Each family in the world is unique and diverse, and that is even more so for the thousands of expat families that have chosen to live here in Malaga, southern Spain, from over 100 different countries - all looking for a fresh start.
For many it's to make new friends, a change of career, a different way of life, for financial or political reasons, or to "find themselves" - but all come with and a heart full of hope and wonder at what the Costa del Sol and surrounding areas of Andalucia have to offer them.
With diversity comes vibrancy, fun and engaging personalities, and each member of the family looking to find their place to call home. Marbella, Estepona and Mijas being the most popular towns and villages in Malaga which are vibrant, active and friendly, as are so many other wonderful places here such as Sotogrande and Manilva being closer to Gibraltar making them attractive locations for families - including Gibraltar itself (especially with expat Brtis!). Fuengirola and Benalmadena are an ideal choice for many families that love to regularly visit Malaga city - which is just 15-20 minutes away by car or train - but all of these places (and many others) have excellent family friendly amenities and are ideal places to live.
Spain, as the families that choose to live here, is equally vibrant, fun and engaging and welcomes foreigners, especially those with children, with a kind heart, an open hand and is why so many families choose to settle here. Spain has managed to continue to hold dear the many traditions and customs that have made it so great - strong family values and passion being just a couple of it's greatest strengths.
Spain is not perfect, and like every country has its flaws, but one thing it excels at is allowing families space to breathe, to be different, to nurture their children safely, to follow their passions and to allow them to live an outdoor active life, making friends, having fun, learning, and developing in a way that creates love and tolerance for each other - no matter what faith, culture or colour of skin!
Each family living here gets back so much from their local communities and over the years the town halls, with the help of many talented and caring residents, have created support groups, charities and activities that bring so much joy, hope and blessings to families.
Many families can choose to give back and get involved in so many ways to keep this very special part of the world alive and kicking and are an example to follow.
Are there problems? Yes, of course! As people we are flawed and there will always be problems, with teenagers being particularly vulnerable to the many temptations here that can lead them astray as they try to find their identity and sense of purpose. More needs to be done to help them and their families, and is one of KOTC's key objectives to collaborate with families, organisations, schools, and local government that can foster stronger relations and create better opportunities for our youth.
But with a lot of faith, love and hope in our hearts families can really work together, to support one another, and to learn from each other. In the Costa del Sol especially, we Encourage It, Embrace It, - as we Appreciate It - knowing how very blessed we are to live here no matter what our circumstances.
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yours, Lynne x
About the Author:
Lynne Duncan is a mum with many passions and works hard to be a guiding light to her two precious teenage children, which isn't an easy task in a world full of challenges and temptations. But with the enormous help of her Faith in Jesus and Trust in God, loving partner, family and friends - is herself guided and enlightened! She feels very blessed to be the editor and publisher of Kids on the Costa magazines and has a passion and a "calling" to make a difference to families by networking with others who are "making a difference", and by helping to spread positive thoughts, good and practical information, love, real joy, and gratitude into each family's life.