32 Reasons Why I Love Spain – an open letter

January 1, 2024

Dear Spain,

I know our relationship has had its ups and downs.

You have your problems and I have mine. Neither of us is perfect.

And I admit that sometimes I don’t appreciate you like I should. We’ve grown used to each other. Sometimes I take you for granted…

So today I’m writing this letter to tell you how I really feel. It’s been a long time since I’ve told you these things… Have I really lived here for more than 10 years?

Well, here goes:

Spain, I love you.

And I’m sorry about the last couple of weeks.

Let me explain. Recently, I created quite a scandal over on an expat group on Facebook with one of my articles. It was the one about 4 things I learned about American culture while living in Spain.

Good thing I didn’t share part two as well.

Looking closely, most of the comments were positive, but a few people took it the wrong way.

Of course, if they understood irony, or were willing to read between the lines, they would have gotten the main point: I love Spain.

But it’s the internet.

So of course someone got angry at me, accused me of being ignorant and of generalizing, probably wrongly, about millions of people (something I fully admit to in the article).

And in all the pointless Facebook drama, the main point of the article, sadly, was lost.

Today, I’m going to spell it out for one and all:

I… L-O-V-E … S-P-A-I-N

So, for the irony-impaired, for the unnecessarily defensive, and for those whose reading comprehension is less than ideal, here are, without further ado…

32 Reasons Why I Love Spain

These are, in no particular order, some of the things I love about Spain, my beautiful adopted country.

Of course, there are more. This is just a selection. Some of my personal favorites.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m not new to this – I’ve been living between Madrid and Barcelona for over 10 years. I’ve given these some thought.

Ready?

Let’s go…

The people and diversity of Spain

There are 46 million people in Spain, and around 6 million of them (like myself) come from other places.

Here are some of the things I love about you all:

1. The beautiful women. If I had to give just one reason for staying in Spain so long… Well, it’s difficult to decide. If I had to give just three reasons, the beautiful women would be one of them. Those feisty females aren’t always easy to deal with, but they’re so stunning and fabulous that you can forgive them anything… usually. (Actually, I hear the men are pretty sexy, too, if that’s your thing.)

2. The social life. It might be the abundance of bars and restaurants, it might be the general laid-back attitude. I’m not sure what it is. But if you want to get together for dinner or drinks on a Tuesday night, you can probably find someone to come along. Spanish people are famous for being some of the friendliest in Europe, and they’re usually curious to meet foreigners.

3. Making friends from lots of different countries. In my usual week I deal with people from a couple dozen different countries. Not just Spain and the USA, but also the Philippines, Brazil, Russia, China, Romania, Germany, Colombia, Perú, the Dominican Republic, Chile and many more. Granted, a lot of people went home a few years ago due to the never-ending economic crisis, but that’s another story. One we’re not telling today.

4. People actually get dressed before leaving the house. In a lot of places in the US it might be acceptable to wander around in your pyjamas all day. In Spain you’d better not try it. Sweats? Maybe if you’re on your way to the gym, AND you look damn good in sweats. Other than that, people usually wear real clothes. This doesn’t have to be expensive or uncomfortable. Actually, there’s a word for it: civilized.

The language(s) – Castilian, Catalonian, Basque and more

5. The linguistic diversity. Not only do they speak Spanish with a wide variety of accents, there are also several regional languages. Galician, Asturian, Catalan, Valencian, Aranese, and even a whistling language called Silbo Gomero that’s “spoken” on one of the Canary Islands. And of course, Basque, which I learned a bit of and talked about on Anthony Metivier’s podcast.

6. The expressiveness of Spanish. I love how absolutely obscene you can be in Spanish without anybody batting and eyelash. ¡Me cago en la leche! ¡No me toques los cojones! Even Spanish proverbs are wonderfully expressive, and much much sexier than our overly-puritanical Anglo-American folk wisdom.

7. The literature. Spain has some very good writers, and they treat authors as sort of celebrities. Some of my favorite Spanish books: La voz dormida by Dulce Chacón, La Reina del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte and El Mundo (or anything else) by Juan José Millás. And if you can make it to a theatre, see a production of La casa de Bernarda Alba or Don Juan Tenorio someday.

