Mi Casa Españolas

Well, I wish I had kept up with the blogging more often as now have too much to talk about and I have forgotten most of it.

So, going back to the last blog entry of trying to sort my stuff out and arranging our Amsterdam trip. Amsterdam was amazing as it always is. I love the fact there is always so many people yet always such a quiet peaceful place.

We booked in the Plaza across from the Train Station, where as it was a nice hotel, I think I would rather go back to my usual haunts. They kept locking us out the room for various annoying reasons which wouldn’t have been that much of an inconvenience, however our room was about 10 mins walk from the reception each time. Which is annoying when you’re knackered and just want to climb into bed.

So we had a chilled out time and just got all our plans sorted for Spain, flights booked, estate agents set up, accommodation sorted.

The weather was gorgeous so had a wander round in the sunshine. There are always weird and wonderful people in the Dam, including the infamous guy that dances with a flower pot on his head and Charlie took a shine to this guy and his didgeridoo.

The man and his pipe

The man and his pipe

So our flights to Spain were booked for the 10th Sept, we had only planned on staying in Alicante for 3 nights and then to move up the coast to experience different areas. It was all a little alien to me not having the whole trip planned, hadn’t even booked a return flight, however with Charlie being a crazy travelling gypsy she was used to travelling about, she even stayed in Amsterdam an extra week after I left… just because she could. I kind of envy that quality in a person.

So we got to Alicante late on the Monday and popped out for some food, not realising what a crazy adventure was yet to come.

We quite quickly realised that Alicante wasn’t the place for us, where as it was nice and was near the Casino and Airport, it was more a place you went on holiday and not to live. So we arranged some viewings further up the coast in Moraira, Benitachell and Javea. This meant it was over an hour drive each way.

We set off day one and went to hire a car, luckily they didn’t have any of the lower band cars available so were bumped up to a little white Beetle (we named her Thelma) I was so nervous as never driven on the wrong side of the road before and didn’t even really understand the way of the Spanish roads.

On exiting the car rental, I nearly ran someone over, stalled and then crashed into a bollard at the first toll booth (luckily no damage). After the first day I got the hang of it, thankfully the roads were quite chilled out and people seemed to have a lot of patience.

All in all we drove nearly 800 miles and for people who know me I DID IT ALL WITHOUT A SAT NAV!!!! Couldn’t believe how awesome we did, I tend to still get lost in Nottingham and lived here over 4 years.


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So we would set off around 10am in the morning dropping in estate agents that we found trying to arrange viewings. It was very stressful as the Spanish work at half pace and then they also go for a siesta around 2pm till about 4pm. So sometimes we were still viewing houses at 7pm, drive back to the hotel, grab some food and it would be about 11pm and ready for bed.

We then booked a hotel in Calpe which was much nearer the places we wanted to view. We managed to find the place on day 4. It was NOTHING like it said on the internet. It was in fact a dingy little hostel with no parking or anything it said it had on the website.

Problem is when you get away from the main cities, English becomes sparser and with Charlie and me only being able to speak a few words it was quite difficult at times.

We managed to get an English person on the phone and told them no way were we paying what they expected to stay here and we managed to cancel the booking.

EEEEEEP now no place to stay!!!! Thankfully my half cousin lives in Benitachell. I think I have only met her a few times so was a bit nervous ringing her and asking if we could crash for the night.

She hasn’t lived here herself for too long, she moved with her husband into a beautiful villa. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly a few months back and she is now living on her own.

We ended up staying 2 nights, which saved us a bucket and she is a lovely lady, will definitely keep in touch more when I move over. I’m sure I will be able to help her out with things.

So back to bobbing round looking at Villas, sounds good but I promise it was quite stressful. It was trying to find something that was a good price, near shops and amenities and had everything we needed.

As it happened we ended up settling on one that we saw on the first day. Charlie really liked it but I wasn’t so sure. We went back to have a second look and it was 10 times better than the first time we looked (maybe as we had now seen what else we could get for different costs).

Check out our new home!!!!!

Spanish Home

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Its a few minutes from Moraira centre with only 10 minute drive to Benitachell and Javea.

The bottom part of the house is self contained apartment with bedroom, living room and kitchen, perfect for my office.

Then upstairs is 2 double bedrooms, the living room is the circular bit top left, kitchen and the top right is outside dining area.

Outside, private pool and BBQ area and garage for parking.

All for €750 a month!!!!!

Now we had our house sorted we thought we could relax a little, however it didn’t quite transpire that way.

We decided to drive to Valencia and stay there for a night. We got up on the Sunday and everything was closed so decided to head to Barcelona which should have been a 4 hour drive. We did stop once for food and then hit major traffic jam which added an hour on to the journey. Once we got into Barcelona we got slightly lost forgetting how big it was.

We had basically been navigating using bits of maps we picked up (that weren’t very helpful) and saving screenshots of google maps on our laptops (as we couldn’t always find Wifi spots…and loved going round asking the Spanish for it as they pronounce it weefee). However the laptop died before we found the place we were staying in. So it ended up a 9 hour trip!!!!! Yawn!!!! And the drivers round Barcelona were less chilled out and it got a little scary.

The rest of the trip we did a bit of sightseeing and wandering round before heading back from Barcelona to East Midlands.

Spain Adventure

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I’m definitely more motivated to get my stuff sorted now as I just want to get over there. It’s such a cool place and our house is gorgeous.

I think my adventure/blog is working as planned by inspiring other people to also travel and highlight that it’s not too much of a crazy idea. Since my plans about 6 of my friends have or are planning to travel/move countries.

