Ten resolutions to make the most of life in Spain in 2016
The Local · 31 Dec 2015, 12:22
Published: 31 Dec 2015 12:22 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Dec 2015 12:22 GMT+01:00
- Eight essential ways to tackle the winter months like a true Spaniard (11 Jan 16)
- What's on in Spain: January 2016 (07 Jan 16)
- Twelve of the best festivals in Spain (28 Dec 15)
1. Improve your Spanish (or Catalan or Basque etc)
Photo: The LEAF project/Flickr
If you're looking to learn some offbeat vocabulary a class might not teach you, perhaps start with our list of Spanish words the English language should adopt.
And if you want to work on sounding a bit more local when you speak, try these outrageous, rude expressions.
2. Take up the sport of padel:
You've probably spotted them around Spain — strange half-sized tennis courts with wire mesh fences. Welcome to the wonderful world of padel. Part-tennis, part-squash, this is a great, fun game. Why not join a club, improve your fitness and meet some Spaniards at the same time?
Spaniards love this racket sport, so much so that they organized that largest ever padel tournament in October of last year, attracting nearly 700 players and making it into the Guinness World Records.
3. Cook up a storm:
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP
Make 2016 a culinary watershed by learning how to make a new Spanish dish every month of the year. Set yourself the target of making a sublime salmorejo, a terrific tortilla and perfect pincho. Then invite your friends over and amaze them with your cooking prowess.
You may not be able to compete with some of the world's top chefs who reside in Spain, but at least there is plenty of inspiration. And while it's still chilly, cold weather tapas could be a good place to start on your culinary education.
Photo: Josep Lago/AFP
One of the few positives to come out of Spain's economic crisis is a renewed passion among Spaniards for volunteering, or giving back something to the community. You could try working at a local soup kitchen or a food bank. Or you might want to volunteer with Age Concern España which helps older English-speaking people living in Spain.
And there are also many opportunities to get involved in helping newly arrived refugees in the country through donations, volunteering and more.
5. Walk (or cycle) the Camino de Santiago:
Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
Say Camino de Santiago and most people think of the 800km 'French Way' from southern France to the city of Santiago de Compostela. But you can start the route from pretty much everywhere in Spain, with major routes linking Seville, Madrid and Barcelona with the pilgrimage city. You can decide to do just part of the trail too. So whether your motives are religious, spiritual, or just sightseeing, this is a great way to experience Spain.
6. Learn to do something typically Spanish:
Photo: Arnaud Guillaume/AFP
7. Head to a crazy Spanish festival:
Photo: Rafa Rivas/Flickr
You’ve seen all the pictures and you've heard the stories, but you’ve never quite managed to get there. So why not take the plunge in 2016? With everything on offer from getting splattered with tomatoes at the Tomatina festival to watching people swing from the necks of dead ducks in in the Basque fishing town of Lekeito, there is a wacky Spanish fiesta for everyone.
But remember to stay safe - last summer was one of the deadliest for bull-running fests.
8. Read Don Quixote:
9. Get off the beaten track:
Photo: the secret valley/Wikimedia Commons
10. Join a political group
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP.
After the elections on December 20th, maybe you'll be feeling extra political. So why not get active? Organizations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International always need volunteers while there are hundreds of single issue groups too. Or you could join a political party and get an insider's view of the nuts and bolts of the country's political machinery.