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Spain: The Expat Survival Guide [Paperback]

Yolanda Solo
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2007
Spain continues to rank as the most popular expat destination with hundreds of thousands of us living or owning property here and thousands more pursuing the Spanish dream each year. Yet, despite huge numbers choosing to relocate here, only a handful of expats are really successful in the long term. The rest give up on their dreams and retreat back home… poorer, disillusioned and defeated. These ex-expats found out the hard way that moving to Spain, buying property or even buying a car here can become a bureaucratic nightmare filled with struggle, frustration and unforseen costs. The good news is you can avoid the problems that catch most expats out by learning from someone who’s already experienced them first-hand. Inside, Yolanda shares… * Culture Shock - prepare for some of the big changes you will be faced with and why it doesn’t pay to be too polite! * Bureaucracy - avoid expensive mistakes and safely navigate your way through the minefield of Spanish bureaucracy involved in everything from paying a simple bill to buying a house. * Employment - find out why you may well be unable to find a job in Spain and the costs and steps involved in starting a business here. * Property - ensure it doesn’t become a financial black hole into which a seemingly never ending supply of money is lost for ever. * Resources - get hundreds of useful links along with case-studies and tips to help save you time and money. Whether you’re considering moving to Spain, have just landed or are already an expat in Spain, this book will make your life easier giving you more time to enjoy it!

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Frequently Bought Together

Spain: The Expat Survival Guide + Retiring to Spain (Retiring Abroad) + Going to Live in Spain: A Practical Guide to Enjoying a New Lifestyle in the Sun
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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Lean Marketing Press (3 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905430310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905430314
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

Moving to or buying a property in a different country is very similar to getting married or having a baby.


You plan, research, prepare and embark on your new venture feeling proud of having done everything in your power to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.


What you can't possibly do is realise the adjustments, sense of overwhelm and frustration that come with all of the above. And when you come face to face with the reality of the situation it is often accompanied by phrases such as OH MY GOD and LIFE WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN...


The key is in the invisible print, impossible to know beforehand and equally as impossible to fully grasp... the emotional consequences, the re-adjustments, changes of attitude and more.


The reasons for moving to Spain are many and varied, as are the reasons for buying a holiday home. Spain has long been a popular holiday destination with its convenient location within Europe and cheap airfares, particularly with the advent of low cost airlines. When compared to the relative doom and gloom of countries such as England with its bad weather, rat-race lifestyle, loss of community feeling it's easy to understand why so many people have considered moving to or have already moved to Spain.


Ironically, it is often the very things that make Spain such a great place to live that make you want to run screaming back to the relative normality of where you came from. The relaxed attitude, lack of urgency and the endless fiestas are fantastic once you become one of the natives, but they are also the very things that drive you to the brink of insanity when you are first entering the no-mans land of the newly arrived expat.


The biggest problem lies in the assumptions we make, not substantiated by anything other than our previous experiences in a different country, with a different culture. If I had a euro for every time I said, or heard other expats say (or rant) - "Surely they must have...?", "How they can they not...?", "How can they run a business like that...?" - I would be very rich indeed.


If you expect everything to work in the same way as it did at home, you will be severely disappointed! You have to accept that you are in a different country, with different methods. If you set your expectations to what you are used to, you will increase your frustration.


Be prepared for things to move more slowly and realise that you are not going to change the culture and you must either adapt or go crazy.


This book is not meant as a tourist guide of where to visit, how to get there etc. There is a wealth of information available on those subjects as well as the mechanics of buying a property. What is missing, is the vital information of the day to day realities of living in Spain and dealing with the Spanish way of life. If you remove those rose tinted spectacles, you will be better prepared and the transition to resident expat or property owner will be a much smoother path!


It is also important to note that while this book is based on real-life experiences, Spain is a vast country with marked regional differences. Not all expats will experience the same problems or face the same situations.


Spain is a beautiful country, with great people. But please, take my advice and ASSUME NOTHING!

From the Inside Flap

While there is a massive influx of foreigners relocating to or investing in Spain each year, there are also thousands leaving Spain - giving up on their dream, poorer, disillusioned and defeated.


Spain still continues to rank as the most popular expat destination with hundreds of thousands living in Spain or owning property there. The sunshine, the lifestyle, its got to be better than where you are right now - hasn't it? Not necessarily. Thousands of expats have found out the hard way that moving to Spain or buying a property there can become a financial headache filled with struggle and heartache.


