When I first started thinking about moving to Spain I did quite a bit of research. One of the things that was important to me was that I didn’t wish to live in a holiday resort, or an area with a high percentage of ex-pats. I am not knocking either of these sorts of areas for people to move to, or to live in. It is a personal preference of mine, as I wished to immerse myself in Spain and the Spanish way of life.
I mistakenly thought that all coastal areas would be out for me, as surely they would all be built up by now. Obviously that is not so, as here in Almería we have some beautiful unspoilt coastal areas in the 217km coastline, including a large national park, El Cabo de Gata, whose own coastline is 14kms long.
So, returning to Extremadura, why did I decide to move there? I had seen a “Place in the Sun” episode which visited the far north of the Cáceres Province, the “comarca” or area called the Valle de Jerte, which in spring has a sight that is incredible to behold. If you drive to the top of the valley at the right time, and look down over the valley it appears as if you are overlooking a huge cloud, as two million cherry blossoms burst into bloom.
Researching Extremadura I found it was surely the type of place I wanted to live. So, I purchased a house in a small village, only 20 minutes drive north of Cáceres city. To be honest there were truly very few ex-pats in the whole of the province, and although we tended to reach out and meet occasionally, much of my time was spent with Spaniards.
One thing I loved about where I lived in Extremadura was that I could walk for miles in the countryside without meeting anyone. In fact, walking just five minutes from my house I couldn’t see any buildings or hear any traffic. And the stars ! At night, due to the lack of air pollution, they seemed to reach right down to the ground!
So why did I move to Almería? Well, to be absolutely honest, there is more to do down here in the south east, more infrastructure. It is still largely an unspoilt region, there are vast expanses of open land. However, if you want live music or a fantastic choice of restaurants, then Mojácar provides them. If you want Spanish life and culture, then that is what I have here where I live. So now I have found my perfect place to live.
It is important to be open to possibilities and not just stick to one road and stay in the same place as something better might await you elsewhere, though the openness of the mind is the important factor here! I have been talking in this blog about physically moving , as I moved from the UK to west Spain and now live in the south east of Spain.
I met a lady recently who commented that I certainly didn’t look 70 years old, I liked her immediately! She went on to say that she was 78 and lived in the house where she was born, and that she had lived there her the whole life! But this lady was lively and as bright as a button, so you don’t always have to physically move, but it is essential to have an open and receptive mind.