Hi, my name is Lynne and I have been lucky to call Gran Alacant home for the last 5 years. People fascinate me and I love to hear about their adventures and life stories. Over the next few months, I will be sharing some interview with GA’s very own Superstars!
This month’s interview is with Helen King. Helen is a busy working mum with 2 beautiful girls Lily (11) and Sophia (7). She has lived in GA with her Spanish husband Roberto for the last 11 years.
Helen, what brought you to Spain?
I moved to Elche in 1999 in my mid 20’s with the sole intention of staying for a year to learn Spanish and to teach English.
Did you find it easy to learn the language?
I completely immersed myself in local culture. I house-shared with Spanish girls and socialised with Spanish people. In order to integrate fully, I had no option but to learn, to listen and to speak the language.
How did you meet your husband Roberto?
I moved to Alicante City in 2001 to enjoy the beautiful city and the amazing nightlife. I met Roberto on a night out on 2 June 2002. We communicated in Spanish and French, as Roberto did not speak English. We got married exactly 10 years later on the same day we met.
Roberto learned to speak English so he could converse with my family and my Spanish improved. I moved back to Elche in 2002 to be with Roberto.
What made you move to GA?
When our girls Lily and Sophia came along, we wanted to live in a more family-orientated area with outside space and a swimming pool for our children to enjoy. The girls love their school here, the teachers are fabulous and I would highly recommend it.
Tell me about your work?
In 2000, I started working for Masa International offices in Torrevieja in their accounts department doing legal/building conveyancing work. In October 2018, I joined the team at Top Alacant, which is a family run Estate Agency here in GA.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that it is a small family run company. My colleagues are fantastic, the clients are great and the job itself is so rewarding. I get to combine both sides of the business and take clients through the full purchasing process, which I think they appreciate.
I think some people have the impression that Estate Agents can be a bit ‘cut-throat’ but it is not like that at all. We are passionate about selling the dream. We live here and because we love it, we can pass all that local knowledge onto our customers.
What do you do in your spare time?
My family time is very precious to me so I work round my busy schedule by doing three half-hour Personal Training sessions a week in my lunch break. I meet with my neighbour every week for a French/English exchange. Family time in winter is spent inland in Alcoi walking in nature. We also enjoy weekends away whenever we can.
What is your next goal?
I love learning new languages, I spent 3 years learning Italian in a school in Elche. My next goal is to learn Swedish!
I am so impressed that neither Helen nor Roberto have had any official Spanish/English language classes. Both are self-taught and now fluent – an inspiration to us all!
Thank you so much Helen for sharing your story with us.