They’re good on the page, but better on stage. If you want more, check out my list of books about Spain.

Madrid – one of Europe’s top capital cities

A lot of times when I write about Spain, I’m sort of generalizing about Madrid. Yeah, I know, generalizing is awful and I’m a terrible person. But Madrid is where I live, and it’s the Spain I know.

If you’re reading this in a small town in Asturias or Andalucía, I’m sorry. But honestly, I’ve been to a lot of small towns, too, and they’re pretty cool.

daniel welsch royal palace madrid i love spain
Mr Daniel, at sunset, in front of Madrid’s Royal Palace. Photo by Gloria Atanmo.

8. The city. Madrid’s not the greatest city to visit, but it’s certainly a great place to live. Once I’ve shown visitors around the big sights – the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Gran Via, it’s not really clear what to do next. Because Madrid’s not really a city for tourists. It’s not as spectacular and monumental as some other places in Europe. But once you’ve settled in, the lifestyle is good.

9. There’s always something happening. I work on the computer a lot, and so I sometimes lose touch with humanity. But then as soon as I walk out the door, I find that the streets are teeming with people going about their (offline) days. Want a real trip? Head down to Gran Via at 2 AM someday to check out the traffic jam. Yeah, that’s right. The 2AM traffic jam!

10. If you’ve been here for over a year, you’re not a foreigner anymore. When I go to the provinces, a lot of times people treat me sort of strangely. They look me up and down (Wow, never seen a guy with a red beard before!) or talk extra slow because they assume I won’t understand them otherwise. In Madrid, nobody gives a shit. Got a metro pass? You’re a local! Welcome to the club. Since everybody (except for cuatro gatos) is from somewhere else, it really doesn’t matter.

11. The weather. They have a saying about weather in Madrid (well, actually a lot of sayings). My favorite is 3 meses de infierno y 9 meses de invierno. And yeah. It gets cold, and it gets hot. But neither is too extreme. Except for a few days brushing freezing in winter, and a few days over 40 degrees (that’s around 100 for you fahrenheit people) in summer, it’s pretty good.

12. Museo del Prado y Reina Sofia. For some reason, two of the world’s best art museums are right here, in Madrid. And they’re free for a couple of hours every afternoon. El Prado has thousands of works by Velázquez (including Las Meninas), Goya, Rubens, Titian, and many more, as well as several masterpieces like The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, The Triumph of Death by Peter Bruegel. Reina Sofia has Guernica by Picasso, a bunch of paintings by Salvador Dalí, and more.

13. The parks. Retiro park is a beautiful formal garden, with everything laid out according to a plan, full of people relaxing, doing sports or having a drink on one of the terrazas at any time of the year. Casa de Campo is one of the largest urban parks in Europe – 5 times larger than Central Park in New York. And Madrid’s newest major park, Madrid Río, goes along the Manzanares River for several kilometers, with all kinds of fountains, walking paths, playgrounds and bridges. 

Of course, living in Madrid has a couple of cons, too. But the pros are far bigger and more convincing, to me.

Spanish food and wine are amazing

Spanish food is great. Even some magazine in Australia thinks it’s the best country in the world for food. And while I’d have to visit a lot more countries to make that call, here I’m going to tell you about some of my favorite culinary delights:

14. Rioja. I seriously think Spanish wine is the best. I’ve had wine in some other Mediterranean countries and was unimpressed. Maybe they do have great wine in France, Italy and Portugal, but it’s certainly not as good a value for your money as in Spain. I dare you to compare a 6 euro bottle of Rioja with a 6 euro bottle of anything else in the world. C’mon punk. Make my day.

15. The meat. Go to the mountains around Madrid, or really anywhere else in Spain, and you’ll find that they’re full of free-range cows. Well, guess what! Those cows can later be grilled and served a la piedra–and they’re delicious! Some even consider a place called El Capricho out in León to be the best restaurant for meat in the whole world.

16. Morcilla, in all it’s forms and manifestations. Call it black pudding or call it blood sausage: I call it wonderful and full of energy! A bit of morcilla achorizada in the morning with some black coffee and you’ll be ready to conquer the world like a viking warrior. Or, try scrambled eggs with morcilla de Burgos and a bit of paprika on top. Heaven!

