As we get closer to our adventure, we often get asked, why did you decide on Spain? After all, we don’t speak Spanish, and we’ve only explored a very small part of the country. And, we’re committing ourselves to 12 months of it!
Our two brief experiences of Spain, in 2011 and 2013 where we focused on the Costa Brava and Barcelona areas gave us a good feeling about the country and people. We’ve travelled through a number of parts of Europe, and Spain seemed to us to be “easy”. No stress, polite friendly people, amazing food, good climate and close links to most places we’d want to explore beyond there. We hope to get into Portugal and the South of France to explore here easily. Also, as Chris has an EU passport that’s still valid, it gives us options to live in Europe longer term, and it seems that getting our NIE may be relatively straightforward as long as we remember to bring all our translated documents with us.
I’ve been watching a lot of “junk” TV programmes about people wanting to move to Spain (Summer sun/Winter sun, Escape to the Continent), as well as the excellent Alex Polizzi “Secret Spain” which really does make me want to explore more of this country. We’ve been thinking about an OE adventure for a while now, and when we got seriously thinking about where we wanted to base ourselves, we were both in agreement about Spain. As much as we’ve loved the Costa Brava, we know there is a lot more to see and do and we want to get to know the real Spain, small villages, local people, away from the tourist hotspots and explore the heart of the country.
I’m particularly looking forward to visiting Granada and also places like the Alpujarras, Jerez, Cadiz, San Sebastian, and beyond. Many of these places I have seen in TV programmes or read about in books such as “Driving over Lemons” but I know there is much more to see and explore.
We have secured our first house sit near a little village in inland Almeria, which I’ve discovered lies in a very dry part of Spain. We are looking forward to this introduction to rural life and looking after a family of dogs and cats. As we explore and look for house and pet sitting opportunities, we hope to secure village sits rather than in urbanisations or resort apartments in order to have opportunities to connect with local communities and people. We will be learning Spanish by immersion, although we have done a night class course in introductory Spanish.
As we get closer to our travel date, I’m hoping to secure a few more house sits, but at this stage I’m fairly relaxed that we can be flexible and free to move wherever we want to, and use Airbnb options to find places to stay that are interesting and give us opportunities to base ourselves somewhere for a bit. I’d love to base ourselves somewhere for a month or more so we may look at short-term rentals where possible.
So, Spain – we are looking forward to getting to know you better. I hope you live up to our expectations.