Kelly moved to Spain back in 2017, wanting a better quality of life for her four children and a long-term partner. All her children are now grown, and she is happily married, to her better half whom she met in 2018, in Spain…want to read her story?
Where are you from and why did you decide to move to Spain?
We are From Northamptonshire, UK, and decided to move to Spain for a better quality of life for us and the children. As well as the better weather and for more things to do as a family.
When did you move & where in Spain did you settle? Did you move on your own or as a family?
We moved to Spain In September 2017 and decided to settle in the Malaga region of Alhaurin de La Torre and we all moved as a family. Unfortunately, my partner of 29 years and I split up after a year and I stayed in Spain with the children, and he returned to the Uk.
Later in 2018 I met my current husband, and we got married in 2021 and have been very happy ever since.
Did you use professional help for the immigration procedures (visas, permits, any admin paperwork) and/or any relocation services (property search, schools, etc)?
We used our solicitor and a Notary to obtain my NIE as I was purchasing the house and setting up the business, so this was the first thing that was needed. Irina kindly sorted out all the other paperwork for the children and my mother along with the NIE’s and then residencias.
I did the research myself regarding the school for the children by looking at schools in the area.
How difficult was it to find your first home and do you still live in the same place? If you moved – tell us why
I found it easy finding our first home as I looked at 5 properties in total from Marbella to San Pedro, and Estepona but fell in love with our current home here in Alhaurin De La Torre which is where we are still now 6 years on.
Which school do your children go to, public or private, and what is your experience/opinion of the school and general education system in Spain?
Both of my children went to Sunland in Cartama the International School and from experience it was a wonderful family orientated school and both my children loved being there. My youngest being 10 when he started, and my other daughter was 12.
Both have left school now with their Cambridge GCSE’s. I would however say that if my children were younger at the time, I would have placed them in the Spanish school as then they would have had Spanish friends and also would be fluent by now as they found it hard with the Spanish as all their friend only spoke English.
What is your occupation in Spain – tell us a few words. Has it changed compared to what you did in your home country?
I am a managing Director of my UK company designing and fitting out distribution centres all over the world. I relocated the office admin side to Spain where I work from home.
I am doing exactly what I used you do in the UK minus being in the cold weather.
How integrated do you feel into the local community and lifestyle?
I feel like we have all integrated well into our town and like to get involved as much as possible.
With anything that is carried out in the town.
We enjoy being part of the town hall Facebook page as we can see what they are doing in our town both on an entertainment level and also and improvements that are being made or general news. We also join various Facebook groups so again we are up to date with the community and anything that may be taking place.
The lifestyle change from living in Spain is the best, waking up to sunshine and taking lovely walks along the sea front as well as being just 25 mins from most of the coasts is wonderful.
Do you have any regrets about the move to Spain and/or miss anything from your home country? If yes – tell us what
The only regret I had was moving away from some of my family but luckily, we have facetime which is great, and I do miss some of my home comforts but luckily Iceland’s do most of them in Mijas ha! So, I don’t have to worry about that.
What was the main advantage and the main challenge you experienced with moving to Spain?
The main advantage of living in Spain was the climate and the lovely friendly people.
And the main challenge of moving to Spain was the stress of packing up all your home and office and relocating it to another country albeit a bit stressful I have no regrets and I love our life here and would never go back.
Any advice you would like to give to those considering or in the process of moving to Spain?
If you are considering moving to Spain don’t hesitate, go with your heart if you can financially support yourselves then you will have no regrets.
Make sure you choose an area that you think you want to be in and do all your research on that area, our Town is one of the safest and cleanest around as the mayor invests so much into the town and its people, but some towns are not as nice.
I would say if you were not 100% on where you want to settle rent first if you are thinking of buying so you know that is where you want to be.
If you have young children look at putting them in a Spanish nursery or school as the younger they are the better it will be for learning the Spanish language. It will also help them to do external sports in the community meeting new friends so they don’t feel isolated.