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27 November 2020

Pros and cons to consider when moving to Spain

The idea of Brits in Spain is no longer a novel concept or an expat phase. The UK can’t get enough of Spain and everything it offers, meaning more and more British citizens are packing up and heading off for Sun, Sea and Sangria. It’s an alluring concept; vast blue skies, sunny beaches and a relaxed, family orientated lifestyle, however, for everyone that settles down with an idyllic Spanish life, many more come back home disgruntled and out of pocket. There are countless pros and cons to consider if you’re contemplating moving to Spain, a few of which we’ve highlighted below.

A home away from home
Where to begin? But if we ignore the benefits of sun and sand for the moment, beneath the picturesque surface there are still plenty of benefits on offer for Brits moving to Spain. Many regions in Spain are true expat havens; many boasting English speaking removal and storage services, recruitment professionals, doctors and schools. Yes, moving to Spain needs no language skills whatsoever, but it’s somewhat a double edged sword, those that love the British way of life will probably find that an English speaking environment is simply not enough, missing a lot of British culture and customs. Those seeking a foreign adventure will not find it in the expat regions of Spain, yet these will be the most economically sound areas with a higher chance of work.

Working life
Speaking of work, as simple as it might be to up sticks and move to Spain without a job, especially for the young and free, what happens after a few months? If you get let go from that job, struggle through temporary contracts or simply find yourself unemployed, a possibility for even the most experienced professional, what then? If that means the end of your Spanish saga and a one way ticket back home, it may be best to reconsider your plans. Many are fine with such a fluid way of life, however, if you grow to love Spain, and find yourself unemployed, a safety net of savings will see you through any rough patches along the way.

A long-term option?
Many people should look into this realistically, as time soon flies, especially after the upheaval and excitement of moving to Spain. It’s essential to fully understand the local culture and customs before moving and to embrace them once your living in Spain. Even in the most English expat communities there are bound to be differences. Some are part of the reason so many foreigners are making Spain their permanent home, such as a flexible work-life balance, a laid back lifestyle and community centred neighbourhoods. Others may well be adjusted to in the short term, but may not suit an individual in the long run. Would you want to bring up children in an expat environment? Will you have to learn the language to progress in your chosen career? If you were to start a family, where would you want them to be raised in the UK or Spain? These may seem years away, but could soon spring up on you. There’s no shame in moving to Spain for a year or so, giving you enough time to enjoy the adventure whilst making a transition back to the UK a very real and simple possibility. Throwing yourself headfirst into a permanent relocation to Spain without having genuine answers to questions such as those above could soon turn into a sour, traumatic and difficult ending.

There are many more pros and cons, and each should be seen on an individual basis. What is suited to one person may not be for anyone else. All in all though, whether it’s for a few months or decades; moving to Spain is an excellent opportunity and an exciting adventure.

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