New members of the Spain forum, introduce yourselves here - 2022

Hi all,

Newbie on the Spain forum? Don't know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country,
or to tell us more on your expat projects in Spain if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Hello everyone. My wife and I live in Extremdura near the Portuguese border. We are language teachers and shortly about to become Seniors!

Living in a rural setting has it challenges and we've joined expat to find similar English speaking friends for social contact and friendship. We're mobile and can travel to surroungind provinces and even into Portugal.

Please reach out to us if you're reading this. I can't promise we'll become friends but we will reply and maybe even meetup.

Warmest regards

Peter and Sally Hunt (Peter writing)

Hi...We are Sandy and Mike...about to visit Galicia in the next couple of weeks to get to know the area and view  a couple of properties. We are British expats living in sw rural France atm and  hoping to relocate to This area of Spain . We are both retired ...love country life...our animals and keen to make new contacts..and learn Spanish...maybe a little Galician....in an effort to fit in.'   Would be good to be in contact to share experiences....

Sandy

Hi Everyone- my husband Paul and I retired to Spain from the US back in March. We are currently living in Granada but are still scouting other parts of Spain for long-term living. We enjoy hiking, traveling, music and culture and doing volunteer work. Hope to meet some of you soon.

Hi My name is Amaha Gabriel born in Ethiopia addis Ababa grew up in the UK London, lived in the US briefly and moved to Ethiopia almost 15 years doing construction work in Ethiopia been travelling almost all over the world well over 35 countries including Spain repeatedly Valencia, Barcelona Madrid offcourse Alicante weather, food , over all ppl seem friendly wish to learn more about settling the beach is the winner wish to learn more about how to make friends and somehow to be part of the community thinking bringing Organic Ethiopian coffee or construction materials for export however what's important for me is make friends establish status

Hello, hola, bon dia! My (Spanish) wife and I (Northern Irish) are planning to live on the Costa Brava within the next 10-12 months, probably in or near Sant Feliu de Guixols. Hoping to meet a few like-minded peeps...

Moving from Dubai where we live now, we'll be semi-retired: me as marketing & communications consultant/corporate writer/presentation coach, my wife as interior designer. Our interests are reading fiction and non-fiction (I've started book groups in Paris and Dubai), amateur dramatics, classical music/opera/jazz, museums. Sports: walking, cycling, padel/tennis, swimming.

In a nutshell: Ghanaian birth, Irish passport, Spanish wife, Dubai citizen - hopes the whole adds up to more than the sum of the parts!

PS Sorry if this was too long or TMI (too much information)!

Hello everyone,

I would like to welcome you all to Expat.com!  :cheers:

You all did very well by introducing yourself and your plans to the other members of this forum.  :up:

@PropellingPencil, no worries. There's never too much information.  This way people get to know you better.  :thanks:

I invite you to read the Living in Spain guide, which is full of important information.

After doing some readings, if you have any specific questions or even random ones, do not hesitate to ask them by posting a new thread on the Spain forum.

Cheers,

Cheryl
Expat.com team.

Chris   I am still new with Spanish regulations but I think that when you have a private health insurance you may choose which hospital may help you from the list available while the regular Spanish Health service will determine which hospital you need to go. There are hospitals with a very low feed back score in Google, averaged over hundreds or more responses. Best is when you have made yr choice in which place you will live, you search in google maps in "nearby" to hospitals and see their score. if they are 3 or more out of 5 stars then it becomes another story.

According to my experience it is true that the hospital and primary health care center (public) are assigned automatically, but you can always request a change without justification. What is really important to speed up the process in case you want to change the hospital is to go with someone who speaks proper Spanish and understands how the "seguridad social" works in the community you will live, I mean it is not the same legislation and requirements for Madrid and Valencia. In our case, it was needed to contract a private insurance (one year) to apply for the card of "relative of a EU citizen" (for my wife who is not European).

Hi all, my name is Richard.
I am hoping to live in Spain with my partner and parents in the next 4 - 6 months, or so.  My Spanish is only very basic, at the moment, but I am hoping to improve this dramatically before we head over to Spain.
I work in Real Estate so I need to get my language skills up to a high level pretty quickly as the majority of vacancies that I have seen require a good understanding of Spanish so, if anyone wants to point me in the direction of somewhere I can go to to speed up the learning process, that would be great, thank you.
I lived in Australia for some 12, or 13 years but am originally from the UK but have always wanted to settle in Spain ever since I went there on holiday.  The Country, and people that I have met, have all been so very nice and I love the outdoor lifestyle that Spain has to offer.
Anyhow, wanted to say Hi to everyone and to say thank you for letting me join this community.  Look forward to hearing from you over time and to finding out more about life in Spain.
Best wishes,
Rich.

