Expat Life

5 things I’ve noticed about living in Spain after 1 month

  • July 11, 2019

I can’t believe that we’ve now lived in Spain for over a month! It’s gone so fast.

If I’m honest it still feels a bit like a holiday where I’ve taken my laptop with me because Little H has no school and the husband hasn’t got to go to work.

We’re all loving it though and have no regrets yet about making such a life-changing decision.

It’s a totally different life here in Spain compared to England and some of it will take a bit of getting used to.

Here are 5 differences we’ve noticed since moving to Spain…

Everyone’s happy & friendly

We’ve met a lot of people since we’ve been here of all nationalities. Where we live is mostly English and Dutch, but we’ve also dealt with many Spanish people over the course of the last month.

Everyone we’ve met from neighbours to school secretaries to delivery men have been happy, friendly and prepared to go out of their way to help us.

I’ve even had advice from random mums at the local pool or park, I can honestly say I never ever had that from mums I didn’t know in the UK!

I guess the constant sunshine just puts everyone in a good mood.

The days seem much longer

When you have sun from 7am to 9pm there are so many more hours in the day to get things done! People generally work until 2pm, have lunch and a siesta, and then go out again in the evening.

The Spanish will still be out having dinner at 10pm and the kids are playing out until past that. There doesn’t seem to be a set bedtime for them, which Little H is obviously loving at the moment.

In England after work, you go home, have dinner, watch a bit of TV and go to bed. In Spain after work, you still have hours to enjoy the sun. It’s so nice not having to wait until the weekend to get out and about and one of the many reasons why we love living in Spain!

The Spanish don’t shout at their kids

I’m sure they do but so far the only people I’ve heard shouting at their kids are the English. We’ve been in a few places where Brits are yelling at their kids and everyone’s staring at the scene. It just doesn’t seem to be a thing with the Spanish families, they are so much more relaxed – possibly because they just let the kids go off and play without stressing.

It’s a bit like living in the 1980s

And I don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s none of the over the top political correctness that we have in the UK, some of the costumes in the fiestas we’ve been to would not get past the snowflakes in the UK and US.

Yet despite this everyone is accepted – even the smallest village has had rainbow flags on the town halls to celebrate Gay Pride and no one batted an eyelid at the guys dressed as what can only be described as S&M policeman in a local parade last week!

Health and safety here isn’t OTT either, kids can run around playing with toy guns and those caps we used to throw on the floor that sounded like fireworks! They are left to play in parks without their mums following their every move and the kids aren’t wrapped in cotton wool.

It’s actually like the 80s but with superfast broadband – ideal!

It’s hard to get things done

My only negative so far is something we knew to expect. The Spanish aren’t famous for saying “mañana” for no reason!

Our bank cards took 6 weeks to arrive and you can’t do anything online. Trying to get car insurance was a painful process, we ended up having to go to see someone to sort it for us.

Everywhere closes at 2pm even banks, so you have to be organised and do your errands in the morning.

I do think though that when it’s so hot “Mañana” is probably a very good attitude to have!

I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more to list, and I’m under no illusion that many won’t be positive! If you’ve lived abroad did you notice any big differences in lifestyle?


1 Comment

  • Gilda Baxter

    Sarah, the sunshine definitely makes a positive change to people’s mood. Congratulations on your new life, sounds like you are adapting very well indeed.


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