Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Do you have a query about moving to Andalucia and buying property in Andalucia. Find out by posting questions and reading about other peoples experiences.

Would I do it Again? ( That is move to Spain )

Yes
22
73%
No
2
7%
Maybe
6
20%
 
Total votes: 30

mtantill
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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby mtantill » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:18 am

Not there yet, but almost. We are moving to Spain next year for my first run at retirement. We have been outside of the US for 7 years now and don't really have a desire to return. We also looked at France and Italy but landed on Spain because of the land prices and because we already speak Spanish reasonably well. We originally looked south of Barcelona in Taragona/Tortosa area, but the laws regarding living on the land were muddy at best. Catalunya was pretty expensive, so we started looking in the area where we visited Spain - Andalucia.

We found a nice place in La Alpujara and were able to purchase everything we were looking for at a reasonable/fair price. We plan on getting our farm up and running and producing X% of our food needs in order to keep prices low. We are looking forward to challenges of off-grid living and trying to be as self-sustainable as possible. We cannot get there soon enough.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Wicksey » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:06 am

I think the fact that we don't have close family ties in the UK means that we are not forever wanting to go back to see them. I must say that England feels quite foreign to us now and things have changed so much, in even previously quiet East Anglia, that we don't feel at home there much. It would be nice to escape the summers here, although not sure whether we would choose the UK or not, but certainly on an early summer's day in the countryside it can be very pretty with the green-ness of the trees, rolling hills and the bluebells out etc. However, on our brief visits of less than a week once a year, we are usually quite glad to come back home again.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Free at Last » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:39 am

I do like to go back to the UK twice a year, just for 4 or 5 days, to see the family, meet up with friends, visit some nice restaurants and do lots of shopping, especially for clothes. It makes a nice change. I always look forward to going, but after the first 3 days I start wanting to get home. When I've had to stay in the UK for longer periods of a couple of weeks or more due to family illness, I've found it very hard indeed.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby firsttango » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:27 pm

Recently was dragged screaming and kicking back to Bristol to pop my signature etc on completion of Apt purchase that OH deemed a necessity as grand children have started arriving and wanted a home from home in U.K. I must admit it was a huge shock as have only been back myself twice in 14 yrs. Whilst waiting for OH who had gone sofa shopping with daughter I settled into a coffee shop.....what a flipping palaver getting a straight forward "cafe con leche".....(no I didn't want it made with Himalay Alpaca milk or accompanied by a quinoa biscuit) then they actually robbed me ...£3.95!! I very quickly gave up smoking £10 a pack will do that to all but the most dedicated smoker. When I went in to the cafe it was patchy cloud and sun, when I left it was like a monsoon. We plan to go back as and when but unlike the OH who has been going back regularly to visit family I think it will take some serious getting used to for me as Wicksey said and i agree it all seemed a bit "Foreign". However on the plus side for me the Apt block in the Docks area has been wired for seriously fast internet 1GB Download and upload (approx 1000Mbps) for only £48 per month Happy days.

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IreneD
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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby IreneD » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:31 pm

I am wondering, when 'family' is mentioned, just how close the family members are. Cousins, aunts and uncles etc? Depending on the upbringing, I would hazard a guess that to leave family members other than 'direct line' variety might not be such a wrench. Maybe I'm wrong.

I am fortunate that I didn't have small grandchildren when we moved over permanently, I think it must be very hard to move here perhaps when your children are adults and then, as the years go on, those children start producing their own offspring........ my gc are now having babies, my fourth great grandchild is due in October :) and much as I do feel a pang at not forming the sort of bonds I formed with my grandchildren, I can cope with that. My children and grandchildren do come to us for visits but not all of them, so some I only see when we go back to the UK, maybe only twice a year.

firsttango's wife has come up with a solution for them, now that grandchildren are arriving, which is great but not everyone could afford to buy another place in the UK. That must be hard.

Another issue I'm seeing with some of our friends of a similar age here, around the late 60s, 70s is that their elderly parents are 'failing' and I can see that is very difficult, too...... my parents died years ago, so I didn't have that worry once we'd emigrated.

