Have you been thinking about moving overseas? If the idea of living in a country that has beautiful weather, is rich in culture and is overflowing with an abundance of great food is appealing to you, then Spain might be the perfect place to live your best life.
For food lovers, life in Spain may feel like you’ve taken up residence in paradise. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are bountiful, and many come from the country’s own agricultural regions. Their freshness and great taste will come as a pleasant surprise to Americans who are used to produce that is imported from other states and countries. Spain is also a leader in meat production, setting global standards not just for safety and animal welfare but for quality as well. While cured Spanish meats like jamón, chorizo and lomo are popping up on menus worldwide, there is nothing quite like experiencing these treats as part of a meal prepared in their homeland. Because Spain has nearly 5000 miles of coastline seafood is another delicious choice, whether you opt for fresh varieties or partake of one of the nation’s popular tinned fishes.
With all of the great choices available in markets, home cooking in Spain can be a joy. That being said, the country has a warm and welcoming café culture and you may find yourself eating out often. In general, Spaniards have their main meal at lunch and it is usually a multi-course affair. Dinner is typically lighter, with smaller portions and simpler preparation. Regardless of the meal, you can expect dining out in Spain to proceed at a slower pace than in other countries, with food and wine being savored alongside friendly conversation.
Many meals in Spain are taken outdoors due to the generally good climate. While Spain’s northern, mountainous regions get their share of cool weather and even snowfall, the most populated areas of the country have milder weather. The southern coastal areas of the country, in particular, offer what many consider the best year-round weather, and it’s only in the winter months that temperatures dip below 60 degrees. For most of the year sunshine is abundant in the south, and some areas can become downright hot in the dead of summer.
In the nation’s interior, the capital city of Madrid has summers that tend to be short and dry. Temperatures typically peak above 90 degrees for only a few weeks between July and September. In contrast, in the coastal city of Barcelona the summer temperatures rarely head north of 80 degrees. For those used to the extreme heat or cold that can impact many American cities, Spain’s generally balmy climate may be a welcome change.
As if feasting on fabulous food in a beautiful climate wasn’t enticing enough, it may be Spain’s rich culture that draws you in. Giants in the fields of art, literature and film herald from Spain, with names like Pablo Picasso, Miguel de Cervantes and Pedro Almodóvar at the forefront. Classical guitar music originated in Spain, while flamenco guitar and its accompanying dance are important aspects of the country’s cultural sound. Some areas of the countryside are still dotted with ancient Roman ruins, while modern monumental architecture by the likes of Antoni Gaudí grace skylines in metropolitan areas.
Over centuries, so many groups from around the hemisphere crossed paths in Spain that there is a depth to the Spanish culture not found in other countries. Moors from Africa commingled with Romans and Arabs, and all contributed to the country’s language, history and sciences. Although Roman Catholicism has historically been the religious affiliation of most Spaniards, Muslim and Jewish influences abound in art and design. Spain’s culture is influenced by a vast array of ideas and beliefs.
Because Spain has so much to offer, it should definitely be on your radar if you’re considering moving to another country. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy life to the fullest.