A Casual Notebook

  • Photoblog, Expat Man, Unclassable
  • 912 visits
A Casual Notebook

A Casual Notebook is a periodic record of musings from Shawn Moksvold. It is a humble blog in its infancy, concentrated mostly on 1st-person happenings in Spain, with a new entry usually on the weekends, and it has a lot to learn. The plan? To grow up into a wise observer of a healthy and well-lived life. We’ll see…

Latest posts on A Casual Notebook

5 years ago

To the prior commenter and dispenser of wisdom: I would thank you for the travel tips, but they are less advice and more of a list of problems you seem to have had. I have lived in Spain for just over two years, and while the visa situation is not easy, it is not impossible. Nor is life impossible. Nor is it even marginally difficult. I work hard everyday and it has paid off for me. I set goals for myself, try to be smart with the money I make, and I have something to offer that benefits this country in general while not taking away from potential local employment. And anyone looking to live in a country for longer than a backpack trip and a few hostel stays should be unaware of the necessity of learning the local language; if they are unaware or oblivious if this, then they simply deserve what awaits them. Even during my first months living of here, my advice to anyone thinking of coming to Spain went well beyond the common bitching about bureaucracy, slowness of business transactions and the obvious unemployment. And I am the same now. There are more important (and interesting) things to advise the newcomer. Listening to complaints about these things is more cumbersome and trying than the "bureaucracy" itself. I wouldn't say that there aren't risks and disadvantages (and pains in the ass) of living here, but if moving to Spain is a "massive gamble," I guess I've won the lottery, as I am happier here than in my prior life in sunny San Diego. And I would attribute that more to Spain than my own virtues. I believe that living in a foreign country requires a lot of things, some of which are respect for the culture and language, patience, open-mindedness, reluctance to jump to conclusions and spout small-minded advice, and guts. Sometimes, people look to others to help them make decisions about moving to another place. I guess am thankful that I didn't read your advice before I came here.

5 years ago

If you are experienced in this karmet then I guess you will appreciate how competitive it is, that is more so in Spain than in any other country I can think of, short of the USA. What makes it even harder at the moment, a fact that you may be unaware of, is that Spain has the highest unemployment rate in Europe and so it is suffering more in the financial crisis at the moment than the majority of European countries. Your experience in the trade will no doubt help but we aware that Spain has a rightly deserved reputation bureaucracy and red tape. Licences, permits and the like extremely complicated and time consuming to obtain. Allow for this in advance, nothing in Spain gets done in a hurry.It is vital that you can speak and read Spanish, if you can't then learn BEFORE you embark on this exercise. No matter what anyone tells you, English will not get you through, spanish is essential. Anyone that tells you otherwise is a salesman!The tourist trade has severely dropped in Spain, partly because a big large of the tourists were from the UK and the Euro rate has hit the UK very hard recently. If you have the finances to ride out the storm you may be one of the few who can invest now but you need those reserves before even considering this massive gamble. If you could survive the downtrend and then join in the recovery then all well and good. Please tread carefully, Nerja is a fatastic and popular location but it is suffering from the recession like everywhere else in Spain.Good luck.

Blog it !

Globetrotters, adventurers, food lovers, fashionistas or photograph enthusiasts, we care about your stories.

Share your blog !

Similar blogs to A Casual Notebook
by: MadridManSpain
Photoblog, News, Expat Man
by: manofresco
Expat Man, Unclassable
by: danagoestomadrid
Photoblog, Student, Globe-trotter
by: bleg
Photoblog, Gourmet, Serial Expat

Expatriate health insurance in Madrid

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Madrid

Moving to Madrid

Find tips from professionals about moving to Madrid

Travel insurance in Madrid

Enjoy stress-free travel to Madrid