Hi All!
My name is Stephanie. I'm from New York & looking to experience Spain in May. Can anyone recommend me a budget safe Hostel or places I can book that has all accommodation(or at least some). I would like to experience the country on a budget. Please comment or shoot me a message for any advice or recommendation for pretty much EVERYTHING lol.  Thanks.

P.S - Il'll arrive at Valencia as my first stop of my adventure  :)

Hi to everyone........
My name is Peter.  I recently moved December 8 2021 from Dallas, Texas to Sitges, Spain. 
Prior to COVID, I traveled to Portugal to check out the Algarve for a few weeks in search of a small beach town to live, continue my retirement if you will.  I was quite enamored with Portugal, but for me the cons outweighed the pros, and the big one was the heat.  Having been in Texas for the last many years, I realized that....it's going to be hot here in Southern Portugal, especially in the summer.  Being older now, I dislike the constant high heat in the summer.  Anyway, I went back to Texas, COVID hit
the globe, so I just did more searching on the computer for my perfect place.  I thought about going to Porto, Portugal once CoVID would let up, but as I did more research, I looked at Spain.  And looked more north, along Barcelona coast.  I didn't want a big city, and a friend told be of Sitges, just south of Barcelona.  I researched online, immediate fell in love with it.  I planned to go to check it out May 2021 as I hope CoVID would lessen.  I made arrangements, did all the health paperwork, etc., booked an AirBNB for 3 weeks, and thought I was good to go.  I was cleared for travel by American Airlines, arrived early morn in Barcelona, was stopped at Passport Control and told no tourists allowed.  I said I had all the paperwork, and showed them, but they told me the authorities would most likely put me on a return flight to the USA that day or the next.  I told them I had booked an airBNB for 3 weeks in Sitges.  They saw I was quite distraught.  3 agents brought me to baggage claim to pick up my bag, took me to an area, looked into my checked bag, closed it, brought me to be fingerprinted, and said that I was to come up to their offices with them.  I did and 7 or 8 young officers, men and women were there to observe me being interviewed.  They said they wanted me to be interviewed by the Chief of Police, on speaker phone.  After 20 questions and 30 minutes, told me to sit outside office, an wait, and after 15 minutes was called in to have another interview with the Minister of Something (not sure).....then after another 30 minutes told me to sit outside the office and then was called in again.  All officers stood around, while the head officer told me I could stay for my 3 weeks.  All the officers, observing smiled and cheered for me and gave me the thumbs up!  I'll never forget the bittersweet feeling.  I almost cried, I was so grateful and excited.  I was free to go after that 2 1/2 hour delay.  Long story short.....(yea right) I loved Sitges, flew home to Dallas June 8, contacted a Law firm in Barcelona to guide me through the Non-Lucrative Visa process, which was long and grueling, trust me.  I could not have done it without lawyers.  I had to apply through the Spanish Consulate in Houston, which is another story for another time........anyway, was finally approved for Visa November 17.  I had sold my car, my condo, furnishings....just have a very small storage place there, I rent.  Have bank account there, and here in Sitges, and digital bank account for expats, and my IRA is intact in the states as well as mutual funds account, and yes I maintain an address there at a friend's in Dallas.  Needless to say, as difficult as all things were, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Sitges has everything I want.  Boardwalk to run and exercise.  unbelievable weather, cool and warm.....not cold and hot...... great wines...yum....and cheap too.  The people are so nice, and I appreciate healthy living.  I am retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA and also worked for several airlines previous to that.  I'm originally born and raised in Vermont, then lived in Hawaii for 7 years before moving to Dallas, TX in 1978.  And one last thing......I really do not miss the Politics back in the States!!!!

