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Expat Life

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Personal thoughts and experiences of a British family living in Valencia, Spain.

A few days ago, though it seems like weeks already, we were just continuing with our mundane daily routine. Now we are in lockdown. If caught leaving my home I could be fined or even arrested for carrying out non-essential tasks. So weird how just in a few days our…

The difficulties and struggles of becoming moderately bilingual are REAL. Knowing if an item is male or female. Trying to keep up with a conversation that has 10 people talking over each other can really make my head explode. I have a bunch of phrases and words that I can…

There are many interesting and unique neighbourhoods in Valencia, and finding the best areas to live is not always easy.  Everyone has different preferences, and so everyone will have different criteria in terms of location, local amenities, and the price per square meter they are prepared to pay for a…

Putting your child in education in Spain can be quite an expensive affair. Unlike in the UK where the majority of school materials are free, in Spain materials such as books, notepads, papers and anything else that your child will use will need to be bought by yourself. During the…

In the early days, I felt like my head was going to explode with all the new information that came with living in a different country and I particularly found it tough adjusting to the Spanish education system. While there are many benefits for a child to be bilingual, the amount…

1. The smell of Azahar Valencia is named as the Orange Blossom Coast (Costa del Azahar). Every year you can literally smell spring in the air. These small white flowers on the orange trees are called Azahar and as they bloom during spring time you cannot mistake the smell that lingers…

Even though the calçotada is a long term Catalan tradition, you don’t have to be in Catalonia to enjoy this messy gastronomic gathering! Last weekend was my second calçotada experience with friends here in Valencia. To be honest, I think it’s just an excuse for another get-together, but, I’m not…

The C Word Would you believe that we are only a little month over away until Christmas?! I started this month with good intentions, all planned out so that the ‘C’ word doesn’t creep up on me, but no. This month had been an eventful blur and chaos! Today I looked…

HOMEWORK. One word that send chills into many expat parents in Spain. A subject that can guarantee a reaction in many expatriates gathering! If you’re an expat parent in Spain with young children, I’m sure you know what I mean! Since my 8-year-old started his new school in September, it’s been impossible…

So here we are another start of the new school year. After a busy and hot summer, I’m finally glad to be back to normality… well from next week anyway. Here is a helpful guide on when the school year starts and end in the community of Valencia. The dates…

From birth until they are between 14-16 years of age, all children have to be immunised. In Spain, it is no different. Once you have moved into your new home you and your family will need to visit the local clinic to be checked and assessed, more importantly if you…

It’s been a month since my son broke up for the summer holidays. And yes you read that right, we have 12 weeks of school holidays here in Spain starting from the 22nd of June. Long gone the anxiety that I use to face back in the UK, as I…