Love, laughter and beautiful shoes - the Spanish secret to a long and happy life
And on Global Wellness Day, we thought it might be worth taking some time out from the stress for a few minutes to share with you some thoughts about the Mediterranean way. We might even inspire you to take another look at your life and the way you live. Moments like this are always good, especially after the year we’ve just had.
Our health (and that of our loved ones) has never been so important. And the Spanish live longer than almost every other nation on earth. In fact, in Spain, the average man lives for around 80 years - and the average woman lives to a staggering 85 years of age.
Yes, the Spanish have a good healthcare system that looks after them from the cradle to the grave. But we don’t think that’s the only reason they live so long. We know the Spanish love to stay fit, they love their sport and outdoor activities. Just look at Rafa and Messi. But we don’t think that’s the reason either. We think the reason that they get those extra 5 years is because of the way they live their life.
You see, the Spanish, measure their success in smiles. They center their relaxed way of life on the things that matter most - good food, good friends and lots of laughter. Luckily, they are blessed with one of the most beautiful countries on planet earth. From the rolling green hills of Galicia to the rugged mountains of the Pyrenees and from the stunning beaches of the Balearics to the searing, dry plains of Granada, there is a landscape or a seascape for everyone.
But the Spanish have a clear set of priorities. They don’t rush anything.
Work hard, play hard
They work hard, they play hard - but they always find time for a long lunch, even during the week.
In Spain, the simple things are so important. So much so, that restaurants all over the country maintain a tradition called the Menu del Día to this day. Almost every restaurant offers a three course lunch, cooked with fresh. local ingredients including a choice of starters, a main course, a drink and even a dessert - all for under $15.
Is this the healthiest diet in the world?
In fact, in 2019, Spain was voted the healthiest country in the world. So, what is it about this country that keeps it at the top of the global wellness list?
Well, one of the things is that they eat a healthy diet. The area around the Mediterranean is blessed with amazing sources of food from seafood to fruit and from olives to almonds. Their diet is mostly made up of food that has high concentrates of healthy fats and protein. These are all foods that are great for the heart, which is why Spain has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease anywhere in Europe.
So, whether you’re slurping back a healthy gazpacho for lunch (cold soup made from healthy local tomatoes) or wolfing down a giant paella (a traditional rice and seafood dish cooked in a giant pan), you know you’ll be eating healthily.
They also love their veggies and most meals are served with local vegetables in place, from grilled calçots (giant, sweet spring onions) to grilled asparagus spears and from fresh, refreshing mediterranean salads to broad bean stews, they’re always freshly sourced and locally made.
No street-eating, please - we’re waiting for a long lunch
You rarely see a Spanish person eating in the street. Meals are for sitting down and enjoying - especially in the company of good friends or family. Even during a working day, lunches are a vital part of stitching the fabric of society together. They often last for a couple of hours (even on a work day!). And at the weekends and holidays, they often stretch right on into the night. But that’s not to say the Spanish don’t work hard - most office workers won’t leave until after 7.00pm or 8.00pm - and dinner won’t be served until well after 9.00pm.
The joy of snacks - welcome to the wonderful world of tapas
But if you’re peckish in between meals, fear not - the Spanish love a snack. And that’s where tapas comes in. Small portions of exquisitely served food, usually accompanied by a glass of beer or some local wine. Not only are these delicious, but they are served in small portions, so it’s easy to control quantities. But they’re also almost always healthy (with a few exceptions). Think, fresh prawns in garlic sauce, monkfish cubes, local sausages in a cider sauce or the ubiquitous croqueta - one of the few fried things to make a regular appearance on menus.
And then, there are all the other things that encourage health and wellbeing.
Healthy mediterranean living, inspired by nature
The beautiful beaches are a great incentive to keep yourself “beach ready”. And everybody plays sport here - whether it’s soccer or beach volleyball, tennis or golf, they’re all at it. Plus sailing, kayaking, hiking and climbing are all popular pastimes in this part of the world.
