Apr 282014
 

YOU COME TO SPAIN FOR A LIFESTYLE CHANGE IN GENERAL BUT THEN A LOT OF PEOPLE LAPSE INTO THEIR OLD HABITS FROM BACK HOME, WATCHING TOO MUCH TV, NOT GOING OUT AND NOT BEING OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES. HOWEVER FOR THOSE WHO INTEGRATE INTO THE COUNTRY THERE ARE THINGS THAT THEY DO MOST EVERY DAY AND HERE IS A LIST OF TEN OF THEM THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL MUCH MORE LIKE YOU ARE LIVING IN SPAIN AND BEING A PART OF SPAIN.

1) Have a siesta without feeling guilty. I have said before in my 100 Reasons to Move to Spain series on YouTube that siestas are one of the great reasons to live in Spain. If you look on twitter it is the main reason people give when they say they are moving to Spain. However most people get to Spain and their conditioning doesn’t allow them to have a siesta without feeling extremely guilty. Don’t go there! The siesta is a fantastic thing to do and it doesn’t necessarily need to be after a long lunch (See number 3) If you feel tired then just chill out, lay down and spend twenty minutes getting forty winks. And just one tip don’t have a two hour siesta or longer. I used to do it and it just kills you for the rest of the day and then you won’t be able to sleep very well later on because you won’t be tired. Siestas rule but anything over 45 minutes isn’t a siesta really, it´s just going back to bed.

2:  Go into your local bar and have a conversation. There is one thing that you must do in Spain, get out of your comfort zone. If you are willing to take this step there are two possibilities, firstly everyone thinks you are the local nutter and secondly you actually start to speak in another language and get used to speaking it outside of the classes you are taking (You WILL be taking classes won’t you?) The more you get out of your comfort zone every day the better your language skills will be and bear in mind one more thing, you might actually become friends with the other regulars in the bar.

3: Aim to take at least two hours for eating lunch out and make sure you have some wine with it. Not every day of course on this one because even though eating out is cheap in Spain it is much cheaper to eat at home. However you should always try to have a weekly meet up with friends, go for a menu of the day and talk for a long time afterwards while finishing off the wine and maybe ordering a cognac or two (and maybe even continuing the “sobremesa” into the evening).

4: Take Some Time Out To Daydream and Look Up. The number of people these days who walk around with their eyes constantly on their Smartphone never looking around or looking up is amazing. (Yes Guilty as charged here too at times) Looking up is important when living in Spain because there is beautiful scenery in so many places and the cities are visually stunning at times. Equally, daydreaming is welcome as Spain needs some ideas and you imagining what you can do in this wonderful country to help make it better is needed.  One small thing though, if you are walking round in the city make sure to look down every now and again to avoid potential traps in the form of little presents left by our canine friends and not cleaned up by their owners, a constant menace.

5: Go Into Local Shops and Ask For Things Rather Than Shopping in Supermarkets. It is easy to go to a supermarket and never actually say a word to anyone while buying 100 Euros of produce. It is not so easy to go into the butchers to buy your meat, go to the bakers for bread and cakes and then to the fruit and veg shop for everything else. This small change in your habits will be not only more beneficial for your language skills but also it will help you to get used to using the type of language that you use everyday in Spain and get to know the names of everything. So vocab improved, pronunciation improved and getting to know the people who live and work around you, what’s not to like?

6: Walk Around Smiling and Saying Hola To People. Again in Northern Europe people walk with their heads down, on non rainy days because as previously mentioned they are buried in their Smartphones and usually, when it is raining, because you are grimacing against the wind and rain as it lashes into you. However don’t make the mistake that the father of a friend of mine made years ago. He was walking around doing this but saying “Hello” to everyone. My friend asked him to please just try to say “Hola” if he could. However next day when he went out the first person he walked past got a resounding “Aloha!”

7: Make time every day for a coffee with friends. Chatting and talking about life the universe and everything is an important part of life in Spain and this is best done in the company of friends in a greasy spoon corner cafe. Make sure you do this often because firstly, you get to meet up with others and laugh and secondly, you get to have great coffee. One caveat, NOT IN STARBUCKS!

Chairs on the beach in Javea

Chairs on the beach in Javea

8: Be Grateful For The Weather And Climate. I woke up last week with the rain hammering down on the air conditioning unit outside and my thoughts were immediately, “Cool! It’s raining”. With 320 days of sunshine every day in the vast majority of the Spanish mainland  (We will exclude Northern Spain and the Green Coast for obvious reasons) days of rain are welcomed rather than feared and when they come they are generally a welcome change. So when you are shading yourself from the sun don’t say “Jeez it’s hot” Just say “Nice innit!”

9: Do Some Promotion of the Country. Spain needs help. If you are here and enjoying it let everybody know. Tell them on Facebook, share pictures on Instagram, make people jealous on Twitter, mail people regularly and phone people you know. Everyone can complain and most people only like to tell everyone else when something has gone wrong. Make sure that people know that your life in Spain is not as bad as the media paints it to be where only the negatives appear on a regular basis. Rejoice in the diversity, the rituals, the differences and the general weirdness. Enjoy it.

10: Relax, slow down, chill out and enjoy. I know it may seem a bit much to try enjoying your life in Spain 😉 but slow down and take advantage of a more relaxed way of life and a general calmness. If you can do this then you never know you may find that everything becomes a bit better.

