Lifestyle, Spain, Travel

Spain changes you: 9 things you will notice



Do you know that feeling you have when you are back from your trip to Barcelona, Madrid, Granada or Alicante? Basically anywhere in Spain?Yes, this is the realisation we all have that as many people say: Spain is different, indeed. Let me tell you some of the most typical withdrawals you will go through on your first three days back! 

travelling in spain


The first thing you will notice when you are back from Spain ,especially if you travel there in the winter, is how dark everything is now in the country you are back to, right? I was wearing sunglasses last weekend in Barcelona as it was so bright but the minute I am back in Dublin, it is like I live in the dark! even on a sunny day! Yep, that is one of the big ones. Our bodies do get used to the amount of light and also to how bright that light shines. So because now I am living in Ireland, I have to wear sunglasses in Spain when I go in November even though some of the days it is  cloudy out there but the intensity of the light is unbelievable!


Another one is how late everything closes!!! Isn’t it amazing??? You can basically go shopping until 21:00-22:00 easily every day! You can have dinner until really late in restaurants and drinks, well, until the next day really. This makes it easier for Spanish to just go out and decide what to do later as we don’t have the stress of knowing that after a certain time,  there is nothing left. I remember that my most frequently asked question at around 1am at night in my first month in Ireland was : -so, where is the after? To what people looked at you like, after what?

After many years in Ireland, I guess the most similar thing would be the famous ‘lock-in” where the bar will close but will allow you to stay with your friends and finish your drinks (of course you are supposed to order like 4 drinks before the bar closes and to drink them later).

WHY DID I JUST ORDER THE WINE OF THE HOUSE?!wine of the house spain

Yes. If you have been in Spain you will notice that in most restaurants the wine of the house is quite decent, being in most occasions some sort of Rioja. This is not the case in most places, and I have been back in Ireland and realized after ordering the ‘wine of the house’ that oh boy….Back to choosing from the wine menu…carefully…


This is a side effect of what we do in Spain as we consider it polite to say hi to people  to almost everybody especially indoors , but sometimes outdoors too. Well, it is just polite and kind of automatic, so the minute you are back home, you become the ‘weirdo’ that says hello to strangers, sometimes in Spanish: ”Buenas…”(oops!)

barcelona harbour


The way you notice this is usually by someone overtaking you in the street looking completely blasé while they do so. It usually happens a few times until you realize the problem is probably you, and that you must adapt your walking speed to the average speed of pedestrians of your city. It happens the other way around too! When I go to Spain, on holidays, my walking speed is faster than those locals hurrying up to work. I guess, for a while, you do get blasé and then you adapt. And I have to say, it is better to enjoy the ride and walk at a slower pace, especially if you don’t have anywhere urgent to be! Enjoy the surroundings, take in the atmosphere and be present!


That’s because  Spanish people are very welcoming and  you get to feel people’s warm hospitality and the easy-going lifestyle. You go to a shop, or to a coffee shop, or just in  the street, usually, when you talk to someone, the feeling is that they try to help and they smile a lot. Have to say that the Irish have a bit of that in the street, but not so much in customer service. So I do feel the difference a bit in comparison but usually, they are very warm here as well! One of the moments where I feel it more is when someone is trying to pass me by here in Dublin, and they scream their ”SORRY!!” with a distinct tone of anger which feels more like a : ”get the hell out of my way or else” than anything else! But I guess this would have to do sometimes with the walking speed point I made earlier 😛


We have an expression in Spanish that says : ”Vamos a tomar algo” which is very casual and can entail a drink, two drinks, beers, wine, coffee, tapas and even dinner. Most of the time you can have a ‘caña’ (beer) with a couple of tapas and then go to a different place to do the same. I truly love this and I end up missing the odd tapa with my drink when I am here.


This one is also a classic one as in comparison with many places, particularly Ireland , Spain prices are way more affordable! You go for a full breakfast and it can cost you 5 euros for two people!

setting sun spainSPAIN ”REAL” SUMMERS

I guess this one applies to those of us that live in places where it rains a lot. I have ben in Spain in the winter, the summer, the spring and it is always sunnier. It does make a difference in your mood, your energy levels and the way you live your life. The weather here in Dublin can be quite wet and even though I believe Irish people are the most optimistic and willed people of all since they are able to go out, do sports and hike independently of the weather, it is just so easy over there!  So especially in the summer, it really feels like a different planet and a different life than the one we have here in Ireland.

So if you are going through these symptoms know that you are not alone!! There are also wonderful things that we do not have in Spain and I will write a list of those things in a future post. But for the moment, I will comfort myself reminiscing about all those wonderful things! What are the things that you miss when you come back from traveling in Spain? Let me know in the comments area!

Thank you for reading!

Hasta pronto!


1 Comment

  1. Mickel

    The thing i miss the most is eating at those great traditional Spanish restaurants where they serve typical dishes but expertly cooked. 🙂
    Also, the villages and towns with their medieval quarters are some of the nicest i’ve ever seen (Toledo, Barcelona, Granada…)

    01 . Dec . 2016

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