Is it possible to just up sticks and move to Spain with children? Of course, it’s possible. The MiMove-blog met with Lena, who moved to Spain, with a son still at school and a husband who couldn’t move with them just yet.
Jonas and I have been married for 20 years and have two sons together. Jonas also has a daughter from a previous relationship, and she has a six-year-old son. We led a pretty ordinary big city family life in the capital of Sweden. Both of us worked a lot and spent a lot of time helping the children. We drove them to different activities, helped out with homework and sometimes we didn’t really have the time to stop and enjoy our life.
The eldest son wanted to move to Spain
A little over two years ago, our eldest son Linus decided to move to Spain to work as an assistant in a real estate agency in Marbella. That triggered something in me, and I started to look at my own life. What did I enjoy and want? I realised that I also dreamed of doing something else, living a different life. I have a bachelor’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Besides working in real estate, I have also worked with pensions. Now I started thinking that perhaps I could work as a real estate agent again, but this time in Spain.
We sat down for a family meeting and discussed the pros and cons. It turned out that everyone liked the idea of moving to Spain and we started to plan. The first order of business; I needed to get a job in Spain. Jonas was going to continue with his company in Sweden and commute, at least to begin with.
We decided to buy a townhouse in Nueva Andalucia, big enough for the family and visitors staying the night. We didn’t really do so much research, but we know a family living in that area. When they told us one of the houses in their “communidad” was up for sale, the choice was simple. In that sense, the process was straightforward. We love the house and the lovely communal gardens and the big pool. Also, everything is within walking distance, both the beach and town centre. It is nice not having to rely on the car for everything.
I spoke with some former real estate agent colleagues. After a short time, I was lucky to find a great job in a Swedish agency in Marbella. The transition from Sweden to Spain wasn’t challenging as I do pretty much what I did before, just in a nicer climate and in a different town. It is a little unfair to compare the two cities. They are so different… But I am pleased we dared to move to Spain, even though I probably work more here for less pay. But then again, the cost of living is lower here, so all in all, I have a great life here.
Healthy living easier in the sun
I believe it is essential to quickly get an everyday life in Spain after moving. I don’t think it is good to do nothing for too long. It is easy to get into holiday mode, stay there, and perhaps turn the day around. You don’t get enough structure of your time, and you might start letting yourself go. It should really be the other way around, as it is a lot easier to live a healthy life here when the weather is so generous. It is so simple to socialize outdoors, do sports, take a stroll on the beach and listen to the waves. The weather and the sea make the real difference. It is fantastic for your soul.
I am a bit sad that I still haven’t learnt better Spanish. I do try, but I neither really have the time nor the energy. Working a lot and speaking mainly English and Swedish at work doesn’t help, and when I come home at night, I am too tired to study. But I won’t give up. It will just take a bit longer than I initially thought.
Our youngest son attends school in Fuengirola, and he makes new friends quite quickly, which is a relief. When the kids are OK, the whole family is good. The move has been easy on us, and it feels great to know that it is working out for everyone and not just for me. All of us want to stay here.
Find more information about moving to Spain with children
The only difficult thing was to leave mum and dad behind. They find it hard with us down here. However, we see each other anyway, of course. The distance between the countries isn’t that big.
Lots of outdoor activities
We might meet up with some friends in our spare time or go for a workout. I also like horses and am considering getting one of my own. We enjoy golf, and we have got a dog. We adopted a stray dog from a triple-A dog shelter. She was so cute with her little face and beautiful eyes. Her name is Dimsy, and she comes to the office with me, so she doesn’t have to be alone during the day.
We love our new town; Marbella is superb, great selection of luxuries and glamour. Still, we can also choose to stay in some evenings or go to nearby more Spanish neighbourhoods.
On an ordinary day, I get up in the morning and take the dog for a walk. Then I have breakfast and go to the office. For part of the day, I am office-based. The rest I run around town showing and looking at properties, meeting people etc. After work, I go shopping and cook dinner. Afterwards, I may watch some TV or go for a long walk with the dog, depending on the time. We will have some family time if Jonas is home, but otherwise, I might meet with a friend. I do believe my personality is an excellent fit for Spain. There is nothing I regret with the move. We are so very happy with our move to Spain!