For the past 9 years until November 2013 I had been living and working in the warmer climates of Southern Spain. My parents are still living there refusing to move out of the place they now call home. You may think I’m mad coming back to the cold, damp and grey of England, but there is a reason behind my madness….
Unlike most ex-pats we choose not to invest or live on the coast, choosing a more rural location that gave us the “real” Spain. Approx. 40 minutes from Malaga and 35 minutes from Marbella, we had the best of both worlds. The traditional white washed village of Tolox is set amid the beautiful Sierra de Nieves (Mountains of snow). Tolox is a traditional spa town pulling visitors from all over Spain and other parts of Europe between May and September for the natural springs and air that helps those with respiratory problems such as asthma.
For such a relativity small village in the back of beyond, we sure know how to party, with several Ferias (days on end pure partying) going on through out the year, where the villagers and those from other areas come to play. There are 3 main ones that the village holds: February carnival, otherwise known as the Feria de Polvo (an excuse to drink, dance, put on fancy dress and throw flour over each other for 3 days). Feria del Carmen held in July to honour a female saint (another excuse to party for 3 days) and the biggie Feria del San Roque in August to recognise the patron saint of Tolox. This one normally lasts for over 5 days and includes lots of drinking, dancing, water fights (to cool you down in the sever hot weather of course!), special guests from across Spain to sing and entertain the village and lots of fireworks on the 15th August. Apart from the euro a beer and generally low prices for drinks and tapa, these are all free and paid for by the town hall. There are other events that happen throughout the year such as flamenco festivals, film festivals and any other excuse to not work for a few days and socialise.
Feria de Polvo – Myself, My friend Lisa and my mum… the naughty nuns!
Feria del San Roque – Foam Party in the day.
I choose to leave all this behind for a while to concentrate on one thing and that is to work for cruise.co.uk. Unfortunately the opportunities for those of us whom still have to work are not so great any more in Southern Spain and although I had a great job in travel based in Fuengirola on the coast, I couldn’t go any further after 8 years and needed a change. I specifically chose to work for cruise.co.uk because of the way they have progressed over the years, their fantastic customer service and customer loyalty and because they have a great reputation within the travel industry. Also, there is the fact that I could continue my love of selling cruises.
I have to say I am so happy I made that decision to leave the sun and move back to the UK, even though I’m writing this in artificial heat with the light on at midday because of the rain outside, I know I’m only a couple of hours away until that sun hits my face again. The staff that I have encountered since joining the company have all been so welcoming and we even had an evening out to welcome us newbies into the family. So after our night out, I don’t think I will have to worry to much about missing some of the Ferias back home!!
Thank you to those I have already met and will meet in the future and to my future clients that I hope to be booking cruises for many years to come.