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Andalucia - A Life Changing Experience

Updated on April 8, 2016

The Andalusian Mania

This is part 1 of The Andalusian Mania..

1. A Life Changing Experience

2. Hola Spain

A Dane Moves to Spain

In 2001 I did the wildest thing I`ve ever done in my life! I sold my house in Denmark and moved 3.000 kilometers away to a little Spanish village, Torrox, in Southern Spain where I had never been before - and without knowing how I was going to make a living when I got there.

That`s a life changing experience!

If I put on my sensible hat; I cannot recommend it - But I am glad I did - otherwise I would probably not be doing exactly what I love to do today: writing and working with travel.

If anybody had told me in the late nineties that I would emerge on an adventure in the new millennium...unlike anything I had ever experienced before, I would have laughed loud and wishful.

Loud because it simply would have seemed unlikely - wishful because a part of me had always been adventurous and bohemian...

In other words I found it rather unlikely that I, a 43 year old single parent to a teenage girl would leave my home and my country and wander off to the adventure of a lifetime - but never the less........Why don't we start at the beginning!

Exactly when the Andalusian Mania started is a little blurred.

The Andalusian Mania

My daughter's African grandmother had finally decided to do something about 30 years of longing for the sun in Denmark. She came back from a holiday in Andalucia as the proud owner of a small pueblo house in an Andalusian village where the white washed Moorish houses climbed down the mountains towards the Mediterranean Sea.

My own parents, who were both retired, had been looking for a place to rent for almost a year with no result. Their perspective seemed to be that they would become homeless in about eight weeks. With a Danish state pension, and nothing stacked away, and furthermore the threat of being homeless, I guess I don't have to mention that the general mood was approaching the immeasurable.

Naturally I wanted to help but my actual possibilities of doing so were very limited, as I was a student and the sole provider for a teenage girl.

Instead I tried to inspire with a few phrases of pocket philosophy, which I have since become aware that you have to be very careful to spread around...It seems to be extremely strong medication.

- Instead of looking upon your situation as a threat, I said; try to embrace it as a possibility! You have never ever before been so free to do whatever you want. You can travel, if you want. Just store your furniture and go off to a more inexpensive environment and preferably a warmer climate...It would be good for your rheumatism...and your pension would stretch a lot further.

I think the Andalusian mania started less than 24 hours later. My parents wanted to go to Andalucia...if my daughter and I would come too. They didn't have a holiday in mind - They wanted to live there!

Torrox by the church


Where is Torrox

How to Make A Living in Spain?

If we wanted to go? Are you pulling my leg? It didn't take me five seconds to visualize a sun drenched hacienda surrounded by swaying palm trees and orange trees in blossom. A place where I would finally be able to find that "ambiance of beyond time" that I needed to write.

But I didn't have a pension to bring with me to Spain. How would I be able to make a living?

How would my 13 year old daughter cope with the transition from a Danish village to Spanish every day life?

What about school? Should we choose an International School or the local Spanish village school?

What would happen to the straightening of my daughter's teeth, which she would get for free in the Danish school system? Would we have to pay those ourselves now?

Should I sell my beautiful old house by the sea or should I rent it out?

And what about my almost finished education?

My head was spinning with "what abouts".

The Andalusian Mania

This is part 1 of The Andalusian Mania..

1. A Life Changing Experience

2. Hola Spain

Researcing Andalusia

I spent a lot of time researching Andalusia the following week. I sat by the computer from early morning and until my daughter came home from school.

I tried to "lay low"....tried not to talk to much about it...just in case in turned out to be just another daydream. But she wasn't my daughter by accident; she wanted to know whether we were moving or not.

I tried another strategy. I talked to her about reality. I simply removed all holiday associated words from our conversation. I told her how she would have to spend her summer holiday learning Spanish if we decided to move. I told her how hard the first couple of years would be (I hadn't got a clue of how hard!). She would have to adjust to a new school system in a new language and I would be working 24-7 to provide for us.

Reality really doesn't cut it with a went in and out and she was still keen on starting to pack.

(She probably visualized palm trees, beach parties and a never ending Spanish holiday)

The following week the Andalusian Mania developed almost by the hour. My daughter asked slightly under exaggerated about a dozen times a day whether we were moving or not. My parents reported by telephone about forms to fill out, social security, residence etc. etc. ....And I?

I was more or less feeling num, besides from the knot in my tummy....because everything that felt familiar and save gradually was breaking up around me...but primarily because I didn't have a clue about how to make a living in Spain.

When my parents finally told me their new Spanish sounding address the Mania transformed into an ultimatum; Now I had to make a decision!

What is Torrox Pueblo Like?


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    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 5 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      Hi Celia

      Thanks for your interest.

      I did intend to write the follow-ups quite quickly, however "life is what happens, when you're busy making other plans"....

      In other words I am extremely busy at the moment, but I will return and add more posts to The Andalusian Mania. Right now there is only 2 posts published...but I have written at least 10 more....I just haven't polished them off yet! If you follow me, you will automatically be notified by mail, when I publish. (Just head to the top of the page and click on A Dane in Spain). :-)

    • profile image

      Celia 5 years ago

      As a 28 years old girl brought up in Andalucía I find your blog very interesting; I am really curious about other people's perspetive when they first come into Andalucía. The only thing is... how can I follow your new posts? ¡Besos!

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 6 years ago from Southern Spain

      Am enjoying your hubs on Spain- hope to be there this year !

    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 6 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      Hi rgall1407

      I did add chapter 2 Hola Spain

      the rest will follow in the new year....I have just been so busy!

    • rgall1407 profile image

      rgall1407 6 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Did you ever get around to adding the rest? I'm very curious to read how it turned out!

    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 6 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      Life happened...I guess I have about 10 chapters written down, and I promise I will get around to part 2 very soon!

      Thanks for making me aware, MosLadder!

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      So what happened next?

    • profile image

      Andy Rich 8 years ago

      I am looking at buying a place in Torrox when i have sold my terrace house in the uk and making a fresh start there too!

    • sunretreat profile image

      sunretreat 8 years ago from Spain

      Hi I did exactly the same as you in 2005, I moved to San Miguel De Salinas. Its a bit of a tourist are .I wold like to live more inland in a Spanish village such as yourself.I want to write, no infact I am writting , but not making any money from it at the moment,so I work as a chef to pay the bills.I will follow your Hubs.

    • herrador profile image

      herrador 9 years ago

      Hi, It looks like you have had a really interesting time of it. I shall look forward to reading about places to eat as I love the Spanish way of eating and especially the seafood. ;-)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Hi and welcome. I've been in Torrox. I lived in Marbella for 5 years and loved every bit of it. Good luck with your move. I'll be keeping an eye on your news :-)