Expat Focus blogs, Uncategorized

Interview with Expat Focus

interview
Photo by Steve Bustin

My latest article for Expat Focus is an interview about being an expat. I was asked to answer a few questions related to my experiences living in Spain, including information about why I came here, what first surprised me, challenges of bringing up bilingual children, and advice for families wanting to move to Spain.

For a look at my previous articles for Expat Focus check out my columnist page.

Thanks

 

Expat Focus blogs, Uncategorized

Is it easy to bring up bilingual children?

bilingual-spanish
Bilingual Spanish kids? How do you do it? Photo by Estrelas

Nope. At least not as easy as I thought it would be. In my latest article for Expat Focus titled Bringing up bilingual children just isn’t that easy I give examples of other parents I know and their experiences with battling with the two languages, my own situation, and also some tips for anyone in the early stages with young kids.

For a look at other articles I’ve written about life as an expat have a look at my column page.

Annoying things in Spain, Expat Focus blogs

What to Watch Out for with Dodgy Del Boy Estate Agents in Spain

Dodgy estate agents
Dodgy dodgy estate agents… Photo by MsSarakKelly

We all know that most estate agents would sell their own grandmother’s ancient ballerina jewellery box to buy themselves a crusty bacon roll, so just imagine the sort of dodgy tricks the ones in Spain are trying to pull.

If you’re thinking of buying a place in Spain via an estate agent then there are a few traps you need to be aware of which could save you thousands.

Check out my latest article for Expat Focus titled Be Careful of Dodgy Estate Agents in Spain to get an insight into the types of sneaky scams these conniving money suckers are trying to bring off, including hidden fees, illegal tax evasion techniques and plain daylight robbery.

Cheers

Expat Focus blogs, Great things about Spain

All you need is love…and a dictionary.

All you need is love expat sevilla
All you need is love, a dictionary, and a yellow submarine. Photo by Zardozspeaks

Have you given up living in your own country for a romantic rendezvous? Did you plan on living abroad for a year or two but got captured by one of those freakishly sexy members of the opposite sex? I guess I did. If I’m totally honest I know there are much more exotic places to live in the world apart from Sevilla, but that’s where my wife is from, so that’s where we are (at the moment). If this rings any bells then you might be interested in reading my latest article on Expat Focus titled Did You Become an Expat for Love?

For a look at my other articles about expat life then have a look at my Columnist Page.

Thanks for reading,

Expat Focus blogs, Great things about Spain, Life as a guiri

Why you should try being an expat

Considering leaving your home soil for some fresh mud? Ever wondered what it would be like to live abroad in a foreign country where no one knows your name, cares about what you have for breakfast, or gives a damn about your bizarre taste in trashy pop music? It’s not for everyone, you have to be a bit mental, like putting yourself through agonising situations, and have enough patience to tolerate frustrating foreign bus drivers.

Expat life in Spain - curiosity
Nothing more to say. Photo by mnwatts

If you think you might be up to the challenge of being an expat, more difficult than just going on a safe trip around the world, then have a look at my latest blog on Expat Focus titled Why everyone should have a bash at being an expat. In the article I talk about the power of curiosity, learning another language, in need of fresh romance, and wanting to have a fistful of anecdotes to tell your loved ones.

If you’re keen to know more about Expat Life in Spain then check out my Columnist page.

Thanks for reading.

Expat Focus blogs

Reflection on 2014 and some expat resolutions

Another year has flown by. Why do we always say that? “Oh, doesn’t time go so fast these days?” I suppose it does really. The older you get the more responsibilities you have, and the less time you have to just sit around and play with lego, unless you have a baby, of course.

2015 expat
That’s me, refusing to go back to the nest. Photo by Finn Frode

Last year was a pretty amazing year for me, partly because I finally decided that I’m going to be a life-long expat, but mainly because I learnt how to become a Dad. I’ve given up considering moving to another city, or flying back to the nest. I’m done wondering whether the grass is greener. It’s time to just shut up and get on with it. That’s why I wrote my last article for Expat Focus titled Onwards and Upwards.

If you’re an expat then have a look at some of my other articles on my Columnist page.

Have a great new year.

Culture Shock, Expat Focus blogs, Humour

Navidad, Navidad, Crappy Navidad!

Okay, Christmas in Sevilla is not crappy, it’s not as special as it is back in London, but it’s not crappy. It’s just that I’ve adopted my own version of the song ‘Navidad, Navidad, Dulce Navidad.” My wife tuts when I sing it, and fair enough it’s not the most jovial song for Christmas, but it’s become my anthem at this time of year.

Just like my trip home at Xmas. Photo by Puzzler4879
Just like my trip home at Xmas.
Photo by Puzzler4879

I love Christmas: stuffing my face full of goodies, gathering with friends and family, and barging people out the way in the shops. Last year I celebrated Christmas in Seville. It was my first time, and probably won’t be the last time, but I much prefer it at back home. Mainly because I’m with my own family and mates, but also because it’s just a bit more special back in England.

I did enjoy Christmas in Seville, and there are a lot of reasons why it can be special. To read more check out my latest article for Expat Focus titled You Can’t Beat Christmas with your own Kind.  

To have a look at my other articles for Expat Focus have a look at my Columnist Page.

Hope you all have a great Christmas. Be back in the New Year!

Expat Focus blogs

Are you a life-long expat?

Sometimes I forget how beautiful Sevilla can be. Photo by Calvo Pastor
Sometimes I forget how beautiful Sevilla can be.
Photo by Calvo Pastor

Do you think you could be an expat for the rest of your life? Maybe you’ve already stepped too far over the line and haven’t realised it yet, but how do you know?

To find out some sure signs have a look at my latest blog on Expat Focus titled How you know when you’ve become a life-long expat. In this article I write about speaking a weird mixed nationality language, wondering where your home is, when the buzz disappears, and how routine sets in.

To have a look at some of my other articles for Expat Focus have a look at my columnist page.

Expat Focus blogs, Expat Issues

What have you learnt as an Expat parent?

Why do people stare at me so much? Photo by Morton 1905
Why do people stare at me so much?
Photo by Morton 1905

After surviving my first year as an expat Dad without too many major hiccups, I’d thought I’d share a few thoughts on what I’ve learnt so far. It’s been such a great year and an immense learning curve.

The article was posted this week on Expat Focus and is titled Five things I’ve learnt in my First Year as an Expat Dad. I talk about how life has changed, interfering Spanish grannies, how people stare, feeling more at home, and why I love being a Dad so much.

To have a look at my other articles for Expat Focus you can see my Columnist Page.

Expat Focus blogs, Great things about Spain

Is returning home an option?

Could you leave your expat country? Photo by boltron
Could you leave your expat country?
Photo by boltron

Do you ever wonder about whether you could return home to your native country forever? I reckon I do at least once or twice a day. I might get annoyed about something and think I’d be better off in England, see a new photo of my nephew and wish I could just pop round the corner and take him out for a game of footy, or get to Friday evening and wish I could go out for a few beers with my mates from back home. But could I ever return for good? I’m not sure.

If this happens to you, then have a look at my latest article on Expat Focus titled Could you ever return home for good? I talk about reasons why I could go home, such as banter, London, and Premiership football, and also reasons why I couldn’t, like the weather, pace of life and cost.

To have a look at other articles I’ve written for Expat Focus check out my columnist page.

I’ve been a bit slack on posts over the summer, but things should be returning back to normal now. Cheers.