When people think about going to Spain, they often think about packing their sunglasses, making sure they have a hat, and the number of beaches they’re going to enjoy. But actually, Spain has much more to it than just beaches and balmy evenings. There are several things that you should know before you head to Spain.
Of course, you want to plan your hot look with gorgeous sunglasses, a beautiful summer dress or some cool linen shorts, but like everything is better when you’re prepared.
Learn some Spanish
Like almost all countries, many people speak some (or fluent) English, however, learning a few key phrases is just proper etiquette. You’re going to want to be able to ask some questions like Donde Esta…? Where is…? And some simple greetings like Buenos Dias or Hola. And yes, you’re going to want to finish with gracias, because it’s just nice.
What is important to note, is that Spanish is not the only language; in fact, some regions have a second official language like Catalan, Basque, or Galicia. And while you don’t need to learn these extra languages, as almost everyone will speak Spanish, it wouldn’t hurt either.
Many people who visit quite a few European countries still don’t know that you can actually drink the tap water. Big cities like Barcelona and Madrid both have very safe tap water to drink. In fact, in Madrid, it comes fresh from the Guadarrama mountain range – if you like cool facts. So you’ll be much better off bringing a reusable water bottle, then you will keep buying bottles of water in the local stores. It will save you money in the long run.
Spain is famous for its Tapas culture. This means when you order a drink in almost all cases, it’s going to arrive with a small bite to eat. Sometimes it’s potato chips/crisps other times its olives. It may even be ham or cheese, depending on where you are.
This is a polite gesture and is an indicator of how hospitable Spain can be. This free and tasty snack is simply meant to be enjoyed alongside your drink.
The siesta was historically common throughout Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and even in mainland China. That traditional daytime nap has been put to bed. It has been reported in previous years that Spaniards actually work some of the longest hours in Europe, making a siesta something that most of them are not likely to see.
However, if you’re there on holiday, or have a very generous working schedule, you can feel free to nap. But you’re unlikely to see people taking a siesta.
When you arrive in Spain, whether it be for a holiday or for a relocation you’re going to notice the Spaniards are pretty snappy dressers. And you can spot a tourist a mile away with flip-flops and jogging bottoms.
Choose lightweight fabrics and you too can deal with the heat while looking fabulous.
It’s not uncommon to find that many shops and businesses will close for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. So ideally try not to plan to have anything done between 1pm – 4pm while you are on holiday; other than enjoying the fact that you are on holiday.
Many people enjoy long lunch breaks, especially when the midday heat is so hot. In the bigger cities, supermarkets and larger stores are often open, but you can’t guarantee that you’re going to find a smaller shop open in the middle of the day if you live in a village.
Although you will find the shops do stay open later in the evening. And many people, especially people who enjoy shopping, enjoy the fact that Barcelona and Madrid usually stay open until around 10 pm in the evening.
Ditch the Sangria
Unless you really love Sangria, then it’s quite a tourist drink. Most locals instead enjoy a Tinto de Verano, which is a summer wine. It consists of red wine and lemonade mixer.
Ideal for those long warm evenings. If you’d rather blend in with the locals than tourists and avoid paying a premium for that overpriced Sangria, go for the Tinto de Verano.
If you are a meat-eater, there is something that you simply cannot leave Spain without sampling. You will find it on most menus because it is one of the most beloved foods, called Jamon. Jamon is cured ham, and the most likely one you’ll find is Jamon Iberico. This is the best quality that you can get, and that comes from Blackhoofed Iberian pigs.
These pigs are quite luxurious and are fed extensively on acorns, which gives them their unique flavor.
Public transport is efficient and fast. The Spanish train system is ideal for getting between major cities, however in the south of Spain and certainly, towards some of the smaller cities, there aren’t always those connections. Here buses are equally fast and efficient and certainly are the best option if you’re going off the beaten path.
It should be noted that the train can be the most expensive option for public transport.
When the shops are closed, lunch is on. This means you will enjoy a wonderful lunch between 2 and 3:30 pm, but that pushes evening meal hours to much later in the day, typically from 9 pm till 10.30 pm. So you have to plan trips accordingly or take snacks in your bag if you can’t get with the schedule.
Tipping isn’t required and isn’t expected, it’s really something that you should just do anyway. Outstanding service or service, in general, should always be respected.
Indulge in the Culture
Many people when they get to Spain want to eat as much paella and drink as much Sangria as possible. And while that’s fun for many, there is a better way to enjoy Spanish culture. You will notice that the Spanish culture is much more about taking your time, enjoying the people in your family that you are spending time with, and the scenery. Relaxing and enjoying life. Go with the flow rather and fall into the tourist traps.