Hi
I'm Anne-Marie, myself and my husband have actually been living here for 12 years in Girona. We know the region well and have many friends here. We are now looking to move out of Girona and closer to the coast but not actually at the coast so looking at properties around some of the bigger towns, La Bisbal d'Emporda, Toroella, Palafrugell. If anyone lives in any of these areas and could give me some background on the facilities, communities, services etc that would be great.
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I live in Catalunya and I studied Spanish for two years before coming here, I was quite fluent when we arrived. I then found that everyone spoke Catalan as a first language, although my Spanish was useful for dealing with authorities, banks etc you get on better with locals if you speak their language.  You can do Spanish in the UK at many evening classes and colleges. Here there are free language classes for migrants. (and Catalan)

Hello all,
I've been settled in Galicia for a long time but now moving to Alicante for work for a while. I'd love to meet some people, know if there are any book clubs or any other weekend activities you'd recommend.
I'm studying Italian and I'd like to find an Italian person with whom to practice the speaking. Also, I'm happy to meet people looking to practice their Spanish/English/Galician.
First month I get a company room, but I'll be looking for an apartment (if you hear of anything...) or a family to adopt me (I am 100% potty trained haha). If you have a cat (I can't bring my own), that would be a definitive plus!
I look forward to hearing from you!

Hi
I'm Mary, Filipina, currently working in Thailand. Actually, I haven't been to Spain yet, but desiring very much to reach Madrid for a personal purpose.
I actually put my CV in the job forum, looking for a job as a house keeper, thinking that it might be the easiest way for me to be able to enter Spain.
I am looking for the opportunity, the latest at least next year, because I still have job here in Thailand.
But I really would like to reach Madrid, specifically (or if not, in other places in Spain).
I know there are agencies who can help to get me an employer, but if you know somebody DIRECTLY, who needs a Filipina house keeper, I might be the one you are looking for.
We are Filipinos, are known as to have this special trait of doing our job dutifully and with high appreciation, treating our employer (the family), as if they were also our family. That is why the service we give is with the heart.
But not to mention, the paper work might be tedious for the employer to employ me directly, because it means I would need a working visa to be able to work in Spain.
This is the help I need.
I hope somebody can give me a hand with any information.
Or may be one of you needs somebody like me, who knows?
I know the pandemic situation will have its travel restrictions applied and the more paper works required, but I assure you that you will not regret getting me as you household helper.

Welcome all to the expat.com board! So many new members, Spain is really popular these days!

And why not? Nice culture, good food, warm weather, lovely beaches, relaxed lifestyle, friendly locals, reasonable cost of living. What's not to like? :-)

@richpoile  - for a bit of remote learning I think Duolingo is a great option. But there are many websites/apps that you can choose from.

@Steph1228 - lots of safe and decent budget accommodation available, especially if you're OK with hostels. I usually use booking.com when I need a place to stay.

@tangopapa4658 - What an adventure, your Texas charm came to the rescue! Sitges and Barcelona (city/region) are great, so you've made an excellent choice. Still gets pretty hot in Summer though, you'll see in a couple of months. Luckily, the clever Spanish have invented this awesome new technology called "Aire Acondicionado", you'll need to check it out. The Spanish leccy bill is not quite so awesome, unfortunately. :-)

@annemarie97 - glad you're enjoying Spain... and you beat the dreaded Brexit for your permanent residence. Is there a Spanish passport in your future? You must be an expert on all things Spanish by now, so hopefully you will be providing expat.com members with lots of useful tips and tricks!

@scolquhoung
- the Alicante / Costa Blanca region is also lovely, so this is another great choice! We live in the historic, UNESCO-listed town of Elche, just a short distance from Alicante city, and several excellent beaches... and we really enjoy our life here. (It's probably the leccy bill that keeps me from being totally committed to it.)

@marydognidongenrev - Unfortunately, these days it can be a little tricky for non-EU citizens to get long-term residence / work authorization in Spain and other EU countries. There are probably larger websites you can find which are specifically for house-keeper / nanny types jobs, which might give you more opportunities to look at. Perhaps there is also a Pilipino community in Spain where you can get advice from those who are already here? Many say that "if you can dream it, you can do it!", so best wishes for a possible Spanish adventure in 2023...

Hi everyone, Just a quick introduction, I am British & living here in the mountains of Andalusia having moved back to Spain just over a year ago (to escape brexit) , it's not the first time I have lived in Spain, having lived here for 11 years back in the 90s, some things have changed & some things not so much. When the brexit vote happened in England I knew it was now or never to make the move again  . Not sure what else to say right now, it's just myself and my son here at the moment, he is getting used to Spanish school, he didn't have any Spanish language & has been thrown in at the deep end as they say, but I'm sure he will get there.

Hola, We live in the Basque country. Moved from Southern California two years ago, and will never go back. We love the people, the food, the easy way of life. The beaches. The mountains. And most importantly, we respect the history.

