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.

spain, jerez, spanish, walking
Hiking in the mountains near Jerez de la Frontera

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.

córdoba, puerta del puente romano, spain, españa
Standing in front of La Puerta del puente romano, Córdoba

The Blog

I had flirted with the idea of having my own blog for quite some time. Though It wasn’t until October of this year that I actually decided to give it a go. Glad I did; it’s great fun, and it has consumed me completely! I feel that Spain is a country misinterpreted by many, and I simply want to bring some of its quirks, charms and treasures to light, in a strictly light-hearted way. So I tend to ignore all that political spiel that you’re probably already sick of hearing about. I generally jabber on 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. 😉

alhambra, granada, spain, tourists
Assuming the classic tourist pose with The Alhambra lurking in the background

26 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.

    1. Glad you found me! Looks like you’re having fun building your own blog. Hope the interview for the job in Korea went well 🙂

      1. I’m in the beginning stages, but it’s a good time haha! It want over without a hitch, but plans have changed.

  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

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