British expat shares why living in Spain ‘can be hard’ – ‘glad I didn’t do it’

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Maddie is a British expat who moved to Spain during the pandemic after she got a job as a teacher in the Valencia region, by Costa Blanca.

But it wasn’t her first time relocating to another country as Maddie had lived in Dubai before.

She explained: “I’ve relocated twice in five years – I’m not doing it again!

“It takes time to establish yourself, lockdown or not, and I still miss a great set of friends in Dubai, but I’m now gradually making a life for myself out of work here.”

The expat admitted struggling with a couple of things when she arrived in Spain.

“Language is a barrier but my Spanish (especially understanding) is improving.

“It helped I’ve lived in Spain before.”

Maddie also shared her top tips for those who are considering the idea of moving to the Mediterranean country soon.

She said: “Communication can be hard.

“Give yourself time, make sure you are always connected to friends and family (video calls have been my greatest go to things at times).

“Have cash behind you – it costs when you first arrive.

“You need deposits etc for things. “

Maddie warned: “Do not buy anything i.e. house or car, until you are sure that all is right for you.

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“I nearly bought a new car in Dubai six months before I left, so glad I didn’t do it.

“Don’t be hard on yourself but conversely leave if you know it’s not for you.

“Take calculated risks only – be aware that most of Spain is not like it is shown on the ‘A new life in…’ programmes!

“It’s definitely not Benidorm! Or the Costas!

“It can be very cold!

“I’ve actually met a few from ‘A new life in…’ and I can tell you that away from the cameras there is a real struggle – often financial as well as other things. “

The expat added: “The health system is not easy to navigate.

“I have private medical but even with this language can still be a barrier.”

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