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Cons of living in Spain

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:07pm
33 replies1915 views12 members subscribed
ErnieR

ErnieR

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Joined: 25 Oct 2020

Okay,

This is aimed at those people who are actually living in Spain. I know that there are a lot of holiday home owners, who will all have there thoughts, and a number of people who would love to come to live in Spain. But as I say I would like to get the opinion of those who have moved permanently to help my wife and I decide if moving lock, stock and barrel is the right thing for us.

I know most of the pros better weather, healthier life style, lower cost of living etc and some cons like bureaucracy, visas, potential illegal homes, expensive electricity etc. Simple question is are there any real serious cons of living in Almeria province and in particular around Arboleas?

Thanks

Ernie

DarioMartin

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:52pm

DarioMartin

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Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:52pm

Thing is, that’s a pretty subjective question ... if you are determined to seek a better life, then from my point of view there are no cons.  Not speaking any Spanish will be a downside - whilst you’ll still be able to function and live, you’ll miss out on a lot of the culture and history.

Also, if you can’t survive without English food or English TV, whilst you can get those things, they come at a premium.  Really, I guess it’s what is important to you personally.

I love living here.  Air is clearer, road network is really good, electricity is a bit pricey, but cost of living overall is much much cheaper.  It’s certainly a much more relaxed lifestyle.  Cons big enough to prevent a move? From my point of view and experience - none whatsoever, but like I said - everyone’s experience is personal to them 

ErnieR

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:35pm

ErnieR

Original Poster

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Posts: 53

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Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:35pm

DarioMartin wrote on Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:52pm:

Thing is, that’s a pretty subjective question ... if you are determined to seek a better life, then from my point of view there are no cons.  Not speaking any Spanish will be a downside - whilst you’ll still be able to function and live, you’ll miss out on a lot of the culture and hist...

...ory.

Also, if you can’t survive without English food or English TV, whilst you can get those things, they come at a premium.  Really, I guess it’s what is important to you personally.

I love living here.  Air is clearer, road network is really good, electricity is a bit pricey, but cost of living overall is much much cheaper.  It’s certainly a much more relaxed lifestyle.  Cons big enough to prevent a move? From my point of view and experience - none whatsoever, but like I said - everyone’s experience is personal to them 

Dario as a Scot I am not really worried about English food plus we enjoy lots of variety in our food especially Mediterranean influence. I don’t watch too much TV so that won’t be a hardship.
I was thinking more along the lines of integration with the locals, hablo poco de espanol but I am not totally confident with it although I am trying to build up my knowledge.

My biggest worries are the level of crime I want my wife and I to feel safe, I want us to feel welcome and not always an outsider in the area where we live, are the roads safe or will my car be like a dodgem car, what are the noise levels like do dogs bark all night like living alarms and are parcels delivered quickly.

I am aware that living in Spain and holidaying in Spain are much different and I know that we will become aware of many of these things when we get a chance to rent a place and live in Spain. We have never been in Almeria province and in this current we need to get as much knowledge as possible through the website and by picking the brains of people like yourself who live in Spain. I have a couple of colleagues at college who are Spanish but both of them have said that their ideas of living in Spain are not those of an immigrant.
About 2 years ago my wife and I laid out a plan for planning the move which would have answered all of our questions but COVID ended that plan. We retire in August and I had hoped to spend my 60th in a hotel on the coast being spoiled it may still happen in a seaside hotel in Scotland but I don’t think that will be on any of the costas. We will be in Spain to start our research as soon as we can hopefully before the end of 2021.

DarioMartin

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:19am

DarioMartin

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Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:19am

ErnieR wrote on Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:35pm:

Dario as a Scot I am not really worried about English food plus we enjoy lots of variety in our food especially Mediterranean influence. I don’t watch too much TV so that won’t be a hardship.
I was thinking more along the lines of integration with the locals, hablo poco de espanol but I a...

...m not totally confident with it although I am trying to build up my knowledge.

My biggest worries are the level of crime I want my wife and I to feel safe, I want us to feel welcome and not always an outsider in the area where we live, are the roads safe or will my car be like a dodgem car, what are the noise levels like do dogs bark all night like living alarms and are parcels delivered quickly.