17. Chorizo. Occasionally I get some email about job offers in Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates or something. The salaries are jaw-dropping, compared to what I’d earn around here. But then I think: “And just what would I do in a country without pork?” Life would lose its meaning! I didn’t call this blog The Chorizo Chronicles for nothing. Give me chorizo, sir, or give me death! (Actually, nevermind, I’ll just take the chorizo.)

18. Albariño. Rioja reds are great, but so are Galician whites. So cold and fruity and refreshing, especially if you get a good one in a restaurant overlooking the beach. I recommend anything in the port in Vigo, around sunset. Just trust me.

bocadillo de calamares madrid plaza mayor i love spain
My favorite place to have a bocadillo de calamares, right on Plaza Mayor.

19. Bocadillo de calamares. Don’t like eating things with tentacles? It’s probably because you’ve never tried battered and fried squid. Go to one of those places on Plaza Mayor and have a drink and a squid sandwich. Ask them for extra tentacle. Better yet, go to two or three places. Real madrileños (like me) have tried several of them and have a favorite.

20. Cocido montañés and fabada. These two are technically quite similar white bean and pork stews. The first time I had cocido montañés was in a tiny slate village (about 14 people in winter) with some friends from Cantabria. Fabada is the Asturian version which uses a bigger type of bean. Fatty and delicious.

21. Sherry – fino, manzanilla, oloroso. You haven’t lived till you’ve drunk half a bottle of ice-cold sherry on a summer afternoon, and then stumbled home (ideally with someone attractive and of the gender of your preference) to “sleep the siesta” for a couple of hours. Trust me, you haven’t. In Madrid, go to Almendro 13 or to La Venencia… or just head for Andalucía to tour the wineries in Jerez or Puerto de Santa María. Bottoms up!

22. Campo Real olives. Cured with thyme and garlic, these make a perfect accompaniment to that half bottle of sherry, or a great tapa to go along with a beer anytime. And it turns out they’re from Madrid! I don’t care if you don’t like the olives your mom used to buy WalMart back home, these are different. They have denominación de calidad and everything.

And finally, Spain itself is an amazing country

Spain isn’t just Madrid, as I mentioned earlier. There are a lot of other places that are worth visiting (or even spending some serious time). Here are some of my favorite things about the country as a whole…

23. It’s like Italy, but better. I’ve been to Italy several times. My opinion? It’s overrated. Beaches in Spain are better. Italian food is good, but Spanish food is great (and a lot cheaper). And the idea that Italian people have more fashion sense than people in other countries is quite exaggerated. Which leads us to our next point…

24. Want Roman ruins? We got Roman ruins! Italy isn’t the only country with archaeological finds. Check out the aqueduct in Segovia; the Roman amphitheater, National Museum of Roman Art and a dozen other things in Mérida; and then take a look at this whole long list of other ruins. Apparently, even 2000 years ago the Italians were jumping all over themselves to GTFO of Italy and come to Spain.

25. A bar on every corner. You know you’re in the middle of nowhere when you find a town with only one bar – but in fact, it almost never happens. You can find bars in the most random places: on mountaintops, in the middle of the forest. Really anywhere. In Spain, a lot of your social life takes place in a bar, and there’s nothing weird about it at all – just don’t tell your mom back on the farm that you’ve started drinking before lunch.

26. A great lifestyle, even if you’re not rich. I spent several years here living well below what would be considered the poverty line in the US. And guess what? They were some of the happiest, most exciting years of my life. I could do all kinds of cool things, travel, eat good food, and have a lot of fun – and all with nobody telling me I was a loser for not earning more money.

27. Some of the best transport in the world. Have you ever taken a Greyhound bus back in the US? What about an Amtrak? I have. No comparison. Spain has one of the best transport systems in the world. I know, I know, if you want to split hairs, a lot of it was paid for by EU subsidies, government corruption and porkbarrel politics, and a lot of those high speed train stations and international airports have no real raison d’etre, but damn is it nice being able to use them! 