So there you go, a guideline for a better life in Spain. 10 things you should try to do daily, (or at least weekly in a couple of cases). What else would you suggest? Let us know on SpanishPropertyMagazine@gmail.com

  36 Responses to “10 Things You Should Be Doing Every Day In Spain”

  1. This is a good reminder for me, especially as I work from home with people in different time zones so I often feel chained to my desk! I totally agree with you on the rain, I find myself feeling quite uplifted by the odd rainy day (drives my Mum in the UK nuts when I tell her this) and I notice that Valencians just disappear off the street when it is raining, it is probably the only time they spend the whole day indoors!

  2. Great advice – now i want to move to Spain too – it sounds brilliant! How's the work on your place there going? I'll be in Madrid for the end of July, to finish up the MBA – any chance you'll be around then? How far is Valencia to Madrid? x

  3. Good that Graham common sense, simple message well put over good on yer lad

  4. Hola from Spain. I love Starbucks coffee! Big fan of siestas, always used to have one back home in Australia, the heat was horrible at that time of day so we all flaked out. Lovely! I've been Tweeting and FB posting like crazy about Catalonia, gorgeous part of the world.

  5. ASounds perfect…All the things Spaniah people do but foreigners do WORK and that WORK has always a connection the foreigners who do not live abroad.This lifestyle is KILLING the country and thatbis why the country is in crisis and who pay the crisis….the Nortern Europeans……

  6. Starbucks!!! Noooooooooo 🙂

  7. Starbucks!!! Noooooooooo 🙂

  8. That's not true Mario. The world financial crisis and not being able to devalue the currency is what is killing the country. I unfortunately work about 7 billion hours a day but I love what I do. Having a siesta is often an essential part of that 😉

  9. That's not true Mario. The world financial crisis and not being able to devalue the currency is what is killing the country. I unfortunately work about 7 billion hours a day but I love what I do. Having a siesta is often an essential part of that 😉

  10. Amazing how empty it becomes isn't it Fay! A few drops and people disappear. A lack of umbrellas probably

  11. Amazing how empty it becomes isn't it Fay! A few drops and people disappear. A lack of umbrellas probably

  12. what is killing this country is the fact that many people in their 30`s and older have been molly coddled by their parents, they have no idea how to shop, cook, do the chores, budget etc because their mother does everything for them. If they work a massive 20 hours a week then they are `too tired` to do anything else and have to `rest`…get real this is the 21st century and your mother is not a slave, and those mothers who do everything for their adult children you are not doing them any favours…how will they cope if something happens to you??

  13. what is killing this country is the fact that many people in their 30`s and older have been molly coddled by their parents, they have no idea how to shop, cook, do the chores, budget etc because their mother does everything for them. If they work a massive 20 hours a week then they are `too tired` to do anything else and have to `rest`…get real this is the 21st century and your mother is not a slave, and those mothers who do everything for their adult children you are not doing them any favours…how will they cope if something happens to you??

  14. Move to Spain for the climate and food but NEVER buy property or work over here. It is a bureaucratic and xenophobic nightmare!

  15. Move to Spain for the climate and food but NEVER buy property or work over here. It is a bureaucratic and xenophobic nightmare!

  16. I would add to number 5's list of shops, do use your local ferreteria (hardware shop) Ours stocks just about everything anyone would ever need at extremely reasonable prices and the people running it are more than happy to give advice and help. I shop there for items as diverse as tools, paint, screws, ice trays, dog food, swimming pool supplies, photo copies, batteries, kettles, etc and also get my phone recharged.

  17. Absolute rubbish !

  18. I am 35 years old, own my own house, work a 40 hour week and am a single parent. My mother helps me out sometimes, as I don't have much time. I think the person you are refering too is a very small minority, and most of us are nothing like that at all!!!

  19. Rebecca Wey i am really talking about spanish people, there are too many young spanish people who cannot do anything for themselves. Of course parents help out when needed I am not talking about that because you already have the skills to be independant. I took a young spanish woman shopping recently because she has no transport, she is 32 and living alone for the first time, she has no idea how to shop, to cook or to budget…she didnt even know that milk has an expiry date, she is not alone, I know many young spanish people whose parents do everything for them

  20. Much like your comment peter Law!! Lol

  21. Much like your comment peter Law!! Lol

  22. I also would add, if you allow me, in the number 1:
    spend the time between to have a siesta and learn spanish!
    to enjoy really the experience.

  23. Spain has a lot going for it lifestyle wise and I try to put into action most of Graham's points with some success 😉

    Spain like all places has its faults but its definitely making progress.

  24. I love coffee so I really cannot understand this thing about Starbucks "coffee" – its over priced mud – try a proper coffee, try a coffee con leche maybe?

  25. We have only lived here for 8/9 months and we have actually followed all these 10 things to do. I think that is why we have settled so well into Spain, and ye gods we bought a house as well!

  26. whats xenophobic about buying a property!

  27. We've been living and working here for 10 years now, and really the only difficult bit was the queueing at the beginning to get the NIE, SS Nº and empadronamiento. Just a question of a good book, and making sure you're in the right queue!

  28. Great list Graham, Nº 3 is more of a weekend thing for me and especially like Nº. 9

  29. I did number 3 today but without the sobremesa. Number nine is needed for sure

  30. Felicity Coakley Or have an ipad nearby for those slightly longer queues

  31. Graham Hunt – in 2004 there were no iPads, or smartphones 🙁 It was a book, or read the tattered notices on the wall LOL

  32. […] wrote a generally very well received post a few months ago called 10 Things You Should Be Doing Every Day in Spain. (See it at the link… go on I can wait… just make sure to come back here later) It […]

  33. Felicity Coakley Those tattered notices are superb still.

  34. On a selfish note… Anyone recommend a supplier of garden furniture in Murcia???

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