Spain is blessed with a beautiful climate - and Barcelona has all the benefits of a Mediterranean location to keep the sun shining for most of the year. The Spanish walk a lot. Not power-walking for speed or strength. Just some gentle strolling down the elegant boulevards with family and friends. Maybe a little tapas along the way. But no hurry. This may also be the reason that in a recent national survey, it was found that 84% of Spaniards claim to be happy, despite some of the challenges of the last few years.
Love, laughter and good food
But here’s what we think is the real secret to a long Spanish life...love, laughter and good food. Family is important and often you will see 3 (or even 4) generations of Spaniards strolling across the plaza and avenues of Spain. They are not in a rush. The journey is more important than the destination. The sound of laughter confirms their natural joy and stress is not their natural position. They take life as it is, surround themselves with the ones they love. They live life in the moment and enjoy every moment of it.
Settle back and take it easy, Spanish style
So, the next time you’re trudging across the public transport system of NYC or stuck in a frustrating traffic jam on the way to an important meeting, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that the little things are important and that it will be alright in the end. So, you might be a little late to your meeting. But nobody will die as a result. So, settle back in your car, slip a little Julio Iglesias on the radio and remind yourselves of the good things. This is the secret of a successful life - and just think what you could do with those extra 5 years.
Step out in Mediterranean style
And just like their food, they like their shoes natural and handmade - that’s why Viscatas are the perfect example of Spanish living. Beautiful shoes, made by hand and crafted with traditional methods. Natural products such as jute and leather, locally sourced wherever possible. Comfortable, stylish and versatile enough to wear from the office to the beach, these are shoes that are handmade in Spain with love.
So, check out a pair of our gorgeous Viscatas and make a statement this summer. Step out in Mediterranean style.
Our classic flat slip on espadrilles Barceloneta or Llanfrac are the best representatives of the traditional Mediterranean style. Take them out of the box and walk the entire day in comfort feeling also super stylish.
The genuine vibe of the traditional white stitching of Llafranc will make you instantly fall in love with them.
The Barceloneta also feature an elastic inseam on the vamp for better adjustment to your feet. Take a steady step into summer adding that casual smart touch to your looks.
And what about adding contemporary twist to your shoe summer collection? Our Almadraba sneakerdrilles are just the right option to kick off the new season in a fashion-forward fashion. Are you somehow tired of wearing your sneakers? Extra comfortable and super cute looking with their bow details, these flatform espadrilles will easily replace your usuals and will add the right amount of personality to your summer looks.
Are you a fan of laces and ribbons? We've got you sorted. Viscata has a selection of lace-up espadrille wedges that you will definitely love at first sight.
Take for example our timeless and inconic Escala or Sagaro and the new SS21 style Gava. Perfect to be paired with your boho dresses or mini skirts for a super romantic look or wear them with your favorite jeans to get that laid-back vibe. And don't forget we have beautiful printed laces, floral and animal print, to combine with your neutral toned shoes.
And what about those who look for a steadier support? Many people prefer an ankle strap that will help them secure their feet and keep the balance. Viscata also have the perfect styles.
Featuring a low wedge like Pubol, Formiga or Cavall or with a higher height like Estartit, Satuna or the new Reus, these ankle strap espadrille wedges fit like a dream and you'll always get compliments in them. Believe us, these are the real thing and they will definitely be a live in!
And you can also show off your toes and your most beautiful pedicure ;)
A pair of slingback or wedge pumps are always a good choice. We know that you super love our Roses and Palomera wedges. And we totally agree. They are just perfect for every occasion. Timeless and super versatile.
Last but not least, we can't leave without mentioning one of the current on-trend styles, the platform wedge. Take your regular footwear to new heights literally with our new Tamariu, Empuria or Monjoi plarform wedges. Elevate both yourself and your summer outfis in an instant!
Viscata's got a special shoe for everyone. No matter the occasion, you'll always feel like your best self in our wonderful espadrilles.
Just remember to take a breath, smile and enjoy enjoy life in your Viscatas.