The almond farm in Almeria, Spain, is exactly what twentysomething slackers Shaun Briley and his girlfriend. Helen, have been looking for: A rustic retreat from the pressures of adulthood back in London. Complete ignorance of agriculture, local culture, and the language? Not a problem. The key to success lies in mastering a few simple lessons about the simple life.... 1) Indoor toilets are for wusses. As are running water, heat, and electricity, apparently. But does the absence of creature comforts really matter when you're young and in love? Or in lust and reasonably fond of one another? 2) Love means maintaining the mutual delusion that everything is perfectly fine. The fact that The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was filmed near your little corner of paradise is cool--not weirdly prophetic. As long you both understand that acclimating to hovel (er, "farm") life and its necessary privations (no mixed drinks, no hot showers, no clean underwear) may take a while, everything will be just dandy. No really... 3) Foreigners are weird. This means you. One of the richest rewards of life in a rural community is getting to know your neighbors: The salt of the earth who will give you the shirts off their backs, or a funny, farting puppy; who will feed you pork sausages until you're sick, and will laugh at just about every stupid thing you do. Over the course of one (long) year, Shaun and Helen will learn what it's like to take a relationship for a test drive on the wrong side of the road, as they get a crash course in the sublime and ridiculous intricacies of.... How Not to Live Abroad.
Shaun Briley started his career as a journalist, writing reviews for a regional magazine, Due South, while studying History at Southampton University in England. From there he went on to write for a variety of national trade magazines and regional newspapers in England. As an employee of Southern Newspapers he went to Kuwait to report on the climax and aftermath of the first Gulf War.