Javea Costa Blanca Expat Interview Simon Thompson
What is your name?
How old are you?
Where were you born?
Southend, Essex, UK
Were do you live now?
Javea, Costa Blanca
How long have you lived in the area?
14 years full time, but been coming here since 1984
Are you living alone or with your family?
I live with my fiancé, Sharon
How often do you visit your home country?
I have been back to the UK only two times, the last time was 9 years ago, and was for a mere 5 days on both visits!
Retired or working (If working what do you do?)
Working as a Head Chef
Do you speak Spanish and do you think it’s important to speak the local language?
I am by no means “Fluent”, but I speak and understand enough to get by in day to day conversation. I do however think that any person who decides to move to, and live in another country, should make the effort to learn at the very least, the basics! If I had more time, I would definitely make the effort to improve my Spanish
Do you miss home and family sometimes?
To be honest, no, not really! Since the advent of the “Interweb”, communication with family abroad has never been easier! It would however be nice to be able to go out for a beer with my brother occasionally!
What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home?
When we first came out here, which was only supposed to be for one month, we lived with my mother in her villa on Montgo. During that month, Sharon and I both found work and decided to stay. After my Mother passed away, we continued living in the villa until we sold it. Since then, we have been living in rented accommodation, in fact, the same house for the past 6 years!
What is your Favourite thing about living in this area?
Apart from the obvious things, the weather and the fact that Javea is such a beautiful place, there is an incredible community feeling about the place. Everybody, no matter where from in the world, will help if they can, and they always say “Hello”
What is the worst thing about living in the area?
OMG! Paperwork! They LOVE there paperwork over here! Oh, and it gets cold in winter!
What is the cost of living in Spain compared to your home country?
Generally, things are still cheaper over here, however over the past few years, prices have been rising steadily to bring Spain more in line with the rest of Europe.
How would you rate the healthcare in Spain?
As we have been paying into the Spanish system for over 10 years, we are both in the Spanish social system. Friends who have had first hand experience of the healthcare over here, rate it highly! Touch wood, I have so far not had to find out for myself
Is it easy to make friends in the area?
Extremely easy! With the vast amount of bars and restaurants in the area, and the amount of entertainment that is on offer all year round, it is a haven for making new friends!
Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Spain and any advice you would give anyone considering moving here?
Before moving here, I would recommend coming out a few times first, preferably at different times of the year, so you can get a feel of what it’s like, for example in winter as opposed to summer. It will also help you in checking out the local schools etc. before you make the jump!
Do you have a favourite place to eat in the area?
Being the Head Chef of a well known local English restaurant, we tend not to go out to eat, however, there are so many great places to eat locally that you really are spoiled for choice
Do you have any opinions or help that we have not asked about above?
My parents spent 3-4 months a year for 3 years driving up and down the coast of Spain, visiting and spending time in all manner of towns and villages, looking for somewhere to spend there retirement. They chose Javea! Need I say more…