I am Tom and will be moving to Spain in July 2022. I have a visit to Green Spain in March and April at which time I will make the decision about where to put my feet for the first year while I settle in. I love travel and exploring new places so I will be moving a lot.

Regarding me, I was born and raised in Alabama and escaped to California where I worked and retired six years ago before moving to Mexico. I am turning 65 a few days after getting to Spain. I am in the process of divorce. I enjoy photography, cooking, travel, learning, singing, classical music, theater, history, writing, good wine and food.

Hello yajubilado,

Welcome to Expat.com  :cheers:

Thank you for introducing yourself to the other members of this forum.  :up:

I invite you to read the Living in Spain guide so that you can start gathering useful information before moving.

Should you have questions, do not hesitate to create a new thread on the Spain forum.

Cheers,

Cheryl
Expat.com team.

Hi there, I need advise on optionw I could choose from to come to Spain. My boyfriend of 3 years and I decided to take our relationship to a more serious level, as we are not getting any younger. What options do I have to further our relationship? I want to give him the chance to think about it before we dive into marital commitment as well. I just resigned from work as well, and he is getting a fresh start on a different field of work. Will coming as a tourist suffice? Or is there such thing as fiancee visa as well to consider? What are the factors to consider when applying for visa?

Hi to you all, My name is Stu and I'm currently living in Plymouth Uk with my wife Min. We are considering moving to the Malaga region of Spain. We cannot move until March 23 because I'm undergoing treatment. We would like to know what we should be budgeting for, for monthly living. We are cash buyers. We only want a ball park figure for comparison purposes. It would also be useful to know what & when we need to do first in the moving process. Any info would be greatly appreciated.kind regards. Stu

Ola, my husband and I are looking to buy in Alicante, spend the 1st year there in chunks and eventually move.  From inception to actually 'doing it' we've had to consider changes including Brexit -a slight spanner in the works . I'm British, husband however has an EU passport so let's see....

Hi!
My name is Adrian(23). I am from Republic of Moldova.
I will arrive in Alicante tomorrow(March 5th).
I work remotely as a freight broker agent and would like to use this opportunity to travel.
Planning to stay there one or two months. Haven`t booked a room yet, because I`m afraid of flight cancellation. I don`t have much money, so I`m going on an adventure. If I don`t find a room first night, I will try to ask people in the streets to host me or maybe hang out with a cashier in a 24/7 shop(for security).
I speak a bit of Spanish and am planning to become fluent(I also understand Italian and my native tongue is Romanian, so it`s easier for me.
I`m a language enthusiast: Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish and ofc, Romanian :)
I would like to meetup with someone for a coffee or beer in my first day. Knowing someone will give me a sense of security and someone to practice my Spanish with.
If anyone would like to meet up or, at least, tell me a bit about life in Alicante find me on whatsapp: +37368740613  (I will appreciate any message, so feel free!) I am very open-minded and love meeting new people(I host a lot of foreigners at my house in Moldova and have friends all around the world. Looking to add Spain to my list)
Thank you!

Hi my name is Helen. I live in Solihull West Midlands UK but have an apartment In North Alicante Spain which I visit as often as possible. I have made some friends there, some live in Spain others like myself have holiday apartments. I would dearly love to meet people who are like minded. I'm a very young at heart 60 ish  person who loves motorbikes, rock music, walking, sunbathing, socialising, dancing. I would like to meet up with people who have the same interests. Please drop me a line I look forward to speaking to you.

Hi everyone, I'm italian and still living in Italy. Me and my husband, we are considering moving to Spain, possibly by the sea, in a quiet area and not in big cities (we have 5 cats and 2 dogs). Our son is 11 years old and he is expected to start middle school in September ... we are especially concerned about the "schools" situation and the fact that our son does not speak Spanish. I'm looking at Andalusia but I don't know anything. Do you have any advice? thank you

Hello all.
Me and my step-daughter just moved from Nerja to Estepona (Urb. Puerto Blanco). We have 2 dogs. I'm 56 from Sweden and Sofia is 28 from South America. My Spouse is French and will arrive in May.

Due to medical conditions from severe phneumonia I suddenly nead 100% Oxygen concentrator and most likely I'll relocate to Spain permanent earlier that plan and use the Spanish Social Health care system. At the moment my private travel insurance paid the treatment, and that will not be the case within 60 days.

I'm also looking for a private driver for trips to Sweden r/t with my car. I put a job ad about this on this web-site.

