Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum Learn REAL Spanish now!  

Go Back   Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum > Spain Forum > Moving to Spain and Living in Spain

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30th March 2006, 08:41 PM   #1
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,421
Question I'd like to move/I moved to Spain because....

...complete the above sentence.

I moved here because I'd always wanted to move abroad for a while, because I was fed up with London and because 3 days in San Sebastian one New Years Eve was enough to convince me that this was the country for me.

I'm trying to get a broad handle on the country's attraction for others, so...

How about you? Why would you like to move here one day (or maybe you wouldn't)? Why did you move here (if you already have)?
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2006, 10:31 PM   #2
deecree
Errant in Forolandia
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kobol
Posts: 1,043
Default yellow buildings

...yellow buildings in town centres.

You just don't get yellow in London.. or any other colour for that matter.

-Stu.
deecree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2006, 11:05 PM   #3
cascada
Novato
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Default life

For me the reason is that I feel alive here .. it doesnt have as much to do with the city of Madrid as the people of Madrid .. Spain for that matter. I hardly dislike any Spaniards... except one mean guy from my facultad called Nacho about 10 years ago ... other than that I think the Spanish people are the happiest on earth and I am happiest when I am here. I love the food (although I hated everything except tortilla de patata when I first came here:-) and I love the way I feel here - my strongest emotions I have ever had have been in Spain - happiness, sadness, whatever but I just feel more alive here. I am about to have my first child and really want to find a way to live here full time - feel so much safer here than anywhere in the world and want to raise my child in a place where he (or she we dont know yet :-) can feel safe and play in the street without the fear of getting kidnapped or murdered. We live in a pretty well to do neighborhood in Florida (USA) but would never dream of letting out kids play outside alone - you just dont do that anymore.. very sad.
cascada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2006, 06:04 AM   #4
nurseangie
Novato
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 2
Default

I would love to go to Spain! I am just trying to figure out how I can live there for maybe 6months? work? learn the language... I would love any suggestions.
nurseangie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2006, 08:35 AM   #5
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,421
Default

Teach English! Have a look at this post.
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2006, 09:58 AM   #6
Alan
El Listo ;)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Scotland
Posts: 660
Default

I am sick of Scotland. Here is a random selection of my reasons for wanting to move to Spain.
  • The corporate world has resulted in us paying through the nose for very poor quality goods and service. The quality of food here is terrible, and don't expect to have a chat with the cashier serving you - they don't have time to talk.
  • As a side to the above, we have one of the worst health records in the developed world due to the above. People are not educated about health, and we die young as a result. Because of this lack of education, there is not the same demand for "good" food at the supermarket so it is very difficult to get a hold of.
  • Why keep the pound? The Euro is doing so well and it makes sense to use the same currency . . .
  • We pay some very high taxes, and seemingly get nothing in return. We paid over £700m for a parliament building that is now broken, but I have to pay full price for the train even though I'm currently a student not earning any money.
  • Seedless grapes.
  • I can't find a dentist. I wouldn't mind if private dentists were the norm, but we pay for them through taxes.
  • There is a culture of binge drinking and children are not allowed in pubs. This is completely the wrong message. Pubs should have a family atmosphere and kids should not be kept away from all alcohol until they're 18. That's why we have problems with it.
  • Central heating costs are much lower in Spain.
  • Spain didn't agree with Jose Maria Aznar's support of the attack on Iraq and voted him out. The UK doesn't agree with Blair's support and still votes for him. There is a wider issue here too - the people in Spain are just more interested in politics and the things that affect them and less interested in the crap you get in the tabloids here.
  • Spanish is a lovely language. It is much nicer than English, which despite being the worst possible choice for a worldwide language, has prevailed. Esperanto anyone?
  • Yes, okay, the weather is something to do with it too. During the winter, you go to work when it's dark and return home when it's dark. It's so depressing. Also, with global warming, Scotland doesn't get any real changes in weather any more. The only difference is that in the summer, the rain gets slightly warmer. As for snow, we'll only get a couple of days of that a year. Spanish weather is so much more exciting.
Ah, I could probably go on, but I'm not going to. Any more points to make?
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2006, 07:42 AM   #7
pablo
Forero
 
pablo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 32
Default I'm with you Ben

