7 things I love most about living in Spain


1. The People
What is it about the Spanish people? In this village at least, they are just so darn friendly! Ten years ago I arrived here and took a taxi ride. Ever since that moment, each time I see the taxi driver we exchange greetings, we smile, we wink, we nod… he even gave me some oranges one day from his family’s orchard. This is no isolated case; one chance meeting with almost anyone here apparently leads to a lifelong association. ¡Fantástico!

If you like to go around feeling incognito, rule out life in a Spanish village because you’ll soon be ‘known’, and yes, all the neighbours will be talking about you and largely making it all up.

spanish people

2. The Light
What happened to Winter this year? It hasn’t rained for weeks. Hold on, let me add to that: the sun hasn’t gone in for weeks. Oh yes, it’s not just dry and very mild, it’s also so LIGHT; the sun shines all day and doesn’t dip below the horizon until… I don’t know, seems like 7pm. Is that possible? Even if I’m wrong, that’s what it feels like to me. Summers are hot, too hot perhaps. But the effect of the light I shall never underestimate as long as I have the privilege of living in southern Spain.

light in spain

3. The Language
Love Spanish. Always have done, ever since I started learning it 25 years ago. I love Spanish so much that I made a Spanish program for kids… it’s called Speekee – have you heard of it?

Learn Spanish and your life in Spain will be so much more enjoyable. But you already know that.

learn spanish language

On the subject of language…

4.  I’ve got Bilingual Kids!
My two children were 3 years old and 8 months old when we arrived in Spain 10 years ago. By living in Spain, they were always going to learn Spanish regardless of their linguistic ability (it happens that my daughter is a born linguist and my son isn’t) because of a child’s spongelike nature for ‘taking in’ things and because of constant exposure to the Spanish language. All that was needed to seal their bilingualism was for their parents to speak to them in English. Which we did.

bilingual kids in spain

5. The Cost of Living
Here’s an interesting topic for debate: is it cheaper to eat out every day in Spain than to do the weekly shop? Yesterday I was treated to lunch by a friend. WE SAT OUTSIDE THE BAR IN T SHIRTS ON JANUARY 13TH. We shared some delicious tapas; generous portions – at 2 euros each. OMG.

tapas in spain

6. The Location
I have talked about Arcos de la Frontera many times before. It’s an extraordinary place to live. It’s beautiful, remote, punishing, fascinating, slow, mysterious, friendly, rooted, poor… Truly, an extraordinary place to live.

And nearby there’s stunning – surprisingly green – scenery, plus wonderful cities like Seville and Cádiz (pictured below)

speekee blog - cadiz in spain

7. Quality of Life
It’s an overused term is Quality of Life. Overused and rarely defined. For me, the quality on show here is defined by all that I say above.

speekee's blog about spain

See you next time,


Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee, home of the most comprehensive Spanish learning program for children ever to appear online

Jim began his Spanish learning journey in 1990. He has been a language teacher since 1994 and he lives in sunny southern Spain with his two bilingual children. Loves it! More…

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