So, now that I’ve been in Spain for nearly five months, I’ve come to realise that there are some very serious perks when it comes to living with a host family abroad, and those perks are as follows…
The home-cooked meals that are to die for, which is basically the nicest possible way to say free food. Like seriously… FREE amazing food.
The comfort and safety of living in a new country with people who know all the ins and outs. It’s a perfect way to not feel so out of place and to also know which places to go.
And to conclude with a very recent perk, at the weekends they casually take you away to their family holiday homes.
I had the privilege of joining my host family in a town called Vendrell for a family weekend away, which is located in the port city of Tarragona, more importantly…near the beach.
I have to admit that at first I was a little nervous about it, feeling as though I would be in the way and make it odd for them to have a stranger around while they were celebrating and spending quality time together as a family… but as soon as I got there I soon realised that it was the complete opposite, my negative thoughts had vanished.
From what I had been hearing from friends, I was so excited to finally go and see what Tarragona was all about, and as soon as we arrived, I instantly saw and knew what people had meant, everything was so unbelievably gorgeous.
While I was there, I also got to visit the village Calafell, which was such an amazing place to just aimlessly wander around, to look at the different buildings, walk along the beach and to of course sit by the water with a cold beer, I mean… it’s a sin not to.
I had a few surreal moments to myself, especially when I realised just what was around me, just how beautiful everything really was.
The architecture, the water, the people and the culture that I was in was just breathtaking, so much to my families amusement, I was snapping photos every two minutes.
I also finally crossed something off my Spanish to-do list. I got to try and taste the Catalonian tradition that is the famous calçots.
It’s something that I’ve been wanting to try for such a long time now, and when my host family suggested cooking them, I was all up for it and even went with them to a traditional food market to buy them.
As expected and from a huge lover of scallions anyway (duh, my family is Irish), they were the boooomb… meaning that they were very, very, very good.
Staying with the family was such a pleasure. We all talked, spent time and learnt from each other, I was being taught new things all while I was teaching them also.
Being able to be there and stay with them for the whole weekend, I was so grateful, it was a cultural exchange that I hope to experience again.
And to sum it all up, it was a weekend full of laughs, great food, amazing company, and beautiful views, all spent with people that I used to class as strangers, who are now far from it.