STEFFI (71) and STAN (68)

From UK and Germany

 Number of winters living abroad: 13


Steffi’s Story: Stan came to Spain to spend his first winter abroad 13 years ago. He stayed in the camp the whole winter and enjoyed it very much – there were many activities and people were friendly. That's why he returns to La Manga every year. It's like a small village where everyone knows everyone. Often, you have more friends here than at home, because friends are easy to find here: the weather is always good, people are relaxed and have a lot of time to meet up and be outdoors. La Manga is where we met.


I had only ever been on holiday five times with my late husband. We raised three sons together. He used to say that we will go on vacation when we retire.  He died on the second day of retirement. I didn't want my life to end with the loss of my husband - I was just fifty-eight. I thought, “What did I do in my life? Nothing! I have devoted all of me to my family, and now I want to have time for myself.”

 Six years ago, I decided to spend a three-month holiday in Spain. My sons were not too keen on the idea, as they had come to enjoy all the support they received from me with their day-to-day chores. Upon arrival to Spain, I met Stan. Both of us went back to our own countries at the end of our holiday, but we continued to keep in touch. We met several times in Germany, then England, and finally, five years ago, we decided to move in together.  My sons agreed with my choice are now are happy about it.

We call it love and we are very excited to be together. When you’re older, finding a partner and willing to change your lifestyle can be difficult. But Stan turned out to be a reliable man. Our hobbies and attitudes toward life coincide, so I consider it very lucky that we’ve met. It is generally advisable for lonely people not to sit at home – they should travel abroad, talk with people. Perhaps not everyone will meet the love of their life, but they will surely find plenty of engaging things to do far away from loneliness and sadness.

Stan likes karaoke. He likes to sing and entertain the audience. He prepares for karaoke evenings diligently, and I am his costumes designer. Stan is not afraid to wear a dress or high heels, dress up as Mick Jagger or a clown. People are always laughing and having fun with him.

We are happy now and we are not worried about anything. Yes, Stan’s hip joint sometimes hurts, but when it’s past its due, he laughs, he’ll replace it with a new one. I think there’s no need to worry about the future at our age. Life is too short. Just live and spend we say.