August 26, 2019

Relocating to Spain? Don’t Miss Out on La Tomatina!

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Aug

26

Relocating to Spain? Don’t Miss Out on La Tomatina!

Posted by: Maria Mateu, Cartus Intercultural Coach 

Most people gladly accept an international assignment to Spain. The warm climate, friendly locals and relaxed approach to life makes it a welcome change to the fast-paced living of many other countries. And now there’s another reason to move there… the world’s largest food fight! Each year, on the last Wednesday of August, the small town of Buñol hosts La Tomatina, a tomato-throwing festival, where yes - you guessed it - thousands of participants throw tomatoes at one another.
 
As a Spanish native myself, from Lleida, I can say that La Tomatina is famous across the country, taking place in the Valencian town of Buñol since 1945 during a week of festivities. On the day, at around 11am, trucks begin to deliver the more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes to the town centre and the food fight lasts for one hour, at which point officials begin the mass clean-up!

Tips for Relocation to Spain

For those relocating to Spain, be prepared for a very competitive and fast moving rental market. Due to the country’s economic downturn in recent years, many former homeowners are now renters, so it’s wise to decide quickly when finding a suitable property. The supply-demand imbalance means that it’s typically a ‘landlord’s market’ and as such, prospective tenants should try to be as flexible as possible when conducting home searches.
 
Expatriate communities are typically found near to international schools, which means commutes to and from school are often more straightforward than in other countries. There are many international schooling options available including American, British, French, German, Italian and Swiss. School places can be challenging to find for the most popular international schools, so to prevent delays, we recommend that assignees complete paperwork related to school enrolment well in advance.
 
The pace of life in Spain is generally relaxed compared with other European countries and the temperate climate is a bonus! To make the very most of an international assignment in Spain and to ensure a smooth settling-in process, we recommend that assignees learn Spanish and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Taking Part in La Tomatina?

If you’re one of the lucky 20,000 people with a ticket to La Tomatina, here’s a few tips to help you prepare:
 
  • Wear old clothes, or clothes that you are not planning to wear again, they will most likely end up damaged from being ripped or incredibly dirty.
  • Be sure to bring along a clean cloth to wipe your eyes.
  • If you are planning to take pictures, bring a waterproof camera!
  • If you need overnight accommodation, it’s better to look in the nearby city of Valencia as Buñol has limited temporary accommodation available.
Whether you’re taking part in La Tomatina or watching from a safe distance, enjoy your international assignment in the beautiful country of Spain.
 
If you have any questions relating to your global relocation programme, please contact your Cartus representative or email: cartussolutions@cartus.com.
 
Picture of Maria Mateu

Posted By

Maria Mateu

About Maria

Maria is a Cartus Intercultural Coach, based in Barcelona. She has delivered intercultural programmes in the private, social and public sectors, and teaches Cross-Cultural Management at the EAE Business School in Barcelona. She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication and Relations from Lesley University in Boston, U.S., and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Barcelona. She has lived in Tanzania, the U.S. and the UK, and speaks Catalan, Spanish, English and French.

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