Rest on a Sunday
You are unlikely to find anything that is open on a Sunday, this is a designated day to get lunch with friends, visit family, relax and unwind. So if you’re planning on being in Spain for a Sunday, or you really want to make the most of that Spanish culture while you’re integrating; then plan Sunday as simply to be a day of family, food, and fun.
Big Cities and Little Villages
Large Spanish cities are busy and modern and filled with people from all over the world. They’re exciting and have a lot to do. It will give you a considerable taste of Spanish culture, but there are many tourist traps to keep an eye out for.
The smaller villages remain a space for century-old traditions that can still be found to this day. Spain is known as a country of traditions and culture. But to understand all of the different facets of that, try a few days in the city followed by a few days in smaller villages.
Spain is exhilarating and welcoming, with a rich history and the lives of culture. If you like spending time with family and friends and indulging in wonderful food, then it might be just time that you spent a little bit longer in Spain.
Relocating is tough for many people. It involves saying goodbye to your friends and family, it can put you in an uncomfortable position and it’s a struggle to stay on your two feet while integrating with the local community. However, for some people, these are the perfect circumstances for uncapped growth. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself as well as your surroundings, and it can help you identify new paths in life that you never thought were possible in the past.
It goes without saying that relocating can be a scary thought, but it’s also something that can completely change your perspective on life. So here are some of the top reasons to relocate in the future.
Relocating abroad for a slower pace of life …
1. It helps you build character
Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is a brilliant way to build character. Relocating will put you in a situation where you need to quickly adapt to your surroundings and learn new cultures and languages in order to feel more comfortable. This makes relocating a great way to build character and improve yourself over time.
2. There are plenty of accessible property services for foreigners
Regardless of where you plan to relocate to, there are going to be plenty of property services that are geared towards foreigners. This might be more expensive than what locals pay for, but it’s a small additional cost for all of the help that you’re going to get.
3. It opens up your tastes
Relocating can expose you to lots of different flavours, delicacies and types of cuisine. Broadening your palette like this can be a lot of fun and you’ll learn to appreciate different types of food around the world.
Languages are difficult to learn, especially if you don’t get to actively use it. But when you relocate to another country, you’ll be thrust into an environment where you need to quickly learn a new language in order to fit in and be able to communicate. This makes relocating one of the best ways to learn a language and integrate with a completely different society to what you’re used to.
5. It can enhance your career prospects
Moving abroad can open you up to new career opportunities and prospects, especially if you’re going abroad with a proven existing set of skills. However, there are also plenty of chances for you to learn a new skill, such as a language, or develop technical expertise working on something completely new.
6. You develop better social skills
It can be difficult communicating in a language you don’t know. However, relocating can put you in uncomfortable situations that will help you develop not just language skills, but also social skills that can be helpful throughout your life.
7. It’s incredibly rewarding
Few people muster up the courage to say goodbye to their old life and start fresh abroad. This is often because it takes a lot of dedication, hard work and motivation to even start living and working abroad. However, after a couple of months or even just a few weeks, all of the benefits will start to appear and you’ll be able to embrace opportunities in your new country. Whether it’s learning about the culture, traditions, meeting people or getting a new perspective at life, there are plenty of rewards just waiting to be claimed.
8. You develop a sense of self-sufficiency
One of the key skills you learn when relocating is being self-sufficient. There’s nobody to hold your hand and guide you through difficult times and there’s nobody to rely on. In fact, you might not even speak the language of the country you moved to. However, it goes without saying that these are the conditions that are required in order for someone to become self-sufficient and start relying on their own ability, leading to immense personal growth.
9. There are countless opportunities to meet new people
Travelling is a great opportunity to meet new people, but rarely do you ever turn those encounters into long-lasting relationships. When you actually decide to relocate, you’ll have more time to nurture these friendships and explore them, turning those first encounters into lifelong friendships or even partnerships.
10. It will change your life forever
A stagnant life is nothing to be proud of. While some people enjoy the idea of a stable and predictable lifestyle, others find that it can be easy to fall into a stagnant daily routine that makes their life boring and tiresome. Relocating could be the change you need in life to reinvigorate your passion and give you the boost you need to start fresh and reach for your dreams.
In our new online course, we include lots of information about costa and procedures for starting and running a business in Spain.
Moving your family to Spain is a big decision. Telling family and friends about your decision can be pretty daunting; it takes time to find the right home and the right schools for your children. It’s not a decision you make lightly.
It can be even more of a challenge if you run a home business. On the one hand, running a business means that you don’t need to worry about finding a job in a different country and that you might be able to carry on as you are. But, the practicalities of keeping your business going during the move, and making money in a new country can be tricky.