28. So many beautiful places to see. Here in Madrid, we’re spitting distance from Toledo, Ávila, Segovia, Salamanca, and some kick-ass mountains. If you’re willing to spend a couple hours on the bus or the train, you can also get to other awesome places like Cuenca, Trujillo, Cáceres, Burgos and León. And if you have more time, the coast isn’t much further (depending on which way you’re going).

29. The beaches. I’m not a huge fan of beaches, but Spain has some of the best in the world. Islas Cíes up in Galicia have actually been voted best beach in the world and there are a ton of other beaches all around the country that are amazing, too.

landscape in galicia i love spain
It doesn’t get much more bucolic than Galicia. Outside Pontedeume.

30. Northern Spain: Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria. I have friends in the north, and most of the time I’ve spent travelling in Spain has been in that direction. And there are a few cities up there that are jockeying for the coveted position of my favorite Spanish city: Vigo, A Coruña, Gijón and Santander are my big four. All beautiful places, with great food, reasonable prices, and nice scenery.

31. Walking paths all over the country. I’m a big walker, and I love finding GR and PR walking paths anywhere I go. The Camino de Santiago is just the beginning – there are (more or less) well-marked paths connecting every town across the Iberian Peninsula, and the population density means you’re usually not more than a few kilometers from the next town.

32. It’s close to everywhere else in Europe. Want to take a special someone for a romantic weekend in Paris? It’s right around the corner. What about London? Turns out, that’s just a little bit past Paris. Actually, there are a few dozen countries you can fly to in just a couple of hours. And since Spain is a major tourist hub, flights aren’t that expensive.

So that’s 32 reasons, but I could keep going. For the sake of brevity (and to leave myself the option of writing a part two) I’ll stop there.

But before I go, here’s the brutal truth about my love for Spain…

I’ve been here, like I said, for a long time – nearly half my life, actually.

And listen, Spain: I’ve thought about leaving you many times. But no other country I’ve been to can do what you do for me.

No other country comes close to you in beauty, in friendliness, and in making me feel… all fuzzy inside.

Love you, Spain! Thanks for everything you’ve given me, over all these years.

Yours,

Daniel.

P.S. I love Spain. But do you love this article? Do you hate this article? Either way, please share it with your friends, and be sure to leave me a comment!

P.P.S. Eventually I followed up this article with a newer one about the 4 things I hate about Spain. But notice the discrepancy: 32 things I love, and only 4 things I hate. Pretty good ratio, right?

P.P.P.S. Update 2024: I’ve written a newer version of this article and made it a bit more general. It’s now about why Americans love Spain. This article is still good, but a lot of time has passed since I wrote it, and a few things have changed. Enjoy the new one!

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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  1. Loved your article Daniel ..have lived in Andalucia now for thirty something years ,and still have that same fuzzy feeling …if they sold it in a jar it would make someone a fortune! Lol

  2. Hey Daniel, I’ve got a question. I’m considering moving to Spain and I love the nature there, but I wonder if there are a lot of deadly animals in there? I read an article that said “snakes are everywhere” I’m sure it’s an exaggeration but it made hair stand on my back… and poisonous spiders and caterpillars etc. Can you tell me about the wildlife situation in Spain?

    Thanks!

    1. I’ve seen a couple of snakes out in the country, but they were very small and not dangerous. I really don’t think there’s any sort of dangerous wildlife that you’re likely to run into–the bears and wolves are so endangered as to make them nearly impossible to find. The most likely thing is you’ll run into some cows. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Hi Daniel, nice article! I’m from Madrid, but thanks to the Neverending crisis I can’t go back… But your article sure touched most of the many things i miss about home. Thanks for making me feel homesick!????

