I was sat enjoying a small beer and some delicious tapas in a beautiful part of Almeria over the Christmas period. The company was great, with a mixture of ex-pats who had made the move to Spain and their guests made up of family and friends from the UK. As we sat overlooking the beach, practically at the water’s edge, the conversation inevitably turned to the comparisons between the UK and Spain and the question posed was what do we miss about the UK? I couldn’t answer it so I turned it around and asked what would they miss about the UK. The answers were pretty predictable, but interesting nonetheless, .
Family and friends
I think that would always the be the first thing to miss. But the group we were sat with were proof of my answer. Family always comes first – and always visit! Time spent here with family and friends offers far more in the way of quality time than you would ever get over a Sunday dinner, and with endless ways of communication through facetime, whatsapp, skype and the like it’s very easy to keep in touch family and still share important moments.
A great British institution – I’ll never knock it or those that work in it. But Spain also has a great health system and is considered to be a world leader in many forms of medicine. Getting access to the medical system in Spain is pretty straight forward and even if you can’t there is a comprehensive private system.. and medication is a fraction of the cost in comparison to the UK.
Life can be challenging at times without being fluent in the native tongue, but it can also be fun and you are never too old to learn. The local authorities offer free spanish classes and when I get really stuck there is always google translate, or my helpful spanish neighbours.
When you cross the border into Spain you don’t suddenly forget how to cook! All the usual ingredients can be found in the local supermarkets, they are just labelled differently. Spanish food is fantastic and the fruits and salads are way fresher and tastier than anything you get in the UK. It all comes from Spain anyway! And let’s not forget that the mediterranean diet is considered to be the healthiest in the world.
Seriously! You can still get your Eastenders and other British shows on various internet and satellite systems. I always manage to catch-up on Match of The Day by Monday morning and my wife still enjoys Eastenders and Strictly.
I’m proud to be British and I’m equally proud to be a Bristolian, although with my accent the language barrier can be a problem even in the UK. Heritage is an important part of education and in my opinion should be taught more in school. In Spain it is, the history and heritage is all around you and proudly displayed and celebrated by numerous fiestas. If you want history and heritage then Spain is the place to explore.
The Spanish enjoy burgers and a decent curry as well you know, and they can do anything with chicken,pork, and seafood. But why take it away when you can simply eat outside? More to the point what about the mediterranean diet. If takeaway is your particular thing then you can still find it here, indeed most bars and restaurants will pack a meal up for you if you really want to sit at home.. In front of the BBC.
What’s to miss! The weather is simply fantastic in Spain and the changing of the seasons is just as impressive as the UK, it’s just not as cold and wet. You really have to remember that these questions were being asked on New Years day… on a beach, in the sunshine.
When I was younger I used to enjoy taking the paper to the pub on a Sunday and poring over the football reports with a pint. But that stopped when the BBC launched the BBC News/Sports App! Newspapers are available in Spain, just harder to find.
The Royal Family
Well I’ll be astonished if the Queen ever sends me a birthday card! Being British, and proud of it, I suppose I must be a royalist in someway, but I can’t say that I actually miss the Royal Family. I suppose they are like a turkey. Not really relevant apart from on Christmas Day.
Here’s the interesting thing…
When I asked what would put these people off the thought of moving to Spain they couldn’t really give me an answer apart from the actual cost and hassle of actually doing it. The hassles of moving are numerous, and if you don’t want the hassle you shouldn’t even be thinking about it. But the cost of moving? When asked how much they thought it would cost to move to Spain, most of them over-estimated the true cost of moving their possessions to Spain saying they thought it would around £10,000!!
When we moved to Spain 4 years ago we bought a van and drove down ourselves here with all our belongings in the back. The cost of the van (and it’s depreciation here), insurance, fuel and overnight stops (x3) probably worked out to a little less than what our tapas guests had guessed at. However, since working at Indalo Transport I’ve learned the easy way to do things. At Indalo Transport the average cost of moving an entire 2 bedroom house would be under £3,000 – and they take care of all the hassle for you
Written by Paul Burt
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