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From the Netherlands to Spain: Koen’s Inspiring Relocation Story

Koen Braat Relocation Story

Koen’s long-time dream to relocate to Spain became a reality when Dutch company Launch! became a part of Adessa and he took the opportunity to move to sunny Andalusia. 

In March 2022, Koen moved from the Netherlands to Malaga, Spain. He is a Service Delivery Manager at Adessa and serves as the central point of contact for clients and manages colleagues.  Read on to discover more about his relocation adventure. 

Life Before the Move

Before Koen joined the team in Malaga, he was working and living in the Netherlands. Over the years, he and his family spent many holidays in Spain and always considered relocating there. Then in 2021, Koen began to investigate how it would be to live in Spain, and in February he and his wife booked a month-long rental in Torrox, Spain, which is quite close to Malaga.  

Coincidentally, last summer, it was announced that Launch! would soon form part of Adessa. The stars seemed to align when Koen realised that Adessa had an office in Malaga. It was the turning point, as it was such a coincidence, and he began the investigation process.  

At first, Koen wondered how it would be if they tried out Spain for only a few months per year. However, it soon became clear to him that it was all or nothing, and that they would go for it! With much excitement, he and his wife decided to emigrate to Spain and live there year-round. 

Koen’s Motivation to Move to Spain 

Koen was interested in relocating to Spain for a few reasons, mainly because it was a favourite holiday country of his. He enjoyed many aspects of the country on his visits and could imagine himself living there. Also, he likes football, and FC Barcelona has a history of having Dutch players! In addition, Koen and his wife wanted to relocate to Spain for medical reasons. The warm climate would be both enjoyable and beneficial for their health.

Koen was excited to embark on this new process. As mentioned before, he had always dreamt of moving to Spain. Now that Launch! would form part of Adessa, it was the perfect time and opportunity for this exciting change. 

Malaga Port

Some Obstacles Along the Way

While it is now a fun story, Koen had a not-so-fun experience driving belongings over the border to Belgium. A friend of his daughter had a camper van, and they decided to use it to move their things from the Netherlands to Spain. Since the process is typically expensive, they wanted to keep it as simple as possible. 

At the Netherlands-Belgium border, the police stopped Koen in a routine check. When they weighed the camper van, it was far too heavy. He paid a ticket and had to figure out how he would do with the extra 200 kilograms of weight. Luckily, his wife and daughter could meet him with two cars, and they unpacked in the middle of the highway.  

Fortunately, the Belgian border was not too far away from his house. If it were the French border, it would have been a problem! So, this is a lesson about trial and error and creating a backup plan. While moving abroad, you can prepare as well as possible, but still have a last-minute surprise! 

 The rest of Koen’s experience has been relatively smooth. Of course, paperwork and such processes can take time, but there have been few unexpected surprises.  

Koen Relocation

Business and Personal Challenges

As of the 1st of March 2022, Koen began to work in Malaga. He credits the successful relocation to luck and entrepreneurship. Still, there were some challenges, like filing paperwork and getting settled in his new country. Next on the list is getting a Spanish phone number! 

For Koen, the main professional challenge was if he could continue to do the same work based out of Spain. His position involves people management, knowing the content, guiding the team in the right direction, and escalation management. The most demanding part is multitasking and taking on a lot at once, which he thoroughly enjoys. He especially likes the project management aspect and is having fun in his role. Koen’s conclusion is so far, so good!

Koen in Spain

On a personal side, the biggest challenge was, of course, balancing a move with his family. Koen has two daughters who are 23 and 26 years old. They were supportive and pushed him and his wife in the direction of Spain. His children favoured the relocation, as they saw it as an exceptional opportunity for their parents to make their dreams of moving to Spain reality. Still, he notes the biggest downside is that he cannot hug his children every weekend. 

Along the same lines, the distance from his parents has been a personal challenge for Koen. They are both 91 years old, and he has dedicated much time to caring for them. His brother has taken over as caretaker, as Koen can no longer do so. Still, he does as much as he can to support them from afar.  

Koen is planning visits to the Netherlands, and luckily, he can combine work with seeing his family. As he is a contact point for the client, in-person meetings help build relationships and foster communication. He hopes to see his children every four to six weeks, and his wife will also visit frequently. 

Advice for People Hoping to Relocate

Koen advises people to consider what they want and the changes they would be willing to take on. In his situation, he and his wife decided to go for it, but they did not want to buy a house in Spain right away. First, they opted for a long-term rental, and after a year, they will decide what to do. 

Koen reflects on stories from colleagues from Belgium or France who have relocated to Spain. For now, everyone has stayed put in Spain, and are happy with their decision to move. So far, Koen and his wife love the climate and are pleased with their house. He also enjoys the culture and spirit, which he thought might form a challenge, as he did not know much about the environment in Malaga before the move.  

He advises that relocating is possible if you can manage your work from whatever country you want to move to. Of course, there are personal topics to consider, like your children and parents. Koen hopes to inspire more people to move! 

The Future for Koen in Spain 

Koen is thrilled with his decision to relocate to Spain. He looks forward to continuing to grow in his role as a Service Delivery Manager at Adessa. He also hopes to learn more Spanish as he becomes more settled in Spain. Next time, we will have a chat in Spanish instead! 

Are you inspired by Koen’s story? Check out our job offers today and join our international team at Adessa! You may be the next to share your relocation story.

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