It can certainly be worth it, however. Moving your home, your family and your business to a different country is a chance to have a different kind of life. One with freedom, flexibility and sun! So, here are some tips to help you to keep your business going while you relocate, and to get set up again as you settle into your new adventure.
Here are some tips for Keeping Your Home Business Going During a Relocation:
Get a Virtual Address
Having your mail redelivered can be tricky enough if you are moving down the road and don’t have a home business. We’ve all had mail lost during a home move. This can be a disaster if you run a business, and you are in a different country, unable to chase important letters. A PhysicalAddress.com po box can make the whole process much more straightforward, avoiding potentially costly mistakes and missed business.
Schedule Any Downtime and Let Your Customers Know
As much as you’d love to keep your business going, it may not be possible to relocate your life without taking a little time off. Schedule and automate what you can, even hiring a VA or someone to run things for you while you are busy moving. But, if you need time off, schedule it in, plan for it, and let your customers or clients know how long you’ll be away from your home office.
Get Your Internet Set-Up
One of the key ingredients to running a successful home business, whatever country you are based in, is a stable and quick internet connection. Make sure you are connected as quickly as possible in your new home.
Pack Business Materials Separately
Pack your home office separately, and clearly mark it so it can all move into your new office asap. Within this, make sure important documents and files, as well as anything that you can’t possibly work without, are separate and labelled.
Your business insurance will need updating if you are working from a new address, whatever country it is in. Your home insurance for your new home will also need to reflect any equipment or machinery that you keep in your new house.
Get To Know Your Local Market
If your business operates primarily online, you may be able to pick up where you left off, still serving the same customer base. But, even then, and especially if you serve people face to face, you should get involved in your new community, meeting other local business owners and getting to know your new local market.
Keeping Your Home Business Going During a Relocation can be a challenge but it is certainly worth the effort. If you play your cards right and take the right steps from the outset, you’ll be enjoying more time with family and friends in a beautiful new country, before you know it!
As I write this article, introducing you to Casa Global Gift, the world is in an unusual situation. Coronavirus pandemic is affecting people worldwide. How long it will last, nobody knows. Our lives are being lived from day to day, awaiting further instructions and guidance from the powers that be.
Here in Spain, we have been in self-isolation, housebound for five days so far. We were initially told it would be for 2 weeks, we now expect it to be for longer, a minimum of 4 weeks. We cannot focus on that though, we need to focus on how to better a difficult situation.
This may not be the ideal time to share this post about Casa Global Gift with you but I hope it makes you stop and think for a while.
We have so much to be grateful for. Let us look at what we can for others. Not only now, when we may have more time to do so, but also once life returns to as it was before…
The children and families that this charity is providing for, have a lifetime of worries and concerns. Sadly, for most of them, their lives will never be “normal”. They don’t have a 2 or 4-week window to survive. They have a lifetime. And every little effort to make this easier for them is very welcomed.
What is the Global Gift Foundation?
The Global Gift Foundation is an international non-profit organization, based in Marbella, Spain, created in June 2013 by Spanish entrepreneur and philanthropist Maria Bravo.
Declared of public interest, it was duly registered in the National Register of Foundations of the Ministry of Health, Equality and Social Policy, with the number 29-0090.
To create a positive impact on the lives of children, women and families in need.
Empowering women and changing social mindsets and roles.
Promote and educate about the educational and social inclusion of children with special needs.
What is Casa Global Gift?
Casa Global Gift, located in Marbella, is one of the main projects of the Global Gift Foundation. Its objective is to provide state-of-the-art therapies and treatments to children with special needs and/ or rare diseases in a warm space where children feel at home.
It is a space of social innovation, collaborative work and training where other charities and social entities will be based, benefiting from the synergistic effect that allows us to share more experiences, resources, activities, and be part of a great team that contributes towards progress in equal opportunities, creating a major impact on society.
Their mission is to improve the quality of life of the children and their families, through therapeutic, pedagogical and leisure programs, to promote their development, independence and social inclusion.
Casa Global Gift will offer the most innovative therapies and rehabilitation machinery, as well as workshops and leisure programs designed to promote social inclusion.
It will also be the only centre in Spain with a copper-coated unit specially designed to treat children with Cystic Fibrosis.
Thanks to the enormous effort of generous donors, sponsors, collaborators and the entire Global Gift Foundation team, they are now close to the opening of this wonderful house where hundreds of children and their families can receive workshops and therapies.
Padel court in need of refurbishment
Swimming pool with access for reduced mobility
Office space for charities
Garden area for growing fruit and vegetables
How can YOU be part of the Casa Global Gift project?
