Life in Spain: Costa Blanca, Alicante – Two women conversation
Who are we?
Firstly, my name is Lenka Matthews, I am the founder of Matthews & Partners; a Czech company established by me, and my business partner, Miloš Staněk. We provide our clients with full tailored-made services and customer care - before, during, and after the property purchase. In order to deliver what we stand for we partnered with the Costa Weflen Group led by Hilde Jeanette Weflen.
I am originally Czech and it is soon going to be two years since I permanently moved to Alicante in Spain. Actually, we (me and my almost 3-year-old Maison Harrold staff bull kind of puppy). I made the decision to move within a couple of weeks, drove back to Prague, packed all we needed, and drove over 2.000 km back to Alicante. This is how our new life chapter has begun. Spoiler: - within a few months - we settled in and feel at home here!
Having said all the above, I am eternally grateful for the help and support we received from Hilde, Miloš, my mum, and our friends.
I used to live abroad before - specifically, in London where I also studied for my MBA. However, this time it felt a little different - maybe because I am older, maybe because living in Spain has been my dream for many years, or?
Spain is different!
Enough about me. It is time to introduce Hilde Jeanette Weflen. She is a business owner, our business partner, a mother to two children, artist, and I am honored to also call her my friend, and sister. She lives in Spain for over 23 years. Hilde is a Norwegian, someone who speaks many languages and is a kind, smart, strong, and very inspirational woman.
The idea to write this blog came to us during the dinner Hilde cooked for us last week. The intention is to capture and share our experiences, challenges, and miracles we experience and will keep experiencing. Sharing stories is a powerful way to learn, grow, and perhaps inspire others who are considering moving abroad.
I believe the first question is given – “Why Spain”?
L: I felt the connection to people, and culture since my first work trip to Spain back in 2011 - Madrid and Barcelona. Little I knew at the time that my dream will come through and I will be living here. In the autumn of 2019, my friend Ellen and I took a road trip from Barcelona to Alicante and discovered the beautiful local areas, beaches, cuisine, and culture. We both fell crazy in love with Spain, but only a few years after - COVID happened. It has been an extremely challenging period for many people, but within a few months, I started to research the Spanish residential market and look for connections. During one breakfast, Miloš mentioned Spain too. One thing led to another, thanks to technology we could start working with Hilde and her team to prepare all required to look after our clients from the Czech Republic, and as soon as we could travel, I drove to Alicante.
I arrived in Alicante – did not know anybody, except a few people – including Hilde – through the ZOOM meetings…., and I do not speak the language.
H: Long winters with a hill up to the bus to go to school every day, snow, rain, slippery streets…the world has more to offer than that was my thoughts. After I failed in french, I thought it doesn’t matter where I lived to learn the language… Spain, France, Italy? Sunny days were my dream. I ended up in the Alicante area because here are the sunniest days in Europe according to WHO, my family, friends, and many clients - and me!
What was the first impression?
L: I was excited, scared, surprised, happy .... it has been a kinda rollercoaster. Perfectly imperfect, and would not change a day.
I saw a quote the other day, that made me smile and think. It goes like this: ”The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker.
H: I arrived in 1998 with my boyfriend and we loved it. No work, just a couple of contacts. We got to meet them and everybody was so nice to us. After 3 weeks we had work and lots of friends. Crazy times on so many levels - but we were young and happy to be here. In August, there were a lot of "vacation people" - back then Torrevieja (we ended up living there for many years), the town had 44.000 registered inhabitants, but in the summer - 500 000 people!!! Absolutely crazy! I remember thinking… give the town 10 years and it will have it all. And it does. Today: access via highway, sports center with 17 different sports genres, beach promenade with small beaches, lots of new houses and buildings, shopping centers, 2 new hospitals, and so on… It's incredible to think about how much Costa Blanca has changed since I arrived.
Visit our new office and be seduced…
Hilde and I share a lot in common. One of our passions is real estate.
I suppose thanks to Covid, and the unprecedented situation, we have probably all realized how much human connection and relationships are important to all of us. We too, like other business owners, experienced struggles at the beginning. However, we learned the power of shifting our mindset to become more resourceful and to pivot ourselves so that we could focus on helping and supporting the local community and our business partners and clients.
We both believe that business is personal, and so our key focus is to build and nurture relationships with people from all different sectors of Real Estate and other industries. We also tailor our service in response to our client’s needs in the ever-changing and demanding environment, finding creative solutions.
It’s safe to say that the Real Estate industry will change considerably over the next few months, years, and beyond. While many of the trends are already evident, the industry faces a number of fundamental shifts that will have major implications and will shape the future of investment and development. Our extensive experience together with our network of specialists that have a successful proven track record means that we are able to navigate those challenges with ease and will become the ‘go-to’ in the Real Estate Industry.
Hilde always says: “We are not a normal Real Estate agency, we are guides, advisors, and personal assistants”.
This is the very beginning of our conversation. If you have any questions, are settling here, or planning on relocation, reach out.
We are here, in Alicante, just an email, or phone call away.