Moving to Spain can throw up all sorts of questions. Helen Weir is Director of Age in Spain which helps address and answer those and help you live your best life here. Read her story.
Followed my husband’s dream. But haven’t looked back!
My first memories of Spain are from family camping holidays to the Costa del Sol in the early 70’s, with vast swathes of the coastal landscape completely undeveloped (just the hoardings for the hotels that were going to be built), donkeys and carts on the little coastal roads beside the sea that later become motorways and smelling the intoxicating scent of orange blossom for the first time.
But, moving here forty years later – and living here for real – is a different experience.
And where are you now?
We live in Figueres, Gerona. We chose to live there because it felt right. For us this includes the landscape, weather, communications, culture.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
For me it was the fear of making the change. I was worried I would be giving up my sense of identity. I learnt to embraced change and carved out a new one.
And since your move?
Making the decision to come here felt like a really big deal and when it happened, it really did feel like jumping off a cliff! But, once in free fall – you just deal with it.
I felt I was giving everything up – job, career, stability, comfort – but for family reasons it was time to make a change.
Needing to have an income, we got into tourism – super hard work, lots of lessons learned and a great way to meet people.
I had worked in the charity sector and was given the unique opportunity to support the development of Age in Spain. Which is what I am doing now. The organisation helps secures a firm future for all of us as we live our later life in Spain. It is the first national charity in Spain to be dedicated to the welfare of English-speaking older people. It aims to empower older people to lead fuller lives in their adopted country.
When not working and inspired by the incredible landscapes here, I started to paint – why did I ever think I had no talent?
And I also care for abandoned animals that seem to find their way here!
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
Consider the options, plan ahead and be brave. We only live once!
Something you are grateful for?
I am grateful that I embraced that change and the unknown.
What’s your secret weapon or accomplishment?
Being me and comfortable with my imperfections.
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
I realise that nothing material really matters long term.
Something you would tell your younger self?
Go for it.