Guest Post: Living in Spain – 10 Travel Tips That Have Ensured My Survival by Will Peach

Today there is a guest blogger writing about his adventures 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 to live in Spain.

I hope you enjoy his 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

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.

Needless 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.

4. 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
Continue reading Guest Post: Living in Spain – 10 Travel Tips That Have Ensured My Survival by Will Peach

Spanish Cooking with my flatmate

Spanish Cooking
All night full of people enjoying tapas at Plaza Santa Ana

Very soon after I moved to Spain my former flatmate invited me to go for tapas at Plaza Santa Ana. We ordered a selection of montaditos, jamón and cheese. It was delicious and I wanted more ;) It was not only the going out for dinner that I desired but the ability to make tapas on my own. Besides I had to improve my Spanish skills when it came to all the names of the many dishes you can order at a tapas bar.
Continue reading Spanish Cooking with my flatmate

The “Guacamole”

Guacamole from Mercadona

I have heard a lot about it and now I also found it at the mercadona. It was hidden next to the salads and it took me some time to find it. They say it is the best guacamole that can be bought in Madrid, and I couldn’t disagree. It is just delicious.

Guacamole with Tortilla Chips

Toledo a historical and cultural must Part 1

Cherry blossom Madrid
The entrance to the old city center

Only 70km south from Madrid, Toledo is one of the most famous destinations for a day trip from Madrid. I went there in May 2011 by bus from Madrid which takes approximately  50 minutes. A roundtrip ticket to Toldeo costs 9€. The city was the seat of the Spanish court before it moved to Valladolid and later to Madrid. It is lies on a mountain and is surrounded by an impressive city wall.
Continue reading Toledo a historical and cultural must Part 1