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Interviewer: Welcome to Lifestyles. On the programme today we are going to be looking at the pleasures and the problems of moving to the Costa Blanca from the UK.
Stephanie, you spent most of your life living and working in the London area before you came here. Can you tell us a little bit about your life there?

Stephanie: In many ways we were lucky I suppose. Terry, my husband, and I both had reasonably well-paid jobs, a nice house, lots of friends and a good social life. We had enough money to live well, go on holiday every year, eat out in restaurants and decorate our home the way we wanted.

Interviewer: So Terry, why did you decide to sell your house and move to Spain?

Terry: Quality of life I suppose. Although the house we lived in belonged to us, it was in a bad, and sometimes dangerous part of London. We couldn’t afford to move to a better area because house prices were too high. Neither of us liked our jobs very much, so when I was offered early redundancy, I jumped at the chance. The weather was obviously a factor, you can’t beat Spain for sunshine – and we managed to persuade Steph’s parents to move out here too, so the family stayed together.

Interviewer: How long have you been here, and how have you adapted to life in a foreign country?

Stephanie: We’ve been here nearly ten years now, and there really hasn’t been much to adapt to. We felt at home from the very beginning. Although most of our friends here do tend to be English, the local Spanish people have been really friendly and welcoming.

Interviewer: What would you say is the attraction here for European immigrants?

Terry: Well, the lifestyle for retired people is very laid back and easygoing. The shopping and social facilities are very good.

Steph: Yes, there are supermarkets and good bars and restaurants. The sun shines most of the year, which is of course very different to England. I’m very keen on the food, particularly the Mediterranean seafood dishes and Spanish cooking in general.

Terry: I never thought, when we lived in England, that this kind of life would be possible. I feel very lucky to be here.

Interviewer: Do you have any regrets about moving over here? Surely there must be some disadvantages.

Stephanie: Well, we obviously miss our friends back in the UK. Although they do come here to visit quite often.

Terry: Yeah, too often! It’s amazing how many old friends re-appear again when you buy a house in Spain!

Steph: But it’s nice when people come out here to see us. I can’t say there are any disadvantages really, at least not for us. My parents are here, my brother lives a couple of hours away in Valencia. We haven’t got a big family, so we don’t feel the need to fly back to Britain.

Interviewer: How do you both see this part of Spain developing in the future?

Steph: It’s changed a lot since we’ve been here. More and more houses and flats are being built and the whole coastline is being developed. Unfortunately, I think it’ll continue.

Terry: Yeah, it’s such a pretty area and so popular with the British, Germans, Swiss and French. In the summer months it’s really crowded and I think it’s going to get worse. Property prices have increased dramatically, but people keep buying and building more. A lot of people buy property and rent it out during high season. It’s an investment and it means they can come over here off season for a holiday. I think that’s going to continue for years.

Interviewer: My thanks to Stephanie and Terry. Now on to a different subject which….

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