A YOUNG British TikToker has gone viral after revealing why she loves living on the Costa del Sol, saying she would ‘never’ move back to Spain.
When you imagine an expat, what comes to mind?
Many people picture older Brits who have chosen to spend their retirements in the sun, but there’s no doubt that today, the typical expat is evolving, as more and more young people swap the UK for Spain.
Georgia, a 27-year-old business owner from northern England, first decided to try Spanish life at just 18-years-old.
After finishing her A-levels, the brave student moved to Madrid to work as an au-pair and ‘fell in love’ with the country.
She was only meant to stay for three months, but ended up in the capital for a whole year.
So enamoured by Spain, she decided to study Spanish and Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Nottingham Trent University.
During her time as a student, she frequently returned to Spain, spending her summers working in a Sevilla summer camp before moving to Malaga for her year abroad.
That’s when she truly fell head over heels for Andalucia and made it her mission to return once she finished her degree.
“I love the feel of Malaga. Obviously I love Seville, but Malaga feels more authentic,” she told The Olive Press.
“I worked in Torrox Costa and because it was a small town, I really got to know the people, the food and the culture. I felt like I had really established a base there so I wanted to come back.”
The expat returned after finishing her degree and began working as a language assistant in Torre del Mar.
Some five years later, Georgia is fully settled on the Costa del Sol.
After teaching, she began a holiday rental business, Solset Properties, with her Spanish boyfriend and says she would ‘never move back’ to the UK.
The former teacher shares her reflections on expat life on Tiktok (@GeoInSpain) where she recently went viral for sharing her ‘reverse culture shock’ when visiting the UK.
She told the Olive Press: “I feel healthier here. I eat better because fruit, vegetables and fish are so much cheaper, especially because we’re on the coast.
“Not only that, the days are longer and we make the most of them. We don’t wait until the weekend to socialise. In the UK, people are tired, they go home after work, watch TV, eat and go to bed. Here, I finish work at six or seven and go out with friends.”
However, she admits it has been hard to make connections here as people assume ‘if you have blonde hair and green eyes’ that ‘you don’t speak Spanish’.
“People still have this view of an expat as an older person who moves over here and doesn’t learn Spanish or try to integrate into the local community.
“In my case, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I think that stereotype needs to be changed.”
Although she was ‘very well accepted’ into the local community, she admits she is ‘sometimes mistaken for a tourist’ and met most of her friends through social media.
Young Brits in Spain have to ‘seek out’ their communities online as the ‘wider expat community’ tends to be ‘older’, she said.
“That’s why I started making videos on TikTok, because there are young expats, but no one talks about them!
“If you move here in your twenties, it’s an awkward age because you’re not forced to speak to people at school or university. Also, in Spain people have friendship groups for life because they don’t move away from home as much. As a girl, it is almost impossible to integrate into a Spanish group of girlfriends.”
In everyday life, however, Georgia says people in Andalucia are ‘much friendlier’ than in the UK.
“If you walk into a cafe, everyone says hi to you, I can’t imagine that happening in a Costa Coffee,” she laughed.
“When I walk my dog, old ladies strike up a conversation with me which is really nice.”
In July last year, the holiday rental owner moved to Nerja and ‘absolutely loves it’.
“It’s the most beautiful town in Malaga in my opinion. The beaches are incomparable.
“Yes, you earn more in the UK, but at what cost when you have all this on your doorstep and a much better quality of life?”
The TikTokker, also known as Geo, claims she receives messages frequently from soon-to-be expats considering the move.
“Don’t overthink it, just do it.” she advised.
“Decide where you want to go and just try it for a few months. Fly over to Malaga and give out your CV, start applying for jobs and see how you like it.”
Georgia frequently answers Brits questions on TikTok, where she shares the highs and lows of her expat experience, including the MANY stunning sunsets over the mediterranean and beach days that many expats once dreamed of.