An interesting thread, Gordon!

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Miro » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:43 pm

As a rather irresponsible (and probably rather spoiled) youth I backpacked around the world for a few years, after which I knew I could never marry the girl next door (I dumped her anyway when a mate who'd been seeing her while I was away asked if I minded if he asked her out!) and settle down to a life of boring mediocrity & predictability in a N.London suburb (as my parents & peers expected of me).
I met Mrs.M in a nightclub in Benidorm of all places. We holidayed to quite a few far flung places together, whenever work allowed. A couple of years later her work relocated us to Boston (US). Unfortunately plans to work for my UK employer whilst in the States fell through, and I couldn't get work there without a visa, so our stay was briefer than we would have liked. We would almost certainly still be there if it had been possible. We both loved it.
But we weren't ready to return to the UK, wanting something more adventurous. The EU allowed us visa-free access, so was the obvious choice. We decided we wanted to buy a business that was seasonal, thereby allowing us time to travel more. We considered Greece, briefly, but since Mrs.M already spoke very good Spanish, there was never really any other obvious option. We went to Mallorca, simply because (pre-internet) Daltons Weekly seemed to only advertise businesses for sale there!
Quickly realising that very few typical resort businesses made enough money in the summer season to live through the winter, let alone travel, we bought a yachtie bar in Palma old town, which allowed us to mix with other world travelers & have three months off every year to visit distant and exotic lands. We sold up after a few years, worked briefly for a friend running his hostal in Palma, and decided that was what we'd do next. But as someone else rightly guessed, the island got smaller over time, and much as we loved it, we decided we needed to move on. We considered Canada, but could only afford motels in remote areas of northern Ontario. We're basically both townies, so our search for another business took us to mainland Spain & a hostal in Torremolinos.
A few more years on, and after doing OK out of the property boom, we basically retired early because, as Dave said - we could.
And then we kind of settled in to a bit of a rut - albeit a very comfortable and pleasant one. We had a couple of problems with Spanish bureaucracy, most notably with our health care being cancelled, which alarmed us, as Mrs.M now had a heart condition and was on regular medication etc. In recent years we've watched several elderly expat friends really struggle to cope without close family support, and end their days basically rather sad and lonely. Sadly, Mrs.M also lost a brother (having lost both parents while we were in Spain), and started to feel that she wanted to come "home", to be closer to family.
I could have lived there happily enough for years to come & wasn't keen to return to the UK - but also wasn't bothered in the end about leaving. I don't hate Spain, but I also don't love it. I certainly don't regret our time there - although I wish in a way we hadn't stayed so long, and had experienced life somewhere else too. Our lives became very normal - which was not what we went abroad for. I think I could pretty much live anywhere in the world, and still crave something "different", so perhaps the time was right to leave anyway. Having been away from the UK so long, though, I'm finding it sufficiently different that it's almost like experiencing another new country anyway!
We definitely will never return to live in Spain, and almost certainly will never go to live anywhere else now - but hopefully we'll still travel around a bit - aching / ageing bones & other health issues permitting!
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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Pamela1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:50 pm

Great thread Gordon....Im in Andalucia but my signal isnt the best so im trying to keep this short while i have one...Wud love to contribute but it will have to wait till i have a better reception...Its all intetesting reading.love it :thumbup:

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Wicksey » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:04 pm

firsttango wrote:I settled into a coffee shop.....what a flipping palaver getting a straight forward "cafe con leche".....(no I didn't want it made with Himalay Alpaca milk or accompanied by a quinoa biscuit) then they actually robbed me ...£3.95!!



:clap: :lol: The choice of foodstuff in Tescos is like that too .... takes 5 minutes of searching for a pint of ordinary skimmed milk amongst all the variations of cows/goat/lactose free/organic/free range/1pt/2pt/4pt/full fat et al .... it wears me out!

IreneD wrote:I am wondering, when 'family' is mentioned, just how close the family members are.

