Today I thought I would do something a bit different for me anyway, and to follow on from the post I wrote for Tots to Travel on expat mums and give an insight into an Expat Mum's life.
I interviewed Sara Kinge, 38, who has three children aged between 9 years and less than a year. She lives with her family in Benidoleig on the Costa Blanca in Spain
Why did you leave the Uk?
We left the UK to have a baby! I had two miscarriages before I fell pregnant the third time and put the miscarriages down to the stressful and busy lives we led, all work and no play! We were very fortunate enough to both be able to take a year out, move to Spain, reform our house and have a baby.
Thankfully we did as William was born prematurely on Christmas Day just a month after arriving in Spain. I am sure if I had stayed working in the UK I would have miscarried again. Since William, Megan and Freddie have arrived without any problems so I really do believe our lives in the UK were just way too stressful
How long have you been an expat?
We have lived here now for eight and a half years.
What is the best thing about being an expat?
Not having to live in the rat race where we were in the UK!
What is the most difficult thing?
There are a few things for me, firstly finding specialists for William (he is profoundly deaf but has the huge advantage of a cochlear implant) especially English speaking speech therapists! The other thing is the language barrier, learning a language as an adult I have found so much harder than when I was at school. And of course, leaving family and friends behind, although having said that we are really lucky that we have visitors almost every month!
Is expat life how you imagined it?
Expat life is great and we are so glad we escaped the rat race and stressful life in the UK. Having been coming to our family holiday home in Spain for over 25 years we knew the area well before we moved here which I think is really important otherwise you could be in for a real culture shock as expat life although great isn't the same as a holiday!
Would you ever consider to go back?
Even now there are times when "home" calls. Especially for me with William's profound deafness I often wonder if we should have returned to the UK. However having said that he has his cochlear implant something we were not guaranteed in the UK and he is happy, which to us is more important than anything.
How did you decide where you moved to?
My parents bought a parcel of land over 26 years ago and had the villa built, we have been coming here on holiday ever since. When my husband and I were here on holiday we never ever wanted to go home as Spain feels more home than the UK. We knew the area so the decision was easy.
How long did you plan the move before doing it, ie from the point of discussing it to making it a reality?
It didn't take us long at all. We had thought about it for years and when I suffered two miscarriages and found out I was pregnant for the third time that is when we knew we need to get out of the rat race. We put the house on the market, it sold within two weeks at full asking price. We moved out of ours in the March, found a property in Spain to reform which we completed on in the April and I left work in the June. We were backwards and forwards over the summer for various family events but permanently moved here in the November. So from start to finish about 9 months.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking of doing the 'expat' thing?
My advice would be to ensure you know where you are going and understand that living somewhere is definitely not the same as going on holiday there. Make sure that if you need employment you have a job lined up and its certainly not always cheaper living abroad.
Next week: Interview with a 5 and a half year old!