Almeria This is the Life

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Life-changing move to Spain with The Garners

Susan & Godfrey’s Journey to “This is the life”

Godfrey and I met in January 2011. We both worked hard in life and seemed to be always on the go. It was a bit of a roller coaster life with work for us both. Godfrey had his own driving school and also a pet shop with many unusual animals which sometimes found their way into our home that we shared in Uddingston, Glasgow.

I was a full time lecturer at city of Glasgow College working with adults with additional support needs and worked as a part-time psychic medium in the evenings.  I had been on my own for 10 years bringing up my children before we met, and it was nice to have someone else around to share the next part of my life.

Life-Changing moment

In 2016, Godfrey was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was at the early stages, and it was being kept on check with yearly investigations. Godfrey being Godfrey, he did not want to go for treatment, being too busy with work. So he decided to try some cannabis oil from a company in Holland. Taking a drop of it under his tongue each day the size of a grain of rice and to his amazement, the following years check-ups showed no cancer, and we were over the moon. 

When Two become One!

After this we had decided to get married in 2018 in the October in Cyprus and what a day that was for us. This was all being organised in 2017 when all of a sudden I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late August 2017. It was found early due to the Mammogram checks in your 50s, which I thankfully went for, because it was at the back of the breast and would not been picked up by me doing my own checks.

My worst worry was walking down the aisle with a bald head with cancer treatment. But it was during my treatment in the December 2017 that Godfrey came in one night and said, “why don’t we give all this up and retire to Spain?”. Don’t be silly, we can’t afford to do that so early, I thought. But being off sick from work, I began to do my research with both funds and where we would want to live.

Sun, Sea and Selling Houses

We had started watching Sun, Sea and selling houses and had never thought of this little jewel of a place and an oasis in the sun, untouched, in Almeria province. In doing my research, this area was the best value for money for a lovely home in the south of Spain. It was the warmest area in the winter and the summer.

Liking the look of Sharon and Steve and the lovely family, estate agents working hard to give other people the dreams that they wanted. I decided to email Steve to book a session of looking at properties that we liked on their website. When we went out in the April 2018 to look at houses, I had just gone back to work and was suffering from post treatment fatigue, which got me down at times.

We had been looking at one particular house at the top of the hill in Limaria, Arboleas which had a 360 view of the mountain surrounding us. We went to see it first, and it did not let us down and was even better than the video and photos we saw online.

Furthermore, we nearly did not buy it though as initially I felt it was quite out of the way. However, it was only 8 minutes drive into Albox the local town with around 10,000 inhabitants and 30 minutes to the beach via the new motorway. When Steve said, why not have a second look before you decide between the one in Limaria and the one in Arboleas village.

Stand on the Land

When we went back to see it we decided it was the one you only had to stand on the land, as Sharon always says on the programme, and as we stood on the roof terrace we knew to go for it. We signed the papers for the house and got the legal side of things in motion. This was not something I would have ever done before cancer had given us both a second chance at life. That was in the April or 2018, and we got the keys on the 10th December after getting married in the October, we moved into our new home on 10th January 2019. 

In the winter, in Spain, the house can get quite cold indoors, and you do try to go outside during the day to keep warm and then get the fire on at night. We decided to replace the old fireplace with a log burner, and a high KW was the answer to a warm home in the evenings. 

Settling into not working any more was actually a little bit of a challenge for us, as we had both worked for over 40 years in the UK. After taking some time out the first year, we both started to implement other ways to use our time which would give us our own hobbies as an earning capacity. 

I decided to use my passion as a Psychic Medium

I decided to go self-employed in Spain for a couple of reasons. One being to pay taxes on earnings as I set up my business as a psychic medium, working both online and one to one readings locally. The other reason was that due to pre-existing health conditions like cancer, we were not covered under private health. The best way to get full cover is to start working or go self-employed to gain access to full health cover for myself and my husband, under the Spanish National Health system. Working part-time, before retirement, and old age pensions, is a good idea to keep your mind active and to give a routine to your life on a part-time basis.

Godfrey takes up a hobby he loves and uses his talent as a musician

Godfrey started making wooden items from old pallet wood and is now selling them too in the local market. He very much enjoys this as a hobby, and the items are popular at the market with both Spanish and other nationalities in the area.

We have both established a life here and Godfrey is also part of the Albox, Town hall Band and Albox Jazz Band where he plays the saxophone in local concerts that they get booked out for. 

It is a good idea to try to integrate with the local Spanish people and not just live amongst the British community, as this would be easy to get yourself into a rut. Godfrey practices his Spanish in the band and I have been taking weekly classes to learn Spanish, which I feel gives you more control living in Spain.  There are lots of local groups you can get involved in too like arts and crafts groups, Spanish language groups, gyms, local pools, meditation groups, yoga etc. and more. 

We are living our best life

So all in all we have found our little piece of paradise in the little oasis in the Sun in Almeria, Provence. If you want to be at the beach or in the mountain or towns, there are many opportunities to buy your dream home. We have no regrets, as we feel doing what we have done has increased our life span.

Short flights back to the UK mean family and friends can visit and so can we, to them. So if you are just thinking about it do your research and work out what suits your lifestyle, there are new visas too, that can give you access to Spain, and it is also a good idea to rent out here first. You won’t regret it.

Just also wanted to say we are not getting paid for this, but we want to share our good experience of living in Spain. 

I hope you have enjoyed Susan and Godfrey’s Journey to find their dream home in the sun with The Garners of Channel 4, Sun, Sea and Selling Houses and our amazing team at Spanish Property Choice. If you would like to help STAND UP TO CANCER, just click this link

If you would like our help to take that first step to your dream and a better life in Spain, visit our website or email Sharon on [email protected]

Love Sharon x

(Please note, the information contained in this blog was supplied by Susan and Godfrey for the sole purpose of telling their story and journey)

Sharon Garner

The Garner family of Spanish Property Choice located in Almeria, Spain are a household name in Spanish Real Estate, after Garner-ing TV Heaven on the very popular Channel 4 TV show, Sun Sea and Selling Houses for the past 8 years. With 3 offices in Mojacar, Albox and Huercal Overa, the TV show follows the family and team of Spanish Property Choice, doing what they all do best, selling Houses, lifestyle and the Spanish dream.