My colleague has just come back from a short break in Barcelona and it just brings the homesickness back. How can I explain the way I feel when I'm in Spain. How just crossing the French/Spanish border makes me feel like I'm going home. How I love to walk through the streets just 'feeling' Spain. How safe I feel, how healthy I feel, how I love their food; their fiestas; their language and how I long to be part of it permanently.
We've been going to Spain now for 26 years - every June and at times whenever we were able we would spend Christmas there as well. During that time we've made loads of Spanish friends - and we love the Spanish. We've been taken in as part of a family and have been to 60th birthday parties; invited to a wedding and just generally made to feel a part of it all. We've been learning Spanish since day one - not overly successful - I mean all the hard work and good intentions seem to dwindle away during the winter months in England. When we are immersed in it then it all comes back but we seem to have hit a block. Studying Spanish we have gone progressed through the beginners and intermediate stage and onto the advanced - but hell that's difficult!!! All the tenses........ When they speak slowly for us we are fine but when they are excited and the speed ramps up then I'm lost! But that doesn't stop us joining in!
We've wanted to move there for a long time but finances don't allow it. Perhaps when we reach retirement age then we will be able to do it but then comes the problem. To live in a country which we love amongst the friends and the people that we love we have to leave behind the family that we love. How do people make that decision? Someone tell me!
We have four children and eight grandchildren. Just when do you cut the apron strings? At the moment (although not living on top of one another) we are within driving distance whenever a problem arises. If on the spur of the moment they or us feel like popping in to see one another then it is possible. If we live in Spain - although not the end of the world - it is still only possible to visit and stay. The spontaneous visit is not possible. Would the children feel deserted? They say no and they tell us to do it but I don't know what to do. Maybe at retirement age this country and the way pensioners have to survive to live will force our hand and to enjoy an old age it will be necessary to move somewhere that is more elderly friendly. I guess I will have to wait and see. I guess my future is already mapped out for me.
Meanwhile I carry on learning Spanish; I read as much as I can about living there; watch TVE International and I enjoy the visits we make. The main reason for buying the motorhome was because it will enable us to travel around France and Spain more without having to book into hotels and pre-plan where we are going. Our only restriction is only having a limited amount of time off allowed at work - oh yes, of course, and money...
There are so many places in Spain that I would love to see. So big a country - and so little time.
So to Cefe, David, Ceferino, Roberto, Pilar, Mercedes, Manolo, Myra, Ramon, Moghit, Miguel, Rashida, Juan and anyone I may have forgotten to include "ame a todos y hasta pronto".