Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain

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Relocating to another country can be an exciting adventure. Or it can be something done reluctantly.

British expat Matthew was talked into moving to Gran Canaria by his sister-in-law.

Originally from London, he described the city as “capital of the UK and the world”.

So moving to a Spanish island was always going to be an adjustment.

Planning to stay in Spain until his children finish school, Matthew has somehow made a life for himself on the island.

Resisting the move at first, his wife, who is from the island, did win in the end and the family moved to Spain when their youngest son got sick.

Matthew said: “We moved over here as my wife has a large family which could offer more support than my more nuclear UK-based one.”

However, it was not an easy move.

He said: “I found it immensely difficult.

“London was the place I was born.

“I’d moved away from it as a kid but returned to study at university.

“Following the enforced break as a child, I didn’t want to separate again.”

What’s more, Matthew didn’t make friends easily.

He explained: “I didn’t care for the dinner parties I was forced to go along to at the beginning.”

But one thing made his life a bit easier and turned the island into a home.

“But then I found a football team who weren’t so pijo [posh] and then I felt more at home.”

While Matthew loved having the beach in his doorstep and admired the islanders’ “laidback attitude”, he missed some things from home.

He said: “I miss UK supermarkets for their greater range.”

And where he shopped also impacted the cost of living on the island.

He continued: “Mercadona is considerably cheaper than any supermarket in the UK.

“However, El Corte Inglés is the same, if not dearer. However, El Corte Inglés with its greater product selection feels like it’s been transplanted from Britain.”

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