  4. Congratulations Daniel. Great article. I agree with you about the beautiful women, the Rioja wine and the lifestyle. Me ha gustado mucho tu toque de calidad hablando del silbo gomero. Que un profesor de Arizona hable del silbo gomero is wonderful. ¡Una pasada!
    Los calamares (con bocadillo o solos) están sobrevalorados. El albariño es un buen vino, pero los mejores blancos de España con diferencia están en Valladolid: denominación de origen Rueda. Las islas Cíes son muy bonitas pero el agua está demasiado fría. Te recomiendo Menorca. Hablas de carne pero no de pescado. El mejor sitio de España es Garrucha (Almería) y de paso puedes visitar el Cabo de Gata. Lo mejor de España (además del vino tinto, el aceite de oliva y el jamón ibérico) es la gamba roja. Si visitas Aguilas (yo vivo en Murcia) pide un plato de gamba roja: alucinarás mucho más que con la morcilla de Burgos.Hay dos zonas unicas en España: la provincia de Granada y el sur de Tenerife. En Granada a 80 km de Sierra Nevada tienes la costa tropical de Motril. Increíble. Y la falda del Teide es maravillosa para pasar el invierno. Soy jubilado y miembro de Tripadvisor, En mis 115 artículos sobre viajes puedes encontrar algunas cosas interesantes.
    Te pongo el enlace http://www.tripadvisor.es/members-reviews/josemanuelr_11. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Oh wow, José Manuel, gracias! La verdad es que siempre he viajado más al norte porque tengo amigos ahí. Y lo del pescado es una cuestión cultural. Como no lo comía casi nunca en Arizona (aparte de atún en lata) no me entra en la cabeza que debería comerlo mucho aquí. Gracias por comentar!

      1. Hi Daniel,
        I like your letter, but it’s not complete. You should spend a little time in Andalucia. Speaking of tuna, you could stay by the coast of Cadiz, Barbate, Conil, and you have to eat “atún rojo de almadraba” or Huelva and taste “jamón” de Jabugo and “gambas blancas”. And dont’ forget to drink “manzanilla” wine.
        Greetings

  5. Hi daniel.!! Amazing article.!!
    Maravilloso .!! Congratulations for you study for you experience ,gracias por recalcar el sentimiento estilo de vida,cultura,mentalidad,sociedad y aire que tantos millones de personas respiramos.
    Italia e bella! Ma proprio bella ,la mentalità non hanno serenità non hanno uno stile di vita di futuro funzional e costruttivo.
    È uno dei paesi più belli .
    Amo madrid.! Amo nuestra amabilidad consideración y respeto .
    Adoro a la gente del norte Porq son el ejemplo de la península del paraíso y la longevidad naturaleza y riqueza de humanidad.. Cataluña es una pasada admiro a los catalanes al Levante ,Andalucía es la guitarra de España sin ellos no tendríamos alegría ni música para caminar al son de nuestros días ,Extremadura Castilla la mancha… Leon … Los Pirineos ,país vasco .y con nuestro Portugal apoyándonos .!
    Toda la España ! Veo reflejado este sentimiento interior en tu artículo.
    Gracias .!!!

  6. Hola Daniel, muy buen artículo. Te invito que visites la zona de Valencia y Alicante, te recibiremos con mucho gusto. Échale un ojo a nuestra web sobre la comarca de la Marina Alta (con webserie incluida).

  7. El artículo se agradece. Aunque observo que mencionas el norte y nada del Sur, y es como amar a una España pero a medias. Incomprensible que no hayas disfrutado entonces de ciudades como Sevilla o Granada, o las playas de Bolonia en Cádiz o el Cabo de Gata en Almería, un lugar que sin duda no debes dejar de conocer. Como tampoco que no menciones los langostinos de Sanlúcar o el jamón de la sierra de Huelva. Aún tienes tiempo.
    Un saludo

    1. Hola Cecilia! De momento no conozco el sur… Y lo sé, tengo que irme en cuanto antes. Quizá cuando escriba la parte 2, tendré más que decir sobre Andalucía. Gracias por comentar!

  8. “Met” you tonight in the Writers and Bloggers About Spain” group – and thought I’d get a bit stalkery. Love your blog and have added it to my Buffer source list so you’ll see your links popping up in some new places soon.

    I get all warm and fuzzy about Spain too after six years in the Canaries and almost three in Almería. I do still prefer a crisp dry white Italian Vino Collapso though.

    I also still can’t get my head around the bocadillo de pulpo either. Can I give my bread to the pigeons and just chew on the tentacles? Pass me the lemon wedge too – quick!

    Looking forward to reading more. Sin duda.

    ¡Luego!

