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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
We are a couple thinking in the future to move to spain and any advice from ex-pats would be really beneficial to us. We have a lot of questions but will try and keep this thread short. We have concerns about moving abroad mainly due to having "no children and not much family" don't have any connections in spain. How easy is it to really make friends?
Ideally we both want an area which has "a lot going on" for everyday (like england) and for me I would need to be close to a community that has courses/hobbies/classes going on- shops and library transport is essential to be close.
 

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I would suggest Gijón for all of the things you listed. Only because that's what I know since I live here.
The only thing is the weather. If you're coming to Spain for good weather don't come anywhere near the North!
But for things like, courses, hobbies, classes there are tonnes in Gijón even Spanish classes (which is where I met my 2 best friends). And they are all very cheap. Example I did Zumba for 3 months twice a week and paid a total of 24€.

Nightlife I would say is good. And the beach is beautiful (when the weather is nice!).
 

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How far in the future are you thinking of moving to Spain,for retirement or will you be needing to work?
What region of Spain have you thought of moving to?
 

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I don't think you'll have any problem making friends, wherever you choose to settle. It's nice to have people of your own nationality to socialise with, but I've found it particularly rewarding to help Spanish people of all ages with learning English. This will help you improve your Spanish as well.
 

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I suspect that somewhere of a medium size rather than a big city makes life easier for making friends as you will get noticed doing something.
I tend to find this better than attending expat activities/bars where cliques have already formed and the people who attend are really only interested in bragging about something or other.
A couple of examples of being noticed:
One Spanish neighbour noticed our car around so when we were at a sports centre they started chatting, now Sunday lunch at theirs is a regular event and has been for years.We do afternoon tea for them.
Another woman noticed us walking the dog down to remote cliffs, so when she was walking one of hers there she called out to us (no need to put the dog back on a lead ), trouble was she assumed we were German too. However once she realised her mistake she swapped to English and we all walked together, now we regularly walk with her and stop off at hers on the way back for drinks etc.
If you are in a big city using the big shopping centres etc it takes longer for people to notice that you are not just a tourist passing through.
Most Spanish towns do seem to have organised activities that you can join and charities that need help. Google will always give you a start with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
we wouldn't be moving for at least another 2/3 years so we do have a long time to go yet, these are things we have to seriously consider before even moving abroad- we still unsure if we are going to sell up here in england- or get somewhere very small out in spain. Looking at murcia areas/almeria areas. We wouldn't work because it seems very difficult to get jobs in spain- I know a little spanish ( have a spanish background) hubby would learn and adapt quite easily over time. I would probably want to do "volunteering " to still keep myself busy- whether that's possible in spain we have to look in to all of this!

Is it better or easier to get the "NIE" number in england or spain? which is cheaper- smoother operation?
as I say we do have a long way to go yet as we are in our mid 40s still working in england.
 

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Valencia!

Well, I would say that, wouldn't I? You'd be welcomed here with open arms ....

The home of paella

And oranges

And lovely people

World class architecture, ancient and modern.

And safe streets
 

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we wouldn't be moving for at least another 2/3 years so we do have a long time to go yet, these are things we have to seriously consider before even moving abroad- we still unsure if we are going to sell up here in england- or get somewhere very small out in spain. Looking at murcia areas/almeria areas. We wouldn't work because it seems very difficult to get jobs in spain- I know a little spanish ( have a spanish background) hubby would learn and adapt quite easily over time. I would probably want to do "volunteering " to still keep myself busy- whether that's possible in spain we have to look in to all of this!

Is it better or easier to get the "NIE" number in england or spain? which is cheaper- smoother operation?
as I say we do have a long way to go yet as we are in our mid 40s still working in england.
Lots of opportunities for voluntary work in Spain, from Cruz Roja (Red Cross) to refuges for unwanted pets.

I'd wait till you're on the point of moving before thinking about an NIE. You won't need one until you are buying or renting property. AFAIK if you get one in the UK it's only valid for three months anyway? The conditions may be different after Brexit, of course.
 

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And Horchatta and Agua Valencia Chrisnation. And the wonderful mercado central
Qute so ... But one of the traditional horchaterias, by the Migulete tower, closed down and is now a shop selling tourist tat. Very sad.
 

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Horchatta is a sweet milk shake made from tiger nuts. Agua Valencia is a posh Bucks Fizz made with orange juice, cava and gin and or vodka. Both local to Valencia
 

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I would say Mijas on the Costa Del Sol. Weather is of course amazing. Beautiful area, where all nationalities mix well. Everyone speaks English, but there are lots of schools where you can learn Spanish. Good value properties for rent and for sale. Take a search for local activities, and those happening in Malaga, and you won´t be disappointed. Amazing place to live.
 

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I would suggest Gijón for all of the things you listed. Only because that's what I know since I live here.
The only thing is the weather. If you're coming to Spain for good weather don't come anywhere near the North!
But for things like, courses, hobbies, classes there are tonnes in Gijón even Spanish classes (which is where I met my 2 best friends). And they are all very cheap. Example I did Zumba for 3 months twice a week and paid a total of 24€.

Nightlife I would say is good. And the beach is beautiful (when the weather is nice!).
Of course it's go all of the above but you forgot the pista resistance - namely Subway opened their first franchise in
Asturias in Gijon last month.
 

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Ah yes of course how could I forget the Subway!! HA! Let's see how long that lasts.

Also they say a Starbucks will be opening in Oviedo sometime this year as well....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi I haven't been on the site for a long time, but we are a youngish couple in our late 40's we are now thinking on moving in about 7/8 years due to having to save up with our own savings etc, just having paid off the mortgage. Is there a lively area in Almeria where there are things to join ie: spanish classes/keep fit/ with a reasonable amount going in? we are thinking on areas like Allbox and Arboleas.
 

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I'm nearly having a seizure reading some of the OP's posts here. They have all the hallmarks of somebody who holidayed on the Costas and suddenly get inspiration that "I'd like to live in Spain."
Rule No. 1:- Don't even think of selling your house in the UK.
Rule No. 2:- Spain is not England, but probably better than England.
Rule No. 3:- Keep an open mind, closed ears, and believe nothing from anybody especially real estate agents and long-term renters (although I have been one).
Rule No. 0:- Pick an area where you wish to live in Spain. Move there for no less than 5 weeks in the off season. Rentals are fairly cheap comparatively then. But, you will learn more in that few weeks than traipsing through real estate agents offices listening to rubbish.
Rule No 0 (b):- When you are renting for the five weeks get out every day. Walk, talk, cycle, visit nearby villages, spend time eating tapas and having a glass of wine. You'll have no difficulty making friends. Better again if you use your Spanish.
Overriding Rule No. 1:- Use common sense every day. Don't rush any decisions. Don't forget if you rent out your home in the UK you will easily support your lifestyle in Spain even if you don't buy.
Overriding Rule No. 2:- Leave room for an organised and dignified retreat to the UK, if necessary.
 
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