There are ways to avoid the problems that most expats are faced with, but which are impossible to know about beforehand. Hindsight is wonderful.


Most books on Spain talk about where to go, what to see and where to stay. They also talk about how fantastic the culture, the food and the lifestyle is. What they don't tell you is the price you have to pay for leaving your comfort zone - what you know and are familiar with.


"Culture Shock" is not just a short-term condition, some people never recover and find themselves giving it all up to go back home.


The Spain Survival Guide highlights some of the most important topics related to moving to or relocating to Spain, outlining the "hidden problems" faced by most expats.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Survival Guide! 5 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
I moved to Spain with my family in April of 2007. I had already purchased Yolando's book, as well as some others. This book is the best one, however, as it deals with the little things that most of the others overlook.

Starting a new life in Spain is not easy for most people. Unless you have lots of money to throw at every problem that crops up, you will have to find other ways to cope. This book helps you prepare for the most common problems you are likely to encounter. I thoroughly recommend it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Book! 3 Jan 2008
By Kim
Format:Paperback
Reading this book was like sitting down to dinner with a best friend who'd already made the move and having them explain just what you need to know and how to avoid the many pitfalls. Mrs Solo writes in a easy to read fashion and you feel that she is completely open with the reader. I cannot recommend this enough. I thought that I knew the problems awaiting my family when we make our planned move but it's given me plenty more to think about which I hope will give us a better chance of success. Thank you Yolanda Solo!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loads of things I hadn't thought of 3 Dec 2007
By Jamie
Format:Paperback
I am planning to move out to Spain which is why I bought the book and it discusses things I had not considered before. A great book to get you thinking about all the implications involved in setting up life over there and buying property. Different to the usual guidebooks to Spain that's for sure!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spain: The Expats Survival Guide 3 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
This is by far the most comprehenive, honest and down to earth experiences of living in Spain I have come across. If you are even at the thinking of moving to Spain stage, this is the one book you MUST buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reality Of Life In Spain 12 May 2010
Format:Paperback
I've lived in Spain for the last six years and in that time (especially recently) I've seen many people come out here with little idea of what living in Spain is really all about. These are the same people who usually have to leave six to ten months later. This book tells it like it is. It doesn't give false promises of every day being a holiday like so many expats come to believe. Instead it cuts to the harsher realities of making a living, bringing up a family and dealing with the Spaniards. It helps you from the beginning to survive your move to Spain and live a happy life here...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light antidote to culture shock 20 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book outlines some of the problems that one
may encounter when moving to Spain - and dresses
up the advice on avoiding them in a light style that
hints strongly of the underlying seriousness.

The page layout includes a lot of white space and so
this is not a detail reference manual - but it is a good
overview and could set one scurrying to read the detail
elsewhere (needing MUCH more concentration to do so
but paradoxically easier as this book provides a good
map of the territory). Where else can one learn that the
temperature can shift twenty-two degrees in a day and
that social isolation is a real danger in the winter? The
first year was a steep learning curve - even for someone
with Spanish parentage. Even the book's conclusion
states that one should now go and find the detailed
information relevant to one's own circumstances - but
perhaps with a lighter heart after reading this book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written and very little data. 3 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of good reviews. I thought it was time someone wrote an HONEST review.

My no.1 complaint about the book is the way it's written; it reads like something I would expect a 12-year-old to hand in as a school project! On each page is a thin column of text which is surrounded with bizarre quotations (the sources of which are not quoted) along with random annotations pointing you to different websites or giving you little reminders about things. The problem with this is this: one has to read the main blurb, then stop to read all the little related-but-not-connected bits that are dotted around it, and then attempt to pick up the flow of the main blurb again without forgetting what one was reading initially.
Added to that are the spelling and grammar mistakes, of which there are plenty.

My no.2 complaint is simply the information given isn't throrough enough to justify paying so much for so little. All the advice that is given is subtitled: 'check again before you go as things may have changed'.
Part of the book is taken up with adverts for other books. The centre of the book is taken up with some 'personal stories', and again there is the loss of flow--these personal stories should have been put in an appendix at the end of the book, but no, there they are right in the middle of it. No explaination is given.

Ultimately, the only real advice that this book gives is this: learn Spanish as best as you can before you go, and research as thoroughly as you can before you go. And that's it!
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