Personal change has brought Cristina Mota to where she is today, facing life front-on. Cristina believes that life is not a competition, it is being in the present. Read her story.
Hi there! 16 years ago I was at a turning point in my life, I had left my first husband of 15 years and gone to London to take a Masters degree in Design Research for Disability. Only to find out that the real reason I had set that goal was to have space to re-set, time away from everyone, to gather my thoughts and feelings and feel whole again.
After a year and a half, I wasnt satisfied with the MA I was doing, mostly due to lack of University time, and lab time, and being a mature student then, made a difference. I was working and studying. I went to Portugal to see my family and we drove to Spain to see my recently born nephew.
I fell in love with Marbella, Costa del Sol, for the relaxed -quality-life balance that one can have here and the 320 days of sunshine which are actually true!
That was it, I stayed. 16 years on, I’m here living my dream life!
And where are you now?
I have lived 14 years between Marbella (Elviria, El Rosário, Las Chapas), and for the past year and a half in Casares Costa.
If you are looking for a more fast passed life, meeting new people then Marbella may be for you.
If you are looking for a more permanent, family-style, supportive life, then I would recomend Estepona.
I’ve been living in the town centre for the past 6 months and I wouldnt move away. The pedestrian walkways are amazing and you don’t need a car to do your shopping nor do your day-to-day errands. There are lots of restaurants, bars, Chiringuitos (beach bars) open all year round, and people of all ages, cultures walking, and going about their business in a very safe environment.
There are plenty of places to meet to learn Spanish and language exchanges, sports centres, clubs and creative opportunities too.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
Perhaps the biggest challenge for me was to find a suitable job.
I spoke fluent Spanish before coming over, but Andalucian is not easy to understand at first. Also the way the Spanish do business is far more relaxed than in the UK or oversees.
Interviews set for 10:30 am, you are expected to arrive at 11.00. You can waste quite a lot of time waiting around, but that’s how it goes here.
When I arrived, recruitment companies were not as professional as they are now… Ranstad was by far the best for me. Very professional and quick at getting you temping jobs and contracts.
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
Read up on where you are thinking of moving to before you decide. I suggest you ask questions to people already living here and be direct with your question(s).
Also, I recommend you start online Spanish lessons before coming over. Otherwise you will not find the time to learn it when you are over.
Most Spanish people where I live speak English, therefore it can be a challenge to practice it with waiters and people in general as they are used to dealing with lots of tourists from all over the world.
Has your move to Spain affected your business?
I am a Designer, my passion is to create objects and artwork that helps me find my roots. I am a qualified furniture Designer, I have worked many years in Interior, Graphic Design and Accessible Design.
I also get a lot of satisfaction in helping people “move on”, take the next step in their lives, and this is what I have been doing since the Covid19.
I have been delivering Holistic, creative workshops in Painting, Macramé making, Printing, Mandala drawing and Decoding & colour interpretation, and others.
My goal is to reach as many women as possible, who are going through a tough time, due to a loss, separation, loneliness, or just feeling blue, to come together and “Create Happiness”. Be with like-minded people, in a safe space and express what they are feeling.
If you could achieve one spectacular thing in just one day what would it be?
I would love to be able to share my Creative skills, Intuition/ counselling techniques in my workshops to as many women as possible to help then recover their inner-strength.
Something you are grateful for?
I’ve finally left my husband, 6 months ago now and Im living on my own in Estepona. I’m happy now, I feel free and feel “myself” again. I think this was necessary for me to come to realise that overcoming all these situations, and making it, by BEING ME and EMERCING MYSELF IN my creativity was and is my TOOL for SURVIVAL. This is where I am at now.
I want to share my story, and hopefully inspire others to move on, move forward and take CONTROL, even if no one else thinks its the right choice.
Who would be at your special dinner party?
Opray Winfrey, for showing us how WE can shape our lives, no matter what our pasts were. For the knowledge she has gained in interviewing thousands of inspirational people worldwide, Matthew McConaughy, for his great looks, and his amazing brain and spiritual onlook on life, Carrie Green for her wildly brilliant Female Entrepreneur Association, empowering women and their businesses, for her strength, consistency and determination, and many more…
What’s your secret weapon or accomplishment?
I am extremely positive and love problem solving. I like to analyse a problem and find possible solutions effectively. I make lists of things to accomplish and I get them done. This applies to my personal and work life. We know that that post needs writing, so the quicker you sit down to do it, the less worry you will have, just face it front-on.
Do you have rituals that you live by?
My mantra is to wake up every morning, and be grateful for being alive, having a roof over my head, health, a job /work I love to do, friends and repeat this everyday.
It is so easy to forget about EVERYTHING we DO HAVE and focus on the negative. What this means to me is to be EASIER ON YOURSELF. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, not even yourself. Unless you want to.
Life is NOT a competition, it is BEING in the present.
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
Self esteem, knowledge. Everything else can be taken away, but YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for what YOU TELL YOURSELF.
Do you have a favourite book?
So far I would say “The Seven Sisters” by Lucinda Riley, has given me back my inspiration and wings to fly and use my imagination.
It’s a story about 7 adopted girls, and their search for their roots. I dont want to spoil it for anyone who may want to read the book, but I would highly recomend it.
Something you would tell your younger self?
Trust your gut feeling