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Spain : Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

By Mr Grumpy - Wed 3rd Apr 2013

I was looking over one of the Gazillions of expat forums there are on the net the other night.

One young guy was asking the same old question which is asked at least a dozen times every single day : “How can I move to Spain ?”

The usual easy going regulars were happy to chip in with the odd piece of useful advice, but one particular contribution rankled with me.

“You need to have a watertight plan – and stick to it” He said.

The contributors opinion, sure, but I couldn’t help but wonder what century, and on which planet he was living on. I noted from previous threads that this particular forum member had commented on, that they had moved to Spain in the 1960s. Sure, they had a wealth of experience to pass on to anyone who would listen, but I couldn’t help but think that they had failed to grasp that the Spain which they moved to in the 1960s was a different place to Spain in 2013.

He had also failed to take into account the personal circumstances of the person asking the original question.

And in any case, how is it possible to make a 100% watertight plan of a subject you have so little understanding of. Sure, you can do some thorough research, but there are always going to be grey areas and sooner or later you just have to take a leap of faith and trust that things will work out.

And in my own personal case I am proud to say my move to Spain included absolutely no plan whatsoever. Even if I did have one, I’m pretty sure it would have deviated at the very first obstacle.

The old-timer had also failed to take into account that life in general – particularly life in Spain – rarely goes how you hoped or had planned. It’s generally about how you are able to react to change and handle difficult circumstances that dictate the level of success or failure that can be expected.

Personally, whenever anyone is stupid enough to ask me my opinions on whether they should make the move to Spain or not, I trot out my old favourite “Seven Deadly sins” routine – or basically, tell them that anyone wishing to successfully move to Spain should have at least one of the following :

* Be independently wealthy

* Speak a good standard of Spanish

* Have a firm offer of a legal job waiting for them

* Have a good support network of family and friends already in place

* Have a profession or trade that can be picked up quickly and easily

* Already own / have use of a property

* Have a Spanish partner

Then again, I had none of the above. Sometimes you have just got to go with it, or you are danger of doing nothing at all !

Comment on this Blog

Bazza, learning Castilian to a high standard is all well and good... until you find yourself living in a rural inland village where only the regional language is spoken and understood...
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 6th Jul 2013
Gotta agree with the sentiment. You can read and plan and investigate and plan but nothing will ever happen until you do. For myself, as a new arrival, I really wish I'd spent more time learning the lingo. You can get by with a few rehearsed phrases but you miss out on a lot. So my advise would be to have at least basic Spanish and if you do you'll find you can answer most of your questions yourself.
Bazza - Wed, 26th Jun 2013

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