"My husband Craig and I have lived in Javea for 2 years now. The catalyst to the move was the fact that he began working offshore and so we found ourselves no longer tied down or restricted in the choice of where to live. As we wanted to start a family – where we chose to live was focused around where we would like to bring up children, as well as com-mutability for Craig to be able to fly readily back and forth from Scotland for work.
We did a lot of research online, looking at Italy, France and Spain, and gradually narrowed the search to Spain due to the cost / duration of flights, year round weather and general culture. Javea was highlighted as being one of the healthiest places to live due to having its own 'micro climate' so we decided to come on holiday and see what it was like. After a week of being here, the decision was made and we moved a few months later.
As Craig was offshore when we moved, my mum came over with me to help get settled in and unpack the shipment of our belongings and after a week I was here, by myself without speaking a word of Spanish, having a job or knowing anyone. I expected to find it a daunting experience to begin with but what I found was that the ex-pat community here are exceptionally friendly, helpful and welcoming as everyone has been in the same position. In addition, the local Spanish community are welcoming and friendly and appreciate when you make the effort with the language. Thanks to my wonderful next door neighbour - who introduced me to lots of people – I quickly settled in and felt at home.
As well as the friendly people, there are a lot of resources geared towards the offshore / ex-pat community to provide assistance with the transition and to make it easier to meet people – like Javea Connect and Oil & Gas Life Facebook pages and the British Expat web site, to name a few.
There are also Facebook pages like Citizens Advice Bureau Spain – which is a life saver to navigate your way around the sometimes complicated bureaucracy. Whatever situation you're in – you never have to look far to find someone willing to help. My husband and I now have a 4 month old baby girl and the medical care we received throughout the pregnancy, birth and which now continues is excellent. The doctors and specialists here are very thorough and unlike in the UK where I sometimes felt 'fobbed off', here you always get the medical attention you need.
From a social standpoint there are also baby groups to join and there are a considerable amount of people in the same position who have children and are here, by themselves for long periods of time and I never find myself short of things to get involved in when it's just the two of us here on our own.
After two years of living here I can't imagine having to move back to the UK. The offshore rotation allows us to have a fantastic family life in a beautiful, culturally rich country, and will allow our children to grow up in a family friendly environment with a healthy outdoor lifestyle."
Siobhan, Javea, 2015
Thanks to Siobhan, Craig and Ameli.