My Spanish Lovers: Lisa AKA “Mum” from Family in Spain

my Spanish lovers - Family life in Spain

The stars of Family life in Spain

It’s not often I get to speak to Spanish lovers with as many years in Spain, or in quite the same circumstances, as Lisa, mum from the excellent Family Life in Spain blog. Being a (relatively) young, solo traveller myself I have absolutely no idea about what it’s like to travel (or indeed raise) a family abroad. This might be the rude wake up call I’ve been searching for!

In this new chapter I’ll be speaking to Lisa about the challenges of immersion in Spain, learning Spanish and a host of other things that comply with this wonderful life we’ve chosen in the sunny climes of Andalucia.

Over to Lisa! Continue Reading →

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5 Reasons Why Only Speaking English Sucks: 24 Weeks of Immersion

Only speaking English sucks!

Elephants never forget a polyglot!

A big hello to followers of my little Spain travel blog old and new, it’s nice to have you all here perving on my latest adventures. Before I delve into today’s post and continue on with my latest progress report I just want to give a reminder that I welcome all your sexy comments, no matter what the sentiment. Having received a whole bunch of emails from some of you over the past weeks I can say that it’s been positively mind-blowing that any of you would find what I write or say interesting. Seriously. Pieces of my brain are lying scattered all over my Andres Iniesta poster!

Anyway less about that balding little dweeb who’s making good money featuring on every Spanish commercial in existence, today I want to talk about why only speaking English sucks balls hard. As a monolingual Brit who grew up in the shadow of the M4 corridor and all the Gatwick Hotels that encircled my otherwise pleasant rural childhood upbringing, I’ve probably got a right to say that don’t I?

The truth is having embarked on my Spanish learning journey – and now being a good six months in – I’ve learned a heck of a lot about the pitfalls of only being able to speak one language. So with today marking the half-way point of my language studies, and with six months remaining until I go for my Spanish proficiency exam, I want to take the time out to explain just why I feel that way. Ready for some fightin’ talk? Read on. Continue Reading →

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Best of the Spanish Travel Blogs: February

Best of the Spanish travel blogs-February

View of the Alhambra, Granada

Despite being a leap year and all that, February still flew by with reckless abandon for my little guiri ass. Stuck with the new trappings of fame that only a guest post on Fluent in 3 Months and a mention in Spanish newspaper Qué could bring, this Spanish travel blog celebrated its best month yet. And I didn’t even promote any of my posts on Facebook or Twitter over the course of those 29 days! Thanks to a certain Niall Doherty and the Month of No Promo for that.

Continuing on in that non-promotional vein, I’d love to round-up some of the best posts from my friends, acquaintances and soon-to-be-lovers (they just don’t know it yet) in the Spanish blogosphere from last month. Reading these little beacons of light kept me going through the last vestiges of winter and made the heady task of having to

The Artichoke Adventures: My Spanish Mother-in-Law Should be a Celebrity Chef

After Paddy Waller contacted me following last month’s roundup of the best Spanish travel blog content and told me about his ace new blog I did what any polite young man should do and checked him out (the blog that is, not the man himself – but just for the record: he’s definitely a bit of alright). Writing about your mother-in-law is always a dangerous thing but Paddy hit the spot with this culinary ode to his own. Paddy’s been enjoying her fresh dishes since 1982 now the lucky swine. Warning: mouth-watering images abound in this post.

Books4Spain: Manuel de Lope (Wrong Blood) & Translator John Cullen Recommend

I’ve never mentioned Andalucía-based book buyer Rod Younger’s blog before but it’s certainly a cracking one worth reading – much more high-brow than the depiction of life in Spain you read about here on dear old My Spanish Adventure too! In this post Rod turns his blog over to Spanish author Manuel de Lope, author of Spanish Civil War novel The Wrong Blood and his translator John Cullen, who both give a fascinating recommendation of Spain-based novels that helped fuel their excellent works. The great blog discovery of February?

Scribbler in Seville: Nine Things I’ve Learned While Living in Spain

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the Scribbler and that’s just not right because she’s got one of the best Spanish travel blogs around! This post though? Well you know how much of a sucker I am for list-style posts, but ones that talk about reflections? That’s like proposing one hot night of passion! So while the Scribbler might have a whole 7 and a half more years than me in this bountiful country, she’s still very much retained a critical edge. My favourite line? “Long, short, flat, high-heeled – every female will have her legs encased in leather for the next four months. Even if it’s sunny and 20 degrees.” Sorry but I have to say that I don’t really mind too much about that!

