Why Spain?

Why am I choosing to go to Spain? 

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot, and while I was first annoyed by having to answer it because my initial response was why not? I now think it’s those who have asked who are getting annoyed because I could talk for hours about why I’m choosing Spain.

On the surface it’s the tapas, siestas, no pasa nada lifestyle, endless sunshine, and, of course, la marcha. However, underneath that Spain is so much more.

Alcazer - Sevilla, Spain

Alcazar – Sevilla, Spain

As many of you know, I’ve been to Spain before…twice. One time in high school and one time while studying abroad in college. However, after sitting in my cubicle day after day, after day I found myself longing for a return. A return to traveling. A return to adventure. A return to what I love.

In looking for what this adventure should be, I eventually settled down on teaching abroad, and after researching multiple programs in multiple cities, I chose Spain. There was something that continued to call me back to Spain even though the teaching program there isn’t the best one out there and has plenty of well documented problems. Liz of Young Adventuress is one of many bloggers out there to shed some light on a few of the problems, in case you were curious.

Train Station - Toldeo, Spain

Train Station – Toldeo, Spain

From my previous time in Spain I learned that the Spanish culture was full of life. As one of my professors there once put it to me, “In Spain, people work to live, while elsewhere, people live to work.” This stuck with me and is a completely true statement. In my experience, most Spaniards are incredibly friendly, joyful, and enjoy living life in the moment. I find that personally this balances out all the backwards bureaucracy and long lines, even though that can be annoying at times. I love their culture for having this attitude, and while American culture may follow a different path, I find the Spanish one much more enjoyable.  Life is about living it and not just working as hard as you can so you will be able to (maybe) live it later. 

Ronda, Spain

Ronda, Spain

The country as a whole is incredibly diverse, from the north to the south and everywhere in between. Geographically, yes, Spain is one country on the Iberian peninsula. However, within the country there are many different traditions, food, and even languages. I find it all very interesting that in this small country there is so much diversity. Each part of the country has its own unique characteristics, yet are similarly bound together through commonalities.

When I studied abroad I lived in Granada and truly was able to explore a lot of what Andalucia has to offer, but I was also afforded the opportunity to visit the Basque country of northern Spain as well as many other places in between too. However, there are many parts of Spain that I have still yet to discover that I need to and plan to this upcoming year. I’m sure that every country has its own diversity, but for some reason Spain’s has reached out and intrigued me more than that of others…at least for now.

Plaza de España - Sevilla, Spain

Plaza de España – Sevilla, Spain

Spanish. The language of Spain grabbed a hold of me back in the 7th grade and hasn’t let go. Although, I’m not even close to being fluent the language still calls me and makes me want to learn it all. I’m really looking forward to becoming close to fluent, if not totally fluent, during my time in Spain.

For a while in college, I lost my love of Spanish. My first semester I dropped out of my Spanish class because I wasn’t doing too well. A couple major changes later(in reality this was about 10),  I realized that I could either take another science lab course or take Spanish. I obviously opted for Spanish as I figured I’d remember a basic enough level of Spanish from high school to get through the class. However, I wasn’t expecting the class to pull me in and make me fall in love with the Spanish language again, which is definitely what it did. Long story short, I ended up taking another semester and choosing to study abroad in Granada. Now three years later, I am choosing to go back to Spain partially because of the language in which I find so romantic, compelling, and stimulating.

Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

I chose Spain for my own reasons, and can hardly wait to go. In the end, everyone will choose the country of their choice for their own reasons too, and there is no wrong answer. From my own experiences, I can’t find one person who has ever been to Spain and not enjoyed it or wanted to return. There’s something simply alive when it comes to this country and I cannot put my finger on one specific thing, but it truly does call to me.

Why did you choose to travel or live abroad where you are? Have you ever been to Spain? What is it that you love or hate about it? Would you like to return someday?

16 responses to “Why Spain?

  1. For me, choosing to go to Spain for a year after studying there was easy; it was the deciding to stay that wasn’t as clear. But, six years later, I’ve made it my life and keep taking steps towards making it permanent! I believe I wrote a post about it recently…

    • You did write a post because I remember reading it! I looked at going to a few other countries, predominately South Korea, but simply could not pass on the opportunity to return to Spain since I fell so much in love with it when I studied abroad there.

  2. Pingback: Deciding to Teach Abroad | Mapless Mike·

    • As of right now, I’m not sure. I should be receiving my region placement in mid/late April which will be followed by a city and school placement sometime afterwards. I’ll be sure to update this once I find out! Thanks for reading!

  3. Pingback: Spain and Its Walkability | Mapless Mike·

  4. I studied abroad there in college as well, actually in Granada too! Spain changed my life in such a dramatic way because I grew up on the rat race in NYC, so my first trip abroad being the land of siestas was one hell of a wake up call. I’ve been meaning to do this program for the past three years, and every year came up with some excuse not to go for fear of stepping off the career path. But Spain calls to me all the time, and it’s way overdue for me to go over there! See you in Espana! I requested Andalucia as my top choice 😉 Fingers crossed!

    • That’s so exciting! It’s scary stepping off the “normal” path, but it already has me looking forward to the next day and the future more and more. I know adventure is right around the corner. Maybe we’ll be in Andalucía together! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you too!

  5. Pingback: What I’m Doing While Waiting for My Spain Teaching Placement | Mapless Mike·

  6. Cool post. I’ll be heading to Spain with Beda in September! 🙂 I love how you said that people there work to live, rather than live to work. I can’t wait for that and I think it’ll lead to a really happy lifestyle.

  7. Pingback: Teaching Placements Begin!! | Mapless Mike·

  8. I chose Spain for the sole reason that I’ve found another home away from home. the people, the food, the weather and above all, Andalusia. 🙂

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