1. Where are you from originally?
2. Where do you live now?
Algorfa, a small village in Costa Blanca, Spain
3. What first attracted you to your new home and did you try anywhere else on the way?
We originally moved to a more ex pat influenced area called Villamartin and got a bit fed up of the little Britain way of life with hardly any Spanish in the area. We had a large villa in the first place we moved. In Algorfa we have moved into an apartment in the village close to the school, village square, shops and everything is on our doorstep. In addition we have great views over the local countryside and mountains.
4. Did you move for work or for lifestyle?
A bit of both – I felt that a good web agency who put customer service and retention before just making money and growth quickly would bode well on the work front. In terms of lifestyle I’d been fed up of the “rat race” mentality and 9-5 set in stone working day of the UK. Having worked in London, Manchester and other city locations I’ve experienced life in the fast land and felt it was time for a change to working my own hours, at my own pace and to sample some of the “manana” lifestyle!
5. What kind of property do you live in now and will you stay there?
We are in an apartment currently are looking for a larger property in the area, we’ve seen a few properties so will be looking to move ASAP.
6.What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?
I’m happy where we are now, but who knows in the future – I’m a great believer in living for the moment so wherever we end up along the way I’m sure I’ll be happy!
7. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?
I’m starting to learn Spanish, more and more each day but due to work commitments I’ve not had time to attend dedicated Spanish lessons, however being keen to learn the language I’ve interacted with the local Spanish community and also used my phrase book and online translation tools to enhance my Spanish.
8. What do you do for a living?
I’ve got a couple of ventures – A Spanish web agency and one in the UK as well as being a partner in PressPort UK; an online PR distribution business. I’ve got plans to launch a couple of completely new ventures away from the web so watch this space!
9. Where do you physically work from?
I have an office locally and also work from home.
10. Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?
A mix; my main client base is back in the UK however that’s slowly changing as my Costa Blanca web agency grows each week.
11. Do you work online?If so, what is the internet connectivity like?
Yes, always and it’s fine providing you use the right provider and speak to the providers first to get the right deal and speed for your requirements
12. What software do you commonly use on day to day basis?
The usual – microsoft programmes, wordpress for blogging, CRM systems etc…
13. What would be your top tip for online working from your new country?
Work your own way – people should accept in the modern day that it’s not all about a face to face meeting every week or networking, tools like Skype, VOip, emails and social media applications have made it easy to liaise with clients new and prospective alike without having to drive hundreds of miles or jump on trains. I’d also say work as the locals work – why change country and run yourself into the ground to suit others?
14. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros?
Pounds and Euros
15. Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?
Not really, you can get your money from your bank either over the counter or via the machines with your UK bank card – there’s just a small charge for doing this.
16. Do you have children? If so, how did they adapt to the move?
Yes, two boys and they adapted really well as they were 1 and 4 when we moved it was an exciting challenge for them.
17. How are their schools?
My eldest has just finished his first year, the school in the ex-pat area wasn’t great but since we moved the a new Spanish school they have been extremely hands on with us as parents and keen to show us one on one how he has been doing so we are very happy.
18. Are they bi-lingual?
19. Are there good future career opportunities within your new country?
That’s hard to answer – obviously Spain is one of the worst affected European states in terms of unemployment and financial strain. My own thoughts are that you make your own luck and if the jobs are not out there then do something about it and start your own venture; on that note I’d say yes if you have the drive and ambition to make a good career for yourself.
20. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?
There’s definitely more positives than negatives since moving, the lifestyle, the weather and new challenges on a work front have been great – a couple of UK based clients didn’t take too kindly to the news I was moving to Spain however I think it’s been worth losing a bit of business for long term gain.
21. What are the best things about living in your new country?
I personally love the Spanish way of life, things seem a lot more relaxed in general and people are not in the 9-5 UK mindframe or insistent on meetings for the sake of a meeting.
22. Has the move been good for the whole family?
The family love it! Learning new languages, meeting new people and new challenges every day
23. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?
Setting up a new business and learning a new language
24. Are you here for good? I’d hope so! If so, why?
I love the country so far and would hope we are here for a long time to come, but you never know!
25. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?
Go for it!
Gary Kay – I’m a 30 year old family man and supporter of Burnley FC living in South Costa Blanca, life can be tough being a claret! I run the UK franchise of www.pressport.co.uk and have just launched a new web agency www.costablancawebgroup.com. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities and also run a variety of niche projects.