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7 incredible ways Spain has profoundly changed my life

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Photo: Photo: Peter Zuco/Flickr
16:03 CEST+02:00
British travel blogger Lizzie Jones tells The Local how living in Spain changed her life.

I'm uncomfortably affectionate to strangers


Photo: Amy Goodman/Flickr 

You're getting two kisses and a cuddle when I meet you... 

Things can always be done a little later


Photo: Justyna Rawińska / Flickr

I used to be a bit of a stress head about things not getting done as soon as I wanted them to be but Spain has taught me that most things don't need to be stressed over or be done there and then. When you constantly have that nagging voice in the back of your head screaming your to-do list at you, it's kind of difficult to enjoy the here and now.

Wine should be consumed as often as possible


Photo: fs999/Flickr

I'm not saying that you should get completely and utterly hammered on wine all day long. But the way the Spanish drink has taught me that I will always be partial to a good glass of red whenever it's accepted by those around me to have one. 

It's the perfect accompaniment to food, conversation, blog post writing *ahem* and life. And if you really think about it then wine is made from grapes, and grapes are a fruit so technically you're just working on your five a day! 

The love of drinking outside


Photo: Lori Belloir/Flickr 

Spain is absolutely full of people drinking in parks and on the streets surrounded by live music. You don't get uncontrollably drunk like we do in the UK, you just enjoy the moment and the conversation, and also the euros that you save from not drinking in bars.

Whenever I see a glimpse of the sun now, my mind automatically diverts to a good bit of greenery and a group of pals.

How not to beat around the bush


Photo: MichaelEClarke/Flickr 

I've always been one of those people that are very careful about what they're about to say. I've never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings by saying something out of place - but the Spanish have taught me to be a lot more abrupt and direct in my approach.

What's the point in tiptoeing around something in a conversation with someone you're never going to see again? If I don't want you to sit at the table and make chit chat with me and my friend when we're trying to catch up then I'm going to be honest about it. I'm not going to be rude - but I will tell you. If my friend has sauce on their face or food in their teeth then they are going to be told. I would definitely appreciate people being upfront with me about these kinds of things - so what's the harm of doing it back? 

A job isn't everything


Drawing: Ross/Flickr 

When I used to dream about what I wanted to be when I grew up, never once did I sit back and think ‘Oh hey, yeah I know, I'll be a travel blogger'. But here I am, working at making this my full-time gig.

Before living in Spain I used to be all about the jobs and working every hour I could fit in, even at university I was juggling three jobs while studying full time. Spain taught me that work is a necessity to live and not the other way round.

Weekdays are to be enjoyed just as much as weekends

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Locals taking an evening stroll in Barcelona. Photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr 

In moderation of course. I don't go out during the week and go crazy too often, but Spain taught me that weeknights shouldn't just be spent having dinner, watching TV and going to bed. When you have more of those than you do weekend nights, your life becomes very dull and docile just sitting around waiting for the weekend to come along.

During the week I see my friends for dinner or drinks, I see my boyfriend, I go to the cinema, I'll try new things and I'll spend time with the family. It's actually quite rare for me to just sit at home and do nothing during the week these days. Spain has taught me how much more energetic and happy that makes you in the long run, even if you do need that extra shot of coffee in the morning.

The night is never long enough


Photo: Sergio Santos/Flickr 

Going home much before 7am is a very rare occurrence when living in Spain. I'm not saying that I can go until that time very often anymore, but the night doesn't seem to last very long over here in the UK and I'm always left wondering what I can do next.

Lizzie is a British travel blogger based just outside of London who is pretty certain that she would have been Spanish in another life. She can normally be found somewhere behind her camera or drinking wine with her friends. You can check out her blog, From Europe and Beyond, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram

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