7 Mar, 2024 @ 10:08
2 mins read

WATCH: American expats praise moving to Spain’s Andalucia – but have a warning for retirees

IN a 13-minute YouTube video, globetrotting expat couple JP and Amelia Stonestreet have concluded that Andalucia is, with a few exceptions, an all-around great place to live for English-speaking expats.

The remote-working American couple rated the region in terms of safety, weather, quality of life, healthcare, language, walkability and transportation, housing, food, taxes, and cost of living. 

Of the 10 categories, the couple gave all except taxes, language, and weather a “thumbs up” rating. 

Originally from the US city of Denver, Colorado, the Stonestreets praised safety in Andalucia and in Spain in general, although they acknowledged that, given recent crime statistics in the States, their safety standards might be lower than those of Europeans. 

“We walked all over the place day and night and we never felt nervous,” Amelia said. 

American expats JP and Amelia Stonestreet sell an online course and make informational videos all about life abroad.

However, they did point out that with recent political unrest — particularly the tension provoked by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Catalan amnesty deal and the protests that followed  — this factor may be subject to change in the coming years. 

As far as quality of life, the couple was pleasantly surprised to find people “singing while they worked,” which they imply may be indicative of a greater general sense of wellbeing than they are used to back in the States.

They said they encountered the friendliest people in Granada, while in Sevilla they did find some mild hostility to foreigners, which they described as “tourist fatigue.” 

The Stonestreets gave Spanish healthcare another thumbs up. 

Although most foreigners living in Spain will need to purchase private healthcare during their first year in the country, the couple praised the low price of even out-of-pocket medical expenses, at least when compared with the US.

Housing was another thumbs up for Amelia and JP, who noted that Andalucia’s €10.9 average price per square metre was far more affordable than just about any major US city. 

They also gave Andalucia’s food and restaurant culture a thumbs up, although found the late Spanish mealtimes a bit hard to get used to. 

Good, cheap wine and beer flows like water in southern Spain, as do the olives — perhaps a bit too much for this expat couple. 

“Way too many olives,” JP said in the video. “I think we’re still carrying a few of those olives with us.”

However, they noted a stark price jump at restaurants in Andalucia’s major tourist zones, sometimes as much as double or triple the price of non-tourist areas, a realisation they described as a total shock. 

As for the bad, the couple — who had previously lived in Ecuador — explained their struggles with the Castilian language as it’s spoken in Spain, which they said they never really got used to during their time in Andalucia.

“Spain Spanish is hard!” JP said. ?? “They speak so much faster than what we’re used to in Latin America.” 

The weather in Andalucia was another factor that soured their experience in Andalucia. 

With summer temperatures in Malaga routinely topping 40 C, the expats advised their viewers, especially those more accustomed to cooler climates, to consider living in the south only from October to April and perhaps flee to the north during the summer.

JP and Amelia’s expat story began in Denver, when web designer JP was recovering from a series of spinal surgeries that left him with serious medical debt, leading the couple to reevaluate their life in the US.

They went vegan and moved to Cuenca, Ecuador in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. 

Nowadays, the couple sells a $195 online course meant to help Americans move abroad, which they call “the world’s most comprehensive live abroad program.” 

Their YouTube channel counts 109,000 subscribers, and videos include “The New American Dream: Getting Out,” “YOU can live abroad! How to leave the United States (or Canada),” and “US Cost of living is a SCAM.” 


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