Malaga-based relocation consultant and mother, Lisa Sadleir, explains why she decided to write her essential guide, “Moving to Spain with Children”.
Having worked as an adviser and consultant to many families, and seeing all the traps it’s easy to fall into and the mistakes it’s easy to make, I thought why not offer all the knowledge I’ve accumulated in a handy form which everyone can get to read and use as a reference – a complete guide to starting a new life in Spain.
As well as offering up-to-date advice which will help with aspects of moving, from schools and language, to timing, social integration and even pet care, Moving to Spain with Children offers the clear message that coming to live in Spain with your family needs to be carefully planned and thought-out, not done on a whim. The book offers a comprehensive, detailed rundown of all the admin aspects you need to take into account – documentation (of which there is a ridiculously large amount), the health system, bank accounts and starting a business.
My advice is based on more than 20 years of living in Spain, in the Canary Islands and other regions before settling in Malaga, and I firmly believe there are few better places for bringing up children – the emphasis on family life, the open and friendly people, the warm welcome wherever you go, the fantastic weather which means you’re outdoors in the sunshine most days.
Spain is a wonderful place to live. It is the place I have chosen to bring up my children. Having lived here for over 23 years now, I cannot envisage living anywhere else (although I will never say never!).
Living in Spain allows us, as a family, to appreciate that: we have more time with our children; we spend more time outdoors in the fresh open air; family comes first; material possessions are not important; people are generally very friendly and open; we are living an invaluable experience.
Every year, many people consider moving to Spain. Every year people make the move and sometimes it doesn’t work out and they return home (you know, the stories often published in the tabloids and UK sensationalist TV programs). From experience, I am inclined to say that many failed relocations are due to inadequate research and incorrect advice (Health issues aside!).
Why is Spain a great place to move to?
Where do I start? Obviously, my opinions are based on my own experiences and those of many people that I have helped to relocate to the Malaga area.
Without wanting to state the obvious, Southern Spain enjoys a climate which encourages outdoor living, masses of fresh air and healthier eating. After over 20 years, the blue skies and sunshine still make me smile.
However, I think it is fair to say that Spain offers a wonderful environment to all kinds of people. I love the fact that my children (aged 7 and 9) attend a Spanish state school, are doing very well and are both bilingual. They eat a wide variety of different foods (shellfish from a very early age, much to my mum’s despair) and spend more hours outside than in. They interact with children of all nationalities and races and neither language nor background is of importance.
These are my five top tips for anyone coming to live in Spain:
- Timing is a key factor to a successful relocation if you have children.
- Research the area you are considering moving to. Choose your location before choosing your house.
- Be prepared to slow down. Get ready for a more relaxed pace of life.
- Forget the “but in England, they do it this way….” attitude. Start learning the Spanish language and customs as soon as you can if you want to integrate with the local Spanish community.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, but beware of the bar stool grapevine. Our business website www.ccbspain.com is full of important information relevant to living in Spain and if the information is not there, we will happily find it for you.
WARNING: This book was not written to sell you the dream. It is a factual guide that involves true life experiences of our own. We show the rough with the smooth. It will help you to make the best decisions when planning your move, with or without children.
Order your copy of Moving to Spain with Children, from Amazon.
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