By Jason Moore
THERE are a whole series of programmes on British television at the moment which chronicle the lives of people who have moved to Spain to either retire, set-up a business or look for work. The reason why these programmes are so successful and make such good TV is because of all the problems which the people experience which range from all the paper-work to just everyday living abroad. I have come to the conclusion that many people move to Spain with little or no preparation. It's just a question of “we're off to the sun, amigos. See you later when we've got a tan.” Moving to a different country especially to work or to establish a business is never easy. Most of the problems which are aired on these programmes come from the fact that those involved have no knowledge of the country or the language. If you are going to establish a business it is vital that you speak Spanish even though you are going to be catering for English speaking clients. The majority of tradespeople and suppliers will speak Spanish and if you are unable to communicate adequately you are bound to have problems. So the first chapter in my guide to living abroad is to learn to speak Spanish before you move. Once you've arrived if is far too late. The second point is to ensure that all your paperwork is in order. Thirdly, and probably the most important is to realise that Spain is not a part of Britain and it does not have the same rules and regulations and it is also a modern European nation. All these lessons need to be learnt before relocation. If they were learnt then the TV producers wouldn't be able to have such fun and make such programmes which are growing in popularity. Perhaps, the Spanish Embassy in Britain or even the Foreign Office should provide greater guidance. Many dreams have become nightmares because of a lack of information.

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