My wife Jacqui and I moved to Spain from the UK in may this year with our 4 little dogs to start the next chapter of our lives in a new country.
We bought a run down house in Andalusia and began to renovate it bit by bit using my skills obtained from 30+ years in the Construction industry. We travelled down in a second hand motor home which we bought in the UK before we left. The plan was to travel down through France and Spain with building equipment, some of our personal belongings (and the dogs!) taking our time over a few days. We were then going to live in the camper for a few weeks whilst I set about working on the house to make it habitable.
God had other plans! After about a week of travelling and staying in motorway service stations at night we were excited to be on our last leg of the journey on day 7 of the trip and looking forward to reaching the new home. With 100km left to travel we heard a horrible noise and the engine started to emit black, billowing smoke!
After calling the AA in the UK we were rescued, taken to a local garage and told that our new mobile home was out of action for a few weeks at least!
After spending 3 days in a broken camper on an industrial estate in Spain we decided to hire a van and move to our new home anyway an make it habitable in 1 day!
We arrived at our new home on day 11 and began to frantically clean the house and find a corner of the floor where we could put our mattress from the camper. There was electricity but the water had been shut-off because there was a leaking pipe which had previously flooded the house and not been repaired. First job was to find a builder’s merchant and obtain some plumbing supplies to fix the broken pipe. This was a priority because we needed urgent use of the ablutions!
Anyway we were here! Over the course of the next few days and weeks we gradually purchased all the domestic furniture, appliances and homewares to settle in to our new life. We also purchased a second hand Spanish car from a local garage and sent the hire van back. We had learned a few words from the language app Duolingo before we left but it was nowhere near enough to have a conversation in Spanish. We tried hard and through lots of gesturing and use of translation apps we eventually got what we needed to get done. It was difficult though but with hind sight it got us further on than we would have done without the breakdown. Such is life!
We have been here 7 months now and are looking forward to our first Christmas in Spain together. We have 3 grown up kids back in the UK who we are visiting in January for a week to catch up and give pressies etc.
Now we are settled the plan is to build a website to share our experiences and give the benefit of our knowledge gained to others thinking of coming to Spain! These blogs will form the main page of the website and links to useful resources will be added along the way. Onward and upwards!