Moving to a new country is always difficult in the begging even if you may have visited your new adopted country many times on holiday (vacation). Our advice to you is to rent a house or flat (apartment) for a year and truly get to know the place before sinking your life savings into a property.

While endless days of sunshine, cheap wine and beer may all seem appealing it is the things you overlook that can have you wishing you had never taken the plunge to leave your native land.


First of all, there is the language barrier to overcome, and while you may have been swotting up on your Spanish it can come as a shock to find the people around you speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

In Spain the national language is Castellano but there are also  15 other languages spoken, including where we live, Valencian, a derivative of Catalan that sounds like a mixture of Spanish, French and Italian all rolled into one.


Bureaucracy in Spain is a nightmare that will have you pulling your hair out. Just getting your residence permit and registering with the department of social security so you can have free healthcare will have you running in circles.

Our advice is to hire a Gestor ( a person who deals with administrative bureaucracy on behalf of a client) to do the legwork for you as they do this kind of thing for a living and are usually on first name turns with the employees in the offices you need to visit.

Below is a funny example of a girl registering to be self-employed (autonomo).


Learn to turn your world on its head and embrace change. My biggest problem when moving to Spain from the United States was that I had very little patience and was always in a hurry.

Just going to your local vegetable shop for a kilo of potatoes could take 20 minutes as the woman who owned the shop was busy catching up on the local gossip with her customers.

In fact, this was everywhere I went with the customer service I was used to in America being the exact opposite in Spain.

You see in Spain the roles are reversed with the customer never being right and the business owner or employee king of the castle.

After about six months of exasperation, I began to adapt after to Spanish life, realizing I needed to slow down and that things would get done in due time.

Once I accepted this and starting to think like a Spaniard my life improved greatly.

Eating Out

Throw away all your ideas about when it is time for lunch or dinner as Spaniards to a man all sit down for lunch at 2 pm and would never dream of dinner before 9 pm.

Also, learn to not tip as leaving anything more than the spare coins would be seen as showing off how wealthy you were rather than a gratuity for good service.


Last and not least missing one’s family is what has most people returning home so you need to think long and hard about how you will handle things not being able to see your loved ones on a daily basis.

If the above all sounds like something you can manage then moving to Spain may just be what the doctor ordered.