My blog about moving to spain...
We always had a dream of retiring to Spain before retirement age but never thought this would become a reality for us.
My husband Richard had become very disillusioned with his job as a countryside ranger due to inept management lol and I found myself struggling with arthritis in my hands and my job was using a keyboard all day ( not the musical kind ) We already had a two bed holiday apartment which we purchased in 2001 in Algorfa 30 mins south of Alicante with a hope of moving there permanently one day. So a few years later out of the blue where my husband Richard worked they were offering redundancies !! Is this what we were hoping for ? We were only just 55 another 11 years before retirement age , 11 years before we would receive our state pensions but we were both very excited. We sat our 4 children down (well adults really ) discussed with them moving to Spain and as we thought they loved the idea basically they were excited about free holidays lol. The decision was made. On or around my 55th birthday we moved lock stock and barrel to Algorfa to live in our apartment. Over the years of holidaying there we had made lots of friends and knew the area well, so all was good. For the first two years life was idyllic we would wake up not believing where we were, so happy to be in Spain and surrounded by beauty and very much enjoying life. Our family in the UK at this point was expanding quite quickly and the apartment was proving to be a little too cosy when they came to visit. Richard my husband was also starting to get itchy feet ( not because he had athletes foot ) to move to another area less populated. So the next part of our journey began. Our apartment went on the market. Now when we bought our apartment it was at the height of the property boom we paid 134,600 euros but 5 months after we bought came the crash, talk about wrong time to buy but hey ho !!! We ended up selling for 70,000 which was a good price at the time. I have never been one to dwell on these things you just have to move on. Other apartments in the same bloque were selling for 55,000 euros. We sold in 4 weeks which was pretty amazing considering the times we were in. So now we started researching different areas on the old interweb, and having a limited budget we knew this wasn't going to be easy. We eventually came upon Los Molinas ( no idea how we found it ) a hamlet in the Andalucian mountains. An old cortijo was for sale 63,000 euros Richard was very excited to see it I was a little more sceptical as could see all the work that needed doing but being the dutiful wife we jumped in the car and travelled 3 hours south. When we arrived I will never forget Richards face he was so excited !! being a countryside ranger he loved the great outdoors and we were surrounded by it. I just knew this was going to be our new home and 6 weeks later it was. It took us four years to renovate the house and in the end we had a five bed two bathroom cortijo fit for a king and his queen. We only had two permanent Spanish neighbours who would put different things on our door step most days if it grew we had it from the local olive oil , melons oranges, lemons figs an array of yummyness. Then during holidays all the other houses around us which was about twenty , they would fill up with the families from Seville Barcelona Madrid and Murcia and fiestas we would have. Now we have been learning Spanish on and off for about 20 years and thinking it would progress living with all Spanish was a bad move lol !! If there was an award for failing Spanish we would have it but we plodded on. After renovating the house and because of the location of the house it was me this time that started with itchy feet syndrome. It was tiring travelling 45 mins for a pint of milk ( cannot stand the long life stuff ) fifty mins to see a doctor an hour to the beach, dare I say to Richard can we move of course I dare and I did. So here we go yet again house on the market to which most people thought we would not sell quickly because of proximity yet three months later sold to a lovely couple. What to do now !!! The idea for me was money in the bank let the bank account look healthy for a while, stay with family and friends until we decide where to go but that was not meant to be. We had friends who had a holiday home in Aigues and to be honest I did miss the Alicante province so we arranged to stay with them and take a look. Well what a beautiful little place. Still in the mountains so my husband gets his mountain fix, cycling routes, again tick for the hublet , bars, supermarket, bakery butcher and the beach only a twelve minute drive this was starting to feel very exciting. So being very impulsive we made appointments to view some properties. One of the properties was on an urbanisation not for us , another was a renovation job I nearly had a coronary looking at that one !!! Then last but certainly not least the one that was going to be our new home three bed two bath semi detached no renovation just decorating. This was perfect light and airy spacious and a sea view. Four weeks later we were the proud owners of our new home. We love our casa in Aigues its so fab walking five minutes and at the beautiful communal pool , five minutes to the supermarket everything you could want for a happy and healthy life, come and have a look we are sure you will love it too !!!.
Now we had only been here for ten days when lockdown started and the world turned upside down. Our plans of sharing our home with our families are on hold but somewhere down the line this will happen. Lockdown has not really bothered us as we are enjoying our new home and now able to go out for a walk together and discovering the beautiful countryside around us and boy it is. We look forward to meeting and making new friends from all nationalities when the time is right. Hope you have enjoyed reading what is my first and probably last blog of our journey in Spain and who knows we may get to meet you one day. Take care and stay safe Vanessa and Richard xx
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