Life in Spain during the crisis through the lens of a British expat

Expat interviews
Published on 2021-01-12 at 13:25 by Anne-Lise Mty
Molly comes from Nottingham, UK. Following a job offer, she moved to Spain in 1998 and stayed in Barcelona for 9 years before relocating to Granada, a beautiful city in Andalucia. The past 22 years and her blog helped her build her image as an influencer and expert about Spain and the UK. Today, she talks to us about how her views about the country changed over the years, especially in 2020, which was a challenging year for everyone.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I´m Molly, I was born in Nottingham UK. I´ve been living in Spain since 1998.

Why did you move to Spain? Why Andalusia?

Initially, I moved from the UK to Barcelona, where I lived and worked for 9 years.

Then in 2006 I got a great job offer in Granada and moved South.

In 22 years, how has your view of Spain changed? How have your expat plans changed during this time?

My view of Spain has changed over the years. Of course. As you get to know and understand local culture your perception changes.

My expat plans... there never was one really.. I just didn't go back to the UK rather than actually having a fixed plan.

But in 22 years, you have also become quite the influencer and the expert of your host region. How did this happen? How did you build this reputation?

Some years ago, I began a very basic blog where I shared some information about places that I knew really well.

London, Barcelona and Granada initially. This was so that people I knew could look at these notes and share them if they visited those places.

Then after some time, I began to notice that other people, rather than close friends, were using the information.

That´s when I began to actually write more articles.

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, how have things changed for you (if they have!) during this year?

This year has changed many people's lives and lifestyles. It's been a challenging year for everyone. Before this year I was travelling continually around Spain and also to some other European destinations regularly (UK Italy Portugal etc.) For me, to pop to Seville, Malaga or Madrid was just an everyday occurrence. In fact, I wouldn't even consider that to be travel. It was just what I did on a daily basis. I have friends all over Spain. To suddenly find myself at home for long periods of time without social connections and not being able to leave Granada was challenging.
I don't eat at home very often, either. So to have three meals at home every day was a huge difference too.

What are the lessons that the expat in Andalusia has learnt from the year 2020?

Expats living in Andalusia no doubt appreciate even more so, all the fabulous local produce we have on our doorstep.

The small businesses in the neighbourhoods that are still trading and the great weather that allows us to walk outside in the sunshine on most days.

What are your plans as an expat in 2021 and beyond?

Hopefully, travel (even with restrictions) will resume in early 2021, and I can begin to travel again in Spain.

I am location independent, so I hope to spend more time in the UK and Italy even though my home is in Andalucia.

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