My name is Dawn R. Starr. I am a forensic psychologist by trade, but my real passions are music, dance, food and travel. My wanderlust and worldwide curiosity has taken me from hole-in- the-wall, locals-only spots to well-heeled locales in 36 countries.
My passion for travel has led me to take an early retirement from my demanding career as a forensic psychologist (evaluating and testifying on Sexually Violent Predators in California.) I sold everything, and moved to the picturesque Mediterranean town of Altea. I write about the positive experiences and challenges of my move to Spain, including getting a Spanish visa, mail tribulations, dealing with the local Valenciano dialect, fun festivals, live music, multi-cultural social life, and travel adventures. I often feature photos of my experiences, although I admit I am still a photography neophyte.
Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in Spain?
1) Juan Abril in Altea – Traditional, well-executed Spanish food
2) Lizzaran in Alicante – Creative tapas: self-serve and changing choices brought tableside
3) La Maja in Altea – Sumptous continental cuisine with impecable service
Top 3 favorite foods in Spain?
1) Arroz Negro – Like a paella, but with black squid ink and calamari or cuttlefish
2) Any place tasty, creative tapas
3) Jamon Iberico
Top 3 tips for new expats in Spain?
1) Learn Spanish
2) Stay at a vacation rental to “test drive” a town or neighborhood
3) Have patience when dealing with Spanish businesses and bureaucracy
Top 3 tips for travellers in Spain?
1) Learn basic Spanish words like please, thank-you, numbers, restroom
2) Contact your cell phone provider for a discounted international plan to avoid huge bills
3) Attend at least one activity with people living in Spain, such as cooking class, language exchange, dance class, local fiesta
Top 3 tips for what to pack for Spain?
2) Comfortable walking shoes that do not slide on slippery surfaces
3) Snorkle gear if staying near clear water
Top 3 favorite places in Spain
2) Granada and the Alhambra
Top 3 neighborhoods in Altea
1) Casco Antiguo (old town)
2) Beachfront apartments
3) Altea La Vella (in the hills)
Interested in contributing? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org!