I'd love to move to Spain, and I've been considering it for a while. In fact, I'm quite jealous of you Ben . Two questions I have, though. I was going to do these in Spanish and email them to you for the podcast, but this is just easier. First, I love mountain biking, basketball, and snowboarding. Am I going to be able to keep those up if I live there? What other sports are popular pasttimes for people trying to keep in shape and have fun? Second, I have lived in the US my whole life, and I recognize that in the world's current political climate, the US and it's inhabitants are not loved everywhere. I listened to the episode 33 on immigration, but I heard no mention of US immigrants. Do you think a US immigrant might have a particularly difficult time? Is there a general negative attitude towards US visitors in Spain? Thank you.
pablo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2006, 08:42 AM   #8
Alan
El Listo ;)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Scotland
Posts: 660
Default

You'll find that attitude all over Europe, but as long as you don't live up to the stereotype of the pro-war, insensitive and naïve American, I think you'll do just fine. The reason there is such feeling against America is because Americans generally don't realise WHY the rest of the world doesn't like what their country does. Change to a global identity and try to understand these feelings and you'll get on much better. I don't think it would affect your day to day life though.

There's no reason why you can't practise your hobbies in Spain - you have pretty normal hobbies. Basketball, snowboarding and mountain biking are all practised in Spain. Spain has a lot of snow covered mountains, so you can go snowboarding in the morning and swim in the Mediterranean after lunch to warm up!
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2006, 09:30 AM   #9
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,421
Default

Hi Pablo, I know many Americans here and they all have no problems at all. The Spanish are very good at taking people at face value, so although there may be hostility towards US foreign policy, they know not to blame the American population itself - Mr B. gets all the credit for it instead

As Alan says you will have no problem with those sports, and in fact all of them are HUGE out here! Snowboarding has obvious geographical restrictions - the best places are in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees, but the other two are widespread and very popular - basketball has a very serious national league in Spain, and there are mountain biking trails all over the place.

So nothing to worry about! You have the perfect name to fit in over here too! Start looking for that plane ticket ....
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2006, 09:44 AM   #10
Greg
Forero
 
Greg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 23
Default

Pablo, I think there are actually two separate answers to your question about attitudes towards Americans: one for US visitors and another for US immigrants. I'm an American who moved to Barcelona about three-and-a-half years ago, and I saw a definite difference between coming as a tourist and coming to stay.

As with almost any tourist, a visitor from the US gets labeled by default as someone who's only arrived to see the sights in the guidebook, take a few photos, buy a t-shirt and return home. The stereotype of American tourists is that they tend to be culturally inflexible and uninterested in local customs (they're the people you see standing in line at Starbucks instead of having a café con leche at a streetside café); they speak little-to-no Spanish, offer to pay in American dollars, etc. Of course, like any stereotype it's an unfair generalization, but you do see it quite often. (My wife and her family own a restaurant, and she has some stories to tell about this.)

As an immigrant, though, you're automatically assumed to be someone who has an deeper interest in Spain, and who plans to make the effort to integrate yourself into the local culture. Even three years later, almost everyone I meet seems genuinely interested in what I think of Spain, whether I like living here, etc. Spaniards are justifiably proud of their country, and most of them will do whatever they can to help you appreciate it too.

Given the political climate, you may spend a lot of time fielding questions about American politics and attitudes, but you can always look at it as an opportunity to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that people have. Since I arrived in Spain just around the start of the war in Iraq, it was definitely an interesting time to be an American overseas, but I never found anyone who felt hostile toward me personally as a result. (If you are a staunch Republican and wear your old Bush/Cheney 2004 shirt, of course, you might have a different experience. )

If you're at all interested in moving, I would highly recommend it, even if it's only for six months or a year; the experience really opens your eyes in a lot of ways. If you want to know any of my personal experience, you can email me and I'll be happy to tell you more.
Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2006, 11:25 AM   #11
richardksa
Jedi Forero
 
richardksa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid
Posts: 1,848
Default

Alan's reasons for wating to live in Spain mirror my own. In fact I'd started on my post before reading Alan's - then scrapped my post. He beat me to most of my points.