Hopefully people will come and visit me in Spain. If anything the thing I will miss most is my friends. <3

Oh My Sunny Days!!!!

The continued attempt to be less geeky has failed again…. “Yes, another self absorbed blogger”… I hear you say.

I found an old number of Blog posts on MySpace that I used to update about 4 years ago; I remember packing it in as it always felt like homework. I used to go to a poker event and then come home and then ramble about my weekend, similar to being back at school in English class.

This time however I have a different reason for starting a blog, I don’t want to bore the world with bad beat stories and idle poker chit chat, I’m sure there is more in this world than that….and I’m going to find out.

My plan is to go off travelling for a year, starting (hopefully) in Barcelona come this October. I have already informed a lot of my close friends, family and work clients and noticed the most common reaction to the news was “WOW, always wanted to do something like that, so Jealous!!!!”… So my aims are to try and blog about the whole process and maybe even inspire others to take the leap and go and experience the world.

Two of my inspirations for doing this are Cos and Amatay who went on a fun filled trip to Thailand. Reading through their blog posts every other week and seeing what an amazing time they had really made me realise that there is so much more to see, rather than being sat behind a computer screen 14 hours a day. (If you want to read their antics click here)

So to bring you up to speed, here is what I have done and planned so far:

My biggest worry was my business, I have been struggling to manage everything recently as sometimes things get a bit crazy and I essentially try to work within 3 job roles, Developer, Support, General Admin. It’s not easy having all that on your shoulders for one tiny person.

So I have managed to get onboard a nice young developer chap that will be taking over the majority of the development work and I can take on a more manager role and deal with the admin side of things. The good thing about my job is I can work from anywhere as long as I’m plugged in.

I believe this could be a good step forward for my business; I just could never work enough hours to generate 2 incomes and be able to afford to take on a second person. This way I will have much lower living costs than I do in the UK and also would like to get a few odd jobs away from the computer, so hopefully will be able to build things up over the next year and have a proper functional business with employees and everything :) HOW GROWD UP AM I!!!!

I also have a few online sites that generate some income, namely Poker Satellite Centre, make sure you all sign up so you can keep me fed while I’m away :)

So this is the stage I am at currently, training up the newbie. Drawing up contracts and getting everything sorted.

Then the next bit is the one I’m not looking forward to, selling and sorting all my stuff out. I slowly wandered around my house the other week analysing my personal belongings. What a lot of crap we build up over the years. When I said to myself “What would I actually NEED to take with me” it’s actually very little. Why do we hoard all this pointless material rubbish?!?!

So yeah, it will be car boot sales, ebay etc etc. I plan to put my bigger/expensive items in storage and take any high value items to my mums. Sadly I realised that my Hard Drive is probably the one thing I would be distraught over if I lost, not only from a business work perspective but the years of pictures, videos and a bucket load of music I have collected.

A lot of things such as bookcases, coffee tables etc, I may just get rid of. It works out cheaper paying £60 for new ones when I get back than storing such big items for a year.

I’m also planning to sell my car, funnily enough I worked out that I would finishing paying off the car loan in October. Definitely a sign!!!! So that should give me some extra start up money.

Once I have all my stuff sorted, then the planning of where I’m going and what I’m doing. FINALLY THE FUN BIT!!!!!

I have a couple of friends that are interested in doing the same thing. So hopefully it will work out that we do this together, however if that falls through I will still be doing it on my own. Even started to learn Spanish but I’m pretty rubbish. I can say about 3 things and I can’t roll my “R”s. Not to worry, I downloaded a speech translator on my iPod.

Don’t really want to make too many plans for the actual trip, although I really would like to travel about a bit and live in a few different European Countries, I figure if I like somewhere I don’t want to have to move on for the sake of it. Or if I meet some crazy hippies that are going over to Australia or somewhere I may just hop along on their happy bus.

There are definitely things I’m going to miss, especially my friends. I’m lucky in that I have some amazing mates but hopefully they will come and visit me abroad, I’m sure they will as it’s a cheap holiday… bloody freeloaders lol :p

I’m also going to really miss Nottingham. I will have lived here for 4 years by the time I go and it felt like home the moment I landed. So much cool stuff here such as DTD Poker club and has great restaurants/nightlife. Again I have made some amazing friends and would most likely move back here (if I do move back).

One thing I’m not going to miss is Poker. I might still play on occasion while I’m away to keep my game up, probably more live than online as the Spanish Poker laws changed this year and there are no longer many sites that allow Spanish players. Although I have always done well at poker and again met some really cool people along the way, I do think it can be a very toxic environment for many reasons. I have made some very naive mistakes the last year in trusting the wrong people which has come and bit me in the ass. But lessons learned I hope, silver lining I do think it has more impact when you learn from your own mistakes. Fool me once, shame on you…. fool me twice, shame on me.

The main thing is that there always seems to be a severe lack of justice, and at the end of the day I don’t want to live in a world like that. I don’t want to always have to watch my own back and worrying about the people I can trust. I know the world in general can be like that but unfortunately in the Poker scene, probably because of its nature it can attract the lowest of characters, it seems to be quite an evil place at times.

Anyway, this is turning out to be quite a ramble and apologies for such a text based first post, but I’m sure there will be lots of cool pictures and videos to come for the people that can’t process reading the English language very well.

All in all, exciting times ahead :)

I will miss everyone loads but hopefully keep in touch on FB.

Peace out folks!!!!