Moving to Spain? Why I Love Living in Spain From Spanish Expats

Having just joined your newsletter I was surprised to see some of the negative articles on the website such as the I hate Spain article and I felt compelled to take up your offer of writing my own article all about my experiences in Spain.

I guess everybody is different but in my opinion I absolutely love Spain!

Just to tell you a little bit about myself, my name is Jasmine and I’m 40 years old and I moved to the Costa del Sol (Marbella) three years ago, so I feel I’ve been here long enough to truly experience the downsides as well as the upsides.

My concern is that people will read some of these articles and lose their enthusiasm about moving to Spain. Sure life is pretty hard at times and very different to living in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, but there are some fantastic advantages to living in this wonderful European country so here are just a few listed below, just my opinion you understand.

Before I go on I will point out to anybody who is not of retirement age that yes it is difficult to find work and jobs in Spain and it really does help if you’ve got an income stream, perhaps from the United Kingdom, i.e. a business or property that you rent out.

Advantages of Moving to Spain

Weather and Climate

I’m absolutely positive the biggest reason that people look to move to Spain is the fantastic weather and climate. If this is your biggest concern then I thoroughly recommend the Costa del Sol which is much warmer in winter than other Costa’s.

If you really need a warm climate then I guess there is also the Spanish Canary islands such as Tenerife and Lanzarote which are actually closer to Africa than Spain itself. I, however, wouldn’t want to live on an island because I think I would get a bit claustrophobic after a while.

Most mornings I wake up to sunny blue skies and instantly I feel cheerful and wanted to get on with my day, that was absolutely not always the case in Leeds! Do be aware that winter is still winter and you definitely won’t be walking around in T-shirts and shorts but it’s a world away from the bitter winters of Northern Europe.

I Feel Healthy

I don’t just feel healthier, I’m absolutely positive that I am. Without a doubt I’m eating less fatty fried foods and am enjoying the Mediterranean diet with the olives and salads. I’m also able to play tennis on a regular basis and have recently taken up golf.

Just the ability to go for a walk each evening up and down the promenade is good enough for me. When I was back in the United Kingdom I used to go straight home from work in the dark winter months, shut the front door and turn the heating on and veg out.

I Feel Safe

Maybe I should change that to I feel safer here but nevertheless, it’s an absolute fact that I’m much more likely to go out of an evening and have a drink with friends. Previously venturing into the town centre late night would be off-limits. I like the fact Spanish culture of slow drinking and sociability as opposed to getting drunk as a skunk! There is a definite lack of aggression unless you keep exclusively to the Brits bars.

I Live Near Beaches

I think if you are going to move to Spain then with miles and miles of beaches up and down all the respective coasts then you would be foolish not to take advantage. If you want green countryside why move to Spain, you may as well stay in the United Kingdom!

I know a lot of people on the forums seem to want to buy a property in the middle of nowhere and locked themselves away but I don’t see the point of that. If you going to move to the inland of Spain you will quickly find that the population drops off dramatically away from the coast and I suspect after some time you’re just going to get bored. I also think that you will have great difficulty in selling your property to some other mug.

Spanish Culture

I know some people have said the Spanish are rude but in my experience that is far from the case. They are a very friendly race as long as you approach them with politeness and respect – after all you are in their country. Make an effort to at least pick up a few everyday phrases and words, not just Cerveza lads!


Marbella, España

Marbella, España

Okay I admit it I do probably every six months go back to a spot of shopping in the United Kingdom. It isn’t really because there is a lack of shops here, let’s face it I live in Marbella and there are loads of shops. But it is good to just jump on a plane and in a couple of hours I can be seeing my friends and relatives and I think it’s just great to keep in contact. Sure many of them do come out to meet me in Spain but I also think it’s significant to take the time to return the favour.

Live Life

When I was living in Leeds in the United Kingdom pretty much my existence revolved around my career and working day. I still have to work here in Spain because I am only 40 but I’ve got a basic secretarial job in an estate agency and the general attitude here is of working to live.

We are very fortunate in Spain that there are a huge amount of holidays and celebrations commonly known as fiestas where everybody gets dressed up to party.

I just hope this article has given a few people a little bit of inspiration and hope just to counterbalance the negativity that many people have.

I know personally many people who have gone back to the United Kingdom but I’m sure most of them are better for the experience and at least have given it a go. For each person who has come back there is equally someone who’s loving living in Spain and I’m one of them!

Jasmine Marbella

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  1. I can’t believe what I’ve read, in a comment some guy called the Spaniards lazy when they actually work more than us!! The Spaniards are super open, warm, joyful and friendly!!! If you learn the language like me and don’t act like a cold Brit like you, I guarantee you’ll make so many Spanish friends in a second!!!
    Spain is my dream come true!!! It’s the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen!!!

