Developing and maintaining close connections is the most important element in life to Tani Ruiz so a day lived in accordance with these principles is a day that she can celebrate. Read her story.
I made the move to Spain from Bangkok, where I’d lived and worked for over 14 years and had my two children. It was time to move back to Europe to be closer to my family and provide a permanent base for my kids. I chose Spain for practical reasons – namely the ease of obtaining visas and continuing the French language education of my daughters as there are many French schools here. The draws were also the climate, the cost of living and the cuisine. I had been to Spain many times as a child and always loved it.
And where are you now?
We are based in Alicante. The choice of place wasn’t easy, but in the end we settled in Alicante to be close to the magnificent beach and mountains, a 100% contrast to life in an amazing, but very polluted, Asian city with not much nature around. I was also able to find an affordable apartment within walking distance of the school, which was a huge advantage.
Alicante has great flight connections all over Europe, and Madrid and Valencia are quick train rides away. I love the fact that there’s little traffic in this region, and it’s easy to navigate around by public transport or car.
In short, Alicante has a great quality of life.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
The language was (and still is!) a challenge as none of us spoke Spanish when we arrived. My children are now fluent in Spanish, and I can get by on a daily basis. I knew there would be huge cultural differences, as I’d made the move years ago from Asia to another European country, and indeed, I did grapple with the wholly different cultural context – particularly the timing of lunch and dinner which are much later than what I’d been used to and I’m an early to bed and early riser person. But time is always a great fixer and now we’ve adapted to the environment. The other main thing was that I didn’t know anybody in Alicante so it took a while to make friends and develop connections and a sense of community.
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
If possible, it helps to know people when you first move to a new place, so you don’t feel too isolated. It’s also a good idea to have a grasp of the language beforehand. Making a “look-see” trip to the place to scout it out before you move is also a good idea. But otherwise, I’d just say take the leap. It’s amazing what doors open and what possibilities arise when you do make the move and reach out by joining different communities.
Has your move affected your business?
I work from home as a freelance editor for a range of organisations. My projects are varied in terms of the subject matter of the publications and reports that I edit and as a wordsmith, I love striving to improve the reading experience.
Working independently enables me some flexibility to pursue my interests, such as brisk walking along the beach each day and enjoying a coffee with a friend, as well as multitasking as a mum. Alongside editing, I am an author and have just published a novel, X in Provence.
If you could achieve one spectacular thing in one day what would it be?
Developing and maintaining close connections is the most important element in life to me so a day lived in accordance with these principles is a day that I can celebrate.
Something you are grateful for?
Being a mother, and publishing a novel
Who would be at your special dinner party?
Isaac Newton, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Jane Austen, George Elliott, and Cervantes to start with. I would love to talk to these literary heavyweights and the inventors of concepts that have helped to frame our conversations in science and beyond.
What’s your secret weapon?
My ability to laugh at myself and my foibles
Do you have a favourite mantra?
Never give up. That’s what my father modelled for me in his own life. What’s important is not the stumbling or falling down – life always has bumps and scrapes – but the picking yourself up and carrying on.
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
My lived experience residing in a variety of countries on three continents.
Do you have a favourite book?
Probably my favourite books is “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. This writer is gifted beyond words with the ability to provoke intense feelings. This book is a masterpiece.
Something you would tell your younger self?
To think more about the consequences of my actions – steps taken and not taken.
Thank you Tani Ruiz where can we find out more?
My website: www.taniruiz.com
Connect on my Author Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/people/Tani-Ruiz-author/61555008942582