A NEW LIFE IN BENIDORM
by SARAH ANDO - 2016
I had been on holiday to Benidorm about 15 times before I moved.
I luckily had a job in Spain before I moved. I spotted an advert on Facebook on the Wednesday, applied and had a Facetime interview the next day. Friday I got an email to say I had got the job and could start immediately. Luckily a colleague in my new work place was renting out a studio so I had a place to live straight away.
I packed up Saturday and Sunday. Said my goodbyes. Left Liverpool 3am to be at Manchester 5am. Flight 7am. 2 cases with my whole life in them. And set off for a new life in Benidorm
It was the hottest September day in years – 38 degrees. Couldn’t believe the heat. Landed and got a transfer to Benidorm where my new boss was waiting. Took me to start to work straight away. (Not in Benidorm). When we had finished the colleague took me to the supermarket and the studio. All fine and started to unpack. Luckily I lived near a bar where I could get food too.
I have now lived here nearly 6 months.
Issues - I had left my car at home so I had to rely on lifts, taxis, bus or walk. My phone was on contract in England so I was still paying for that. I have had to transfer money home for both as on contract. So end all contracts before coming.
I Started finding cockroaches (dead) in studio (ground floor) . I was told it’s the country and the climate. I had never been bit while on holiday here but now I was getting covered in bites. (tried all kinds) My first few weeks shopping consisted of buying sprays, lotions, powders, plug ins etc.
It took a few weeks to sort a Spanish bank account- they charge you for the card. The manager came into my workplace to open it, that would never happen in England.
It took me 6 weeks to get an appointment for NIE. Went with owner of my work.
The euro converted to pound you get hardly anything for it.
Spanish people don’t eat until 10/10.30 of a night so be prepared for that if you live next to them or work with them etc. They also talk loudly. Be prepared for that if living next door.
When you live here you need to remember you are not on holiday and control your money and drinking.
The winter was much harder than expected- several storms, rain for 4 days non stop, very cold. No heating, fires or carpets.
Positives - I am lucky I work 9-5 Monday to Friday but most jobs here are for evening and weekend work. I eat out most of the time because it’s cheaper for me. I have met some very friendly and kind people who also live here and we are like family now.
I have been learning Spanish. I walk a lot more than I would at home. The weather is great most of the time. I have a view of the sea- bliss.
If anyone has a story to share please email it to
FOOTNOTE: SARAH HAS SINCE RETURNED TO THE UK.