About

Hola, soy guiri!

Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m Josh, a twenty-something (which clearly means 25 or over) English Teacher/freelance writer carving a living out of the economically floundering melting pot that is Spain. I adore travel, but I’m not one for skipping through countries just to tick them off my ‘been there’ list. Instead, I do my best to immerse myself within a culture in order to truly understand it. I am also, conveniently, obsessed with learning languages, though as things stand I can only speak one other: Spanish (duh!). I knew very little of the language before coming here in September 2010, and initially the process of settling in proved very difficult. Despite this, here I remain, and my fondness for this troubled country only grows with each passing day.

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Me at the Alhambra


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A Brief Background

Learning another language had long since been a goal of mine before my coming here- though I could never really see the value of learning one while I lived in a country with a different native tongue. Then, following my graduation from The University of Sheffield in 2008, a 4-week intensive TEFL course, nine months in Canada, a brief back-packing stint in South America and another year in Sheffield, I finally had my ‘now or never’ moment. So, off I went and here I am, speaking Spanish on a daily basis, and beginning to feel that I am rather good at it to be honest. My first nine months here were spent in El Puerto de Santa María, near Cadiz, where understanding the locals was futile. A mid-year visit to Granada sparked a pungent interest and unyielding determination to live there, and six months later that’s exactly what I was doing. Since then, I simply haven’t looked back.

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The Blog

The aim of this blog is to expose some of Spain’s quirks, charms and treasures in a strictly light-hearted way, so I tend not to write about politics. You can find info here about travel, music, sport, language, culture and the general day-to-day life of what it’s like to be an ‘extranjero’, or, as has quite rightly been pointed out below, a ‘guiri’ in Spain. If you’re not already among us, have a nosey round and maybe, just maybe, I’ll convince you to come and see what all the fuss is about icon wink About

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The Finish Line at 8am, Cadiz

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52 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Josh, fellow Spain lover here who hopes to retire not far from Granada: Málaga to be exact. I’m happy to find another blog about Spain! Keep up the great work. I’ve had a brief look around and like what I see! Nice to meet you.

    1. Ah thanks Toby! Nice to know i’m finding people! If you’re looking for more Spain blogs then check out my blogroll- there’s a few gooduns in there, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!!

  2. Hi Josh, I’m also a Spain fanatic. Been living off and on for almost 30 years (which means I’m just a little more over 25 than you are :) I live off and on with a group of Gypsies in Seville, am an indie author and life long lover of language and culture now living in Puerto Rico. Look forward to reading your posts.

  3. Like the blog Josh, and am finding it useful in planning a TEFL training course. Any feedback would be appreciated on your experience in terms of what course (TEFL/CELTA/TESOL equivalent)?, and what’s Granada like for quality of teacher training centres? Thanks in advance.

  4. I am heading to Spain on the 30th to do lCamino. Two friends and I planned the whole thing and have been training since February. Shoulde we wait and exchange our money at the airport when we arrive? We hear stories about ATM’s not working and banks not offering good rates? Your thoughts?
    What ages do you teach? I am a Spanish teacher in Upstate NY and always wanted to live in Spain. Are prospects good for a job? Can I contact you for cultural info like special slang words etc…that’s what gets my students excited about learning Spanish! my blog is : http://www.traveljournals.com. Look upper left for Camino de Santiago and I go by ProfeG.

  5. Hey Josh! I’m happy to have stumbled upon your blog among the myriad of others that have consumed me lately. I look forward to reading about your adventures in Spain! I hope to one day teach abroad so hopefully I’ll find a lot of insight around here.

  6. I’m so glad you’re a ‘twenty-something’ that decided to go teach in Spain because I am too and am planning to apply as an auxiliares this coming January. Most of the blogs I’ve been reading are written by recent college grads going to teach in Spain. For them, it seems like a great move but for me, I’ve been working a 9-5 for the past 5 years and it’s going to be a HUGE decision to leave it behind. I was starting to think I was getting too old to just leave and teach English!

      1. I actually decided this past summer that I wanted to teach in Spain and by that time I already missed the cutoff date for applications = so now I have to wait until the next school year. But I’m totally fine with that. Now I have a year to save money and learn Spanish. My Spanish is OK but getting better! I’ve been taking a Spanish class in my neighborhood for the past two months and have been taking part in some language exchanges in my area. Luckily I live in NYC where it’s quite diverse and easy to find Spanish speakers =)
        BTW, lucky you that you’re in Granada! I was there in July and fell in love with that place! I would love to be placed there but I know that is wishful thinking haha.

  7. Congratulations on one year of blogging! I saw your number of spam comments blocked. Wow that’s quite a number. I see that you love to travel and seem to travel often. If you could shoot video from your mobile phone and post it to your blog instantly from your phone would you find that ability valuable? I have found such a blog platform and if you are interested please feel free to contact me directly. Not spamming, just offering you info that you may be very interested in. I think you would really love it. Happy travels and congrats again on the 1 year anniversary of blogging!

