The things I like about living in a Spanish village

As of writing this, it’s been 18 months since we moved to a village with population of 1000 people in Comunidad Valenciana, Spain. I wanted to write a list of things I appreciate about the life here. Expect something different than cheap café con leche or las fiestas to appear on the list.

Easy access to nature

After only a minute of walking from our house, which is on a little hill, beautiful view of the valley and hills open up. Rding a different direction for 2 minutes on a bicycle, I’m at the foot of a wonderful climb, Coll de Rates. There are many options for any kind of activity – cycling, running, hiking, driving, or just soaking in the views from a terrace.

I don’t Instagram and don’t share any photos to friends or colleagues. It wouldn’t make the nature any justice. I find it magnificent, maravilloso beyond words and beyond my photographic abilities. Maybe I can’t express it, maybe I’m just selfish to share.

The calm, la tranquilidad

Most of the time, the village is silent. I love silence. I noticed I’m becoming more sensitive to the sounds which are not natural. I’m curious how I’ll react to being in a Slovak city this winter. As I lived in a city for many years, I predict I will adopt to the hum of the city quickly.

The nice people

Almost everyone in the village is very nice to us. It’s mostly elderly neighbours we get to talk to. There are always smiles, a chit-chat, una charla. We live very privately as we did in a Slovak city, but here it’s much less anonymous. On multiple occassions our neighbour, Eduardo, rang our bell and brought oranges or lemons. The gesture is very heartwarming and the citruses deliciously sweet and sour.

The (not so) social routine

The village is predictable. I know what I’ll witness at any time of the day. How busy the bar is, who’s there, who’s outside walking or chatting. The same voices and faces. People having familiar exchanges. It’s not for everyone. I’m okay with this routine because behind our doors, in our bubble, it’s a different story – work situations, projects, rich conversations with Kristina, ideas, books.
And why “not so social routine” in the heading? Because I feel I’m an observer of most of the village activity. A passer-by.

The bizarreness of being here

The passer-by sometimes also marvels that he ended up in this specific village. Of all the options and possible paths, and with zero ties to this region, how peculiar it is that all the events in my life led to this situation, this village, this traditional house. You might wonder why is this on the “things I like” list. It made it there very naturally, as if it didn’t even need an explanation. To provide one, I think it’s about the “the road less traveled”, which is very important in my life.

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