
We have been married for 33 years, rough and smooth times and I am sure that health allowing we will have many more ahead of us.
When in Spain we do get out more than in the UK, we do things together and share a lot of interests. For us the move has been well planned, well prepared for and well thought out.
Those who just upped sticks with a couple of kids, no knowledge of the language and no jobs to go to may well be finding that the dream has not become a reality for them, but then again they had not prepared, planned or thought it out enough.
Their own experiences do not give them the right to condemn those of us who have simply, because they have lived in Spain for 3 or 4 years and we have not yet made the move, or are happy to continue sharing time between both countries.

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Postby frank » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:21 pm

To answer the "why do they moan" question I feel we don't moan, it's more like we can afford to tell the truth.


Totally agree with all your post, but then that's not surprising! :D As we both still enjoy holidaying there, we obviously both like the place, but maybe not enough to move there. The thought of a level playing field where both the UK and Spain can be criticised equally is unthinkable here to most. I'd like to think we have a more balanced view, and as you would say, can afford to tell the truth. :(
Regards, Frank

No soy residente, simplemente un turista, ¿qué sé yo?

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Postby spanish hopes » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:25 pm

There are things about Spain which I find irritating, and things about the UK which frustrate me, Moaning doesn't alter either. :lol:

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Postby Zofia » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:41 pm

We have had a holiday home for 7 years, and have been spending more and more time there, as many on this forum. But, our children are now of school age (4) and we always said we would decide where to make our permanent base by then. We're moving to Spain in March.

I realise that permanent living and extended holidays are different, but the last few times we've been out, we have treated it as living and not holidaying, and I think we are quite prepared for many pitfalls.

As for the 3 reasons not to be cheerful:

Finance- hopefully we will be ok, we have no mortgage and will own 2 houses outright (one for rental). We have a fair degree of savings, although the current state of the euro and the stock market is doing us no favours. My other half will continue to do his freelance work (in the UK), but hopefully only a few days each month, I will also be working from home. Our money will go a lot further in Spain.

Boredom- We have 2 4-yr olds, so life is never dull. Also see above re work. Also we will be renovating a house, and spending more time skiing (Sierra Nevada), playing tennis and swimming (in the summer).

Loneliness- With children it's relatively easy to meet people and make friends. We already have a few aquaintances in Spain, and hopefully will make friends with others.

Ask the question again after 6 months, and maybe I will be proved wrong and heading back to the UK, but at the moment I am feeling pretty optimistic that it is the right decision for our family.

Incidentally, if we didn't have the children, i don't think we would have even considered moving permanently.

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Postby frank » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:53 pm

karandjon wrote: And, like you say, although cost of living has gone up, it is no-where near the cost of the UK.


No, it is not, but then neither are the wages. Not everyone is in your fortunate position, most below retirement age have to work, and that is becoming more difficult by the day. Currently about 50% of monies earnt by the average Spanish worker, now goes to pay their mortgage. As fixed rate mortgages are very rare in Spain, this is set to climb. Their actual spending power has gone down a lot. You can read any amount of reports which will tell you whilst Spain has experienced a boom period, wages unfortunately have been stagnating.

MADRID, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Rising food and energy costs pushed Spanish inflation to a 12-year high last month and the current account balance of payments deficit has swelled, posing headaches to the government two months before general elections.
The year-on-year rise in consumer prices rose to 4.2 percent in December from 4.1 percent in November, over a percentage point higher than the euro zone average.
Regards, Frank

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Postby frank » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:58 pm

Zofia wrote: My other half will continue to do his freelance work (in the UK), but hopefully only a few days each month, I will also be working from home. Our money will go a lot further in Spain.



That sounds like the perfect way to do it. Especially if you have no mortgage, and with hubby still earning a great UK salary, you'll have the best of both worlds. :D
Regards, Frank

No soy residente, simplemente un turista, ¿qué sé yo?

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Postby Wicksey » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:27 pm

I think that some people end up returning to the UK because their expections of what their lives will be like here are too high. Too many think it will be easier here, much cheaper, a perfect life, when in reality it's not like that. Wherever you live, there's always things that drive you mad - for me it was work and the weather in the UK, in France it was the weather and the dangerous French drivers, and here it's the corruption and illegal building. As everyone says, nowhere is perfect and I think some people come here expecting it to be an easy life, and the family will be closer and everything will be wonderful, and they get a shock when they discover that it's not always like that.

It seems to help having a holiday home here before moving permanently. It gave us a chance to really get to know the area and make friends before we decided to live here. Like Don, we have moved a lot in the Uk so are used to leaving behind friends and going to a new area and starting again. Perhaps that has helped us as we are a bit nomadic anyway.

Not everyone can settle abroad. My friend still calls the UK 'home' after 6 years living in Spain, whereas I feel like a stranger there and this is very much 'home' to me.

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Postby spanish hopes » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:39 pm

we have moved a lot in the Uk so are used to leaving behind friends and going to a new area and starting again. Perhaps that has helped us as we are a bit nomadic anyway.


I couldn't agree more. Home to me is whichever house WE are at present living in. I have no ingrained allegience to any particular town, area or even Country for that matter.

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Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:55 pm

Well it's good to see that 'part timers' and 'burned bridges' full time residents are making very useful comments with regard to living in Spain on a full time basis.
I believe that this is what this type of forum is all about, instead of waffling about how wonderful the weather is and what a paradise it is, far better for every one to see Spain as it is...warts and all.

Whether a member is full or part time here ,retired or working, I think is totally irrelevant, all have something to contribute, and although I am well aware that living in Spain full time is very different to holiday living,it's still valuable input from everyone...I believe.

I'm sure that newcomers will benefit from the more real approach to explaining possible difficulties, before they actually arrive, better than facing disappointment.
Like Don and Wicksey, we've also moved all around UK and other countries, so do understand what it is 'all about'.
Well done contributors, and it's good to see some of you 'coming out of the closet', in order to get your points across..very brave of you.....

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:59 pm

Exactly the same here re. being happy in either place, and isn't it also refreshing to hear sensible comments from people living in Spain too on this thread?
At the end of the day you know in your own mind if you are happy doing what you're doing. Once you find yourself having to talk yourself and convince yourself that what you are doing is right then that's where I have a problem and take a rain check.

Wicksey says about the weather in the UK..........absolutely spot on and undeniable comment, it's dreadful here at present and I'm envious of you in your shorts etc. :twisted:

Where I have my doubts about peoples state of mind with their choice is when they say things which are misleading or downright wrong.
i.e. "The food here is better".....no it's not it's different and anyway it's subjective, I eat, migas, rabo de Torro in Campo wine and Asturiana Fabada and love it when I'm there, but I'm pee'd off with it after a month :shock:

"Quality of life is better here"......no it isn't, how do you know what my quality of life is like in the UK

"People are friendlier here"......no they're not, people are the same the world over.

The list goes on.
If you're happy with your choice then comparison to other peoples lives and choice of homeland smacks of jealousy or possibly regret to me.

To praise Spain as a lot of posters do pleases me and I love hearing it for obvious reasons........I praise it too, but some of the plus points often mentioned don't stack up and are false.

Kenny


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