If I had a penny for everyone that has said to me “I wish I could do what you have”, I would be a very rich woman. I’m not saying I’m incredibly popular, it just seems that everyone I talk to back in the UK seems to want to move abroad and, most of them aspire to come to what they call “sunny Spain”.
Life here is much more laid back and yes, for the most part we get a LOT of sunshine. But, if you’re thinking of taking that step and want to make your dream (like I did) come true, there are a few things you should be aware of, especially if you’ve only just begun your research.
I choose this first because it seems to be one of the biggest reasons many of us Brits want to get away from the UK. Whilst the climate here is much better than where you are now it does depend on which part of Spain you wish to move to.
The North for instance can have very harsh winters and if you’re looking for that mountain retreat, be prepared for high winds and plenty of snow in the winter months. However, summers in this part are pretty much guaranteed.
In the South we have the benefit of the Mediterranean and yes, winters are a lot less harsh plus, they don’t tend to last very long. However, it does get cold. Not by UK standards but enough for you to be reaching for those fluffy slippers and a winter jumper. Summers in the South can be humid. August is the hottest month of the year when we see temperatures in excess of 30-34 degrees and humidity levels of 90% plus.
I speak from personal experience as far as the people go. I find them warm and welcoming and largely, they’re very patriotic. However, do be aware there are divides. Some Spaniards are staunch Royalists and others are not. I could go into the background behind this but it would mean spanning several hundred years’ worth of history!
As far as daily life is concerned, there are a few things to think about before you take the plunge and move to Spain:
- Siestas are still big news here. Most people will take at least a 2 hour break from lunch-time through to late afternoon. During this time, you will find many local shops closed (with the exception of the big cities where malls still trade) and supermarkets in most areas.
- Sunday is considered family day. Most shops do not open at all on Sundays and whilst restaurants and cafes are available, it’s worth checking their opening times.
- If you have a hankering for something to eat from home, don’t worry, there is an abundance of UK produced products available but you should expect to pay more than you would “at home”.
So, there you have it, the first two pieces of information I feel you should think about when you’re just starting your research on moving to this wonderful country. Keep your eyes peeled for more instalments!
Author: Julie Coburn