I connected with Mel and Marie just lately, from one particular webmaster to a further, by way of functioning on our mutual internet websites. I identified out that the couple had just lately moved to Spain from Britain and set up an adventure travel corporation that soon after one particular only year in business enterprise is currently performing fairly nicely.
Lots of of you know currently that Spain is one particular of my favourite nations, so I certainly had to come across out how these Northern Europeans created the transition into the hot south of Andalucia and how there had been adjusting personally, socially and with their new business enterprise in this brand new way of life. Right here is what they had to say:
1. Please inform us a bit about your background. Exactly where are you from, what is your function background?
Mel: I am from Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. Formerly a coal miner and policeman.
Marie: I am from Maghera, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and am a nurse.
Prior to moving to Spain, we lived in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. We have three kids Stuart (19), Niall (15) and Stephanie (14).
2. How did you come up with the concept of opening an adventure vacation corporation in Spain?
Marie: For all of his adult life, Mel has been a keen trail runner, cyclist and cross-nation skier the kids and myself are also lovers of the good outdoors. As a household we had holidayed all more than Europe, like a quantity of cycling breaks in Spain. Obtaining seasoned the regional climate, the beautiful scenery and the apparently limitless tracks and extremely quiet roads, moving to Spain to establish our personal activity vacation business enterprise seemed the fantastic selection.
3. How did you choose your place? What form of home did you opt for and why? Please speak to us about the true estate acquiring course of action in Spain.
Andalucia is the most lovely portion of Spain. We wanted to stay clear of the mayhem of the coast, but did not want to be a lot more than an hour away from Malaga airport, in order to decrease the traveling time for guests. It was then just a query of drawing a line on a map and going to accessible properties inside that circle.
We did a lot of browsing on the web, then created appointments with estate agents to view the properties that seemed appropriate. We at some point chose this home mainly because of the beautiful views, the superb road access and mainly because, with only a small function, we had been capable to convert an outbuilding into a self-contained guest apartment.
The acquiring course of action was comparatively uncomplicated for us. We granted energy of lawyer to a regional solicitor, who then handled every little thing on our behalf. All we had to do was transfer more than the cash anytime it was needed. The only aspect of the course of action that we would caution folks about is the techniques of some of the estate agents. Not all of the properties listed on internet websites had been essentially for sale and some of these that had been for sale had been only accessible at a considerably greater cost than advertised or had been not at all like their descriptions!
4. Did you have to do any renovations to the home you purchased? If so, what was it like to deal with Spanish contractors and building workers?
We had to convert a creating with two quite standard rooms and two shed form rooms into the guest accommodation. Having said that, we had been capable to do a lot of the function ourselves and only employed builders for the a lot more skilled tasks. We have discovered that there are superior and poor builders amongst the Spanish and the British builders functioning locally, but only a adequately registered firm does function with any sort of assure. And that is an significant consideration.
5. Please speak to us about Rio-Frio, the adventure vacation corporation that you founded. When did you begin it?
We founded Rio Frio Holidays in the summer time of 2004, with the intention of supplying activity holidays and vacation accommodation especially tailored to the specifications of our guests, regardless of whether they are person travellers, households or groups.
6. What does your corporation supply? How is it various from other adventure vacation operations? What form of folks getaway with your corporation?
We supply vacation accommodation, activity holidays and instruction camps for households, single travelers, corporate groups and groups of sports folks. Mel is the most important guide/coordinator for hiking, mountain biking, road cycling and operating other activities, such as canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling and archery and supplied by regional Spanish corporations.
We have had visits from keen cyclists and runners, as nicely as households wanting a multi-activity break and folks who wanted to do nothing at all a lot more than loosen up in the garden involving visits to Granada, Seville and other sightseeing highlights.
7. What was it like opening a business enterprise in Spain? What processes did you have to go by way of?
Our very first step was to employ a superior accountant (“Gestoria”) who took us by way of the course of action of registering with the Spanish authorities as self-employed and helped us with the bureaucracy of registering the business enterprise with the regional tourist authorities. He also handles our typical tax returns and guarantees that we comply with all of the relevant tax and other legislation.
8. Please inform us how the very first year has gone for you with your new business enterprise. What has been your largest challenge of operating a business enterprise in a new nation? What have been your greatest rewards of operating this business enterprise?
The very first year has been excellent! We have had nothing at all but constructive feedback from all of our guests and their comments, to their good friends and in our on the internet guestbook, have been our greatest type of marketing.
The largest challenge has been identifying exactly where to devote our marketing and advertising price range. We are continually getting calls from sales reps attempting to sell us marketing space and it is quite challenging to inform which publications are most likely to have the greatest effect. We are nevertheless finding out!
The greatest reward is the thanks of the guests and understanding that we have helped somebody to have a good vacation or helped to place them on track to reaching their well being or fitness ambitions.
9. How superior was your expertise of Spanish when you moved there? How has it enhanced considering that then?
We barely spoke a word of Spanish involving us – and even much less Andaluz (the regional dialect!) Having said that, soon after a lot of hours of really hard function, we are all nicely on the way to finding out the language now.
10. Please inform us about your interaction with the locals. How considerably get in touch with do you have with regional folks? What about the cultural adjustment course of action, adjusting to Spanish culture, coming from England for yourselves and your kids?
The kids went straight into the regional Spanish secondary college. Sadly, the current influx of British kids has left the college struggling to cope.
Outdoors of college, issues are considerably improved. Our Spanish neighbours and good friends are terrific there is a true sense of neighborhood in our village and, by way of Mel's membership of the regional cycling club, we have created a wide network of Spanish good friends.
Till you loosen up and accept that the Spanish – specifically the bureaucrats – do not function to deadlines in the very same way that the British do, life in Spain can be pretty stressful for the typical Brit. Having said that, there is small about the way of life that does not come out favourably in comparison with British culture.
11. What tips would give you somebody who would like to relocate to Spain and begin a business enterprise there?
Do it! And please really feel absolutely free to drop us a line if you have any precise queries.
Thanks, Mel and Marie, for sharing with us how you accomplished your dream of living in the South of Spain and superior luck with your business enterprise. It is good to hear that you had been capable to match in in your new atmosphere so immediately and have managed such a smooth transition. It is accurate, occasionally you just gotta do it….