THE top ten things about living in Spain have been revealed by this Spanish Tiktoker.
Life in Spain has many advantages, the weather, the lifestyle, the food, but which do Spaniards miss most when they travel abroad?
My Daily Spanish, also known as Lucia Bodas, is a Spanish native who has lived across the world.
Now she teaches Spanish online, sharing her insights into the country’s language and culture.
Although she misses the ‘sense of humour’, friendliness and warmth of Spanish people,
these are the top ten things she says Spaniards miss when they leave their homeland:
- The weather
It will come as no surprise that one of the biggest positives about Spain is the sunny weather.
According to data from World Weather Online, Spain is home to Europe’s sunniest city, in Alicante, Valencia.
Other Spanish cities are also known for their bright weather.
Murcia and Malaga respectively see 346 and 345 hours of sun each month.
The sunny weather, says Lucia, ‘puts you in a good mood’.
It’s no wonder, as exposure to sunlight is thought to boost the release of serotonin, also known as the ‘happy chemical’ in the brain.
- Spending time outside
The good weather allows Spaniards to get out and about, enjoying activities such as hiking, swimming and cycling or even just sitting on a terrace sipping a glass of wine.
Being able to spend time outdoors is great for our mental and physical health, improving focus and mood.
It also boosts your social life and energy, claims the YouTuber.
She also cites Spain’s purse friendly prices for tapas, beer and coffee, making meeting up with friends all the easier.
Spanish cuisine is internationally renowned for its delicious recipes and fresh ingredients.
This year, Madrilean chef David Munoz was even crowned ‘best chef in the world’ for the third year running.
‘There are lots of traditional Spanish dishes that are very healthy and super yummy’, says Lucia.
Many Spanish foods like paella, pisto and gazpacho are full of vegetables.
Meanwhile, many areas of Spain are known for their fish dishes such as gambas al ajillo and jamon.
Spain also has desserts down to a fine art, with churros, crema catalana and natillas.
Although getting a free tapas with your drink is becoming less and less common, the Spanish tradition still persists even if just in the form of olives.
However, if you go to rural areas such as Andalucia’s Alpujarras, you’re sure to get a full tapas with every drink including meat, cheese and bread.
- Public healthcare
Spain is known for having ‘one of the best public healthcare systems in the world’.
The system is available to all residents for free and according to Lucia, ‘the quality and service is ‘quite wonderful’.
- Free education
Like many countries, primary and high school is free and mandatory for Spanish students.
In some regions, university is even free if you pass all of your subjects.
If not, there is a lot of financial aid available for students.
- Holiday allowances
Working people in Spain have a minimum of 30 days holiday a year plus at least 14 national holidays.
There are also more regional holidays throughout the year and it can sometimes feel like there’s a bank holiday every couple of weeks.
Traditional fiestas are a key part of Spanish cultural identity and while most places have an annual ‘feria’ or ‘fair’ there are lots of strange festivals throughout Spain.
Everyone has heard of the famous Pamplona bull running festival or Valencia’s pyrotechnic Las Fallas but there are even more odd festivals.
In a small town in Andalucia, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are celebrated during one day in August.
In June, Murcia celebrates the bizarre ‘baby jumping’ festival where a ‘devil’ jumps over a bed full of real-life babies.
- Beautiful places
Spain is home to very diverse landscapes from the long coastline to beautiful islands to dramatic mountains.
As many Brits know, Spain is full of lovely beaches and families in Spain often take beach holidays in the summer months to enjoy a few weeks sunbathing.
There are also lots of ‘very pretty towns that will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale’, says Lucia.
She recommends taking a road trip around the country to make the most of its cities while experiencing the contrasting landscapes of both the North and South of Spain.
- The European Union
Lucia highlights the freedom of being part of the European Union and being able to travel throughout Europe worry free.
Travelling in Europe is also quick, cheap and easy whether by car, train or plane.
Spain has borders with Portugal, France, Andorra, Morocco and Gibralatar so you can travel Europe from your doorstep.