Friday, May 30, 2014

Life in Spain: Travel Done Right

This is so quick and easy. A short little post that gets straight to the point.
Let's be real honest, the appeal of working and living in a European country isn't just the different culture. 
It's all the different cultures that are now a short, cheap plan or train ride away. So here's three hard earned tips I giving you directly from someone who has traveled every which way and then some.
1.) Use all your free time to research, research and research!
No matter what type of traveler you are you need to at least know how you are getting to where you are headed, places to stay in your price range, and if the place your headed is having any political or social conflicts at the time of your travels.
Your head just did a three sixty on that last thing to know, but honestly it's the most important. I'm not jumping on a soap box or planning to list out all the horror stories, I'm just stating the truth: The World is in Constant Change! When I visited Italy almost ten years ago the people hadn't gone through a recession and all the woes it brings to a persons life, but by this year they had and their tired of depending on
tourist and scraping to get by.
The atmosphere and the people were different, struggles change the people of a country. It's good to know what the people you'll be interacting with have been through lately.  And on a lighter note, knowing your transportation and lodgings ahead of time can save you a large amount of cash because last minute booking is rarely cost efficient.

2.) What Attracts You to the Destination
Why are you heading to where you want to end up. For me the answer is always to eat good food. Honestly, if you ask me about my visit to Bayou, France I'm about to make your mouth water from all the good eats I inhaled not the Tapestry museum I visited.
Some people just want to say they've been to a place and walk the streets. Others have a list of attractions that they must see and take numerous photos of or it's not a good trip at all.
Knowing your travel goals helps everything run smoother even when hiccups occur and they will occur.

Travel ain'tt cheap. At one point , right before the 80s probably the cost of travel fit with the cost of living and earning that was the standard for most folks. That's not the case these days.
There are so many ways to travel and attractions to draw people in that not only can it be overwhelming, but also the fees can start adding up. If you plan to be a big traveler when living abroad then don't live like a king when not traveling- penny pinch and save.
 Also, a budget matters, so have one for food, shopping and emergency for certain.

Hope these travel tips help you, feel free to check out my travel guides over Madrid, Barcelona, and Holiday travel to get you started along with some research Helpers for the planning. Also here's the great I guide I used for Bayeux! Feel free to leave tips in the comments that you've learned from your own travel experiences.

Until Next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, and Be blessed . . .

Photo Thanks to  . . .,,, Pinterest

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Life in Spain: Living with the Locals

Number one hands down, only regret I have from my time abroad is not living with a local. Not because I ended up not caring for my living situation in the end, but because there are so many cultural experiences I missed out on during my stay.
I was hopping to live in a place like this with character, but I did not . . .

1.) Learning the Language
nor this . . .
There is no point in living in a different country with a different language and not learning how to speak that language. The best way to do this is immersion. Speaking your native tongue will become a comfort and if it's spoken in your living quarters all the time that's nice, but it's not helping you in the language growth department. Whether it's discussing your plans for the evening or trying to figure out your weekly chores it will all take place in the language you're trying to learn. And your roommates are going to support and help you learn because the sooner you learn the sooner they'll stop having to speak real slow when talking to you.

2.) How the Natives React
Did you know Spanish people don't sleep the entire siesta? I didn't until my routine of sleeping the entire siesta was set in stone. Had I lived with locals I would've known that while a little nap is acceptable siesta is actually the time to accomplish everything on your to do list that doesn't involve outside sources. Get your chores done, do your homework, prepare dinner, and call/write your loved ones. Being as I would love a set aside time for that here in America with my never ending schedule I wish I would have used my siesta more wisely back in Spain.
3.) The Going's On
definitely not this . . .
When I first arrived in Spain everything we did was heavily populated and tourist attraction labeled. Then as my friend group moved from expats to locals or at least expats who had lived in Jaen for years I started discovering other hangouts. I was attending music shows that were heavy in Spanish attendance and discovering happenings going on in my town that all the Spanish knew about, but very few outsiders. And just a heads up this is how you transition from an outsider to a person no longer on the fringes of your community, and what better way to do that than through the people you live with.

4.) Connections
If you fall in love with your city you are going to want to return and visit in the future, but traveling to Europe is not cheap- now you have people to stay with when you return. Not to mention you have people who probably have family and friends located in all those hot spots you want to visit before returning home- now you've got a couch.

Seriously though, immersion is what most people moving abroad are seeking and there is no better way to complete your immersion experience than by shacking up with a few locals. Yes it will be difficult, but few easy things are truly rewarding. No sense in just dipping a toe into the water of living abroad, might as well cannonball right on into the deep end.
and definitely not this cuteness!

Maybe it was obsessing over dreamy apartment photos like the above that caused my loveless relationship with my own place, hmmm. Hopefully you get such stylishness- it doesn't help when your verbs just aren't conjugating correctly and you keep getting stuck on kitchen duty!

Until Next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, and Be blessed . . .

Photo Thanks to,,, and apartmentsIlike.wordpress