It’s easy to think that if you change your environment, things will improve. But in Malaga, I discovered that this wasn’t true.
Sunshine and Beaches
I lived in Malaga for a brief time during September and October of 2013 – and what a wonderful place it is even if my feelings about the city remain mixed.
I ended up there in a bid to save my relationship with Daniela. It was some years ago now and during our first time together as a couple. At the time we were living in Northolt then ended up moving to a tiny studio flat in Ellis Court located in central London. While it seemed a good idea at the time, moving to the flat within the city only served to put added strain on our relationship – something neither of us needed.
Daniela and I were already going through a rough patch and relocating to central London hadn’t helped us solve any of the problems. Mostly, it only served to make things worse.
In a last-ditch effort to save the relationship, we moved to Malaga because I wanted to give Daniela the one thing London couldn’t– more sunshine and beaches.
We had sort of ended up in Malaga on a whim. As such, we had not yet secured a permanent place to live.
Upon showing up in the city, my plan to find us a place to live involved asking around and sending emails to potential open properties. However, it was Daniela who ended up finding us the flat.
We only spent a few days in a hotel before moving into our apartment – and I can’t help but wonder at how quickly Daniela pulled it all together!
Securing the apartment happened because, luckily, Daniela speaks Spanish very well – she’s nearly fluent.
She was already learning the language before we arrived and her ability to speak Italian gave her an upper edge with a fluency I could never master in regards to the language.
We had been out wandering the streets when Daniela struck up a conversation with a random lady who ended up showing us some available properties in the area.
Within a few days, there we were, picking a place in the center of the city. Though we probably could have found something cheaper just a few more minutes’ walk inland, we thought the apartment in the center of everything made the best fit for us.
Location. Location. Location…
The thing about the apartment we picked was that the location was wonderful.
I’ll be honest, though, it did have some drawbacks. Most notably:
- The lighting was poor.
- The internet wasn’t great.
- Skype calls were a nightmare because of the above.
Due to the poor internet, I frequently found myself at a nearby café in order to be able to work. At the time, I was running meetmytutor remotely, so it would have been impossible for me to keep the business alive without that café.
That café was a blessing and became part of a daily routine for me.
Just a Distraction
Daniela and I did our best to settle into life in the little city. She was more than excited at the idea of living in Malaga. In the end, however, the new location didn’t solve any of the problems between us. It was, perhaps, just another distraction to keep us from facing the real issues.
Ultimately, I was only in Malaga for 2 ½ weeks.
A Shift in Desire
Things between us didn’t quite work out how we had hoped they would in Malaga.
Although we had paid a few months up front for the flat, it was obvious things between us weren’t going to change between us.
So, it didn’t make sense for us both to stay.
Since we had the apartment for a few months I told Daniela to stay there whilst I moved back to my parents’ house in the London suburbs.
After leaving Malaga and heading back home I spent the next few months reassessing my options.
The range of options I considered was wide – from moving back to central London to heading back to Malaga. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to do and was quite lost during that time.
The part of me that did want to go back to Malaga really missed experiencing the town with Daniela.
It’s one of those places that, at first, doesn’t seem real. It’s a beautiful little port city with yellow sand beaches and an unforgettable coastline located in the south of Spain. It’s also a sleepy little town, especially during September and October when the travel season has slowed down.
Malaga is not exactly a place people go to live – it’s more of a home for tourism than anything else.
Since tourism was the main attraction of the city, it was very easy for Daniela and I to find great rates for a well sized 1 bedroom apartment.
The cost of living in the center of the seaside town was only £400 a month.
But what I Remember Most of All…
It’s not the cost of living that stands out the most for me about Malaga. What I will always remember the town for is its beauty.
The memory that sticks with me the most about Malaga is that it was my first time living so close to a beach. For the time I was there I spent every day running from our flat down to the beach and along the coastline.
- Leave in the morning
- Spend about 45 minutes running along the coast
Before heading back home.
Some days Daniela would join me and we’d head down to the outside gyms along the beach. Other days we’d or make our way to the outdoor seaside market that was brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds. After our trip to the market, we’d then spend our evenings cooking with whatever we decided to pick up for the day.
Love and Pain in a Seaside Town
As I said earlier, I speak of Malaga with mixed feelings.
The city will always be special to me – I even returned there later for a marathon.
However, there’s no denying that my initial experience in Malaga was rough.
It was a somber time in my life and I can’t help attaching some of those gloomier memories to it.
As much as I loved:
- Walking the city
- Running the coastline
- Breakfast at the little café with Daniela
- Returning to London alone
- The turbulence in my relationship
- Deciding to part ways with Daniela
In a strange way, I still have an attachment to the city. I experienced both significant love and pain in Malaga and those feelings are mixed together in a found yet nostalgic view toward the little seaside town.