    1. Hey Carolyn. Thanks for commenting but please email me with questions like this. I can see you’re not a spam robot but I aim to keep the actual blog about its content rather than anything else :)

  8. Hey Josh,
    I just found out your blog and it’s really interesting to read how someone else is living this whole thing. I moved to Malaga a couple of months ago and can definitely relate to what you write :)

  9. Hey Josh, We have been checking out your blog and we must say that we are very impressed. It’s really great.

    We have particularly been following your posts about Málaga as we visited there too. We have even written a guide, which you can check out here: http://hitchhikershandbook.com/country-guides/spain-2/malaga/ We would love your feedback and any tips, information, advice that you might have would be warmly appreciated.

    Keep up the good work!

    Ania & Jon

  10. I am an exchange student right now living in Galicia, Spain.

    Please read my blog about my journey

    jethroylee.blogspot.com.es

  11. Hola Josh! Soy una madrileña de veintitantos. He llegado hasta aquí buscando información sobre tu país y me he quedado impresionada. Siempre es agradable que un forastero aprecie la belleza de tu tierra así como su gente y su cultura, del mismo modo que yo adoro tu país y eso que aún no he tenido el placer de conocerlo. Mi objetivo es ir a estudiar inglés en un futuro próximo, probablemente a Bristol, Brighton, Oxford o alguna ciudad del sur de Inglaterra (sin dejar de visitar Londres, por supuesto!), tengo entendido que las temperaturas son algo mejores, aunque no tengo ningún problema con la lluvia, me gusta!
    Te escribo en español para que aprendas y sobre todo porque no quiero ridiculizarme poniendo de manifiesto mi ínfimo nivel de inglés. xD
    Gracias de antemano por el esfuerzo que va a suponerte traducir este comentario. :S
    Me alegro de haber encontrado tu blog, pareces una persona encantadora! :)
    Un saludo! Y cualquier duda gramatical que tengas, estoy dispuesta a resolverla!

    1. Muchas gracias Alba! Me alegro mucho que has encontrado mi blog! Quiero alcanzar lectores españoles tanto como ingléses… Si te da cuenta errores en mis posts españoles por favor corregeme!

      Seguro que pasarás tu tiempo en Inglaterra genialmente. Has pensado de estudiar inglés en una academia en Madrid antes de irte? Te ayudarías un monton… Buena suerte Alba!

  12. Hi Josh – Just happened on your blog while browsing for Spain/Euro info. I lived in Rota for 7 years, and love it in Andalucía. I would live there in a heart beat if I could. I visit often as I can. I love your humor, it is spot on, ha! I lived below a women who would walk the floors for hours in her heels waiting for her husband to come home at night, then yell at him for another hour then slam the door. I use to hang out in Puerto in the same beach areas. Great blog, glad I found it!

  13. Ola! I m 3rd year student in the field of English language teaching, from Turkey.I wanna make internship in Spain do you have any advice about placec to apply for? Or another countries that i can teach English in Europe?

  14. I love reading your posts about Spain :) I have a travelling blog as well, and I really appreciate people who write in such a sincere and funny way like you – and of course since I live in spain as well it adds an extra! Hope to come in the South of our beautiful country soon… :)

  15. Hey!

    I was living in Granada for two years -well until last year! ha! i’m heading over next weekend for two weeks. I love this blog! where would you say is the best beach near malaga? I’m thinking Nerja. Also which beach would you consider to be the most beautiful in Andalucia!

    I’m staying with friends but happy to meet up for una caña! xx

      1. Thanks! I saw your best beaches post right after I posted here. I’m arriving on Saturday – 1st of June and my itinerary looks set to be:

        17th- 21st Granada
        21nd – 24th Tarifa with a day trip to Bolonia
        24th- 28th Cordoba Feríaaa
        28th- 1st – Nerja

        Maybe catch you in Grana

        Sarrah

  16. By the way, after reading even more on Granada here on the blog – I finally decided to take a trip to the South, so I am gonna take a little trip out of Barcelona somewhere in June… if you feel like meeting up for a coffee and telling me more about your teaching Engliah in spain experience, I’d be very happy, since I was considering doing it as well in combination with the studies in musical theatre I will be starting in september.
    I don’t know how I can leave my contact in case you’d be up for it, so here is my email : daryalebedeva@hotmail.com

    Greeys from Barcelona!

  17. Hi friends …. we are a group of 6 couples in our late 30’s from India travelling to spain from 28th October to 7th.November. I know its not the peak season time but we got a good deal for tickets and we did it.

    We are planning to visit Madrid – 2 Days, Barcelona – 2 Days, Ibiza -3/4 days and Malaga -2/3 days. Please suggest if the above itinerary is fine or let me have your suggestion. we are looking for more of party and beach life and not much interested in seeing monuments. Also suggest the mode of travel – by car or by train, etc. Suggestions are welcome from your end.

    1. If you’re looking for parties then I’d say you’ve pretty much nailed it with your current itinerary. Save your money and fly with budget airlines or use Blbablacar. Though I really would urge you to visit Granada while you’re in spain, especcially if you’re coming all the way from India.

  18. Thanks for the reply. Will do a day trip of Granada from Malaga. Whay say ? Hope the rest of the Itinerary is ok.

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