Name: Charles and Tracy Kitching
Originally From: East Sussex
Moved To: Alhaurin-El-Grande, Costa del Sol
In life, whenever there is a big decision to make, many of us will go through the same process to reach our resolution. We will grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the centre of it, then on one side list all the positive points of taking a certain step, and on the other the negatives.
It is undoubtedly what many people will do before deciding on whether or not they should relocate to another country. The reasons why you should emigrate go on one side. The reasons why you shouldn’t go on the other.
However, Charles Kitching has a piece of advice for any of you planning on taking this approach. Forget about the negatives! “Instead of looking at why you shouldn’t emigrate, look at why you should,” he explains. “We did and it became a no-brainer!”
Charles, along with his wife Tracy and their cat, Tiger-Lily Babycat, moved to Spain in the autumn of 2015, and settled in Alhaurin-El-Grande – a town located in the province of Malaga in southern Spain. Although they have only been living in the country a short while, both confess that such is the ease with which they have settled into their new life that it feels like they have been there for “ages”.
“We knew this area of Spain well through holidays over 15 years,” admits Charles, before pointing out that these visits had helped them hone their linguistic skills. “We had a better-than-tourist knowledge of Spanish and were (and still are) using Rosetta Stone to enhance our knowledge.”
They also say that plenty of research prior to moving (including watching A Place in the Sun) and choosing good companies to aid with their relocation – PSS for moving their belongings and Transfur for shipping their much beloved feline companion – also assisted them with a smooth transition to Spain.
There was a combination of factors that ultimately led the couple to first consider a life away from the UK.
“We were attracted by the lifestyle and associated health benefits – the sun, blue sky, warmth – of Spain,” Charles continues. “Then there was the English weather and associated detrimental health factors like seasonal affective disorder (it does exist!), and mild arthritis.”
To this list, Tracy adds a further health-based reason. “For me the health issues include Asthma which has been particularly severe the past three UK winters,” she explains. “This has included admission to Hospital and periods off work.”
Indeed, it is the laid-back Spanish lifestyle, and pleasant climate that both Charles and Tracy highlight as being the best things about their new life in Spain.
And the worst?
“We do miss valued family and friends,” admits Charles. “Although SKYPE and ease of flights to and from the UK minimise this. I also miss live Cricket (Sky helps here), live Theatre, and one particular restaurant from the UK!”
There has also been one unexpected downside to their new life. “Not having central heating and carpets in winter,” laughs Charles. “Air-conditioning is great, but cold tiles are a surprise, especially in the middle of the night/early morning!”
In all though, neither Charles nor Tracy have any major gripes concerning their new Iberian lifestyle. So, aside from the aforementioned advice, do the couple have any other tips to help newcomers make the most of their life in Spain?
“Approach it [relocating] as a project and do your research!” answers Charles. “Living here really is a no brainer.”