Location: Marbella Old Town, Spain
Someone once told me that you are well travelled if you have been to as many countries as your age. I recently turned 30 years old and feel very privileged to say that I have now visited 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. The one continent I haven’t covered much of at all is Africa, although hopefully I plan to change that over the coming years. I was born in the UK and raised in Malta, so I have spent all of my life living in Europe and naturally, that means it is the continent I have explored the most. It also has to be my favourite when it comes to culture, cuisine and romance as there is just so much to see, explore, taste and feel. Being Maltese, I am slightly biased and love visiting pretty much anywhere in Southern Europe, whether it be the South of France, an Italian island like Sicily or lately, the South of Spain. I had first visited the South of Spain last year and was pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful it was and how different it was to Barcelona and Madrid. One thing that doesn’t change however, is the laid back easy Spanish way of life that you can’t escape once you’ve landed in Spain.
The first thing that hits you is the explosion of colour everywhere you go. We flew into Malaga and spent the bulk of our time in Marbella and Sotogrande. Both were so picturesque! The houses are painted in a myriad of different colours, the roofs are tiled in that classic Spanish red tile and bougainvillea in shades of pink and purple can be found at every corner. It’s not just the architecture and scenery though. To me, Spain just feels like such a colourful place and it really comes across in the town, the people, even the flag! I thought I would try and fit in with this palette of bright shades by wearing this cute high waisted mini from Zara and my sparkly magenta Louboutin heels. I felt that this went perfectly with the shades of red, orange and pink that you find all over Spain.
Now it could just be that I happened to be in Spain during World Cup season, but it seemed as though the whole town was having one big party. People were out on the streets, chilling on the beaches, drinking their Sangria in the outdoor cafes – it was wonderful! The atmosphere was just so relaxed and people seemed happy to be out and about enjoying the sea, sun and sangria. Wanting to holiday the Spanish way, we did exactly the same. It was on this trip that I found my new favourite alternative to Sangria – a simpler drink called tinto de verano. It literally translates to red wine of summer and is made of 1 part red wine and 1 part gaseosa, which is sort of like a lemon-based soda. It’s easier to drink and fresher than normal Sangria; making it easier to understand why everyone is in such a frivolous mood after drinking this stuff all day!
Of course, to live well is to eat well and that is no problem in Spain. It’s well known that the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the best ‘diets’ you can follow, and the Spanish way of eating aligns with this. Apart from the obvious paella and jamón, dishes are focused on fresh flavourful ingredients that are high in fibre such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, along with fresh fish and nuts – all with a healthy dose of olive oil. If you are ordering the Spanish way, then you should also eat the Spanish way, and that means sharing lots of little plates, or tapas, with friends and family. Don’t rush it and take your time to enjoy the flavours and the company! If you’re stuck on what to try from the menu, go for the rosada frita, smoked sardines and salmorejo…enjoy!
This pretty much sums it all up. Whether it’s the warm weather, the tinto de verano, the abundance of good food and the happiness of being surrounded by friends and family, the locals really got living well down to an art. Coming from London, the slower pace of life can be so refreshing. I even felt that the speech was slower and of course, louder! It was this carefree, chilled attitude that made it the perfect place to visit for a weekend break. Replace your stress with a siesta and stretch out under the sun. Enjoy the colours of Spain, the fantastic weather and the easy going way of life!
Have you visited Spain recently? What are your tips on living life the Spanish way? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! I will be travelling to Spain for a wedding in Alicante in September, so would love to hear more of your tips down below!
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