Gee Cassandra: For Pete’s Sake

It’s always great to read about more cultural oddities between Spain and our American/British sensibilities. First Scribblers and now Cassandra’s. Boy do these ones veer on the odd side of things. I’d never have got the windowpane one before, as for the “blonde” one, well, that’s a no-brainer. I’m still a yellow-head in my own culture!

Our Country House in Spain: Playa de Barronal

Christine in Spain can do it, Erin does a fine job, hell even my mate Benjamin Spall does a pretty fine job. What am I talking about? Photos. You’ve got to love them. Unless you don’t bloody take any despite promising yourself you would that is!

Anyway Our Country House in Spain is one of those great blogs where photos, rather than the awkward ramblings of an attention seeking mid-twenties boy, are at the forefront. This post on the Playa de Barronal, all isolated in the remnant of the winter morning sun, is just stunning. You simply must check this one out.

Liz en Espana: Once in the Highlands, the Highlands of Scotland

It had been a while since checking out my fellow Spanish lover Liz’s ace blog about all her doings in Bilbao. Imagine my surprise then when I pointed my browser in her direction in late February only to discover that the lucky so and so had jumped ship to Scotland, a place where this so-called Brit hasn’t ever even been! You do get around Liz, I have to say. And you’ve even got the wonderful photos to prove it. Like the shots you have of Glencoe and Loch Ness. Kinda hate you right now!

Memoirs of a Young Adventuress: First Impressions of Lanzarote

Another Yank Liz in Spain (and not to mention owner of one of the other very cool Spanish travel blogs), ventured to the beautiful Lanzarote last month taking the sun with her and knocking off another item from her list in the process. Another self-confessed pale-bodied guiri, I had to laugh at her frustrations of having the locals assume she couldn’t speak Spanish during her trip there. That’s my everyday reality Liz!

Molly’s Playground: A Little Luxury in Andalucia

It’s been bloody ace seeing my good friend Molly’s blog go from strength to strength over the past month – she really is pumping out some great content. It was this post however – and the sumptuous list that lies therein – that really got my little budget-stricken pants in a tizzy. Reeling of a great list of what to see and do in Andalucía when you’ve got a bit more cash to splash, some of Molly’s ideas really got me panting. Among the best ones? A tour of the wineries at Bodegas La Sangre de Ronda, the Arab baths in Andalucia and Ascari Racing adventures. Please say you’ll take me to at least one of these please Molly?!

And that’s it for my list of top recommendations from Spanish travel blogs for the last month of February. Take a look at last month’s list here and stay tuned next month for another round up.

Want to take me to town for missing your blog? Contact me here.

 

 

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My Sixth Month Milestone: Reflections on Life in Spain

life in Spain: six months on reflection

6 months of life in Spain: quick somebody find this hipster the Spanish equivalent of Shoreditch…

It blows my mind to think that it’s been a whole six months today since I first set out to Spain, my backpack freshly loaded and my head full of mixed emotions. What a ride it’s been. Two cities, a string of friends made from all over the country, countless memories and a taste for adventure that still doesn’t appear to be waning. Hells yeah I’m glad I made the move!

But how can I ever expect to cram in a whole half-year of reflections on my life in Spain into one single blog post alone? Now that’s an impossible task I hear some of you say (and if not, well then just go with it you apathetic bunch – I’d do the same with you). Anyway it’s just as well because I really dig hard challenges.

Of course the question wouldn’t even exist had I continued in the same vein of that when I first arrived. That was way back in early September in Caceres, when I was holed up in a city centre hostel freaking about debit cards and passports and clutching my sex organ in the shock of realisation that I wouldn’t see my dear old girl for god knows how long.

The lonely and confused mess of a man-boy I was back then? That’s when My Spanish Adventure didn’t even exist. Wasn’t even being contemplated. Wasn’t even in the pipeline.

Now when I look back on that milestone post I made after my first month of immersion and look at how far I’ve come – all 90 posts, 731 comments and 40,000 hits later – I have to admit: progress, just like life in Spain, is pretty friggin’ sweet.

So let’s do the impossible together eh and look at what I’ve learned. C’mon, indulge your favourite Spanish lifestyle blogger just this once will you? You hardened lot! Continue Reading →

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