Meet Maria Jose, one of our Spanish members, who has come home to Malaga after living in the UK for 21 years.
Where are you based in Spain?
I am originally from Malaga, where I have been now for the last 3 years. I went to the UK as a 22 years young to improve my English, I ended up staying for 21 years, I got married to my soulmate and have 2 wonderful children. We always came home for holidays, and it was our dream to come back one day. 3 years ago my husband was given the opportunity to move, as he had to travel a lot for his work, so it didn’t matter where he lived, so we jumped at the chance.
Why should we move to Malaga?
I live in near the city in Miraflores del Palo, although my dream was to find a house in La Cala del Moral, which is where I am from and where my parents are. But we are only 10 minutes away from there, and we still go there every weekend, we love La Cala del Moral, and Rincon de la Victoria. The reasons why I love it so much: – Child friendly – Beautiful beaches and great variety of restaurants. – Wonderful people – Still remains very Spanish and it’s very close to Malaga city.
What was your biggest challenge for your move back?
My biggest challenge was my children, they were 9 and 5 at the time, and I wanted them to be happy with this move, so choosing the right school for them was very important, as my daughter is dyslexic I wanted to get her into an International or English school, to make sure she didn’t have to struggled so much. We chose a wonderful school, they have been there now for 3 years and thriving.
Any tips for women thinking about making the move?
I will say to them, make sure you make a list of everything you need to do before you leave and make another list of the things you will have to do when you move. I lived by lists on those days specially, we had so many things to sort out, as we were renting our house in the UK as we were moving to Spain. Also make sure you visit the place where you want to move to, and explore it and make sure is the right place for you. Also learn some Spanish, and if you don’t speak any, then that’s why I started my business 🙂
How do you fill your days?
My days at the moment are spend around my children and my new business. I started my business in March this year, it’s called Help at hand – English and Spanish and it’s based on my own experience doing all the paperwork here in Spain, as my husband is English and his Spanish is not great, I am the one that deals with everything, and I also accompany him to his doctor’s appointments, etc. So that was the idea behind my business, help people here in Spain that doesn’t speak much Spanish and helping them with any paperwork they might need, as paperwork here in Spain is so much more complicated, the system is just crazy.
Celebrating something you have achieved?
My masterpieces are always going to be my children. I also had a business for 5 years in the UK that I am very proud of, I taught children Spanish in the UK in schools and nurseries. And now I am also very proud to have started my new business venture here in Spain, helping people with their paperwork and the language barrier.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I would invite to a dinner party I would invite Nelson Mandela because I can learn so much from him, he is someone I always admired. My grandma (my dad’s mum) who I never met, she was a very interested woman, a bit of a revel and activist, so I would love to get to know her. We wil eat delicious tapas and red wine (Ribera del Duero).
What is your secret weapon?
Being bilingual, I can communicate with 80% of the population.
Your favourite saying?
Never say never and Rome wasn’t build in a day, because it makes me keep going everyday.
One thing you had to bring back to Spain with you?
My memories of all my friends in the UK, something that nobody can take from me.
Favourite song and why?
Brand new Heavies – You’ve got a friend – because that’s me with my friends!
Something you would tell your younger self?
Don’t worry what other people think of you, be yourself, your past mistakes are powerful lessons and wear suncream.
Where can we connect with you?
Through my Facebook page – Help at Hand English and Spanish
Thank you Maria Jose and welcome home!
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