You can make a difference and contribute to this fabulous project by donating your time and skills through volunteer programs. Now that many of us have more time on our hands, why not think of ideas of events you can organise when we return to normality? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below and we will pass them on for you.
If you cannot donate your time then you can help by contributing through financial support offering the amount that best suits your monthly possibilities.
This will be paradise for many children & families!
What are WE doing to support this project?
All proceeds from the sale of our book, Moving to Spain with Children, are being donated to this beautiful project. We are also offering consultations for monetary donations to Casa Global Gift.
We are also offering a 50% discount on our downloadable ENGLISH & SPANISH language learning materials on Cooking with Languages. All monies raised using the DISCOUNT code “CASAGLOBALGIFT” at checkout will be donated to them
Are you moving to Spain or maybe you are already living here and are looking for work opportunities? Have you considered working as a Nu Skin Spain distributor?
Many women in Spain choose to seek employment outside their new home, however, there are also many women who choose to stay home and solely handle household responsibilities. While this is a fulfilling and noble calling, you might be looking for a little something extra to enhance your day. After all, enjoying some self-earned extra income never hurt anybody, did it now?
There are currently over 200 personal care products available through Nu Skin, making it easy to find products that work for anyone — regardless of age, gender, or social status. Vault, a professional ranking and review company, listed Nu Skin as the eighth-best personal care company in the world because of their range of products and their global reach.
Global Humanitarian Efforts
Another thing that helps Nu Skin stand out in the market is their humanitarian efforts across the world. The “Force for Good” campaign provides service projects and relief efforts throughout the global markets, including creating school kits for children in orphanages in Singapore, teaching children safety skills in Greater China, and more. When you join as a distributor with Nu Skin, you become part of their efforts to help the world.
Benefits of Direct Marketing
As an affiliate distributor with Nu Skin Spain, you will experience a variety of benefits that you won’t get in a traditional office setting. However, the best of these benefits is this: freedom. When you become a direct marketer, the only person in charge of you is you.
Working as your own boss allows you to pick your own schedule, including how many hours you work. Choose to work part-time at 20 hours, full time at 40 hours, or as much or as little as you want to fit the lifestyle you have.
Since the majority of direct marketing is done online, you can work anywhere you can take your phone. Relaxing on the beach in Marbella? Yep, you can work there. Visiting friends in Madrid? Don’t forget your phone. Having a quiet night at home? Make some extra money while you watch TV. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can work for the Nu Skin business.
Perhaps you are looking for some extra ”fun” money or you want to bring in a little more to help with the bills. Being a direct marketer with Nu Skin can help you with that. Nu Skin is a popular global brand that has been extremely successful in recent years. Invest time and energy into your own little branch of this business and you could potentially make a couple hundred extra every month.
Reviews From Other Distributors
Still on the fence about becoming a direct marketer with a company like Nu Skin? Here are some reviews from other distributors so you can get a feel for it.
“I love it because I worked when I wanted. When you decide to stop, you can, and you can pick it back up where you left off when it’s convenient for you. You’ll definitely receive what you put into it. I would recommend it to anyone who would want to do it.”
“A typical day at work is a typical day at home or on the road because it’s work from anywhere, which I strongly enjoy and love. I have learned so much.”
Join and Find Freedom
If you’re living in Spain and want the complete and total freedom to work and earn money from home, or want to get away from restrictive work schedules, consider joining Nu Skin Spain as a direct-marketing distributor.
We were recently interviewed for the When In Spain podcast, talking about moving to Spain with children. For those readers who follow our blog and social media posts, you will know that we share the truth about living in Spain. The good, the bag and the sometimes downright ugly.
For any newcomers, don’t be afaraid. There is always a solution to every situation. However, research and homework, in adundance, are essential for a successful relocation with or without children!
Pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and remember to send us your questions once you have listened to the interview.
Over to Paul, from th When In Spain podcast …
I talk to Lisa Sadleir who runs the Family Life in Spain blog about the practicalities of moving to Spain with children. Lisa has spent more than 20 years in Spain and has raised her own two children here and she’s also helped many other families make the move.
We examine all of the factors to consider when relocating as a family including which type of school to choose, state, private or bilingual. We run through the Spanish State education system and look at the pros and cons for the different schools available.
Lisa also shares her advice for helping your children integrate into Spanish culture and community and gives some tips for making the transition as stress-free as possible.
Lisa has also written a book called Moving to Spain which you can find on Amazon here. She also runs her own house finder service and relocation consultancy for anyone thinking about moving to the Málaga area of Spain. movetomalaga.com
Listen to the When In Spain podcast episode via the links below…
Getting the perfect rented apartment in Madrid or any place requires careful attention to details. You must bear in mind certain information that aids the rental search. Here are a few tips that will aid you in renting a great apartment in Madrid.
