Life intervenes and can prevent dreams becoming a reality

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Melanie and Arthurs Journey


Life intervenes and prevents dreams becoming reality, and so it was in our case. Arthur and I met 24 years ago and got married 16 years ago this June. One of the first things I told him was about my 5-year plan.

I’d been on my own for some years and didn’t think I would ever fall in love and get married again. So I planned to work until retirement, then move abroad.

Marriage, two UK house moves together and Covid arrived. It gave us the space we needed to think about and discuss our future.

Reality that the dream will happen

We realised that our extensive family didn’t need us to be in the same country, and we were free to travel wherever we wanted.

We could make the 50-year dream a reality. So we spent our Covid lock-down researching places to live & scouring web-sites.

One element in choosing Andalusia was that we had travelled through it while visiting (and escaping from!) Torrevieja where Arthur’s brother lived. Having lived for many years in a very lively seaside town over-run with tourists and visitors ourselves for many years, meant that the inland mountains were much more attractive to us.

We then found The Garners of Spanish Property Choice – C4 Sun, Sea and Selling Houses

We chanced on ‘Spanish Property Choice’ one lunchtime & looked closely at the properties they advertised. Furthermore, we contacted the Garners, watched them on Channel 4, Sun, Sea and Selling Houses’ & spent much of lockdown communicating our desires and needs to Sharon, Steve and their team.

We finally came out in November 2021 and Sharon & Steve showed us the house, which pretty much matched everything we’d asked for. Only the second property we’d viewed, though we’d booked in for 2 weeks at the hotel to allow for a long search!

Sharon & Steve were so helpful with the buying process and although post Brexit the paperwork and associated costs are horrendous, by March 2022 we had sold up in the UK & were on our way through France and Spain with 2 dogs and some essential clothing.

We arrived in Spain in torrential rain after a red sandstorm. Steve greeted us and handed over the keys-and left us to our new life.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

We had achieved the dream, but with the world weather going mad! Reality hit in the form of weeks of cold and rain. No heating, gas or Wi-Fi initially and an invasion of termites! Our Electrician John virtually lived with us for the first month, there were so many things to sort out & we had to deal with the termites quickly!

However, this is Spain! And the Sun came out and stayed out. The many jobs associated with any move were gradually sorted out & we believed in the dream once more.

Living the Dream 2 years on

Nearly 2 years on we have a beautiful home, 2 dogs have become 4 dogs and numerous new friends (including the always helpful & supportive Sharon & Steve) and new interests. We have managed to visit a number of wonderful Spanish towns, including Ronda, Seville. Granada, Carmona, Estapona, Valencia, Malaga & Murcia.

We have more planned for this year, driving in Spain is so easy, the Autovias are beautiful, well maintained and numerous. Even the service stations have to be commended, especially as they are spotlessly clean, serve exquisite meals on proper tablecloths at low prices! Even the mountain roads are well surfaced and offer fabulous views

We have learned a lot in the time we’ve been here. Workmen are not always what they say they are carpenters don’t always actually cut wood, some painters just don’t do heights & some builders leave an awful mess. Work needs to be redone properly, but there are also good tradesmen that we have built up a good, reliable team who can keep this beautiful home in good order.

Regrets – NONE! I will never return to the UK. Arthur probably owes his life to the Health Service here, as he was diagnosed with an Aortic Aneurysm 5 years ago. The UK & apart from scans which showed it was growing steadily, he didn’t see a consultant or even a GP during recent times.

As soon as we registered with the local Health Centre here, he had tests, scans and then an operation early last year. Apparently it would have been done 12 months earlier had we lived here then! For months, he’d been living with a ticking time bomb, so we are grateful to be here.

Wish we had done it a lot sooner

Apart from marrying each other, better later than never. This move has been the best, and we wish we had done it sooner.

Tips -Research first-area, suppliers, locations etc. Though difficult, do try to learn the language-at least enough to get by with. The Spanish are so pleased when you at least try!

Thank you, Melanie and Arthur for your story

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You have both become very special people in our lives, and we are so grateful for your friendship and trust in our family and team. Your story will be inspirational to many looking to do what you both have done. Moved your life to another country together, had some downs along the way with workmen, (Welcome to our world haha) but we see how both happy you are and living the dream. You are both making the most of your absolutely beautiful villa in the sun, your animals and your new hobbies. As you know now, rain in Spain is very infrequent and who would have thought we are all praying for some now hahahaha.

The Garners and team at Spanish Property Choice, wish you both many, many, many happy years together in your beautiful home, and we will always be there for you both.

Lots of love, Sharon xx

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.