I cannot believe it has been more than a month since I came to Spain. I know this is a cliché but it really has flown by very quickly and I’ve made some amazing friends and memories. This is my first time being away from home so I was worried about how I would settle in.
Moving to a different country where you don’t speak the language is like moving to University times ten. I knew from my friend’s uni experiences that settling in can be tricky so I did expect some difficulties. Here are the ways I combated them and felt more at home in a completely beautiful but different place.
This may sound strange but I absolutely love supermarkets and going to supermarkets in different countries is fascinating for me. My local ‘supermercado’ is surprisingly good and I can find pretty much everything I want there. Seeing the cupboards filled with food definitely makes our flat seem more homely.
Fruit markets, bakeries and delis are pretty old school. If you shop this way it takes ages but it does feel very authentic. I get to pick each tomato that goes into my salads and it has made me very particular. The quality here is amazing, vegetables are not bland and watery; they’ve got some real flavour.
The best way to get to know a city is by walking around aimlessly. On a free day with no plans, I head out to the centre and take it all in. The first few times I was out for hours when running simple errands because I kept getting lost. Now I get a bit less lost and have some basic sense of direction and major landmarks. But I do love accidentally discovering a new place in town.
Hot water bottles and kettles
The first couple of weeks in Sevilla had me coming down hard with allergies and colds. I was drugged up on painkillers and going through several tissues an hour. Luckily I managed to find a hot water bottle in my room so I could make myself all cosy. I also used the kettle to create a steam bath to unblock my nose.
This is very ‘Brit abroad’ but I was absolutely delighted to find a box of PG tips at the supermarket because generic ‘breakfast tea’ does not cut it. Now I can represent the UK in Spain by having my morning brew with a couple of biscuits.
Breakfast in Bed
It’s relaxing and self indulgent but I do it everyday. I don’t have special breakfasts as such. Even a bowl of cornflakes will do. But it’s important to take some time to relax in the morning. After all, I start work at 4pm so I may as well lie around for a bit.
I love bullet journalling which I promise I will talk about in a future post. My life is essentially in an emerald book which organises everything for me. I’ve also got blogging and writing in my diary so I can look back on my time here and how I was feeling throughout the internship.
Having my possessions out
Within 24 hours of reaching Sevilla, my room was cluttered with clothes, makeup, paper and jewellery. I don’t much mind that though because it makes me feel at home. In a room that first felt a bit strange and unfamiliar, it was necessary to get my shit out.
I’ll admit I initially gave up on exercise because my lifestyle here is way more active than in the UK. I walk, cycle and carry bags up three flights of stairs so I often wake up feeling sore. But it’s super important to give yourself half an hour to just exercise more purely. It feel a bit too hot to run but I make sure I do pilates at least 5 times a week. You have to keep your interests going.
Going out a lot
The best way to feel happy is to keep yourself occupied. Leave the house at least once a day even if it is just to take out the bins or buy some fruit. Spend three hours just sitting over a drink with friends at a café. Oh and not to mention going out for tapas. A lot of tortilla and patatas bravas for a vegetarian like me.
If you have any other tips for living abroad, please let me know!