    1. Hey, thanks Elle! I’m flattered by your stalkerishness 🙂 The bread can get a bit excessive sometimes in Spanish sandwiches, I agree. I sometimes just eat half. Thanks for commenting!

  9. I love how you metioned Asturias at least three times. I think this is probably the first time that I read an article from a foreign person who lves in Spain that does that. Asturias! Esa gran olvidada!

    1. Are you talking about some kind of bird? I’m not sure how I forgot about them… Maybe because I like cigüeñas more? My sincere apologies 🙂

  10. Hola Daniel,
    Me alegra que te sientas agusto en España y aprecies algunas de las cosas buenas que ofrece.
    Es difícil hacer una valoración de lo que sea, pues un “saying” de aquí reza: “nunca llueve a gusto de todos”.
    Naturalmente, cada uno habla de su experiencia y tenemos que comprender esto. Cada uno, tiene un punto de vista y lo compartamos o no, hay que respetarlo, pues es como esa persona lo vive, lo siente, lo saborea.
    En tu artículo, se respira respeto y admiración y omites (con buen gusto) lo “no tan bueno” que tenemos en este país, que seguro también lo has sufrido y sufrirás.
    Como en todas partes, “cocemos habas” pero si hay algo que nos distingue a los españoles, es la capacidad de reciclarnos para salir adelante y la voluntad para empezar de cero, de re-inventarnos una y mil veces si hace falta.
    Afortunadamente, no nos podemos resistir al ritmo de la música y esta es, una de las cualidades que nos ayuda en todo momento. No concebimos la vida sin “ALEGRÍA” y ella es nuestra fiel compañera (aunque a veces no seamos capaces de admitirlo).
    Creo que tu, ya lo has apreciado y te has contagiado al mismo tiempo, por eso no te
    quieres ir ¿verdad?
    Pues: ¡sigas siendo bienvenido Daniel! y cuando puedas, recorre España por sus cuatro costados y verás que “TODA ELLA MERECE LA PENA” , a pesar de los pesares.
    ¡Un sincero abrazo! de una de las mujeres que a veces no es tan fácil de tratar.

    1. Pensaba dar una respuesta similar pero creo que tu la has bordado. Ni una sola ” coma” que añadir.
      Viva España!!!

      Thanks a lot Daniel for this great wording !!!
      A big hug from Madrid.
      Maria

  11. hola. mil felicitaciones por enriquecerme con vuestra experiencia…..mi lugar en el mundo es sevilla…..como no llevar en mi corazón ese rio guadalquivir…..que sigan tus éxitos…..un abrazo

  12. Hola Daniel, en efecto describes de forma fehaciente, el sentir de un enamorado de España. Gracias por recordármelo

  13. Wow! Daniel it is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read. I would like to meet you ’cause your personality is similar to mine. As you have heard Im interested in your teaching but that’s amazing. I really love doing what you do. That is why Im studying English, that opens your chances to travel around the world. Thank you a lot

  14. Hermoso!!!! Pocas veces nos detenemos a compartir nuestras experiencias y realmente tienes una forma muy linda de explicar porque te invita a vivirlas, Dios te bendiga y te acompañe para que sigas compartiendo con nosotros Las maravillas que tiene el pais que escogistes, particularmente pienso que todos Los paises tienen Las cosas mas lindas que cualquier persona quiera vivir todo depende de la actitud y forma de vida que escojas por eso te felicito porque eres de las pocas personas agradecidas del lugar donde comparten, si todos aportaramos de esta manera nuestro mundo fuera mejor y no existiera el racismo. Saludos Daniel bendiciones para ti y ese hermoso Pais que escogistes para vivir.