But I will add this, and it's completely irrational and purely emotional. I travel a great deal. Yet in all my travels I have only, immediately, felt at home in two places. The first was Nairobi, where I lived for some years until its infrastructure deteriorated. I waited a long time and visited many places until the feeling washed over me again. And then, I arrived in Madrid. I spoke not a word of Spanish and, originally coming from rural Essex , don't really like cities. Yet it was love at first sight and if you asked me to explain why - I probably couldn't tell you. Now the affair has lasted some time and every time I leave I can't wait to get back. While I'm away, I miss it. It's not the novelty of a new place. I've had enough novelty in my life to know. The Welsh have a word for the undying love of their country, it's Hywl. Perhaps the Spanish do as well. In which case, I've got it.
richardksa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2006, 12:57 AM   #12
pablo
Forero
 
pablo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 32
Default Thanks for all the replies

Thank you all for your input about attitudes towards Americans in Spain. I really prefer to avoid political discussions if possible, so I definitely will not be wearing "Bush is great" T-shirts or standing on the street corners espousing affection for US Foreign policy. I would want to blend in, to experience the culture, and to learn. My reasons for wanting to live in Spain are to eat the food, meet the people, learn the language, attend the fiestas, see the sites, get on a Padel court, etc. -- to generally widen my perspective. What prompted me to ask about attitude towards Americans (even the term is egotistical eh? since the US comprises a small part of the Americas) is that a good friend of mine recently moved from Texas to England. He is seriously anti-Bush, and anti-war, but he said that often times, as soon as people hear his accent, their demeanor towards him changes. He is treated fine, but he and his wife believe it has made it a bit difficult to develop friendships. Of course, that's only their perspective, so I really value the feedback on this forum. It helps tremendously to know that plenty of Americans are living in Spain without problems, and I am convinced now that I would be fine. And as a bonus I don't have to give up my favorite sports, and it looks like I'll be able to learn new ones. Very exciting. Now, I just need to figure out how to pay US school loans while abroad, as that will require me to teach A LOT of English .
pablo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2006, 08:03 PM   #13
Alan
El Listo ;)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Scotland
Posts: 660
Default

You'll probably fit in better if you do talk about politics . . . as long as you come across as a reasonable person Take a step out your body and listen to yourself as a Spaniard would hear you before you do though. Sometimes it's hard to see things from another culture's point of view, and that is the reason behind most of today's wars.

Your friend may be anti-Bush, but that doesn't automatically mean that the English will all of a sudden agree with everything he says. The Democrats have been responsible for their fair share of conflict in the world too. And yes, he may be anti-war, but the world has issues with the US for more reasons than just war. I feel like I'm coming across as anti-American here, - I'm not anti-American and I don't intend to sound like that. My previous points are about the US as a country, not the people. But there is an American arrogance present in some Americans (especially in Texans) that is not appreciated by us Europeans. I know that it's a sweeping generalisation and that America is full of good people, but it's a perceived attitude - a stereotype. Perceptions are very difficult to get rid of.

I don't mean to worry you You're not going to be attacked with eggs. Go, and see how you get on
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 02:52 PM   #14
Berti
Super Forero
 
Berti's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: La Bahía de Cádiz
Posts: 172
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
...complete the above sentence.


I'm trying to get a broad handle on the country's attraction for others, so...

How about you? Why would you like to move here one day (or maybe you wouldn't)? Why did you move here (if you already have)?

In my childhood, I often visited grandparents who lived by the sea, for reasons, that at that young age, I had not the capacity to understand , I was awestruck by the sea sweeping into the shoreline. I later realised that I had discovered that for me, one day to live by the sea was a dream to reach for.

There is such a mix here of people living in Spain for a variety of reasons and no doubt they are influenced by their personal experiences and age group. The original post is seeking a “broad handle on the attraction”. I believe it will indeed be broad as each has made their jump based on their own life choices.

As for myself, I reached a point where I decided that I had to reach for that childhood dream and now as an adult an essential part of that dream was in it being realised in a country where I had to speak another language, and experience life in another country. To me this seemed simply a life enriching challenge, and so it has been.

My desires were no longer to work life exhausting hours confined to social experiences of one nation culture, but to get out of the national garden and experience life in another country. (A little like the eposides of Bill and Ben, when the gardener left the gate open and they pottered out into their as yet unknown).

I chose Spain for it’s richness of culture, history and probably because I believed I would find some answers to some personal life questions, and indeed I have.

I chose this corner of Spain, for the natural light, and a hunch that I had some kind of draw to the people, culture and history of this corner.

And you know, it has been without doubt the biggest challenge of my life and the most rewarding and I believe it will continue to be so. It has been no Nobel Prize winning project, but it has brought to my life a feeling of accomplishment, that outstrips anything previously attempted by myself.

