Map of Spain
Country Map of Spain
Click on the map to open a new window to a modern shaded relief Map of Spain showing the major cities.
For driving directions & a fully scalable Map right down to street level, visit Multimap's excellent Spanish Map
We asked Pete Carpenter from R/C Airplane World to write about his experience of moving to Spain. We are pleased to publish it below:
Moving Abroad by Pete Carpenter
I remember chatting to a guy in a local pub one day back in 2000. He was moving to Spain and my comments to him went along the lines of "I know nothing about Spain, never been there, not fussed about going, I could barely name the Capital City if you asked me...." etc etc.
Within a year of having that conversation, I had met a Spanish girl in a very bizarre set of circumstances, and moved to this foreign land that I knew nothing about!
Leaving my birthplace of the New Forest, in Southern England, was a wrench. But living costs, the wettest winter on record and my unhappiness in work all contributed to the decision to go. The decision wasn't an easy one, and it turned out that we didn't do the logical thing and move to my girlfriend's area of Alicante. Instead we moved to a small town in southern Andalucia, where my cousin had just bought a small house in the hills behind the town.Throughout the whole decision-making process, the question of finding work was the number one issue. With my girlfriend being back in her own country and me being the foreigner, it never crossed our minds that her getting work would be the problem!
Map of Spain, Adalucian Provinces.
As a skilled tradesman, I literally fell into work within a few days of arriving and meeting a Belgian neighbour who was renovating an old farmhouse in the valley. But for my girlfriend, who was a hotel receptionist in England, it was a very different story; the hotel industry (in this part at least) is saturated with local youngsters willing to work for not much money (pay is very low by comparison, while the cost of living has risen substantially since the introduction of the Euro).
Unbelievably, it took nearly 3 years for Montse to get into a hotel as a receptionist! For me, work has been a mixture. I helped the Belgian guy renovate the farmhouse and build a new one, I've modernised apartments, tiled countless kitchen floors and done plenty of carpentry work, my own trade. I've even been on TV playing the part of a CIA Agent chasing Bin Laden!
Without doubt, there's something about moving overseas that does open up new opportunities, possibly because you try harder to 'get out and enjoy it'.
Of course, a huge issue is the language barrier and I'd say to anyone thinking of moving abroad, learn the language as quickly as you can to at least a basic level.
You don't have to be fluent for people to understand you! Plenty of hand gestures and made up words always work for me. The important thing is to try - walking into a shop and expecting the person behind the till to understand your English is the worst thing you can do.
Are we here forever? Probably not. Oddly enough, we've both discovered that we miss the seasons, and the wet stuff! Admittedly, the climate in this spot is unusually sunny and, for me at least, it's nice to see at least some kind of weather now and again!
Will we move back to the UK? There's a chance, but I think a move to another area of Spain is more likely. In this day and age of cheap flights, living abroad now means that home is never far away.
For anyone thinking of making the move, for whatever reasons, my advice would be to do your research, and do it well. Make sure you know what the work situation is if you're not going out to retire. Make sure that you'll be able to pick up the language. Spend time there first to get a feel for the locals and local customs. And importantly, don't put all your trust in the first ex-pat that you meet!
There are plenty of foreigners in lots of different countries who are out to scam you if they can. It's sad, but true. Common sense has to prevail; if you move to a new country with your eyes wide open, then you're going to enjoy it much more and settle in much quicker! Make yourself mix with the locals and get yourself known around town (for the right reasons!).
Moving abroad is without doubt a big step and needs a lot of planning, but the long-term reward of a better way of life far outweighs the short-term upheaval.
Even if we do end up back in the UK (for whatever reasons) moving to Spain is something that I would never regret, for the new experiences alone.
And if we do end up staying here forever, then it was obviously the right thing to do!
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