Dear Expat Community,

I am pleased to find this site and I am writing in search of advice and assistance with finding accommodation in Valencia or Alicante.

My name is Inna, I am from Ukraine, I managed to take my retired parents and my cat from Kyiv when the war started. We stay for a while in Germany, though we would like to move to and stay in Spain.
Also one mother with a 6 y.o. kid joined us yesterday, and we need to find the place to rent as soon as possible, as Germany is too much complicated with many things and we have a place to stay here for a couple of weeks.

I am planning first to fly to Spain on my own to find and rent an accommodation, as it is really tiresome and complicated to change the place for every week, the way here was long already.

I would appreciate any advice and if possible assistance with protection registration for Ukrainians (which I was told is really quick, within 24 hours) and to look for the apartments and luckily to rent one.

You can learn more about me from my LinkedIn Account https://www.linkedin.com/in/inna-petrenko-8400a624/

I am very grateful in advance for your kind advice and support!

Warm regards,

Inna

Hello
My name is Mimi. I'm 76 and live in Salobrena between Motril and Almunecar since Sept. 2021..
I m from Belgium and I speak french, flemish and english. I also speak a little spanish but have to improve a lot, not easy if only with internet. So I look for Friends nearby to talk and to improve, also to meet for a coffee or a restaurant. If you are interested, don t be Shy. I Can be joined by WhatsApp, mail, phone.
Enjoy ....

Bonjour !

@Julien  hi my husband and I are in the process of buying a small place in Duquesa. We enjoy cycling (me on an electric bike!), golf and eating. We would love to learn Spanish and know what local groups take place.

Rae

@Julien  hi my husband and I are in the process of buying a small place in Duquesa. We enjoy cycling (me on an electric bike!), golf and eating. We would love to learn Spanish and know what local groups take place.

Rae

- @rachaelsmithuk
 Things are not so easy now since Brexit.

Hello! 

My nam is Marijana. We are Croatian family who lives in China for a last 12 years, but soon we are moving to Alicante. My younger son is going to the French school here in Beijing and we are planning to enroll  him at the same school in Alicante. We are looking for an apartment in Alicante but I'm not sure where to rent it,city center or San Juan aria.. it would be great if someone can share prons and cons of living in both aria.. we have two small dogs so this also can be important thing for choosing aria to live. Also there is a one more thing that I would like to know more ,health insurance.. we have to pay for the private health insurance card with no-copayment so please share your recommendation and advise for the good insurance company .. thank you 

Marijana 

Greetings @marijanaj and welcome to expat.com forum. And good luck with your move to Spain!

For your questions, you might find you'll get more visibility/response if you create a new topic for each question.

We live in the Alicante area and we enjoy the city and the wider Costa Blanca. I would personally prefer to rent near the beach (and the school) if possible. But the centre is good too, especially if you're going to be working downtown.

Have a look at Idealista, a very popular property site, where you can quickly research the rental options.

Health insurance is needed for immigration, and it can be quite expensive because of the zero copago requirement. In later years you probably can reduce the cost by choosing a larger copago, or by registering in / contributing to the Spanish state healthcare system.

There are two very popular comparison sites here (Rastreator and Acierto) which will give you quotes from all (there are LOTS) companies. Or you can get an online quote from a particular company's website. I would suggest ASISA and DKV to start.

@gwynj thank you so much for your message. 

Hello everyone,

I am not an expat in Spain although I'm rather new as I've been living in Belgium for the last 25 years. So we're back in Cartagena now. I work here as a relaxing massage therapist.
I don't know if the expat community in this area is large or not.
Anyhow, I wanted to say hi and make myself available to the rest of the community.
Cheers.

Quiro
@tangopapa4658 
Hi,
My name's Victor. I am 69, retired and from Houston, TX. I am currently staying in Saint Petersburg (Russia) with my Russian wife. In the next couple of months we are going back to Houston where I would like to apply for a non-lucrative visa to Spain. For the time being I am trying to understand the whole application process and possible roadblocks (health insurance, bank account requirements etc.). As a person who went through all of this, could you share with me more details of your ordeal especially  when it concerns the application process through the Spanish Consulate in Houston? Thank you.
@marijanaj 
Hi, we recently moved also to the Murcia area. Unfortunately, I can not really give you tips etc. 
But there are some groups who might can, it is called Costa Women and it is divided into different areas.
Let me know when you moved then we will get a coffee/lunch.
Greetings,
Tes
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