Relocation story

Richard's Move to Malaga With No Regrets

Published on 19 Mar 2024

It has been a year since Richard’s move to Malaga, and no disappointments so far. Lucky enough to keep his remote job, Richard can now benefit from all the advantages of Spanish lifestyle and culture, wonderful climate, and brighter days. But it comes which some challenges as well… 

Where are you from and why did you decide to move to Spain?

I was living in Holland and decided to move to Spain because of the climate, the culture, the opportunity to work remotely and to learn Spanish.

When did you move & where in Spain did you settle? Did you move on your own or as a family?

I moved to Malaga in March 2023. Initially I moved by myself and a few months later, my girlfriend and her son joined me.

Did you use professional help for the immigration procedures (visas, permits, any admin paperwork) and/or any relocation services (property search, schools, etc)?

I used Irina’s services and advise throughout the process of moving. This guidance was invaluable as I was British, about to switch citizenship to the Netherlands and was completely lost as to the processes, steps and requirements that allowed the relocation to be successful. Irina not only helped with the finding of a rental property but also helped through the process of establishing a bank account, NIE number, putting me in touch with an English speaking accountant local to Malaga and many other important steps.

How difficult was it to find your first home and do you still live in the same place? If you moved – tell us why

It took a few weeks, with Irina’s guidance, to finally find a suitable apartment to rent. The rental market in Malaga city can be both expensive and highly in demand. With Irina’s help, I was able to view properties as soon as they were available and avoid pitfalls such as bad agents or undesirable neighbourhoods. I stayed in the apartment for little under a year before finding a larger apartment as my girlfriend and her son joined me in Malaga later the same year.

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?

My girlfriend’s son attends the British School of Malaga which is located in the northeast of Malaga city. This is a large international school that teaches the British school system. This is a well equipped school that offers many extracurricular and sports activities. Interestingly, I would estimate that at least 50% of the pupils are Spanish and the rest are from various other EU and non-EU countries.

What is your occupation in Spain – tell us a few words. Has it changed compared to what you did in your home country?

As an I.T. consultant, post covid I was able to work from home with a lot of flexibility but felt that living in Holland was too dreary and I longed to live in a warmer country, with more sunshine and a culture that allowed me to be outside more, especially in the evenings and the weekends. While I work from home and occasionally from one of the many co-working centres in Malaga, I enjoy being able to step-out for lunch in the sunshine or to stroll along the beach after work. My work itself has not changed but I enjoy my day and time much more now that I’m living in a warmer and brighter climate.

How integrated do you feel into the local community and lifestyle?

After being in Malaga for 12 months now, I have worked hard to study and speak some Spanish, which helps greatly in the day-to-day integration and interactions with the local community. Some level of Spanish is definitely needed and appreciated when you need to communicate with local authorities, or are in shops, or visiting a doctor, dentist, optician etc. It can feel overwhelming at first to speak Spanish but being able to read and speak Spanish opens doors for understanding what’s going on in the local community, local sports clubs and to understand the lifestyle of the Spanish people.

Do you have any regrets about your move to Spain and/or miss anything from your home country?

I absolutely do not regret the move to Spain, nor do I miss anything from my home country. Spain is quite international, so it is easy to meet other international and Spanish people through language exchanges, social media meet-ups and in co-working centres. And as another big advantage, Malaga airport is very well connected to many countries, served by budget airlines. So far, no regrets!

What was the main advantage and the main challenge you experienced with moving to Spain?

The main advantage with moving to Spain for me, is simply the climate. The endless sunny days, mild winters and hot summers give me a lot of energy. The greatest challenge I have faced, and still face to a lesser degree, is the fact that you need to be able to speak, read and understand Spanish – or be willing and open minded to learning Spanish. While it may well be possible to find English speaking doctors, dentists, mechanics, policemen, opticians, insurances providers etc, in my personal experience, I had to spend a few months building up a minimum level in order to feel comfortable communicating in basic Spanish. For example, neither my doctor, dentist, neighbour, insurance provider nor local shop owners speak English. Thus, this is/was my biggest challenge which I’m confident I will overcome as I continue to follow Spanish classes at my local language school.

Any advice you would like to give to those considering or in the process of moving to Spain

My advice would be to contact Irina at and begin to understand what are the requirements and steps for your situation personally when considering a relocation. I had used Irina’s services for my own relocation and was delighted with the great service, professionalism and expertise in both helping through the paperwork, red tape and property searching. Irina’s experience and broad network of professional contacts ultimately made the move much smoother as a result!

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