Lipstick, Legs and Ham…Expat Adventures in Hitchhiking

I’m a middle-aged woman who pays taxes, owns property and has a career of sorts. I’m a Serious Person, and so are my friends. Mostly. So when I find myself standing by the side of a road in rural Spain, holding a sign written in lipstick (Burt’s Bees Raisin, to be exact—my favourite shade—and sacrificed for the occasion), I can’t help asking myself: How did I get here?

Sultry Seville: A Liveable, Lovable City

One of my favourite things about wandering the planet as a freelance copywriter is exploring the world’s most beautiful cities. Laptop at the ready, I’ve crafted blog posts in Milan, product descriptions in Vancouver, case studies in Buenos Aires and eBook chapters in Ljubljana. I wish I could say I was equally productive during my recent 10-day visit to Seville, but I must come clean: this place was so physically mesmerising and emotionally beguiling that I got virtually no work done at all!

Spain Uncovered

You could say I ended up where I am in life because of absinthe and Picasso.My first ever trip overseas took me to an ancient port town in faraway Spain. I was in awe of the history, I was a glutton for the delicious food and I couldn’t believe the value I was getting for my meagre funds.

My Favourite Place in Spain

Have you ever spent two weeks in a place and thought ‘Hmm, I could easily spend two years here’? Well Jerez is that kind of city. I was on a six-week jaunt through Spain, exploring the Andalusia region, and after a 10-day stay in Seville, I headed the hour south to Jerez. And I was far from the only one. Tourists, expats and locals alike have been experiencing the beauty of Jerez for decades, enjoying a high quality of life at some of the cheapest prices in Europe.

Low Costs, Friendly Locals and Rentals from $445 a Month

Situated on the Paseo del Espolon, with its interlocking arch of Plane trees, Restaurante Polison was a picture-perfect lunch spot on a mild Iberian afternoon earlier this year. Seated on the sunny patio, Keith and I tasted authentic tapas including Jamon Iberico, Spanish ham drizzled with olive oil and topped with coarsely cracked pepper and served with a basket of fresh bread—and drank the crisp white Albarino wine. The view was priceless and the lunch a steal at under $20 for two. The funny part is, we hadn’t even planned to be there.

Part-Time Living in Old World Europe

It’s more than 25 years since I lost my heart to Spain. On my first visit, its romantic, rich history, its people and the rhythm of the days won me over. These days I spend several months a year there, getting my fill of sun, siestas and serrano ham. (Part-time living in Europe is easy: You can spend 90-day stints on a simple tourist visa.) This year a five-kilo ham, cured to perfection, is already waiting for me. Hey—I’ll have months to eat it.

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