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  • Writer's pictureOlga Pavlovsky

Why I love living in Spain!

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Victoria waves goodbye to her old life.

When you ask Victoria van Peborgh why she decided to move to Spain – a long list of benefits comes pouring out! There is no doubt she loves living in Spain. Victoria who was born in Argentina and lived there all her life before moving to Mallorca in February 2020 is fulsome in her praise for her adopted homeland.

‘Here there is a real possibility of finding work and saving some money and that is a big plus,’ she says. ‘In my own country, unemployment is very high, as is inflation. Here, there is a stable currency and relatively low inflation. It makes life easier and more predictable.

The contrast with city life has been appealing, too.

‘There are no traffic jams here, even in rush hour. They are so common in Buenos Aires. I really enjoy moving about Mallorca without stress. And you feel secure on the street if you arrive home late.

‘And I love the landscape which invites you to live outdoors; people know how to enjoy work and leisure time. And then there’s the food, its variety, its freshness…….’

It seemed redundant at this point to ask why she had come to live in Spain, but she actually had different reasons.

‘I first came to Mallorca to visit my sister in June 2019 on a journey elsewhere. I was amazed at the quality of life my sister had. Less than a year later, I had moved here! My two daughters also live in Spain, and we could only meet every couple of years. So, the idea of being nearer to them was one of the reasons to consider the move.

Victoria’s first language is Spanish, and she expected that to help her settle in easily. She was wrong about that!

‘I thought it would be easy to settle in Spain since we speak the “same” language. To my surprise, there are quite a lot of different words and some we use as everyday words in Argentina are slang in Spain and vice versa. So, some expressions I might use would be frowned on in Spain. I have to be alert! And it can still be difficult to understand what people are saying.’

But the biggest challenge that Victoria faced was making an application for residency. There was far more involved in that than she had thought, even though she possessed an EU passport.

‘I found that there were many more procedures than I had thought, and many times when I went to the office I didn’t have the correct paperwork. So, I had to return with different documents or extra ones. I wasn’t aware of the correct sequence in which things had to be done.

‘The help to sort this came from other foreigners I met who had gone through all these formalities before and were eager to help and give me tips.

‘If I were to have done anything differently it would be to make sure I had the right information before beginning the process of living in another country. To know more about what it entails. But I was lucky and had no real pitfalls!’

Victoria goes on to explain that there is a great deal of openness and friendliness amongst people from other countries who have had similar experiences. She finds being part of those groups easier than getting to know Spanish people, which she has found to be another challenge. She says that Spanish people are very friendly and welcoming, but they do have their own circles.

‘But I suppose that happens in any country you try to settle in.’

None of that seems to have impacted on Victoria’s enthusiasm for life in Mallorca.

‘I first came to live in Deià in the north-west of the island to be near my sister but wasn’t sure if that was where I would settle. Yet here I am, two years later and very happy with my decision.’

*Age in Spain’s guides will help anyone who finds themselves in Victoria’s position. They provide step-by-step guidance to what is needed in terms of visas and residency applications.

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