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Life in Spain through the eyes of a tourist

Spain is such a wonderful place but unfortunalty, I am not lucky enough to live there. I live in the UK. However, I love to travel and explore new areas and by far my favourite place is Spain. Read some of the things I have been up to and would recommend for outher tourists.

Become a local during your Spanish trip
04 August 2011 @ 14:39

How to Live Like a Local in Spain

Normally when we take a trip to another location we have the traditional holiday experience involving standard accommodation, places to eat out and transportation all tailor made to be tourist friendly. What would it be like to take a trip abroad and truly live like as the locals do? Is this even possible? The answer is of course yes; with careful planning and a desire to really get involved into the culture a foreigner can savour a slice of life in a foreign country like Spain.

Research and Prepare
If you really want to enjoy life as a local, a basic grasp of the spoken language is key. Many people will see this step as an excuse to never even get out there and live like a local but in truth this step will be as easy or as hard as you make it. Spanish isn't definitely not the hardest language to learn, especially for speakers of other Romance languages such as French, Portuguese or Italian. There are countless resources for even the most time-strapped travellers. How often you practice is the most important factor so don't let perfectionism get in the way here; the most valuable learning will be done while you are there as you learn from the locals during conversation.

There are companies whose job is to set up travellers with a temporary apartment in Spain, transport and a guide of the local area, including shops and cafes. These are a great option but not necessary the best in terms of experience. Once you have a small grasp on the language, head out to Spain. You can stay at any hotel or even hostel you feel like but it’s better if the area is less touristy and more local. To live like a local, pack lightly and avoid backpacks at all costs. Nothing screams traveller like walkin around with your possessions strapped to your back. When it comes time to eat, avoid places that are near cthe city centres and head a little further out. Kepp an eye out for a steady stream of locals; the best local hotspots enjoy a steady amount of foot traffic.

As you wander through Spain, talk a lot, to everyone you approach. Walk up to people and engage with them in polite conversation. Be friendly, welcoming and ask lots of questions. Then sit back and learn. Many people are happy to take the time to share their stories if they realise that you're genuinely interested. Take note of regional sayings; having a small notepad on hand is great for this.

To live like a local, take ownership of your surroundings and drink in as much local culture as you can. That's all it takes to live like a Spanish local.

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