I am aware that living in Spain and holidaying in Spain are much different and I know that we will become aware of many of these things when we get a chance to rent a place and live in Spain. We have never been in Almeria province and in this current we need to get as much knowledge as possible through the website and by picking the brains of people like yourself who live in Spain. I have a couple of colleagues at college who are Spanish but both of them have said that their ideas of living in Spain are not those of an immigrant.
About 2 years ago my wife and I laid out a plan for planning the move which would have answered all of our questions but COVID ended that plan. We retire in August and I had hoped to spend my 60th in a hotel on the coast being spoiled it may still happen in a seaside hotel in Scotland but I don’t think that will be on any of the costas. We will be in Spain to start our research as soon as we can hopefully before the end of 2021.

Crime .... I didn’t mention it in my initial response because it really is so low as to be unnoticeable - YES, you still get break-ins - most often at unoccupied holiday lets .... but violent crime is very low.  Guardia Civil / CNP are much MUCH less forgiving than English / Scottish police.  Even Policia Local are very heavily armed. Basically ... you just don’t screw with the police. At all.

Roads ... get used to no one using indicators - I mean entering a roundabout here is at best a guessing game, but there are very few accidents for all that.  I find there is an order of magnitude LESS road-rage here than UK.  Maybe it comes from a more relaxed lifestyle but drivers seem to be a lot more courteous.  Just remember not to get worked up when the car in front of you stops in the middle of town so the driver can chat to his friend 😂

Integration: we chose specifically not to live in an expat heavy area, as we wanted to immerse ourselves - we came to Spain to live in Spain; It was a grand dream ... and it forces you to learn Spanish!! In Vera, some English is spoken, but in Correos, Ayuntamiento - all official offices here, forget it - it’s Spanish only.  I believe up around Arboleas / Albox there is a much greater Expat presence and English is more prevalent; but to really integrate, to involve yourself and be part of the Spanish community .... learn Spanish.  There are four official languages in this country.  English is not one of them.

Noise levels: we live at Valle del Este - it’s a stones throw from the E15 and I hear NO traffic, nor dogs barking (ok, dogs bark occasionally, but certainly not all night) it is exceptionally quiet around here.  Arboleas? Couldn’t tell you.  Have driven through but haven’t stopped there for any length of time.

Parcels: now that might bug you 😂 Spanish couriers have a habit of saying “address incomplete” or “recipient absent” if they are running behind time - that way they don’t get penalized for late delivery.  Correos / Correos Express are pretty good, but if you live out in a campo, chances are you are going to have to find a local garage / shop that’s known to courier drivers and have parcels delivered there.  SEUR are about the worst for that, but it really comes down to where you choose to live and how well the individual drivers know the area.  Generally if you live in an urbanización or pueblo you’ll have less problems getting parcels.

Don’t expect things to happen quickly here either.  This is Spain and the more relaxed pace of life translates into every facet of life .... embrace, love it, live it and you’ll have a wonderful time..... fight against “the way”, complain and get stressed when things don’t happen as quickly as you are used to and you will live a life of anxiety and frustration 🤣

Wouldn’t swap it for anything.

alant

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:24am

alant

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Joined: 8 Aug 2015

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:24am

DarioMartin wrote on Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:19am:

Crime .... I didn’t mention it in my initial response because it really is so low as to be unnoticeable - YES, you still get break-ins - most often at unoccupied holiday lets .... but violent crime is very low.  Guardia Civil / CNP are much MUCH less forgiving than English / Scottish polic...

...e.  Even Policia Local are very heavily armed. Basically ... you just don’t screw with the police. At all.

Roads ... get used to no one using indicators - I mean entering a roundabout here is at best a guessing game, but there are very few accidents for all that.  I find there is an order of magnitude LESS road-rage here than UK.  Maybe it comes from a more relaxed lifestyle but drivers seem to be a lot more courteous.  Just remember not to get worked up when the car in front of you stops in the middle of town so the driver can chat to his friend 😂

Integration: we chose specifically not to live in an expat heavy area, as we wanted to immerse ourselves - we came to Spain to live in Spain; It was a grand dream ... and it forces you to learn Spanish!! In Vera, some English is spoken, but in Correos, Ayuntamiento - all official offices here, forget it - it’s Spanish only.  I believe up around Arboleas / Albox there is a much greater Expat presence and English is more prevalent; but to really integrate, to involve yourself and be part of the Spanish community .... learn Spanish.  There are four official languages in this country.  English is not one of them.

