How to keep up your Spanish #2

July 10th, 2014

Playlist Spanish Music

I have to admit that when I started learning Spanish some (OMG I have to think about it to remember) 8 years ago, I was pretty naive. I bought three CDs (back in the days when the internet was something super exciting and Wifi moved into everybody’s home) of Shakiras early Columbian music days. Even now I have to stay focused to be able to follow her songs completely but back than it made Spanish a mysteriously difficult subject. Later on I discovered that there are actually South-American singers who sing at a moderate speed. I became a big fan of Julieta Venegas from Mexico…When I have a good day I even listen to the very Spanish El Cigala music, only Spain could produce. Those of you who have been to a Flamenco show know what I mean.


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How to keep up your Spanish #1

July 8th, 2014

Keep up your Spanish Skills

Spain and Madrid have shaped me quite a bit in the last four years. The weather is sunny all year round, the food from the market is fantastic and the people are easy to talk to. Madrid is creative and lively, never really sleeping and it’s never too late in this city as they say it in the Almodóvar movies.

In the last four years I went from half A1 level Spanish to quite a good understanding if you don’t count the different accents all over Spain. I speak Spanish every day and when I go abroad it is the language that connects me to other Spaniards. Now that I moved I am thinking about how to keep my language skills up and improving and I came up with a few possibilities to keep up your Spanish:




Chinchón: Food and Spanish Life

May 20th, 2012

Flowers Chinchón

While walking around Chinchón we realized very fast that they have strong realtionship to food and especially garlic. On our bus ride we have seen many olive trees and vines.

ChinchónWalking past the building you find many people offering garlic, herbs, soap and almonds on small tables infront of their front doors. I asked and been told that garlic soup is a traditional dish here in Chinchón.

Spain, Travel

Chinchón – somewhere southeast of Madrid

May 15th, 2012

Inside the Parador in Chinchón

Chinchón sounds not really like a Spanish city name more like a chinese expresion and many Spanish have never heard of it even though it is only one hour by bus from Madrid. So if you plan your trip to this pretty Spanish town in the south of Madrid you might encounter people asking you: What, where are you going? or Chinchón?


Nevertheless I did not loose my motivation even though it didn’t seem an extremly popular destination at that time. We took the bus 337 from Conde de Casal to Chinchón. (more…)


Living in Spain – 10 Travel Tips That Have Ensured My Survival

February 19th, 2012

Living in Spain Puerta del Sol Madrid

Today there is a guest blogger writing about his adventures on Living in Spain here at Will Peach, from, came  to Spain in September 2011 to learn Spanish, meet new people, live like a local and escape the 9 to 5 routine. On his blog you can find many interesting stories about his experiences in Spain and also many interviews with other expats who decided on Living in Spain.

I hope you enjoy his Living in Spain guest post, I think the tips really help. So let’s start:

Will Peach is part of the editorial team at the gap year travel site and gives some good advice on what to see in Spain over on his site in Spain

Last September I gave up everything to follow my dreams and move to Spain. Taking the risk was a big one. At 25 years of age, with very little money and next to no idea over how I was going to survive, I plunged headfirst into an environment where I knew neither a single soul nor a single thing about the place I wound up in.

Living in SpainNeedless to say the experience taught me a shed load. Among those painful nights of solitude and wondering what on earth I had done, I was actually growing into a hardened traveller, picking up life-affirming lessons that were to forever alter my outlook.

Looking back now, my experiences living in Spain have been richer than any of travels I’ve made previously. What are the top ten takeaways that have helped ensure my survival? Read on and find out.

1. Learn the Basics Beforehand

Yes it’s a pretty obvious one but it’s also something hardly any travellers bother with due to the assumption that the whole world speaks English. Learning the basics of Spanish before arriving in the dry, barren lands of Extremadura, helped me out no end. If you’re planning on spending any long period of time in Spain make sure you do the same, you’ll be surprised by how few Spaniards speak it well.

2. Pack as Light as Possible

Chances are you’re going to want to travel around a bit or even hop around Europe when you wind up in this part of the world. Budget flights work out best when you have next to no baggage. Pack as light as possible and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.

3. Couch Surf Instead of Hostel Stays

Many a traveller will turn their nose up at the thought of arriving in a place like Spain and crashing on someone’s couch. Doing this however has always worked out great for me as it gives you a solid base to start with in a new place and some new contacts to boot.

Living in Spain4. Lose Yourself as Soon as Possible

Getting lost in a new city or town and finding your way back is the best way to get over any intimidation travels in a new place may bring. Make sure you have a good map and pick out some major landmarks and you’ll find it very difficult to get lost in the first place but much better for it afterward.

5. Introduce Yourself to Locals

In the Nordic countries!

travel postcard Sigtuna travel postcard Stockholm travel postcard Copenhagen travel postcard Gotland