Another issue I'm seeing with some of our friends of a similar age here, around the late 60s, 70s is that their elderly parents are 'failing' and I can see that is very difficult, too...... my parents died years ago, so I didn't have that worry once we'd emigrated.



We don't have children and my parents/aunts/uncles are dead, and I have never kept in touch with more distant relations like cousins so no family ties at all for me. My in-laws are now pretty ancient so we usually go to see them once a year but have decided to go twice this year as my father in law is 90 (although still very fit and still driving) and my mother in law has dementia. For a while they did not want us to visit at all but now they have a full time live-in carer their lives have improved no end and my FiL now is happy for us to visit again. We keep in regular contact by phone but for quite a while he was in denial about my MiL's illness I think and didn't want us to see them at all. Thankfully things have got a lot better now with a new Dr and better treatment, together with the carers who have been wonderful at looking after them both.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby lmj56 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:07 pm

Hi Gordon
Some interesting posts.
We are moving over full time in September. Bought our house 11 years ago
Due to health reasons I have had to stop work and over the last 4 years this has had a negative effect on my earning potential. So for financial and health reasons we feel this is our best option.
I am much better health wise in the sun. We are not of state pensionable age, but can get access to work and personal pensions. Selling up in uk gives us cash.
We live in a lovely part of South Wales one daughter and our grandson lives on Windermere so quite far away. Our youngest lives with us but is now moving out. May give her the motivation to do something with her life.
We hope the move will give us a few extra years.
Obviously there will be issues and hurdles, but that would apply anywhere.
Looked at France but that was too expensive.
Looking forward to family and friends coming over to see us.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby BENIDORM » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:17 pm

WOW.....What great stories and wonderful content, written from the heart by folks from all walks of life .

Thank You and I look forward to reading more...!

I've had a really hectic day today so can't reply individually but I really appreciate the fact that you've all sat down and put pen to paper...well you know what I mean.

Regards,
Gordon...Wilting with the heat...I need a drink :wave:

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby fyfin » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:36 am

I missed this thread but I'd still like to tell our story. We never imagined we'd have a villa in Spain having left our homeland (Northern Ireland) in 1973 when Jan was 18 and I was 21 with no money, nowhere to stay and no job and moved to Ipswich (another story about why Ipswich). But we made it work, now married 44 years and I won't bore you with all that happened in between but we both got jobs , raised a family, bought a house, and couldn't afford a foreign holiday (or any holiday) in those early days. But, I was helping a builder friend by doing his books and as a thankyou he invited us on a holiday to his timeshare in Tenerife. That was it for my wife, she was hooked on Tenerife and the following year we bought a timeshare in a Wimpey complex in Los Gigantes. We had many happy holidays there until we decided we wanted to try mainland Spain so we sold the timeshare (yes I know doesn't happen too often and even got back what we paid).
We stayed in different parts of Spain over the years, and the main reason for mainland Spain was proximity to UK and ease of getting back and to look at areas for eventually spending 6 months in UK and 6 months in Spain which we had decided by then.
My plan was always to retire at 60 but working for a private company in an engineering firm with no final salary pension I wasn't sure we could do it but Jan had been working for Royal Mail and after 16 years she was offered redundancy at 50 with a pension - I told to take it and so we had additional income which made it all possible.
Having upsized in housing as you do, the next phase was to downsize and bank the cash to buy that long term holiday apartment.
I realise I'm writing an essay so I'll shorten it. lol.
Basically, bought the apartment, then I retired, spent 3 months in Spain in the apartment, went back to UK, asked ourselves what the hell were we doing there and came back to Spain permanently.
4 years later , sold out UK house and bought a villa in the same town - haven't been back to Ipswich for years. We don't miss anything about the UK and are very happy, enjoying cheap living, great friends, fantastic social life doing things we never would have done in UK e.g. Jan and a couple of friends formed a band a few months ago, "The Happy Pluckers" (check them out on Youtube or like them on Facebook lol) and has local gigs (we got back last night from one at about 2.00am), I'm captain of a dart team in a Spanish bar and get plenty of exercise dog walking (acquired a rescue dog as you do).
Also ended up as President of our community as we kept the apartment to rent out to friends and relatives. The family, 2 sons and 2 grandchildren keep in touch occasionally by Facebook and have been out to visit but we're not that close a family. The youngest grandson is 18 so we don't have the same ties that others have.
So there we have it - sorry for such a long post but I probably could write a book. lol
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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby ValL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:20 pm