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  3. The weather is good- too hot in summer, and britain has wild beaches too- but so much going on all over. I have moved back and eat more healthily here by far in the Uk. I feel safer here too. My life is like playtime there is so much to do- I don’t drink but I do eat out.
    Been to more parties since I have been back – people just make more of an effort here altogether. The ferias in Spain were spectatular, but too much vino going on and very unhealthy meat!!!Chorizo etc. Lived there for 30 years- an experience- I don’t like to admit it but I wish I had come back earlier as life has really begun for me now – at 53 when i returned 3 years ago and England has played a large part in the new beginning. Yes,I do love the countryside although I live in London- and the sea is NEVER very far away. I worked longer hours over there too- true the days and hours were longer but I like the earlier hours over here- suits me fine- could be because I’m older now. I don’t think the Spanish are particularly rude but not as friendly or as open as the Brits. I speak fluent Spanish and my children are half spanish,

  4. Yeah Spain blows hard… no justice system… heavy corruption

  5. Nick Corner says

    There is a lot of truth in both the “hate” and “love” Spain comments, but perhaps the best advice is to relax and don’t let the Spanish bug you. Look at the positives… the wonderful climate, the beautiful countryside and the fresh food right on the doorstep. And remember that the “manana” attitude works both ways and can be quite relaxing when you make it work for you.

    My wife has learnt to speak Spanish fairly fluently and teaches English to quite a few young Spanish children in their own homes. She goes to a Spanish gym and is also a member of all Spanish dancing group and as a consequence she has many Spanish “friends” … except that many of them will never be real friends and she will always be regarded as a “foreigner” or “guiri”. It has probably a lot to do with the family thing and extended Spanish families tend to stick together and go around in big lumps to restaurants and fiestas in a group which tends to exclude anyone who is not “family”.

    Me? I take them all with a pinch of salt. In the fourteen years we have lived here I have been in hospital a couple of times and it was EXCELLENT and find all the health related services good too. I know a lot of Spanish people and have a couple (no more) of Spanish friends who really are friends – but then I’m not desperate for people to like me, just as I am not desperate to like them.

    Best advice is to remember that the Spanish are fairly lazy, often a bit stupid, very proud (or arrogant depending how polite you want to be), often don’t like foreigners, live only for fiestas and sling their rubbish everywhere. Once you have come to terms with this and you don’t let it bug you, just keep smiling and you will find that life in Spain is great!

    Go back to the UK. No thank you!

    • EXPATEATER says

      “Spanish are fairly lazy, often a bit stupid, very proud (or arrogant depending how polite you want to be), often don’t like foreigners, live only for fiestas and sling their rubbish everywhere” NO TIENES NI PUTA IDEA AMIGO MIO!!!!!

      • Yes living in or around Marbella you probably mainly meet people on low incomes who normally live in more authentic Spain and so may not be as tidy as you would like because they work long hours and have to put up with the sand and Sangria tribe…

    • This is a very interesting website with real life experiences and good advice. One thing I have made my mind up about upon reading multiple ‘ex-pat comments’ is that I do not want to live with British ex-pats. I have never heard such ignorant attitudes in all my life. I know multiple people that have settled in Spain and have no problem with the Spanish. I spent a year in Malaga alone with zero problem – in fact Spaniards went out of their way to help me. Describing ‘going out with the extended family’ as a ‘lump’ and enjoying a fiesta as something alien speaks volumes about not understanding or being able to assimilate into a culture. The problem is likely yours but you have to have the wisdom of insight to see it. ‘Don’t let the Spanish bug you’ – what do you think they are flies? It is their country – you can’t swat them away so you can enjoy life without them. Your ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude might just be your problem. As for generalising a race of people as ‘stupid’ because they don’t behave as you do – you don’t get more ‘unintelligent’ than that.

  6. afia christy says

    i love spain for everything

  7. Adrian Porter says

    I am sure that you are happy and I am truely happy for you, but from the amount of people I speak to and read about, I’m afraid to say you are seriously in the minority here. I too hate Spain, or more to the point, the Spanish. They are not polite individuals and the culture here is one of ‘Let’s see how much we can get from the English’. I am making it my lifes mission to try and put off people who mis-guidely think of moving here. I am a prisoner here because of what has happened to me and although I would love to go home, I would have nothing if I left, so I am stuck, but I will try to stop this happening to anyone else, because being robbed of money, security, health and happiness is not what people come here for. Thank for reading.

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