Relocation story

A Story of a World Citizen Moving to Malaga for Love Reasons

Published on 5 Jun 2024

Ogan came to Spain 5 years ago for the most beautiful reason that exists – for LOVE, and since then not only he turned his love into a marriage but also fell in love with the country itself and now can’t imagine living elsewhere…are you ready to hear his story? 

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

The question “Where are you from?” always confuses me and makes me think like “Do you mean where I was born? Which passport I carry? Where I feel I belong the most?”
I identify as a world citizen – however, I was born in Turkey, lived in Turkey, Jordan, Germany, The Netherlands and currently in Spain.
Like many others who made the move to Spain, I moved here for love reasons – in contrast to some others who come for the sun, beaches and weather.

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

I moved to Spain on my own in July 2019 and settled in the city of Torremolinos situated in Costa Del Sol. I moved here as I met my partner who already used to live in Torremolinos while I used to live in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Funnily enough, my partner had also moved to Spain before me for love reasons – as the famous saying goes “Everything happens for a reason”; here we are in 2024, married with our 4 cats.

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

I was lucky to stumble upon Irina online while I used to live in The Netherlands – she handled my padrón, residencía, pareja de hecho in 2019. A highlight I will never forget is the fact that I received the confirmation on my residencía the same day of my application which is a process that usually takes several weeks or even months.
3 years later after my move, we called Irina again to assist as with our marriage. Funnily and luckily, we experienced another highlight in 2022 as our marriage application was approved only in 4 weeks which is also a very special and rare case.
This proves that proper preparation is everything and working with an experienced professional like Irina makes your life much easier and takes away all the stress.

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 was very lucky not to have to search for a home as I moved in with my partner who already had lived in Spain. 3 months after my move, a penthouse with a gorgeous sea view and bigger space in the same building became vacant. Again, funnily and luckily enough, we found out that it belongs to the same landlord who owned our previous apartment – we did not hesitate a bit and moved all the way up in the same building. We still live here in the heart of Torremolinos and absolutely love it.

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 sales manager in the tech & software field and manage a team of sales development representatives who sell cutting-edge technology solutions to businesses in the DACH & UKI territories.
I studied architecture and never had the thought to work in a field outside my studies – however, once I moved to Spain, I fell into sales within the tech field thanks to the languages I speak and absolutely loved it.
This is my second people management position within the last 5 years in Spain and I still have a big passion for what I do on a daily basis.

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

Even though I speak Spanish, feel integrated and love the Spanish lifestyle, I wish to immerse myself more in the Spanish culture the same way I did in the countries I previously lived in.
This is one of my shortcomings in Spain as I think that I could absolutely do much better that what I am currently doing.
Having a job in a field where I am not required to use Spanish at all and a household where we also do not use Spanish on a daily basis, makes my Spanish learning journey much slower which results in me shying away from having in-depth conversations with locals. 
My 2024 resolution is getting fluent in Spanish and now I am practicing on Babbel on a daily basis.

Do you have any regrets about your move to Spain and/or miss anything from your home country? If yes – tell us what

No regrets whatsoever – moving to Spain has definitely been one of the best decisions in my life even though I never planned it in the past.
From the previous countries I lived in, I miss certain elements such as the structure and organisation of Germany, ease of getting bureucracy done in a fully digitalised manner in The Netherlands, family in Jordan, food in Turkey.
However, whenever I travel out of Spain and come back home, I always realize how much I love our home here and I cannot imagine living anywhere else anymore.

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

There are so many advantages of Spain such as lifestyle, weather, open-mindedness, lower living costs compared to Western European and Nordic countries – however, it also comes with challenges such as bureucracy and difficulty of integration unless you are extremely assertive.
One main challenge I experienced in the beginning was Spanish people in public authorities not being helpful once they notice you cannot speak Spanish well – they want to get rid of you instead of going out of their ways to support you.
This is an extreme contrast compared to Western European and Nordic countries where people usually switch to English to help you get your work done.
5 years later, I am doing a much better job now – if I still realise someone wants to get rid of me, I simply repeat my request until I receive the help I need to get my work done.

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

I definitely recommend using professional immigration services as everything in Spain could be quite complicated, even though you might have moved several times previously. Bureucracy in Spain is extremely complicated and you might end up paying much more and wasting time for your mistakes if you do not work with a professional from the beginning, so do not cut corners in this aspect. Irina knows what she is doing and deserves every penny – do not hesitate to contact her and she will make your life much easier.

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