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Expat Spotlight: Dawn's Top 3 Tips for Spain

My name is Dawn R. Starr. I am a forensic psychologist by trade, but my real passions are music, dance, food and travel. My wanderlust and worldwide curiosity has taken me from hole-in- the-wall, locals-only spots to well-heeled locales in 36 countries.

My passion for travel has led me to take an early retirement from my demanding career as a forensic psychologist (evaluating and testifying on Sexually Violent Predators in California.) I sold everything, and moved to the picturesque Mediterranean town of Altea. I write about the positive experiences and challenges of my move to Spain, including getting a Spanish visa, mail tribulations, dealing with the local Valenciano dialect, fun festivals, live music, multi-cultural social life, and travel adventures. I often feature photos of my experiences, although I admit I am still a photography neophyte.

Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in Spain?

1) Juan Abril in Altea – Traditional, well-executed Spanish food
2) Lizzaran in Alicante – Creative tapas: self-serve and changing choices brought tableside
3) La Maja in Altea – Sumptous continental cuisine with impecable service

Top 3 favorite foods in Spain?

1) Arroz Negro – Like a paella, but with black squid ink and calamari or cuttlefish
2) Any place tasty, creative tapas
3) Jamon Iberico

Top 3 tips for new expats in Spain?

1) Learn Spanish
2) Stay at a vacation rental to “test drive” a town or neighborhood
3) Have patience when dealing with Spanish businesses and bureaucracy

Top 3 tips for travellers in Spain?

1) Learn basic Spanish words like please, thank-you, numbers, restroom
2) Contact your cell phone provider for a discounted international plan to avoid huge bills
3) Attend at least one activity with people living in Spain, such as cooking class, language exchange, dance class, local fiesta

Top 3 tips for what to pack for Spain?

1) Sunscreen
2) Comfortable walking shoes that do not slide on slippery surfaces
3) Snorkle gear if staying near clear water

Top 3 favorite places in Spain

1) Altea
2) Granada and the Alhambra
3) Toledo

Top 3 neighborhoods in Altea

1) Casco Antiguo (old town)
2) Beachfront apartments
3) Altea La Vella (in the hills)

For more tips on life in Altea, watch the Spain blog and go to her site https://starrtreks.com/ .

Interested in contributing? Contact erin@insidersabroad.com!

Published November 16th, 2016 by Dawn R. Starr.
Posted to Inside Secrets to Spain

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