This week we meet Malaga expert and 30+ year resident of Spain, Joanna Styles. Joanna shares where she will be escaping to over the summer and how to find secret haunts in Spain.
How did you end up moving to Spain?
I had a very inspirational Spanish A level teacher who ignited my passion for Spain. In my year out at uni I travelled by train from Malaga to Granada, saw orange trees and snow-capped mountains and fell in love with Andalucía.
I’ve been here for 31 years. I finished my PGCE at York University and came to Granada to teach English. My husband was one of the pupils and the rest as they say is history. My husband is from Malaga and he set up his business in Fuengirola so we lived in Calahonda
Where do you live and why should we move there?
Malaga – it is a welcoming city, urban vibe but relaxed too, ton of things to do. My suggestions to find secret places is to aways stroll off the beaten track. Explore all the parks and gardens – lots of shady spots in peace and quiet there. Pop into the different spaces off the Pergola…
What are you favourite parts of the City?
My favourite art gallery is CAC Malaga because it’s weird and wonderful and free so if you think ‘what is this???’ you can walk back out again! All art museums are excellent obviously depends on your taste. Restaurants – loads of favourites. Views – El Ambigu de la Coracha, tapas – Taberna Uvedoble, fab food – Óleo, Araboka, La Antxoeta…
How do you spend your days?
Writing – very busy luckily at the moment. Creating content for Guide to Malaga, answering queries about travelling to Malaga and marketing our new range of ebooks. Malaga is my passion. I run as much as I can. Read avidly – I love reading – contemporary novels mostly.
Do you have any tips for new arrivals in Spain?
Always come with the view to trying it out so have an ‘escape route’ if you need it. Ie rent before you buy, let your home in your home country rather than sell. And give yourself lots of time. Spain is a fantastic place to live but it isn’t without its ups and downs. Make learning Spanish your absolute priority. Everything will be easier if you do. And of course, get a copy of the Guide to Malaga relocation guide!
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Work hard but party just as hard too. My grandfather, he was a top civil servant (instrumental in setting up the NHS) and he always regretted the time he had spent on work rather than family.
Where will you be visiting in Spain?
We’ll be revisiting Cabo de Gata again and of course, Bolonia beach in Tarifa. We’ve also booked to go to London in August to see my daughters and enjoy the city.
How can we connect with you?
As well as being host for our Costa Women Malaga group, I have Guide to Malaga and create content for businesses through my copywriting website. You can buy Your Guide to Moving to Malaga & the Costa del Sol here – Costa Women members get 25% off – just use the code CW at the checkout.
Thank you Joanna!
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