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 SOME OF THEM THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL MUCH MORE LIKE YOU ARE LIVING IN SPAIN AND BEING A PART OF SPAIN.
Have a siesta without feeling guilty. Siestas are one of the great reasons to live in 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. If you feel tired then just chill out, lay down and spend twenty minutes getting forty winks.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 every day in Spain and get to know the names of everything.
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 local 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.
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 year in the vast majority of the Spanish mainland, 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!”
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.