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Spain > Living


Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca?

Friday February 28, 2014 (04:04:54)

Expat Focus talks to Alan Parks about his memoir "Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca?" a frank and charming story of a brave couple who risk everything when they move to Spain to breed alpacas.

Alan, please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Alan Parks, and I originally come from the south coast of the UK, where I used live in a town called Peacehaven, just outside Brighton. I moved, with my partner Lorna to rural Andalucia, Spain, close to the city of Cordoba in 2008 after Lorna became ill with Sarcoidosis.   more ...

Spain > Links


Spain – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

Sunday February 23, 2014 (21:49:34)

It’s often difficult to know what to look out for when you’re considering a move to a new country, but there are plenty of blogs out there that provide tips and tricks for potential (and actual) expats, and here at Expat Focus, we’ve been taking a look around the blogosphere to find some of our favourites. Today we’re focusing on Spain; here are five recommended Spanish expat blogs.   more ...

Spain > Working


Starting A Small Business In Spain - 5 Things You Should Know

Tuesday February 18, 2014 (03:32:33)

Starting your own business is a dream for many people – it opens up the possibility of higher earnings, it brings freedom from a regular employment, and doesn’t involve many of the work-related restrictions that go with a regular job. But of course it also comes with a few potential downsides. For one, there isn’t a guaranteed income and you have to begin from scratch. Starting a business in a foreign country poses a few additional challenges.

Before you start your business in Spain, it is a good idea to ask yourself how your business is going to be different from existing business in Spain. Also, is there a market for your business? This initial research will help you start out on the right foot.   more ...

Spain > Property


Hans Drees & Lynda Thomson, Miraflor

Monday November 18, 2013 (22:41:08)
Hans Drees
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company

Hans Drees, along with his wife Lynda Thomson are the proud owners of one of the most respected, successful real-estate agents in the Costa Blanca “Casitas Miraflor” based in the centre of the village of Els Poblets near to Denia.

Our story is much the same as many who come to live in this area where you are looking to improve your life but still need to work. You do tend to fall into a type of employment which revolves around the property or tourism industries. We actually met way back in 1987 while working for separate property companies in the Javea / Moraira area. Hans is of German origin, speaks four languages fluently and has lived and worked for most of his life in Spain, always in the property industry. Lynda was a newcomer to the region, spoke very little Spanish and had left a very good job in a UK bank. Again, like many expats Lynda chose to come to the region after falling in love with the area and lifestyle during holidays enjoyed in her parents’ holiday home in Denia.   more ...

Spain > Property


Andrew Queen, Golf Property Store

Sunday October 27, 2013 (21:29:20)
Andrew and family
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company

My name is Andrew Queen, and my company is the ‘Golf Property Store’ ( or I arrived here in Spain in 2003 after my family purchased a villa here (Villamartin). It really was for a 6 month trip away from it all. Soon after this I fell into the property industry working for a large property company that brought people in predominantly from the UK on 2/3 day Inspection trips. I enjoyed the job immensely and ditched all plans to return to the UK very quickly! After a few years the recession arrived and the days of subsidised trips were numbered. I met my partner soon after and my beautiful daughter Sofia arrived soon after that. Of course, the recession took its toll on the property business but I adjusted to the market and moved into the ‘Bank Repossession’ market, where prices were very attractive and mortgage conditions were preferable. This has seen us through the recession very well – people are always looking for a bargain regardless of the times we are in!   more ...

Spain > Property


Sharon MacNicol, La Agencia Real Estate

Sunday October 27, 2013 (20:49:00)
Sharon MacNicol
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company
My name is Sharon MacNicol and I am the Sales Manager for La Agencia Real Estate agent situated in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

La Agencia is a small company which not only provides a comprehensive real estate service but is also a construction firm which has been in situ on Lanzarote for over 25 years. My boss is happy to still be reselling some of the properties which he built on the island over 20 years ago!   more ...

Spain > Living


Making the Most of Madrid, Minus the Tourist Traps

Sunday September 22, 2013 (19:54:53)
Madrid at night
With sunshine, siestas and a whole wealth of cultural attractions to explore, Madrid makes a fantastic holiday destination, and many people fall in love with Spain’s capital city after a couple of visits. Moving there is a whole different ball game, however, and it’s easy to find yourself swamped by tourists in the city streets, craving a nice quiet beer in a bar that isn’t packed with people taking photographs for their friends back home.

The Spanish nightlife scene is famously vibrant, and initially seems like one of the best reasons to move there: who wouldn’t want to spend every weeknight watching flamenco in the tablaos or partying the night away in Alonso Martinez Square? The answer, of course, is ‘people who live there’. Staying in a place for good is far different from experiencing it for a couple of weeks’ holiday, and the reality of not being able to find a quiet spot to enjoy the local culture quickly begins to grate. Luckily there are plenty of more sedate, arts and culture based venues where locals gather to enjoy the city without the crazy partying side.   more ...

Spain > Living


Things To Consider When Moving To Spain

Saturday September 07, 2013 (00:19:22)

courtesy of Crown Relocations

Located in South West Europe, just miles from North Africa, Spain’s unique way of life stems from the age-old cultural mix which makes up the country. There’s no other country in the world quite like it, and the laid-back lifestyle, excellent food, great climate and friendly people make Spain a hugely popular destination for both tourists and those looking to start a new life abroad. This is especially true for the British, with a huge expat community now living in the country.

Spain’s landscape is beautiful and encompassing, a combination of flat, desert-like plains, lush greenery, white sandy beaches and snow-tipped mountains. The Canaries and Balearic islands also come under Spain’s rule, with the sun drenched party capital of the world Ibiza just a short flight away. But for anyone who wants to live long term in the country, there are some key points to remember to avoid any possible culture shock when initially settling into the country.   more ...

Spain > Living


One Stop Shopping In Barcelona

Thursday January 03, 2013 (19:43:15)
l'illa, Barcelona
by Patty Sanchez

By now most expat families have settled into a new apartment and neighborhood in Barcelona after arriving in September to begin new jobs. I recently met a mother who moved from Illinois to Barcelona and wanted to find a store where she could find it all: groceries, domestic appliances, clothing, etc. Obviously, she wanted to save time by shopping at one location rather than running from one shop to another to cover basic needs.

“Is there a store similar to Target where I can find it all?” she asked.

My initial response was “Yes,” there is a store similar to Target that has many departments to accommodate consumer needs all in one stop, albeit somewhat pricey.   more ...

Spain > Living


Grocery Shopping In Barcelona

Tuesday September 18, 2012 (00:48:41)
The shopping trolley - the best expat investment ever
by Patty Sanchez

If you just arrived to Spain and decide it is time to go grocery shopping, hold that thought! Do not be a new inexperienced expat and think you can walk home carrying three bags of groceries loaded with fruit, meats, dairy products and a five liter bottle of water. After five minutes of walking towards your new apartment two or three blocks away, you will stop to continuously shift the weight of the plastic bags to keep them from digging into the crooks of your fingers. You will instantly lament those past days of yonder when you once drove to the supermarket and leisurely loaded groceries onto the trunk of your car.

The solution to this problem is to purchase as soon as possible a shopping trolley/cart. You can load the shopping trolley/cart with bottled water, milk tetra bricks, one kilo of apples, or any other heavy food item that once crunched your spinal discs. You will walk out the store in relief that the trolley was the best expat investment ever.   more ...

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