I don´t think about it every day, but living in Spain really changed me. As a human, as a Dutchman and as a person. Wow, that sounds very deep, but it’s funny that you do not even realiza it. It comes slowly. Often you will only be aware of this when you, for example, once again speak your friends and family from your home country. “You are different” they will say. But otherwise, of course, it is not necessarily negative. On the contrary, even the things that change when you live in Spain – if you ask me – are really positive! In fact, you can say that you will never be the person before emigration. Curious about what I mean by that? Read on!
1- You are going to live more relaxed
A common reason for emigrating is that people are looking for a more relaxed life. And that’s exactly what Spain does with you! Really, you’ll live a bit more relaxed when you live in Spain. Let it be the magical effect of the country, or the fact that society is different. I do not dare to say exactly what it’s all about. Life is just a bit more relaxed and so, you are also going to live more relaxed.
2- Your language bump becomes bigger
You will notice that, in the beginning, when you are not Spanish enough, you should initially relate to the English language. And once you’ve set your language nodules, the rest goes automaticly. From German and French, up to Scandinavian languages: in Spain, almost every language is spoken. Especially when you live or work in a tourist area. And the most beautiful thing is that at some point you will also think in other languages. It’s only a pity that your Dutch language is getting worse. Then you suddenly start thinking: “How do you say this again in Dutch?”. But oh, that’s a concern for later. All in all, you can say that living in Spain is a great way to increase your language skills.
3- You live less on time
Dutch, Belgians and Germans are generally always on time or even a quarter to early. But that will be different when you live in Spain. In the beginning, it produces a lot of frustration, but there is a moment when you realize that you do not even take it so closely with time. It is not true that people in Spain are disrespectful and do not get used to time. I think it’s mainly about the institution: don´t worry so much. And because you know, you are also more flexible and do not let your life be determined by time.
4- You get an international circle of friends
Over time, you will notice that you will get in contact with with other nationalities. What you initially do in particular with Dutch and Belgians, you meet more and more nice people with different nationalities and other stories. You learn about other cultures, habits and uses. Very nice! You will not only get more insights into how other people think, but also become more aware. Nothing is abnormal, strange or crazy. You’ve seen all of it. And who knows, you’re even inspired to go on holiday to a country that you never thought about!
5- You become less materialistic
Things are just stuff. And when you emigrate to Spain you will notice that you are less in need of stuff. The sun, sea, beach and so on……. It’s all free! In the Netherlands and Belgium you are looking at what car, home and TV people have, but in Spain is totally unimportant. And you know: stuff and other materialistic matters are not as important as memories and experiences! As a result, you will also realize that things are not so important at all.
6- You learn to make your own plan
Emigration is very spicy. It is not for everyone. But the nice thing about this is that you made this step alone. You have made your own plan. Perhaps even against all the opinions of your area! And that was already a change in the base. You have loosened yourself from your old life and left familiar. You learn to make your own plan, despites what others think about it.
7- You are going on holiday in your own country
A common question to emigrants: “But where are you going on vacation?”. Well, in your own country ofcourse! Trips to the Netherlands to see family and friends do not really look like a holiday. You are constantly busy to see everything and everyone again. And usually you’re still exhausted too. ? In Spain there are so many beautiful places to celebrate. And then of course I do not just talk about a beach holiday ?
8- You live more outside
Can you imagine that you lived before mainly inside? Of course in Spain that is very different. Here you have the opportunity to be outside from early morning till late. From a coffee in the garden, to a day’s beach or a hike in the mountains. Being outdoors in Spain can be anywhere and everywhere. Your need to sit will completely disappears.
9- You look different at your home country
This is double. Especially in the beginning – when you’ve just immigrated – you’ll often compare with your home country. You´ll start to look at your homeland from a different perspective. So there are also things that you despise, but undoubtedly also things that you will miss, or even appreciate. The smell of autumn, the atmosphere during the Christmas period or simply just bread. Sometimes it’s the little things that you are missing. But what I noticed is that when you return to your own country, you feel like life has stayed the same.
10- You change as a person
I’ve already mentioned it: you will never be the same person after emigration. You have an experience for life. The other habits, people, culture and lifestyle make you change as a person. You have grown and grown up. You are no longer 100% Dutch or Belgian. Spain has become a part of you and it will always stay like that ?
What experiences do you have since you live in Spain? Or how did you change as a person? Please leave a comment, always nice to read your opinion.