Noise levels: we live at Valle del Este - it’s a stones throw from the E15 and I hear NO traffic, nor dogs barking (ok, dogs bark occasionally, but certainly not all night) it is exceptionally quiet around here.  Arboleas? Couldn’t tell you.  Have driven through but haven’t stopped there for any length of time.

Parcels: now that might bug you 😂 Spanish couriers have a habit of saying “address incomplete” or “recipient absent” if they are running behind time - that way they don’t get penalized for late delivery.  Correos / Correos Express are pretty good, but if you live out in a campo, chances are you are going to have to find a local garage / shop that’s known to courier drivers and have parcels delivered there.  SEUR are about the worst for that, but it really comes down to where you choose to live and how well the individual drivers know the area.  Generally if you live in an urbanización or pueblo you’ll have less problems getting parcels.

Don’t expect things to happen quickly here either.  This is Spain and the more relaxed pace of life translates into every facet of life .... embrace, love it, live it and you’ll have a wonderful time..... fight against “the way”, complain and get stressed when things don’t happen as quickly as you are used to and you will live a life of anxiety and frustration 🤣

Wouldn’t swap it for anything.

Lots of things I dont  agree with Diario on but on this occasion he is almost spot on. Delivery drivers deliver to my door, I insist they do. 

Now Arboleas, I can fill Diarios knowledge gaps. i have lived here since 1992 and would love to turn the clock back 25 years but then I certainly would not have the life style I have now (thats another story).

Language, 28 years ago, to my knowledge only one person in the whole area spoke anything like reasonable English. You will not have that advantage. Our local chemist now has six beautiful bilingual ladys  behind the counter and all are courteous enough to address me in Spanish.

My fiance has a property in  Torrevieja where it is sometimes difficult to speak Spanish unless I insist. i mention this because here in Arboleas most Spaniards do not speak English and have no desire to do so. So it is up to you, take Spanish lessons but then practise with Spaniards and not foreigners, you can talk to yourself even if you are a foreigner.

Any specific questions pm me.

Jenni

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:48am

Jenni

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Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:48am

Hi Ernie,

Couple of things I would add to Dario's comments, is the crime, 4 woman 3 english 1 dutch, all attacked by a Spanish man, that had done this regularly, he was know to the police, no action taken against him, because his uncle was the Mayor!!!!! That could have been an isolated incident, but even so, the Guardia are very heavy handed, but only when it suits them. But basically Dario is right you dont screw with the Guardia.

I dont know how old you are, but assuming you are OAP's you will be relying on the Spanish Health Care system, which is good, but remember unless you speak Spanish you will need to take an interpreter with you every time you go to the GP or the hospital, very few doctors or nurses speak English. Thats another expense and also not everyone is comfortable with discussing private matters in front of an interpreter.

I live high in the mountains above Oria, we have been in Spain for 12 years, the air is clean, its quiet and peaceful, and I feel very safe, the one Spanish Neighbour I have is lovely, but it isn't the UK, things are done differently, if you are looking for Uk in the Sun, then dont come to this area, go nearer the coast where, there are lots of English shops and English speak doctors etc etc.

I cant really comment on Arboleas, I know people that live there, my impression is that it has large urbanisations, with lots of Ex pat, hopefully someone on this forum who lives there will reply to you. 

I hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision.

alant

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:56am

alant

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Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:56am

Who is Ernie?

DarioMartin

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:59am

DarioMartin

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Location: Vera

Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:59am

Ah - yes, thanks Jenni; I forgot to mention the rampant nepotism.

If you really want to get anything done, you’ll need to ally yourself with someone who “knows people” .... because that’s the way things are done here.  Many issues can be sorted out with a phone call from someone who has contacts in the right places.  I speak here from experience.

DarioMartin

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:00pm

DarioMartin

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Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:00pm

alant wrote on Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:56am:

Who is Ernie?

The OP of this thread

alant

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:26pm

alant

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Posts: 198

109 helpful points

Location: Arboleas

Joined: 8 Aug 2015

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:26pm

DarioMartin wrote on Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:00pm:

The OP of this thread

Sorry, I have two convesations mixed up.

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