12 reasons why expats in Spain return “home”


1. No dream lifestyle

“I think in all honesty that the dream bubble of living in the sun has burst for so many people. There is a big difference between sitting on a sunny terrace sipping a tinto de verano on a two week holiday compared to living day to day in Spain.” More here

2. Language barrier

“Many expats assume that because Spain is a Western European country everyone speaks English, and it’s not necessary to learn Spanish. This is not only an attitude that the Spanish despise, it is also an outright fallacy.” More here

3. “Mañana”

Like everyone else I thought this was a funny joke at first. Every time a person in Spain – whether Spanish or British let me down I would grin and say mañana like it was ok or normal. When I’m paying for a job I want it done as promised – and on time – or am I mad for expecting this? More here

4. Unemployment

“The unemployment situation in Spain is currently at 25% and it is impossible to find a decent job anywhere. It’s very sad, because it is a great country and my home.” More here

5. Family

“I miss the grandchildren. I’m on the phone every day to them. I’ll miss the easy pace of life here but the family comes before that.” More here

6. Weather

“I have never enjoyed the hammering heat of the Spanish Summers.  People complain about the weather back in U.K. but I also think that is just an excuse.” More here

7. Repossessions

“We have fallen into arrears with our mortgage. This is the second month and the bank will start repossession next month. We have paid some of the money but not the full amount.” More here

8. Spanish tax laws

“It seems that if you owned a house in the UK all your adult life and then sell it after you move to Spain, once you’ve decided to settle here, you’ll get hit for capital gains that could date back to the value it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago.” More here

9. House not selling

‘No one is coming to Spain because of the euro and no one wants to buy our house.” More here.

10. Crime

“The criminal elements on the Costa Blanca are also a factor. I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t been burgled and owing to our own carelessness we too became victims. A friend told me she has been burgled three times and another was gassed while she was sleeping.” More here

11. Marriage stresses

“The dynamics of an expat marriage inevitably change with the new responsibilities and roles that come along with a move overseas, creating a certain amount of stress for each spouse.” More here

12. Home is where the heart is

“I was not unhappy in Spain, but it was never home and I am glad I have returned to the UK, because it IS home.” More here

Have you returned to the UK from Spain? Or are you thinking about going back?

I’d be very interested to hear your reasons.

See you next time,


Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee, where kids learn to speak Spanish together

Jim began his Spanish learning journey in 1990. He has been a language teacher since 1994 and he lives in sunny southern Spain with his two bilingual children. Loves it! More…

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