“Anywhere but Spain!” was the cry of Soraya Gwynne-Evans. Soraya is now embracing the life and believes that everything happens for a reason. Read her story.
I was just looking to leave the UK and I didn’t know where I wanted to be. ‘Anywhere, but not Spain because it’s too English’ 😂 that’s what I thought back then in 1994. But an accident meant I couldn’t work so I took the first flight I could get out of the UK and that brought me to Malaga where I was able to completely re-frame my opinion of inland Spain and ultimately make the move here in September of the same year. It was a story of synchronicity, destiny and impulsive decisions!!
And where are you now?
I’m located near the small town of Villanueva de la Concepción at the foot of the El Torcal national park.
I fell in love with this area when I came here 30 years ago because of its stunning beauty, authentic Spanish community and laid-back lifestyle.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
I took it all as one great adventure and I can’t really say there were any big challenges. Of course, I came to an area with low to zero employment opportunities but I was able to work with the local children as an English teacher and I soon built up a rapport with the community.
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
For me, it would be to embrace the challenges as being a part of your adventure. If you don’t expect everything to be easy and you come prepared to face some challenges, then you’ll be less likely to struggle when you do come across some hurdles.
And you are a life lover… ?
Oooh yes I love life so much. I get to share on my blog Love Vegan Living – which is all about getting the most out of life with a joyful healthy vegan lifestyle with topics as varied as writing about life strategies, wfpb recipes, yoga, mindset and manifesting and I get to coach women to shift their mindset and achieve their dreams. It feels to me as though I was born to do this work and my whole life was leading up to this moment. I also enjoy meeting new people, learning new skills, doing yoga, hiking through the stunning scenery, swimming, painting, and reading.
Something you are grateful for?
I am so grateful for my family and for the place where we live.
Who would be at your special dinner party?
Such a difficult question!!
I would invite Stacey Boehman because she’s inspired a lot of my coaching philosophy – she believes in giving of ourselves 100% – she doesn’t believe in promoting and trying to sell yourself, as so many other well-known coaching schools do. Instead, offer as much value as you possibly can and if somebody wants to work with you, they will. I love this attitude because it’s in alignment with my core beliefs. I hate people trying to sell to me, so I never want to do that to others either.
I’d also invite the Buddha and Christ because it would be so fascinating to hear from their lips how they think about the world.
And I’d invite Oprah Winfrey because she’s met so many incredible people in her life and has achieved so much, it would be inspiring to get to meet her in person.
And Dr Michael Klaper because of his work on reclaiming health through eating a whole foods plant-based diet, and James Asprey for his work to promote a vegan lifestyle and raise awareness about the unnecessary and extreme suffering of the animals.
What’s your secret weapon?
My secret weapon is a deep faith in everything happening for a reason, for not believing in regrets, a deep belief that everything works out exactly how it’s meant to. And a positive constructive mindset.
Do you have a favourite mantra?
Because that way we can learn from difficult situations and take back our power. Be curious and find something positive to learn from whatever situation appears negative.
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
My elderly horse. He had been with me for years and he was a part of my family. I never believed in ‘selling’ a life/friend (as people used to sell horses) and so he came and lived out his retirement here in Andalusia along with a rescue pony for company.
Do you have a book film?
Sapiens – A brief history of mankind. This book puts into perspective how short a time span we humans have been on this earth and it also helps to highlight the evolution of some of the models we commonly buy into, such as the story of money for example.
Something you would tell your younger self?
You are enough. You are not worth less than those who are around you. Be authentic, be true and don’t be scared to be seen by others.