Well it was a choice of working 24 7 365 or moving in with the tall dark handsome man who asked to go visit him No contest :-)

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Evelyn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:25 pm

I love my life here in Spain and after 17 years, dont think of returning to England to live. I love my 2/3 trips back to the UK to see my Family and Grandchildren, and I enjoy my visits from them to me here. Just recently my brothere and two sisters have fallen in love with Malaga and have visited for the last two years.
Much as I would love a bolt hole in the UK(staying in London is very expesive) but finances wont allow it. I also simetimes wonder if I could cope with the winter weather in England.

So I will continue to be very happy with my lot but cannot predict how I would feel if left on my own.......the language is not a problem but would I want to be here as a single person, not sure.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby swerve » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:37 pm

Loving all the posts. Please keep them up.
It always seems imposible until its done. Nelson Mandela

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Wicksey » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:57 pm

Our story is so similar to yours Fyfin (even worked in Ipswich too) and having bought a holiday home here in the 90s when they were dirt cheap, the same happened to us. Spending all our holidays here then after 4 years, wondering why we were going back to the UK, work and the dreadful dark days of winter. We've never regretted coming here and 'retiring' in our early 40s. Our original plan was like yours, to take early retirement and spend half a year here and half back in Blighty, but in the end we ended up here much earlier than expected and as permanent residents, which we never planned on doing.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby fyfin » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:53 pm

The other question I see mentioned is what would happen if your partner died - would you stay or go back. Well we have both talked about this and we have friends here who were unfortunately put in that position and in every single case (5) the survivor stayed here. Not all were that old, although my perception of age has changed with the advancing years and even 70 (I'm 66) doesn't seem that old now. Four were men who died and one was a woman. I did ask afterwards why they decided to stay here, and they all had the same answer, a far better circle of friends and things to occupy them that they would back in UK.

And that is exactly how we feel. We are lucky to live in a relatively small town where we have made some good friends and many others who we are friends with, but not as close, but we know that if anything happened either one of us, the surviving partner would be well supported. I'm afraid we would not have the same support in UK even from family who do their own thing and we are not that close as such.
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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Wicksey » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:03 pm

I feel the same Fyfin, although in a couple of the cases of people we know who have died here the partner has gone back to the UK. One was never settled here anyway so we weren't surprised that she immediately wanted to go back 'home' to England. Another lady was more elderly, and on a recent visit back here to see friends, told me how much she regretted going back, having lived here here happily for many years her family persuaded her it was best to go back.

I cannot imagine myself returning to England although whether I would stay long term in the campo all alone (we don't have any nearby neighbours) I'm not sure.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby truebrit » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:23 pm

A lot of people I know have talked about moving to the town where things are more accessible, healthcare, shops buses. Anothere reason for moving from the campo is if one or other doesnt drive then it become a necessity. You cant keep relying on people to ferry you about all the time. I must admit that I have said many times that people, when buying, should think very carefully about the long term plan.

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby Wicksey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:23 am

I know of a number of people (all females) who do not/will not drive. I have always wondered what would happen if their OH put their back out, or like mine once did, injure his knee and couldn't drive. I would not live up in the hills unless I could also drive .... anyway I like my independence and would hate to have to keep asking to be taken out here and there!

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Re: Why Do People Pack Up and Leave Their Family To live In Spain ?

Postby BENIDORM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:03 pm

Thank you everyone for making this an interesting and entertaining thread, and it was good that everyone has been so 'well behaved'..... :thumbup:
I'm sure many newcomers will have found it a great help....

Regards,
Gordon


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