Moving to Spain with Children


We’re delighted to feature another guest post this week!

Meet Lisa Sadleir (shown above with her family). Lisa is the author of a new book called Moving to Spain with Children.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself Lisa…

Hi! My name is Lisa Sadleir, aka “mum” from Family Life in Spain and founder CCB Spain (Costa Consulting Bureau).

How did the book idea come about?

Having answered questions from many families thinking about moving to Spain, over the past years, and at the request of many mums, I decided it was time to put this book together.

I believe Spain is a wonderful place to live. It is the place I have chosen to bring up my children. Having lived here for over 23 years now, I cannot envisage living anywhere else (although I will never say never!).

Living in Spain allows us, as a family, to appreciate that: we have more time with our children; we spend more time outdoors in the fresh open air; family comes first; material possessions are not important; people are generally very friendly and open; we are living an invaluable experience.

Why is Spain a great place to move to?

Where do I start?! Obviously, my opinions are based on my own experiences and those of many people that I have helped to relocate to the Malaga area.

Without wanting to state the obvious, Southern Spain enjoys a climate which encourages outdoor living, masses of fresh air and healthier eating. After over 20 years, the blue skies and sunshine still make me smile.

However, I think it is fair to say that Spain offers a wonderful environment to all kinds of people. I love the fact that my children (aged 7 and 9) attend a Spanish state school, are doing very well and are both bilingual. They eat a wide variety of different foods (shellfish from a very early age, much to my mum’s despair) and spend more hours outside than in. They interact with children of all nationalities and races and neither language nor background is of importance.

Why did you feel you had to write the book, how difficult it was to get information and why did you feel you needed to help others to make the move?

I actually earn my living as an independent relocation advisor and personal property finder. I assist families and professionals in making the best decisions when planning their move to Spain. My specialities are dealing with NIE and residency issues, Spanish bureaucracy and property purchase procedures. It is this work along with my personal experiences that has provided me with first-hand knowledge and material for my writing.

About the book


Moving to Spain with Children, by Lisa Sadleir.

If you search online you will find a multitude of books about Spain, books set in spain, books about moving to Spain, books about living in Spain and people’s stories about moving to Spain from UK. However, there is very little information available about Spain for children and almost nothing about Moving to Spain with Children.

Until now, that is.

Welcome to Moving to Spain with Children. This book will:

• Give you food for thought
• Provide factual info & sources of information
• Share real life experiences

Don’t even think of Moving to Spain with Children without reading this essential self-help manual. Compiled by a successful British working Mum who has experienced the relocation roller-coaster for you – the highs, lows and occasional shrieks of panic – it could save you months of hassle and heartache. Chapters cover:

Timing your Move; Choosing the Best Location; Schooling; Paperwork; Learning Spanish; Healthcare; Property purchase; Starting a business …
… and other considerations crucial to ensuring a smooth transition to your new lifestyle.

With information that’s bang up-to-date and tells it like it is, spiced with the author’s own heart-warming anecdotes, you’ll arrive at the same place her own family is now – but in half the time: Living and loving family life in Spain!

If you’ve ever wished for the gift of hindsight, Moving to Spain with Children is just that: a gift of a book!

“For many years, Lisa Sadleir has been offering credible, independent counsel to families considering relocating to Spain. This book offers a valuable overview, including honest and clear advice on important issues for a successful relocation, including getting to grips with the Spanish language and making steps to integrate into the community beyond the expat bubble.”
Andrew FORBES, Malaga. (Journalist, Consultant & Editor)

Extracts from the Language Chapter:

The importance of learning Spanish before moving to Spain

In my opinion, too many people move to Spain without learning to speak Spanish. I’m not saying you need to be fluent but I am suggesting that it should be a personal goal to at least make a really big effort. Being able to at least start a conversation with a Spaniard, in their own language, will truly enhance your chances of integration and open so many more exciting doors for you.

I honestly believe that being able to speak at least a small amount of Spanish really contributes to your enjoyment of Spanish life. Spanish people are generally very warm and welcoming and genuinely seem to appreciate any attempt a foreigner makes to speak their language.I appreciate that some people find it easier to learn a language than others but I find it hard to understand those who do not even try. Admittedly, in many places, particularly in the popular coastal areas, speaking Spanish is not an absolute must as these places are so cosmopolitain and multi-national that Spanish is sometimes the least heard language. In many parts of Spain, particularly in areas where there are large expat communities, English is widely spoken and you can live a great life without needing to know a word of Spanish, if that is what you are looking for. However, a basic knowledge of Spanish can really make a dramatic difference.

In some, mainly coastal areas, residents of all nationalities have set up their own little communities, shops, bars, restaurants and even schools. In contrast, in more rural areas and in the many, lovely, pueblos blancos (whitewashed villages), the inability to speak some Spanish may become a real burden upon your daily life. I am not suggesting that you go back to school and study for an official qualification. I am simply suggesting that maybe by signing up for an evening class, buying a self study book or even browsing some of the many online resources, you will pick up a little bit of the language and you will be thankful you did.

Watch Spanish cartoons with your children. Check out children’s learning materials and participate in the classes with your children. Make it a fun family activity rather than a chore. The speed at which your children pick up the vocabulary and the accent will amaze you.

[SPEEKEE SAYS: Very well put, Lisa!]

Purchase the book!

Available in print and for kindle via the following links:

In Spain:

In the UK:

In the USA:

Good luck with the book, Lisa, and thanks for telling us all about it!

See you next time,


Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee, home of the most comprehensive Spanish learning program for children ever to appear online

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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