Living Abroad: How To Plan For The Unexpected

I discovered last Sunday when I was driving my family back to Malaga Airport that sometimes you can’t always plan for the unexpected. But on the bright side, where I failed to plan, I have a contact and a couple of tips that might help you guys out should you find yourselves in a similar situation.

So here goes… last week while we were ten miles away from the airport on a three lane motorway, my tyre decided to disintegrate. That’s right, we’re not talking a puncture, we’re talking ripped to shreds. And what’s more ironic, in a country full of pot-holes, it just had to happen on the most perfect stretch of road!

flat tyre

Now I know what you’re thinking, a back-up plan like a spare tyre maybe? Well that’s what I expected when I opened my boot. Instead I was greeted with no tyre. I’ve been driving round in my little car for two years, which I bought brand new from the garage, to find a tyre in fact didn’t exist.

So what next? What do you do when it’s Sunday in Spain, by the side of a motorway with no spare tyre and you don’t speak the language? Ring your AA cover! Bingo, that must be the answer. But wait, after 30 minutes on the phone I was told there was a mistake on my policy and my European Cover would not be helping me out today.

Now the only saving grace in all of this was that I was already early to drop my family off at the airport, and the breakdown occurred right next to a slip road that led on to a service station. Thank god for small miracles! So the next cause of action we decided on was to leave the car, get a taxi with the family to the airport, and see if anyone in Malaga could help us.

We explored car rental options, the airport information points, eventually getting pointed in the direction of a car shop which turned out to be closed. Thankfully all was not lost – after an hour or so my brother sent me a text with a random Spanish number on that he had found on Google. I called it expecting to pull out the old “Hablas ingles?” line, but was instead greeted with an English man who was more than willing to help us out for a bargain price. And not only that, he picked us up from Malaga, drove us to our car and fitted the new tyre. Top man and a Christmas miracle if I do say so myself.

So if you happen to find yourself in a bit of a pickle in the Malaga region, check this guy out:

I ended my Christmas feeling thankful for everything we took for granted in England, and for the incredible kindness of strangers.

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