expat does it meet the dream

The black art of moving from A to B on foreign soil
ChasF
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by ChasF » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:37 pm

If you are planning to move abroad to live permanently you're probably looking for a change of environment. I would suggest that rural France is a lot more rural than rural Britain. The density of population is so much less with the same population in 3 times the area plus something like 80 percent of the population living in the 5 main cities. The result is everything you need is much further away or in many cases just doesn't exist. The health service here is very good on the whole but there is no A&E locally and any serious treatment for cancer or heart problems will be at least 2 hours away.

We think life is much better here on many fronts - we're very glad that we brought our children up here but also happy that webwere able to broaden their horizons by regular trips back to the UK, trips to Africa and South America plus they a truly bilingual and both taking advantage of that in their chosen careers. There are many things here that are just different but definately not better. There is a bit of an expat community here but we often meet people who we classiffy as 'should have moved to Spain' these are usually the ones who seek out every Brit often standing around in supermarket car parks listening out for people speaking English.

On the other side I have met quite a few people who've make back from Spain to the Dordogne or Lot because it's too hot in Spain!

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Tim Cullis
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by Tim Cullis » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:44 pm

Spain has a huge number of plus points—sun, price of alcohol, food, eating out. Local taxes and utility bills are low. Spanish health care is excellent, there's a 24/7 clinic in a small town 20 minutes away and a full-blown hospital another 20 minutes down the road. When we get our 4x4 serviced at the local Land Rover dealership we are paying £26 per hour labour including VAT, probably less than one third the London rate.

But there's also some negatives. Getting a job is practically impossible unless you speak fluent Spanish, are well connected, and are prepared to work Spanish hours. Some people think they can move out to Spain and set up a business, but again, unless you are fluent in Spanish and well connected, you will be reliant on just the ex-pat community for your income. And the first thing everyone kept stressing when we bought out here was NOT to get involved with British builders—why would you pay British rates when the locals do a brilliant job? Forget about making a business out of hairdressing, my wife recently paid €7.50 for a cut and blow dry, about £6.50 with tip.

Another problem at the moment is the extremely slow-moving property market and the massive commissions expected by estate agents, so selling your dream home if it all goes tits up is challenging. If anyone owns a house in the UK and was considering moving permanently to Spain I would strongly suggest keeping the house in the UK and renting it out, and then renting a property in Spain. This is a good idea anyway for at least the first six months to get to know areas.

We bought in a really rural location, 1000m up on the side of a mountain, 180 km from the coast and the nearest decent airport. Not many ex-pats but still enough to provide a social life if you need it. We have engaged fully with the locals and get involved in local events as much as possible. Mime and charades comes in useful as do smartphone translation apps.

Peak summer temperatures of 40ºC are a killer, but our cave stays cool indoors at around 23ºC without aircon and we get by with about six logs each night in the winter (plus hot water bottles).
"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live," Irving Mather (1892-1966)

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PHILinFRANCE
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by PHILinFRANCE » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:45 pm

Fer them as mex it work its proper grand B)

HarvonAB
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by HarvonAB » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:40 am

I read Tim's response with interest...and agree whole heartedly with his views. We bought a rural home in Catalonia and initially wanted to move in full time.
However, we took the 'soft' option and downsized in the UK in a cheaper area and now split our time between the two. I absolutely love the Catalan village life and the locals are very friendly, patient and understanding of our rubbish attempts to converse.....but we get by. A couple of lads in the village are serious bikers and include me in conversations and routes etc as well as a few do and don't items when out and about.
My advice to anyone considering rural Spain is not to get sucked into buying large plots of land.....thinking you can set up your own personal track and trials arena....there is absolutely no need....you can find a playground just about anywhere and the locals are pro moto!
I love it there but don't think I could live there full time.....equally I couldn't happily stay in the UK and not think I'm due to go back to Spain within the next couple of months!
Final tip for Catalonia village life. ....make friends with the butcher, baker, bar keep and garage!

-Ralph-
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by -Ralph- » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:56 am

HarvonAB wrote:Final tip for Catalonia village life. ....make friends with the butcher, baker, bar keep and garage!
LOL! This is very true in France too, it's not what you know, or even what you pay for, it's who you know that matters when it comes to getting things done.
"Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view" - Obi-Wan Kenobi

MR X
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by MR X » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:54 pm

ChasF wrote:rural France is a lot more rural than rural Britain. The density of population is so much less with the same population in 3 times the area plus something like 80 percent of the population living in the 5 main cities.
Its hard hear I didn't see more than 4 cars today on the 30km drive to work (thumbs)

Bionic Billy Nav
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by Bionic Billy Nav » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:24 am

I moved to Germany four miles from the Nurburgring 8 months ago after two years of planning it aged 40 best thing I've ever done, I sold 3 bed semi in England and bought a 4 bed detached house in a beautiful rural area cash so no mortgage, everything is cheaper diesel cigarettes beer etc, and I have a 12 year old child I brought with me was not happy at first now wouldn't go back and is learning German fast, My advice to anyone that has the urge do it don't just think about it and yes you will face small difficulties along the way but it gets easier day by day, I honestly would have rather removed one of my eyeballs with a spoon than stay in Britain a moment longer..

threepot
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by threepot » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:39 am

Bionic Billy Nav wrote:I moved to Germany four miles from the Nurburgring 8 months ago after two years of planning it aged 40 best thing I've ever done, I sold 3 bed semi in England and bought a 4 bed detached house in a beautiful rural area cash so no mortgage, everything is cheaper diesel cigarettes beer etc, and I have a 12 year old child I brought with me was not happy at first now wouldn't go back and is learning German fast, My advice to anyone that has the urge do it don't just think about it and yes you will face small difficulties along the way but it gets easier day by day, I honestly would have rather removed one of my eyeballs with a spoon than stay in Britain a moment longer..
I bet you were gutted when England beat you in footy the other night then? :whistle: :P

ollydog
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by ollydog » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:11 am

Mike101 wrote:
Philiptigerrice wrote:Well, I left Yorkshire and moved to Lancashire a few years back - and its shite.
Obviously it is...i thought everybody knew that?

Mike
yer should have stayed in Lancashire then

steve

Bionic Billy Nav
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Re: expat does it meet the dream

Post by Bionic Billy Nav » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:37 am

I like Motorbikes do I like football? No! Do you know Guy Martins quote about 22 millionaires running around? Nuff said lol..

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