It’s no secret that I left my corazón in Spain.
There’s a reason that this magical country hasn’t just captured my heart, but many others too. Most of my friends that have spent time living in Spain agree that there is something truly special about the land of world-class wines, endless pristine coastlines, all night fiestas and, naturally, some of the craziest fútbol fans in the world.
Here are my top five reasons to fall in love with Spain
1. The laid-back lifestyle
Spaniards just have an ease of life that is so different from where I grew up in the U.S. or where I currently live here in Germany. There is no rush to get everything done right that second, there is always time to sit and chat and though times may get tough, there will always be a way out as long as you have your family and friends.
The sense of time isn’t strict, which creates a more relaxed attitude in general. Of course, if you’re applying for your residence permit this can be a bit annoying, but overall I always feel so chilled out as soon as I land on Spanish soil.
2. Tapas, tapas, tapas!
Tapas are by far my favorite way to eat. The small portions ensure that you don’t eat too much to fast and because they are often shared among the rest of the group, it automatically creates a more social atmosphere. I especially love when the tapas come free with the drink because many cases they bring you what they have, which means that with each new drink comes a surprise-kind of like Christmas, right? Plus, in many Spanish cities you can find neighborhoods with rows and rows of tapas bars such as La Latina in Madrid.
3. Too many beaches to count
Spain is a peninsula, which gives it a huge coastline- 4,964 km to be exact. In a country where it’s warm enough to at least sit on the beach for more than 6 months out of the year, you couldn’t ask for anything better.
I love the beaches along the southern coast of Spain, and of course on the Balearic Islands, but one of my favorite thus far has actually been in the coastal city of Alicante, just south of Valencia on the eastern Spanish coast. Though it was a city beach, the water was super clear, the perfect temperature and you had really great views of the cityscape from the water.
4. Spanish is so useful!
Learning Spanish while living in Spain was a huge benefit to me! English is becoming more widely spoken-but still the majority of people will just speak Spanish or another official language of the country such as Catalan.
This is so great because you are forced to learn the language to get around. I can’t tell you how much knowing Spanish has come in handy for me traveling other parts of the world and even visiting home in the U.S. The Spanish language actually has the second highest number of native speakers worldwide behind Mandarin with around 400 million people!
5. The eclectic mix of history and modernity
Like many other European countries, Spain’s roots are thousands of years deep. Throughout the cities and villages there is architecture dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years, mixed in with modern cafes full of young students and expats.
As well, the Spanish still celebrate ancient festivals. Whether they are religious, local, or cultural, there is always something to celebrate in Spain!