In the latest of our expat interviews we talk to Jane Wilson to find out about her move to Spain.
Jane moved to Spain six years ago with her 12 year-old son when she was 50.
We talk to Jane about her move to Spain and focus on what it is like in Spain from a single female perspective.
Jane what made you move to Spain?
A mixture of things really, I was very comfortable where I was living in the UK, I had a good job in banking and I lived in a beautiful area but I needed a challenge and adventure and I think like many people there was an element of getting away from certain problems also.
Why Spain in particular?
It was more accidental than anything. I also was thinking of Canada and France but my son was learning Spanish and so we took a trip here. Unusually our first trip was a washout but we gave it a second-chance and maybe it was the fact we were coming back again to the area we first visited that made us feel much more comfortable and at home.
We just decided to do it and I put my house up for sale and moved out to Spain a week later! After six months of renting an apartment we bought our house.
People are going to pick up on the fact that you moved out to Spain on your own – albeit with your son – I would say that was a very brave step to take.
I think it would be considered brave if you were scared and did it but I wasn’t so I don’t see it like that. Having been single for some time before my move to Spain I’d already taken control of my life, with every intention of enjoying each day.
I think what did it was when I was 45 I made a list of all the things I hadn’t done that I really wanted to do in my life before it wasn’t possible! One of my many goals was trekking in Nepal in the Himalayas after which I came back a different person – less materialistic and more understanding that it’s family and friendships that are most important in life.
We are here in Javea at the restaurant at Barraca beach watching the waves crashing in – why in particular did you move to the Northern Costa Blanca?
I was looking through a glossy magazine advertising villas in Spain when I came across an advert for a well known building society which was fronted by an ex-boss who had moved to this area.
He had started off in Gibraltar and worked his way up the coast so he knew Spain very well and he advised me to visit the northern end of the Costa Blanca. In hindsight I definitely think I made the right choice.
Were you not tempted at all to move to the Costa del Sol only I know people who live there and they think it is the best part of Spain to move to?
It isn’t for me. I find the Costa del Sol too materialistic with many people living there who are in that rat race of making money, wealth and having to display it for show. The Costa Blanca has a lot of wealth but it is more understated and less obvious. Also it is a very naturally beautiful area that is less over-developed.
What’s it like being a single lady in Spain?
Like anywhere it isn’t easy. You can’t just sit around, you have to make things happen for you. I take the attitude that it would be nice to find companionship but it isn’t everything.
I’m happy as I am and have lots of friends. I’ve been divorced twice and I’ve learned along the way that you need to find happiness within yourself and not to depend on someone else in order to be happy.
What methods have you used for dating in Spain?
The Internet is great because there are so many different Internet dating sites now. There just isn’t any stigma anymore, everyone has accepted it is a great way of meeting other people in Spain. Even if romance doesn’t happen then you can still make some great friends.
What’s it like when you go on a date with someone?
I don’t feel in any way nervous but sometimes the other person does, it’s usually best to go out for a second time if the first was ok because then you are both relaxed and you tend to find out about each other much more.
Now that you have lived in Spain for some time, can you offer any observations that our readers may find useful or interesting?
I love the weather and lifestyle. I think Spain is a fantastic place if you are a couple. There is everything here if you want it such as numerous clubs where you can socialise, make friends and meet people. There are classical concerts, jazz clubs, etc. whatever your interest, whether it be walking, painting or something else, you are likely to find others who share it.
What don’t you like about living in Spain?
Well I’ve been here in Spain for six years. I have seen prices go up tremendously, especially here in Javea, so it is important to realise this before you move out. I think many food items can often be found cheaper in the UK.
There can be frustrations, you need to remember that you are moving to a different country and you need to come to Spain with an open mind.
The feeling of not being in control when dealing with things such as electricity or the town hall is frustrating and often the goalposts seem to move. What I mean is that one person will tell you that you need to come in with a certain piece of paperwork and then when you do go in someone else says something entirely different and you end up going around in circles!
There isn’t a lot of sophistication in Spain, it must be remembered that not so long ago it was a third world country and it still has a lot of catching up to do.
Many people who move to Spain reinvent themselves. They make out they did amazingly well financially in the UK which isn’t always true. I don’t know why people see the need to do this!
I have met some fantastic people but others are very much into gossiping behind your back. I don’t think you make the sort of friends that you did when you were younger or in the UK. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that people come and go here so much so perhaps people don’t make as much effort.
Jane, I think you have been very direct and straightforward, I think our readers will gain a lot by having read this article and thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
The Spanish expat interview above was recorded to give you useful information about moving to Spain from the perspective of a single woman.
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