Spanish culture is different in many ways from what we Belgians are used to. Therefore, if you are going to spend a lot of time in Spain, it is inevitable that the Spanish lifestyle will affect you. You yourself may not notice much of it right away, but bet the Belgian stragglers will notice? “You’ve changed!”
Changes you will undergo
There are a number of ways in which you will be affected by “la vida española.” First, there are 3 things you can expect from Spanish. Later we will also discuss some typical Spanish habits that you will adopt.
You will enjoy life more
Spaniards are real bon vivants. They view life through sunny glasses and live very relaxed lives. Therefore, the typical Spanish saying “Mañana, mañana” does not lie: won’t succeed today? Then we’ll do it tomorrow! They don’t take very much notice and are very flexible. Being late is part of that, but they don’t really worry about that.
As is common in southern Europe, life in Spain is arranged to siesta. Stores and public institutions still often close in the afternoon (from 2 to 5 p.m.) and are then open longer in the evening. So Spaniards do not rush home after work, but go shopping or to the beach. The eating pattern of Spaniards also follows that rhythm: they often do not have lunch until after 2 p.m. and then do not eat in the evening until around 10 p.m.
You become more confident and social
Emigrating is challenging and not for everyone. There is a lot involved, often more than you think, so you will need to move quickly and be well prepared. The advantage is that this teaches you to draw your plan. Moreover, you are also going to have to navigate between your expectations and reality in your new environment. If your Spanish is not that good yet, it will take some time to struggle in that area too in your new homeland. Thanks to these challenges, you will become stronger, a real boost to your self-confidence!
Of course, you will also meet a lot of new people. Not only will your circle of friends expand with your new Spanish neighbors and colleagues, chances are you will get to know other foreigners. In fact, Spain is a very popular destination for foreigners and winter visitors. This is how you come into contact with other cultures, languages and people.
You will love Spain even more
Spaniards often vacation in their own country. Especially those who live in the city like to escape to the countryside, something you will surely do as well. There are so many beautiful places, something for everyone. From big cities to small villages, from tourist focal points to no man’s land, and from the most beautiful buildings to pristine nature. We have previously discussed Day Trips on the Costa Blanca and the 6 best spots on the Costa Blanca according to locals on our blog.
Moreover, in Spain, you also generally spend more time outdoors. One reason for this is the temperatures: morning and evening are cooler and much more pleasant to spend time outside. Moreover, Spanish public life is also arranged to allow people to get out more in the evening: stores and public institutions are open much later. Also, restaurants usually open later since Spaniards eat late at night.
Habits of the Spanish lifestyle
There are also a number of Spanish customs that you will probably make your own. By the way, if you stick to this, you will also fit in better with the locals.
Lots of noise
It is a cliché, but one that is based in truth. In general, Spaniards are not the quietest people. Of course, there are exceptions that prove the rule but we can generally assume that the Spanish lifestyle is loud. Spaniards are very social and chatty people who talk to each other very enthusiastically. The more enthusiastic they are, the louder they talk. Moreover, there is also often music playing or a television on in many restaurants and bars as background noise.
The further north you travel in Europe, the more likely you will be asked to remove your shoes when you enter a house. This is not the case in Spain; both indoors and outdoors, Spaniards always walk around shod. Even on the beach, Spaniards wear shoes. At home, these are often flip flops, and at the beach and pool, shoes are often traded for flip flops.
Drinking during the day
In Belgium, it is acceptable to have a glass of wine or two at a company dinner. If you order a glass of wine at lunch, you’re bound to get some strange looks. In Spain, by contrast, it is perfectly normal to drink alcohol during the day. Even in the morning, it is not strange to see Spaniards on a terrace drinking a glass of beer or a glass of wine. Wine is a very big part of Spanish culture, and it is therefore accepted everywhere.
Sport is your life
One of the favorite hobbies of Spaniards is watching sports. Soccer is king and you shouldn’t go to Barcelona to support Real Madrid in a cafe. They take their sport and their teams very seriously. And so they like to show their adoration in their outfits: soccer shirts are worn day in and day out, even when no soccer match is scheduled.
For athletic Spaniards, the outfit in which they play sports is also very important. They all dress in the most professional outfits with all the necessary equipment. Spaniards love sports apparel and gadgets, so they always do their best to look as good as possible before they exercise.
Are you ready to completely immerse yourself in that Spanish lifestyle? Vamenos!