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Ten resolutions to make the most of life in Spain in 2021

Ten resolutions to make the most of life in Spain in 2021
Photo: Maridav/Depositphotos
Stuck in a Spain-sized rut? Need to add some sparkle to your life in 2021? The Local offers you ten easy-to-achieve resolutions that will make the coming year in Spain one to remember.

1. Improve your Spanish (or Catalan or Basque etc)


Photo: The LEAF project/Flickr

If you’ve decided your Spanish is already good enough, or that the language is just too hard, now is the time to get out of your comfort zone. Buy a book, get an intercambio (language exchange partner), takes classes, or just watch more Spanish television: whatever you do, stop putting it off and take the next step .

If you're looking to learn some offbeat vocabulary a class might not teach you, perhaps start with our list of 'false friends' you need to watch out for when speaking Spanish.

And if you want to work on sounding a bit more local when you speak, try these outrageous, rude expressions.

Most importantly, check in to The Local regularly for the Word of the Day series. 

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?
 

3. Cook up a storm: 


Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP

Make 2021 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. When we're allowed to meet up again, you can 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.

4. Volunteer: 


Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

In 2020, there was of course a renewed passion among Spaniards for volunteering, or giving back something to the community to help during the pandemic. You could try working at a local food bank.

And there are also many opportunities to get involved in helping newly arrived refugees in the country through donations, volunteering and more. Madrid for Refugees holds regular fundraising events. 

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.

Just follow the signs and don't get lost like this British couple.

6. Learn to do something typically Spanish:


Photo: Arnaud Guillaume/AFP

Make 2021 your year for learning something unique to Spain. This could be anything from getting to grips with the fine art of slicing jamón to learning how to pour cider the way they do in Asturias. Or maybe you want to try flamenco dance or guitar. Take a course and get a whole new perspective on Spain.
 

7. Head to a crazy Spanish festival:


Photo: AFP

You’ve seen all the pictures and you've heard the stories, but you’ve never quite managed to get there. When the festivals are back on and we're allowed to travel again, you'll be able to do everything from getting splattered with tomatoes at the Tomatina festival to watching people rise from coffins in Galcia, there is a wacky Spanish fiesta for everyone.

WATCH: Paraded alive in coffins? This has to be Spain's strangest fiesta

8. Read Don Quixote:


Photo: Davidd/Flickr

Yes, Cervantes' classic novel about the The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is hundreds of pages long. Yes, it’s a serious piece of literature. And yes, most Spaniards have never actually read it.
 
But this story of this genius/fool on a personal crusade to bring back chivalry is also seriously fun. One hundred of the world’s top authors have also called it the best book of all time.
 
So whether you read it in English or Spanish, just read it.

9. Get off the beaten track:


Photo: the secret valley/Wikimedia Commons

Think you've been everywhere in Spain? Think again. When we're allowed to start travelling between regions again, 2021 could be the year to start exploring some of Spain's lesser known regions. Take a trip to the wetlands of the Ebro Delta or visit the stunning castle of Gormaz in lonely Soria province. Or you could check out some of the places awarded as the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain.

We also recommend stopping by small, undiscovered villages, or perhaps some quaint seaside ports. And don't forget about Spain's 44 different Unesco World Heritage sites.

IN PICS: The 15 beautiful small towns you must visit in Spain in 2020

10. Meet the love of your life?


Photo: MandyGodbehear/Depositphotos

Or at least, have some fun along the way. 

Navigating the dating scene can be a minefield, especially during a pandemic and when you are looking for love in a culture different to your own. But don't let that put you off. Follow the Local's dating guru Sally Smith's tips to dating online in Spain.


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