IT’S THAT time of year again …
Cue the ‘new year new me’ declarations and empty promises to give up chocolate, booze or smoking.
After eating your whole weight and more in food over the xmas period, gyms and diet products will have their best two months of the year as you desperately kid yourself that 2019 WILL be the year you get into stunning shape … only to throw in the workout towel before February’s out.
So in 2019, instead of opting for unrealistic New Year’s resolutions we’ve rounded up a few you can and should keep.
(DISCLAIMER: I am not perfect and some of the below is also aimed at myself)
Learn more Spanish
Let’s be honest, there are too many of us here who haven’t learnt enough Spanish, despite being here for years or even decades.
We all learn at different paces but if, after 25 years, your vocabulary doesn’t stretch much past ‘una cerveza por favor’ then it’s time to have a word with yourself. That word is ¡Aprender! – look it up and act on it.
There are all kinds of apps to make learning fun – like Duolingo, which allows you to create competitive groups with your friends – so there’s no excuse!
Facebook groups are great, they can help organise events, aid in the search of missing people and keep you up to date with expat communities.
However asking if Mercadona is open on a Sunday or if it’s going to be sunny in Benalmadena in three weeks time fails to help anyone. Use Google. There’s no exercise involved, just let your fingers do the walking.
Why move to Spain only to spend half your time looking for the best chippy, curry house or British roast dinner?
We all love our comfort foods from home but if you want your fish in batter with mushy peas every week then you might as well have stayed in Blighty.
You’ve heard of the Med Diet – it’s healthy and doesn’t involve giving anything up so it’s a win-win. So get stuck into the olive oil, salad and seafood and hold the tomato ketchup.
Join a charity, champion a cause, help save the planet and think of others more than yourself.
This year must have broken a record for the amount of fantastic beach cleanups organised by expats and locals working together.
Very well done and long may it continue into 2019.
Try not to be ignorant
While some areas of the coast might have higher concentrations of Brits than others, it doesn’t make them any less a part of SPAIN.
The irony of some expats complaining about immigrants here – or worse, calling the Spanish ‘foreigners’ and complaining there are too many of them, as one Benidorm Brit famously did this year – is completely lost on some ignorant folk.
Let’s treat everyone with the same respect and dignity that the Spanish show to us, shall we?
Register as a resident
With Brexit looming there has never been a more crucial time to make sure you are registered as a resident and on the padron (electoral role) or you’ll miss out.
With everything still up in the air it’s dumb not to do everything you possibly can to protect your status and the life you’ve built here.
So follow the advice of our man in Madrid Simon Manley and get registered before March 29.
Get out more
If you haven’t already, make 2019 the year you see as many corners of Andalucia as possible.
There are amazing tourist hotspots right on our doorstep that deserve to be admired.
Cordoba has more UNESCO sites than any other city in the world while Sevilla is stunning at any time of year.
But they are just two of dozens of truly unique wonders, from Ronda to Tarifa or the Sierra Nevada, Granada and more.