Moving to Spain and living in a Spanish city isn’t always easy, especially if you have never lived abroad or you don’t speak the language!
For ex pats, travelers or business professionals living abroad, it can be easy to find a native community and avoid integrating, but in the long run, finding ways to integrate into the new culture will only benefit you!
Let’s see why it’s a good idea that “When in Spain … do as the Spanish do”
Everything is easier
When you arrive to a Spanish city, the culture and the lifestyle can be quite different! You’ll probably encounter problems you don’t understand and find yourself in situations you don’t know how to deal with.
That’s exactly why adjusting to new schedules, rules and routines can really help you to live a more comfortable life and to fit things in more easily. Here in Spain for example, work and retail timetables are different, and often shops can be closed from 2pm-5pm. Adjusting to this as well as getting to know local rules and know-hows can make your daily routine much more manageable.
Get to know new people
Interacting with locals helps you to feel settled in a new place and feel more at home. Of course, the language can be a difficulty but communicating with basic words and phrases can help you to form connections with others.
These connections can be vital for integration! For example, locals are the best people to ask when it comes to finding out about the area in which you are living. They can recommend the best things to do, the best places to eat and the better quality shops. And of course, they give you the chance to practice Spanish in every day circumstances.
Learn new skills
In a new city there is so much to learn. For British ex pats for example, learning to drive on the opposite side of the road can be a new challenge! For international travelers and entrepreneurs, there’s a whole new world of education and business to discover.
Also, the city brings new places to visit, foods to try and rules to abide by. There’s so much to adapt to and learn from. Last but not least- the language! If you can pick up the language, you have learnt an invaluable skill, both on a personal level and most definitely on a social level.
Problems, difficulties and new situations will arise. If you try to integrate- problems can be solved much more easily. Let’s say you have new friends, you are more familiar with the local rules and environment, and you are starting to understand how things work better- then, when it comes to encountering problems, you will be much more able to deal with them.
These are just a few of the reasons why adapting to the new culture you are living in is a good idea. Overall, it will only benefit you as a person and open your mind to new ways of thinking and living!