I will close with one example, I do not think this is a thread for personal Spanish ramblings, and there may be another such thread, where such P.S.P’s are located.

At the weekend I joined in a birthday party for a young local lady. Her family were celebrating her 25th birthday, this family’s first celebration since a death of another of their loved children. It passed off very well, life does goes on and happiness and joyful moments enrich families like no other. Late in the night I found myself chatting with the young crew, the next generation here in Spain, we shared a wonderful conversation about life, their future, the future of Spain, their fears their hopes. It finished with them displaying their talent for singing the local canciones gaditanos, a wooden box appeared and with four hands was transformed into a drum section, a kitchen pan and corkscrew served as the bass, and off course their clapping palms formed the chorus and harmony to the singer’s voice.


Quite simply it was a golden night in my life, to share all this, to be there, speaking in another language, being richly entertained by local friends, entertaining themselves through their family and friends.

I am glad that I wandered out through that open gate.
Berti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 04:32 PM   #15
greytop
Hero Forero
 
greytop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pego, Spain
Posts: 3,363
Default

Well put Berti and thanks for sharing that with us.
greytop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 04:57 PM   #16
omeyas
Solo chapurreo el español
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somehwere nice!
Posts: 990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Ah, I could probably go on, but I'm not going to.
Thank God for that! If you think moving to Spain will address all those problems, you're living in a dream world. Just to pick up on two points, I can't speak for the behaviour of cashiers/shop staff in Scotland, but if they worse than the Spanish, you have my sympathy! As for the poor health, I'll agree with that, the Scots drink and smoke far too much, some of the least healthy people in the world. If I was you, I'd move soon whilst you're still able to.
omeyas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 05:56 PM   #17
Legazpi
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Madrid (Arganzuela)
Posts: 834
Default

Alan's post is over 2 years old so I guess he's probably moved on anyway!

Though I have to agree that he did go on a bit - all that lecturing to Americans about how they should behave so they don't come across as arrogant. The irony of it all!
Legazpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 06:00 PM   #18
omeyas
Solo chapurreo el español
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somehwere nice!
Posts: 990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legazpi View Post
Alan's post is over 2 years old so I guess he's probably moved on anyway!

Though I have to agree that he did go on a bit - all that lecturing to Americans about how they should behave so they don't come across as arrogant. The irony of it all!
You're right, didn't notice the date!
omeyas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2008, 06:28 PM   #19
rod
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Somewhere in the Alpujarras
Posts: 319
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berti View Post
As for myself, I reached a point where I decided that I had to reach for that childhood dream and now as an adult an essential part of that dream was in it being realised in a country where I had to speak another language, and experience life in another country. To me this seemed simply a life enriching challenge, and so it has been.

My desires were no longer to work life exhausting hours confined to social experiences of one nation culture, but to get out of the national garden and experience life in another country...

And you know, it has been without doubt the biggest challenge of my life and the most rewarding and I believe it will continue to be so. It has been no Nobel Prize winning project, but it has brought to my life a feeling of accomplishment, that outstrips anything previously attempted by myself.
Fantastic post, Berti, that basically mirrors my feelings towards my piecemeal move to Spain over the last three years. Moving to Spain should be seen as a massive challenge. Four years ago I was elated to have trained for and ran a half-marathon in a decent time despite having no athletic ability at all. Moving to Spain has been a bit like that, it has been extremely rewarding but it also involves a lot of hard work, pain occasionally and some mistakes. And now I'm very happy that I've moved here, even though I know that there are still a lot of challenges to overcome.
rod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st August 2008, 06:54 PM   #20
Chamorita
Salsera
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 20
Default

To Greg who posted April 4, 2:44 a.m.:

I am an American who recently visited Barcelona and although I could only stay a short time, I tried as hard as I could to immerse myself in the culture. (I plan to seriously move to Spain sometime in the next few years).

What you said about the American tourists -- SO right on. I was walking in Barcelona and saw a large group, 10 or so, of Americans eating at Hard Rock Cafe -- with their leftover Starbucks cups still in their hands. I thought to myself -- why even leave America if you're going to spend your time doing that? It saddened me, it really did, because these stereotypes are true in so many cases, and it presents us with a bad image all around.
Chamorita is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks
Learn REAL Spanish now!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.