Get expat health and financial news, interesting expat articles, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!

We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

±Financial Advice / Services

Expert advice from professionals you can trust

Expat Experiences

Expat Experiences > Spain


Molly Sears-Piccavey, Granada

  Posted Saturday February 08, 2014 (00:15:03)   (5063 Reads)
Molly Sears-Piccavey
Molly Sears-Piccavey

Who are you?

I was born in a Nottinghamshire village in England. I work in the technology sector and in my spare time I enjoy blogging, tweeting and reading.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved to Spain in May 1998. First I lived in Barcelona for many years and then in 2006 I moved to Granada, Andalusia.

What challenges did you face during the move?

The initial move from UK to Barcelona was not too traumatic as I had the support of a local Barcelona family who I already knew.

As I was Young and by myself I was relatively relaxed about it all. The move from Barcelona to Granada was more complicated as there was the sale of our apartment, jobs etc.

How did you find somewhere to live?

When I moved to Barcelona after several months living with my Student exchange family I went to rent a place by myself. Barcelona is quite an expensive city and I wanted to rent in the área around Sagrada Familia which wasn't cheap either. I remember the owner asking me how much I earned and requesting information from my parents to make sure that I was financially stable. I found this quite astounding at the time.

Are there many other expats in your area?

In Granada (where I live now) there are some expats although it is not a typical destination for expats. It is a traditional área of Andalusia and inland. There are many Erasmus students but few International people working in the city.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

As I am fluent in Spanish and work in a Spanish environment I feel that I fit in with the locals. I can say this after been in Spain for 15 years or more though and practically begin surrounded by Spanish people from Day 1.

How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?

Here they tend to stick to the traditional brands which have been used by their families for many years. Produce is typically locally sourced either from land owned by people in the family or by neighbours. It´s a great place to eat seasonally. The supermarket chains are growing but the old ways of going to market and home cooking still are continued by lots of families.

Something that I find quite curious is that in the UK the second hand market (whether it be clothes, cars or household ítems) have always been popular (possibly now even more so) but here in Spain it still isn't really the done thing. I quite often wonder about this particularly with the financial crisis that is currently upon us.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

My advice to anyone following in my footsteps would be to talk to a few expats who already live in the area. It´s important to try to keep an open mind when hearing them speak. Also bear in mind what is important to us at home may change when in the new location. Priorities may alter. It is always a good idea to only rent a home rather than investing in property until at least one year has been spent in the locations. Seeing a town in all seasons can be an interesting exercise.

Molly shares more information about food, culture and travel in Spain through her blog www.piccavey.com and Twitter @piccavey.

Molly Sears-Piccavey
Plaza Nueva of Granada


  Printer Friendly Format

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.