Moon Living Abroad in Spain
By Candy Lee LaBalle, 2nd Edition
Paperback, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Living Abroad Contributing Editor Volker Poelzl
“Moon Living Abroad in Spain” is the second edition of the book and author Candy Lee LaBalle has revised the the format to provide new and updated information for anyone interested in moving to and living in Spain. The book opens with the author’s recollections of her first trip to Spain, where she describes her mouth-watering experience of sampling paella, one of Spain’s most famous dishes. She maintains the same tone throughout the book, offering tasty tidbits of Spanish culture and a way of life that sums up why this beautiful country has been among American’s favorite European destinations, ever since Hemingway wrote about bull fights and great food and wine in the 1930s.
The pleasant aspects of living in Spain are apparent throughout the book, from the lively culture and great food to the relatively low cost of living and attractive cities. But the author does not shy away from tackling all aspects of life in Spain, including the less pleasant ones. She covers the difficulties for non-Europeans to get a work or residency permit for Spain, the low salary levels, mediocre education system, and impenetrable bureaucracy. She also touches on Spain’s current economic problems, which make it even harder for foreigners to get jobs in Spain.
As with all Moon Living Abroad guides from Avalon publications, the book has a clear outline and provides all the essential information foreigners need to know to make a successful move to Spain. The chapter “Welcome to Spain” is a concise introduction to all things Spanish, from economy, history and politics, to the people, culture, and cuisine. The author’s lively descriptions made we want to drop what I was doing and hop on the next plane back to Spain to experience once again the country’s lively culture and friendly people. In the chapter about “Daily Life” she writes about making the move, visas, housing considerations, language and education, health, employment, finance, communications, and transportation. The section about “Prime Living Locations” introduces readers to Spain’s most attractive cities and regions for expatriates, such as Madrid and Barcelona, as well as picturesque and less urban coastal towns and regions, including Spain’s islands.
The last chapters of the book are dedicated to a “Resources” section that includes useful information about government offices and embassies, media, communications, language schools, health, transportation, financial matters etc. There is also a glossary, phrasebook, and a list of suggested reading.
“Moon Living Abroad in Spain” is a practical and informative guide and is an indispensable companion for anyone planning on moving to Spain.
For more information, and for a preview of the introduction and table of contents, visit the Moon Living Abroad in Spain web page on the publisher's clean new website.