A Dream Project: A Day in the Life of Visionaries with a Reform Project

  • Share on

With the blog series A Day in the Life of … we want to give you a sneak peak into the lives of our Andalusian heroes. We have always written about what it is like to move to Spain and start a new adventure. We have written about the exhilarating experience of picking the grapes from the vines on your plot. Enjoying a breakfast with olive oil from your very own olive grove. How does this translate into reality though? The project A Day in the Life of was set up with the purpose of understanding from a first-person perspective what it is like to actually live the Andalusian Lifestyle that we, at Villas & Fincas, always talk about. What it is like to start your Dream Project in Andalucía? Find out Today. 

In our first edition we explored the journey of ecological farmers in Ronda. Today we are getting a sneak peak of a Day in the Life of two visionaries from the United Kingdom. They moved to Andalusia 9 years ago to fulfil their lifelong dream. Michael and Mary-Anne were delighted to share their adventure with us. In their story they highlight why and how they came to Andalusia, their experience living in Casares, Andalusia, with the 90 day rule, and how they envisioned and managed their dream project from a distance.

Michael and Mary-Anne have become great friends of Oscar and Anita over the years so it is an honour to bring their story forward. I hope that their experience and adventure serves as an example of how anything is possible is your heart is in the right place. Mike and Mary-Anne made their dream project a reality and so can you!

The Dream Project in Andalucía

When Mike and Mary-Anne started orientating in Andalucía, they envisioned a life and project that is almost the complete opposite of the life they are living in Casares today. Their instinct told them that investing in a large & remote country home was not a step in the right direction. So they decided to put the entire project on hold. They would not invest in Spain at all.

Life is funny, because the morning after the decision was made not to invest in Spain, Michael opened his email and received a drone shot of a country house in Casares. That country house is today their country home and their Dream Project come true. At a relatively fast pace the reservation deposit was paid and within no time they were the proud new owners of a very popular country home in Casares. Due to circumstances neither Michael nor Mary-Anne could be present in Spain during the reform but they wanted to push the reform project forward. How on Earth did they manage?


Thinking Creatively

How do you plan, manage and oversee a large reform project in Andalucía from abroad? For many this would be unthinkable, but not for M&M. In summary, what is necessary is:

  • Very clear instructions for the workers
  • Very clear plans & drawings
  • A great team of architects & builders
  • But most importantly, an open mind & trust

M&M had made the decision only to work with locals, so naturally Villas & Fincas recommended Artes De Casares and other local experts. More than once they were confronted with funny cultural differences. For example, the Spanish way of working and thinking vs the English way of doing things. Another hilarious culture difference was the calculated size for windows, showers, etc. Given that the Spanish are generally smaller, the height of the shower head was lower than it needed to be! This of course, was adapted to make everything perfect. Here communication, an open mind and trust was key. Mutual understanding and respect is what ensured a smooth reform project.

What helped tremendously is that M&M make a great team. They are true visionaries. They have travelled across the world, have seen many different cultures and therefore know exactly what they like and what they don’t. Their Dream Project in Andalucía needed to be cosy, comfortable, lively and homey: a representation of who they are.


A Home in Casares

Michael and Mary-Anne’s story is a reminder for us all that if your heart is in the right place anything is possible. What we can learn from their story is that we have to trust our instinct and always stat true to ourselves, no matter the situation. For them, one drone shot was enough to know that their dream project and future home was waiting for them in Casares. Suddenly everything made sense. A home in Casares meant being close to the sea, close to the beach, close to the supermarkets, close to a picturesque village. They would be immersed in a multi-cultural community where the locals mix with the foreigners. In Casares they could go hiking and discover new hobbies: golfing.

Only being able to spend 90 days here per year is difficult given they feel they have a home base in Casares, Andalucía, Spain. Nevertheless, their life and work goes on in the UK so if anything they feel lucky they have 2 places they can call home.


Don’t be afraid to Dream Big!

The story of Mike and Mary-Anne is a story of success. It is a story that fills hearts with joy. This is a story worth telling and spreading.

Has this story put a smile on your face? Has it made your heart beat just a bit faster? If the answer is yes, then you know you are ready to take the next step in your life. Click here to view our country homes for sale. Do you want to work with horses? Check our equestrian farms here. Follow this link if you want to start a Bed & Breakfast or work in a rural hotel. Perhaps a vineyard or olive grove seems attractive to you? Click here. Finally, if you wish to read and view a Day in the Life of Ecological Farmers in Ronda, click here.

Villas & Fincas will make your dreams become reality too. Send us a direct email to info@villasfincas.com, or call +34 952 895 139. If you prefer you can fill out the contact form below and we will get back to you.


Danielle Ernstsen | 8th February 2024