Seems like we can’t flick our remote across the TV channels without coming across some daytime, easy watching show. Revealing a range of smiling ex pats, embarking on a new life in sunny Spain.
Enticed by supposedly bargain properties, daily sunshine, cheap food and drink. It seems the wet weather, fed up Brit cannot wait to board a low cost flight and leave the work obsessed motherland far behind. The majority of us island dwellers love the idea of a coastal life. Spain certainly has a pretty extensive shoreline to tempt us.
So, is all the media hype really true? Is Spain really the land of milk and honey? Or should that be excellent wine and tapas? Well, I was an ex pat there for a couple of years until the UK beckoned me back. Did I return to the UK because I’d had enough of the relaxed lifestyle? Or because I was afraid of an imminent Brexit? No. I needed to catch up on my pension for a few years. The ultimate goal has remained to return to Spain. That will happen: very soon.
Why is Spain such a wonderful country? Despite enduring a savage economic crisis, internal turmoil as Catalonia tries to break free, and the mañana culture which frustrates the punctuality obsessed Brit, it is hard not to fall in love with Spain. I’ve compiled my top 5 reasons for wanting to live in Spain.
1. Spain & Sunshine
It is hard to fully comprehend the restorative qualities of the sun. Much of the time, our rain soaked island with about a week’s sun annually, makes us fear thee sun’s radiance and warmth. Out in it too long and our pasty white English flesh turns initially to porky pink and then to a livid and agonisingly painful burnt red. This, in turn, might horribly lead to melanomas. Perhaps even: death. Oddly, though, despite its power to hurt us, the majority of us Brits crave sun. We seek it when we plan our holidays. We desperately soak it up for the duration of our trip. In fact, we feel almost cheated, to the point of demanding a refund, if the rain dares to fall on our sunshine beach holiday.
Slap on the screen!
Thus, endless Spanish sunshine is more or less guaranteed from mid March to late October and this schedule is often extended. Don’t get me wrong, the health dangers of direct sun on naked skin is real and deadly. But the wellbeing and benefits, when the sun is treated as a daily occurrence cannot be underestimated. The sun’s daily attendance is not so rare that we need to position our naked selves horizontally, in its direct fire, during its hottest hours. Unprotected, or with a tiny splash of lotion, with a factor value offering little more protection than a light coating of olive oil, to catch the rays.
If we only took notice of the locals. We would leave the beach by 2pm to return at 6pm. Perhaps then, our Brit bodies would not look like we were an extra in Casualty. Alive from a horrible accident with fire, but with life changing scarring. Perhaps we’d use the sun, not to change our natural skin colour in a few hours, but to simply enjoy the long hours of natural daylight.
Respect the sun in Spain!
Respecting the sun’s mighty power, and it’s ability to burn, as only a huge fire star will, means can reap the wonderful benefit of it. Without damaging our bodies! Instead, we could sit happily in a café, in the shade, drinking a café con leche or a fresh orange juice. The sky a stunningly vibrant blue: people watching in the sunshine. This is my idea of bliss. As is sitting on a beach in the late afternoon, watching the sun descend on the sea’s horizon. Knowing it will return the next morning, like a faithful friend. Each day dawns with a seemingly endless blue sky. The sun brightly and cheerfully lighting the world. This is enough to lift my spirits.
This is why sunshine is firmly in my top 5 of reasons to love Spain.