7 Things to Consider When Renting an Apartment in Madrid
This tip may sound basic but it is very important especially when it comes to renting an apartment. You must work out the budget needed for the apartment. Make sure that your budget works fine with your monthly budget. Your budget should be a realistic one, you should not spend more than 30% of your annual income on housing. Your renting budget could depend on the area you want to rent an apartment.
2. Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment:
You should also consider if you want to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment. It is best that when you are renting for the short term, you get a furnished apartment. When going for an unfurnished apartment, it is best done on long-term rentals in Madrid. Then you can do your furnishing yourself. You must also bear in mind that furnished apartments are more expensive and they require a larger deposit.
3. Look Online:
When you are ready to rent an apartment you should start browsing for some Spain rental websites. You can also call the numbers listed on the websites instead of sending an email or message. Most good houses in Madrid do not stay long in the open market so, don’t wait on it. When you get or see an apartment you love, it is best to get in touch with the landlords or agents.
4. Using an Estate Agent:
When making use of some websites, the contact numbers listed there are usually that of agents. When using an agent, you should also bear in mind that you can incur some extra expenses. Sometimes, you can get in direct contact with the landlord of the less expensive building. Although, estate agents are normally the ones that advertise the best apartments.
5. Pick out the right questions to ask when viewing apartments:
You should ask the right questions when viewing apartments with the landlord or agents. Some very good questions include the following; what is the deposit? Are the bills included? and Are their community fees or if they are included?
6. Air and Heating Condition:
You must find an apartment that provides you with great air conditioning or heating system. Since Madrid weather can be very cold in the winter and incredibly hot in the hot summer months.
7. Energy Certificate:
It is important that you also check for an energy certificate in any apartment in Madrid. When an apartment ranks the G certificate, the bills are likely to be on the higher ends unlike apartments with the A certificate.
So there you have 7 Top Tips for finding an apartment in Madrid. Go through each of the mentioned tips carefully in order to get the most out of them while searching for your apartment. You should give yourself plenty of time to find an apartment that suits you.
Moving overseas can be a fantastic adventure, especially when heading somewhere as beautiful as Spain. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and romance of the prospect. However, if you’re expecting a smooth transition, you may be disappointed. Relocating is hard and complex work. There are many potential complications that could trip you up along the way. The good news is, they can be avoided. With that in mind, here are six critical mistakes to avoid when moving to Spain.
Six Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Moving To Spain
1. Buying Property Too Soon
Falling in love with an area is often the driving force behind a decision to relocate. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t commit to purchasing a particular property before moving to Spain. If you’re able to do so, it’s better to rent a house for a year or two before buying. This gives you enough time to get used to the area and learn whether or not you really want to live there for the rest of your life.
2. Waiting To Find Employment
Although you shouldn’t rush to buy a house, you will need a job right away. After all, you can’t survive on excitement alone. Thankfully, today’s technology means you might be able to keep your current job for a while. With cloud computing, teleconference tools, and remote desktop for Mac, it’s easy to telecommute. When this isn’t possible, start researching jobs in the local area.
3. Picking A Bad Removalist
When you ship your belongings overseas, you need to know they’re in good hands. Many expats make the mistake of choosing the cheapest removal company they can find. You have to be smarter than that. While cost is important, make sure you look into other factors, like past customer reviews. You must also check that the company you choose has the right insurance.
4. Taking Everything With You
The more you take to your new home, the more stressful the move will be. After all, you’ll have more belongings to pack and unpack, which makes the process trickier. The costs will be higher too, as your things might require a larger truck or container. Because of this, you should declutter your home before moving. Many expats also sell most of their furniture and buy new things later.
5. Avoiding Learning The Language
Only being able to speak English shouldn’t hold you back from seeing the world. However, it might stop you from fully immersing yourself in it. When you can’t speak the local language, you’ll find it difficult to become a part of the local community. That is why you should start learning the language before you plunge into your new life in Spain. Trust us, it really will make a huge difference to your experience of life in Spain!
6. Overlooking The Hidden Costs
Moving house is an expensive process, especially when moving abroad. Many people underestimate just how much it will cost to relocate. These costs, however, will depend on many different factors, so make sure you do your research. Once you have, you can create a budget and start saving up. Make sure you have enough cash to cover any unexpected costs too. For more details on this, and to help you budget, check out our Online Calculator for Moving to Spain
Moving abroad can be tricky, but you’ll find it easier to do if you avoid making the mistakes listed above. Remember, we are here to help!