Javea Costa Blanca Expat Interview Peter Hayward

What is your name?
Peter Hayward

How old are you?                                                                                         57

Where were you born?                                                                            Kent UK

Were do you live now?                                                                           Javea

How long have you lived in the area?                                                        “I have been in Spain for 18 years, the last 5 in Javea”

Are you living alone or with your family?                                      “I live with my wife and 10 year old son, who was born in Spain”

How often do you visit your home country?                                            “Once a year, and then usually only for a weekend”

Retired or working (If working what do you do?)                                    Retired

Do you speak Spanish and do you think it’s important to speak the local language?                                                                                           “I think it is really important that the Brit’s who come here realise that although we are a community, we should integrate and not keep ourselves separate. And the best way to integrate is to at least make an attempt to speak the language of the country we have chosen to come to, if not, we should have just stayed in the rain”

“If there is a single thing that has surprised me about coming here (to live) is that the Spanish people are supremely welcoming and un-hostile. I feel that I am actually treated better as a foreigner than some people from (for example ) the Catalan or Basque regions”

Do you miss home  sometimes?                                                           “Like a hole in the head”

What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home?                                                                                                                        “I bought my first (Spanish) house in 1997”

What is your Favourite thing about living in this area?                                “Knowing you can arrange outdoor based activities knowing you will not have to cancel them

What is the worst thing about living in the area?                                             “Paperwork, and civil servants who are often not desperately ‘civil’ because they know they can not be sacked” … “But nothing else”

What is the cost of living in Spain compared to your home country?                                                                                                                 “Cheaper, but not as spectacularly cheap as it was”

How would you rate the healthcare in Spain?                                              “Good.. I have the Spanish healthcare system, but I also have private health insurance” I must say that it annoys me that Brits come here having contributed nothing to the (Spanish) social security system and then complain about it. We should have private insurance because who are we to expect Spanish taxpayers who have been contributing all their working lives to pay for us who only recently arrived?”

Is it easy to make friends?                                                                       “Yes, even for antisocial people” …. “It is all related to the sun and the fact that we are outdoors, so automatically you become more extrovert than you would be if you were in the UK where you live behind closed doors for most of the year”

Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Spain?                 ” You may have been on holiday and think everything is lovely, but before you decide if the area is for you, especially if you are thinking of buying it is essential to rent, not buy, and visit at different times of the year, as you may find that the sun does not reach the houses in that area at all for two months of the year.”

Is there any advice you would give anyone considering moving here?                                                                                                                             “I dont want to encourage too many people, but do your research, and don’t be overly influenced by a weeks holiday when you are not working and it isnt raining”

Peter is a member of Javea Bridge club

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