Its hard to imagine my life any different to how it is now. But, back in 2017 when I first met my boyfriend I was working 60 hours a week in an office and living in a fancy flat in London. Now, my home is a little finca in the beautiful Andalusian countryside which we have been renovating since 2019, and I’m dog mum to 3 big doggies which we rescued from the streets. It was quite a journey getting to this point and I want to tell you the story of how I got here, starting from the beginning…
We met on the first day of my holiday, I was sunbathing by the pool with my mum and my brothers girlfriend, it was her families villa that we were staying in for the week. It was very quiet, we hadn’t seen another person all morning, it was the end of April so the busy summer season hadn’t really started yet, but then a man suddenly appeared and dived into the water.
Thanks to my mum being the only one brave enough to start talking to him, we got chatting and found out he had just moved to Spain a few months before from Belgium to start a new gardening business and was living alone. Well, apart from his two kitties, Mary and Jane who had moved down with him in his van. How cute! He has a very typical Belgian name, but we call him G for short. He was so friendly and invited us over for a drink at his place. After that, I saw him everyday until the end of my holiday.
After spending 7 amazing days of whirlwind romance and adventure it was so sad to have to say our goodbyes. This couldn’t be the end! He was so different to anyone I’d met before, he made me see the world in a whole new light and made me think about everything differently. I had never met anyone so connected to nature, I was learning so much from him. On the last day, when he asked me to move in with him I thought he was crazy but at the same time, I knew it was the only way we could stay together…
Us living in different countries was a big hurdle to overcome. But, we were determined to make it work! So for the rest of the summer I used up all my vacation days and salary to fly out and see him as much as could. Which was pretty much a long weekend once a month. Somedays I would get the latest flight back in the evening, not get home until 4am and then have to start work at 8am that same day! It was so intense! …but, it was such an amazing summer. I was sold on moving there.
It was a little town just outside Marbella and right on the beach. The house was part of a gated community with a shared garden and a pool for us and about 10 other houses, it was such a pretty area. Every time I flew out he would be there to greet me at the gate and then in the car he would have all sorts of yummy drinks and snacks waiting for me along with some flowers he had picked from the gardens, such a sweetie!
One of the main things holding me back from moving there straightaway was my job. I had been working for Porsche for 4 years and I loved it. It had some great perks and lots of opportunities for the future, if making my way up in the company was something I wanted to do. But, by the end of the summer I had made my decision and gave my boss 3 months notice. He was so wonderful and supportive of my situation and told me I would always have a job there again if I wanted one. Knowing that kind of felt like a safety net incase something went wrong!
I was working for Porsche at the time, I had been there 4 years and I loved it! It was an incredible job with some great perks and really good opportunities for the future. But, by the end of the summer I had already told my boss I was going to leave, gave him 3 months notice and said I would stay until the end of October.
Luckily, one thing I didn’t need to worry about too much was finding work in Spain straight away as I make a small income from renting out a property in Surrey. But, I did have the idea to do some volunteering in local dog shelters while I was there. I am such a huge animal lover and always have been so thought this would a great opportunity to help out while I had some free time.
I was also kind of stuck in my rental contract for another 6 months, that was a bit of a nightmare. I ended up having to pay most of the months rent even though I wasn’t living there and traded some of my furniture for the rest.
The question people asked me the most when I told them of my plans was ‘won’t you miss your friends and family?’ but back then I knew I could just jump on a plane and go back to do some dog sitting, so it was never more than a few months that I didn’t see everyone. Although, it hasn’t been like that recently due to you know what and I haven’t been back home since January last year. But hopefully I’ll be able to go back this summer because I do miss them now!
For me, the hardest decision I had to make a was leaving my beloved kitty, Eva. I thought about bringing her with me but I knew the journey would be so traumatic for her. She used to rip he claws out in the carrier just going in the car short distances so bringing her, whether it was by car or plane, really wasn’t something I wanted to put her through. In the end, after lots of tears and brainstorming, one of my best friends offered to adopt her and I am happy knowing she is living a great life, even if it is without me.
All the things I gave up were worth it in the end and were all things that had to happen for me to follow the path that has brought to this amazing life I am living today. Incredible things can’t happen without taking a little risk and making some sacrifices, sometimes you just gotta go with it and see where LOVE takes you.
Have you ever moved abroad before? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments x