InterNations Featured Blog
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Spain, etc.
My name is Molly, I have been living in Spain since 1998. First in Barcelona and then moved to Andalusia. I am fluent in Spanish. I run a blog and twitter account helping Expats and travellers who are heading to Andalusia. My full time job is in the corporate environment. I work for a large Spanish multinational company. Interested in Social Networks & PR, I love Spanish food & culture. My insider tips and local knowledge are of great value to anyone interested in these areas of Spain.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I realized that a lot of Expat blogs in Spain were focused on the good life. People who have retired and were living in Murcia, Malaga or other coastal areas. My story seemed quite different. Living inland in an historic city completely immersed in Spanish life with barely any foreign friends. I wanted to concentrate on communicating the authentic Spain.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My readers’ favourite blog entry is a photo essay of the Alhambra palace.
But personally my favourite is this one about the difference between Tapas, Raciones and montaditos. Many people are surprised when they read this as they do get them mixed up.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Spain differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
As I had been visiting Barcelona since I was 12 years old I don’t really believe I experienced Culture shock. But, as any expat, I certainly have lots of anecdotes and embarrassing situations to recount, particularly when language learning comes into it.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Spain? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No one is ever fully prepared when they move countries. There are always unexpected things that occur. As I was young when I moved and had low expectations it worked out well but it would be preferable to secure a job if at all possible.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Spain?
- Make sure that you have planned well financially. The job market is very tough at the moment and jobs are not easy to come by. Not even part time work.
- When you visit a place on holiday it isn´t the same when you live in a place. Choose the place you choose to live in carefully and take time. Please rent accommodation (don´t buy property until at least 1 year).
- Please learn some of the language.
How is the expat community in Spain? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
In Spain there are lots of Expats. The most numerous groups tend to be Young Erasmus students, pensioners who have retired here and those people who spend half year in the UK and half year in Spain. To find people who work and have a similar lifestyle to me was trickier. Especially as these people are usually immersed with the locals. I now know a lot of these expats too.