We had a fantastic experience on Escape To The Continent, and we are very excited to go back to visit more properties. We have several that we'd like to view in the mountainous region west of Granada so we will keep these pages updated on our move. See some behind the scenes images ...
The trip to Spain with the crew was so helpful in meeting people, finding out more about the different regions and cultures. We have been in contact with Santos and sent him some UK Paella rice. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed because it wasn't the correct way to make authentic Paella!
When we met Miles and Ingrid, an expat couple living in the heart of Valencia, we went cycling - we were given this treat as a surprise. Well, a shock to me as I haven't ridden a bike since my shoulder operation that went horribly wrong several years ago. So when I was told I was going cycling along the beachfront I went weak at the knees. Most people would be delighted, but I kept thinking I was going to fall off that horrid rental bike.
Miles to the rescue!
Thankfully Miles came to my rescue and lent me his mountain bike. Miles and Ingrid had been told about the cycling and cycled down on their own bikes. I felt much better spending the morning cycling along the beachfront and listening to Miles and Ingrid tell us all about Valencia.
I am so lucky I have such a supportive and wonderful husband because he kept giving me quiet encouragement without anyone seeing that I was nervous. He told me I could do it! And he was right. I was determined not to spoil the day, for the crew, for Miles and Ingrid and for Ken, who loves cycling. So I jumped onto the bike Miles kindly lent to me and away I went. Okay, it wasn't that quick, I had to do a few practise runs with Ken peddling beside me, but that helped get my confidence back.
If Ken hadn't be so encouraging and positive that I could do it, I probably wouldn't have gone cycling. Some in the crew thought that I'd have to go with them in the car while Ken, Miles and Ingrid cycled on their own. I wasn't having that. I came to Spain to share the experience of finding our new home with Ken and even though I was terrified, I had to grit my teeth and bear with it.
Actually, only Ken knew this at the time, but I was pretty damn close to tears as I kept thinking I was going to fall off and injure my shoulder again! Only if you knew my story - read about how my shoulder operation that went horribly wrong - then maybe you'll understand my fear.
It's NOT A Freebie Holiday!
Overall, we recommend anyone wanting to move abroad for a different continental lifestyle to take part in the next series of Escape To The Continent. For those people on Twitter who think couples like us go on these kinds of shows for a laugh or a free holiday, forget that. I see on
#EscapeToTheContinent there were comments made about the other couples going on the show wanting to 'snag a freebie holiday' - only if you have been on a show like this do you know the reality.
Don't think it is all about fun and seeing properties - no way, you will work long hours from morning till night and you will do the same film takes over and over and over again from so many different angles. Often saying the same thing in so many different ways that you forget the original question.
From my own career in PR I know this kind of thing and a tough filming schedule can get some people down, but Ken and I loved the whole experience and didn't mind the different shooting angles because we knew the crew were introducing us to people who could in future help us when we move abroad.
We also felt it gave us a huge leap up the ladder in our journey to buy a property abroad. There are so many things that can go wrong and you often read horror stories of people losing their home because they did something they didn't understand because they couldn't speak the language. This is one of the reasons we wanted to be on the show. Having inside information and contacts will be very helpful when we choose our property and finally move over there.
And of course, we'll have some instant friends, like Santos and Miles and Ingrid.
Planning A Move Abroad
We haven't stopped thinking about it and planning our move abroad. Selling up and moving a home from one continent to another is a huge move - not one we are afraid of -but it takes a lot of planning as we are doing now.
We have already had our home priced to sell and once we have found our ideal property and all our ducks are in a row we will move abroad. We also want to keep a small bolthole here in the UK so we can come back to visit our sons, friends and family. So for us, this will be about finding two new homes - one abroad to live in most of our time and another smaller property that we'd keep for coming to spend time with family.
That's a lot of home finding and planning! And all the while running our businesses and me finding time to write my novel! It keeps us busy and keeps the dream alive - we want to be living abroad within the next year ...