This is an article written for people who may be thinking about moving to Spain.

Y ou have made the decision…..your moving to Spain.  You have an idea of what you are looking for.  You want peace and tranquillity, living the dream of a villa in the Spanish hills….sound familiar? Of course it does, we are all the same, we want to integrate with the Spanish population, after all, isn’t that what we come here for???

So we find that beautiful Spanish finca, whitewashed walls, bougainvillea around the doors and walls, the  sounds of the birds amongst the orange groves and life couldn’t get much better….or could it? 

What normally happens is after a year or two, we find that  integrating isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, if we are retirement age, the Spanish language can be a little difficult especially in the small villages where the locals may have their own accent and slight variation of dialogue. Then there is the social aspect, walking to the local village may be feasible but in the height of the summer, will you really want to??

A ll of a sudden, your paradise in the sun can become your prison in the sun, leaving you longing to be nearer to civilisation and that is when you start to realise that you should have done your homework on the area.  That means taking your time to explore the area, maybe find a local B&B, and see how the Spanish way of life there would suit you.  What can seem like great fun trying to order a steak with chips in the Spanish restaurant can be a little daunting when it comes to things like using the Spanish health system, having to take an interpreter with you when you attend the doctors or dentist and you do not even want to imagine how you explain to a hairdresser about the way your normally have your hair!!!  Suddenly the quaint sight of Paco strolling along the road with his donkey is not so appealing when you need to know where the nearest Post Office is…

The importance of an area doesn’t always affect the retirement age, if you are looking to work here in Spain then, unless you are fluent in the language, you need to be in an area where your services will be required in your native spoken tongue.  You normally find English is spoken along the coastal areas of Spain.  But please, do not lose heart, this does not mean you have to live in the heart of Benidorm.  There are plenty of lovely villages and scenic places within 20 minutes’ drive of the coast, meaning you are still living the tranquil lifestyle but with the chance of having your hair styled the way you want it, order that steak the way you like it and of course any medical issues resolved!