Live in Spain: The Recipe for Happiness

This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation in Spain. It has proven time and time again that sunshine, espetos, good people, and the beach are the components of a happy life if you live in Spain.

Prep: 0 min.

Bake: approximately 300 days in the sunshine

Chill: only slightly, this area has the warmest winters out of any other European city!

Ingredients: sunshine, palm trees, comfortable shoes, camera, waves, sunset over the mountains

All of these ingredients can conveniently be found in the city that gave birth to Antonio Banderas: Málaga!


Put on your sneakers and hit the beach to watch the sunrise over the ocean in Fuengirola. It is calming, relaxing, and exactly what you need to mentally prepare you for this recipe.

Afterwards, hop on the train to Málaga centro. Notice how the tall Spanish windows peer out into the streets as if they were guiding your way. Here you have many options. First, there is Gibralfaro, the castle fortress that gives you a panoramic view of the city.

Live in Spain

Casco antiguo- Marbella

(On the way there, stop by a cafetería with a terraza, literally all of them do. This usually causes an internal dilemma if you live in Spain; it feels impossible to choose which one to go to! Just find a chair and sit down somewhere, all of them are good!)

After working your way along the extremities of the castillo (Gibralfaro), you will reach the head of the fortress, and through its eyes you can see centuries of architecture and history laid before you. Shimmy your way down its spine to further explore its magic.

History and art radiate from this city. An exciting combination of these two would be to visit the Pablo Picasso museum. The artist was born in Málaga and his presence can be found around every corner. The Phoenecians called it Malaka, the Romans Malaca, the Moors Malagah, and the Christians Málaga. Despite all of the transitions, I am thankful for all of the beautiful influences of other cultures that is nicely bundled in this small city by the sea.

Live in Spain

Sitting in front of Castillo Sohail and Puente de la Armada Española while walking around Fuengirola

The list of global influences of this area is never-ending! For example, everyone is familiar with the Spanish Flamenco music that is very customary of Southern Spain. Traditionally it was performed by the Gitanos, a large ethnic group that resides in Spain (and other European countries). This style of music is actually influenced by songs and dance brought by the Romani people from India. Next time you hear a Flamenco tune, afterwards switch over to an Indian jam and you will hear the similarities. Embracing all of these international connections only makes you feel even more welcome in Spain!

For some spice, add a dash of live music. If you live in Spain, mostly anywhere you go, you will have music to lead your way. It is easy to find a Spanish guitarist playing a soulful tune or a violinist seducing you down the narrow callejones. Music pours out from the city like the cascading flowers down a balcony, be it the buzz of a cafetería making coffee or a band playing early into the morning hours.  Your ears will thank you later; for the Spanish-style zapateo or some surprisingly good jazz that you might be missing from home.

The greatest common factor for happiness while you live in Spain will most definitely include food. It is impossible to go anywhere without being swept off your feet by grilled meat, fish, and the clinking of wine glasses. Regardless of whether it is winter or summer, the locals devour the good vibes from every corner of the town. It would be wise to follow suit and see what is on the menu!

Live in Spain

Walking around town during Día del Caballo, a festival

My fishy favorites are espetos and adobo. Every time you walk past a restaurant on the beach you will find a small boat on a stand used as a charcoal grill with friendly faces skewering espetos. I will tell you, my friend, nothing tastes better than a freshly grilled skewer of espetos rolled in salt and lemon. Adobo is fish that has been marinated with spices and then fried. Be advised, it will mostly likely keep you glued to the chair of whichever restaurant you found it in to order many, many more plates.

To complete this recipe, you may need an extra set of hands. Although it is not necessary, it will be far more enjoyable if you can find some locals or foreigners alike to enjoy this time living and teaching in Spain. And also eating a leg of jamón serrano by yourself may be slightly more difficult than you may think.

Happiness can be found in many shapes, flavors, tunes, and colors; luckily all of these ingredients can be found here on the winding streets of Spain.

2016/2017 Posted by Nicole D.