  15. Hi Daniel ,
    Love your post. It’s very touching when you hear beautiful things about your country, specially if you don’t leave there. Me entra “morriña”, sobretodo cuando dices que Vigo es una de tus ciudades favoritas. I lived there for 20 years before coming to London. It’s my favourite city too!!!
    Paula
    Xxx

  16. Wow Daniel! We spanish people normally love our country but it feels really really good when non spanish people explain that well what we are and have… amazing! now I feel super lucky being spanish! Also, I am writing this from the Netherlands, it is true that I am more conscious of what we have there when I am abroad but man, you made me feel even more homesick! And also made me feel like I really want to know many expats in Spain when I am back, cause it is also true that the expat life is different to the local life (I have lived in Madrid for 5 years and never been to Trujillo!) so yes, rediscovering Madrid and Spain with the foreigner view must be really really interesting. In the end, I think we all should live wherever we live, home or not, but always with that foreign spirit that make us have this curiosity for everything around.
    Again thanks for this! Proud of Spain! it is more than corruption and shitty politicians as we normally think as locals!

  17. ‘love your article Daniel. I too am in love with Spain. Madrid was my first love and will always be. Now I’ve been to many many places in Spain and I can truly declare my love for the whole of Spain.

  18. I really love your article. Such wonderful memories, the sights, the food, el Prado, which my American husband loved when we visited Madrid in 1973 and took as many tours from La Plaza del Palacio Real as was possible before we went to Torremolinos, in Malaga and visited some relatives and friends in Almeria. I have introduced many Americans to calamares and now noticed that many restaurants serve them as appetizers, which my 11 & 12 years old grandchildren love. Of course, their most favorite Spanish foods are jamon y chorizo, and also something that my daughter makes a lot for them and her American husband is arroz con pollo y arroz con leche estilo espanol. Thank you for your great article and I’m glad you love Espana as much as los espanoles, que nunca la olvidamos.

  19. Hi Daniel

    Thanks for the article. I am originally from the UK and have been living in Madrid for nearly three years and I agree with just about everything you say. As a vegetarian I can’t argue with your comments about meat but I suspect you are right; it is certainly great for vegetarians (once you learn ‘sin jamon’! Outside of Madrid I have loved Salamanca (especially at night, when the Plaza Mayor is stunning) and Santiago de Compostella, Valencia (during Fallas it is particularly amazing) and the mountains above Manzanares (about an hours drive from Madrid).

    I came to your article via a search for things people like and dislike about Spain as one of my English students (from outside of Spain) is having a bit of a crisis about Spanish people and culture. She is finding certain traits very annoying (and not just the lateness issue that you discuss on another page with Nina). So I wondered whether you had ever found things about Spanish people and culture annoying and whether (and how) you got past this as I want to suggest some strategies that will convince her to stick with it. I am confident that she will grow to love Spanish people/culture again if she gives it time.

    Cheers

    John

    1. Hey John, excellent question! I definitely have a couple of strategies for dealing with the aspects of Spanish culture that sometimes annoy me. 1) Don’t take anything personally, ever. It’s not about you, it’s just how they are. It’s culture or whatever. Laugh about it. 2) Realize there are a lot of people in Madrid, not just Spanish people. I have friends here in Madrid from places I had never heard of or thought about back home. And they’re great. The international scene is huge – at least in Madrid. Maybe not smaller cities. Feel free to put her in touch if she wants more advice from someone “on the ground”. And thanks 🙂

  20. Hello Daniel vivo en Elizabeth New Jersey, no te imagina como me gustaría conocerte pq eres un inmigrante en España como yo en los Estados Unidos . Soy de República Dominicana . Leo todos tus artículos de ingles que me envías junto con los link de tus viajes por ese país del viejo mundo, aunque no lo conosco pero tengo planes de ir a conocerlo. Bueno que Dios te bendiga siempre por todas tus clases de Inglés que nos sirven de mucho a las personas que como yo estamos aprendiendo ese idioma que aveces resulta un poco difícil besos grande desde New Jersey.😘

    1. Hey Rosie, gracias por comentar… ¡España es una maravilla! Te lo recomiendo mucho. Tiene sitios para todos los gustos. Saludos desde Madrid 🙂

  21. You right in every single point Daniel. I´ve also wandered through and about many lovely countries of this large world, and also I have decided to raise a family in this rich and spiritually sane environment. The thing is that there´s a little too much ¨monkey business¨ going on in Moncloa and the Congress and l heard that sad song before. It ends with the people furious and ready to follow any crazy bold head who promises fire and blood. Let´s all hope that tihngs don´t get THAT far. Cheers and congrats for your article

  22. Hola, soy de Madrid y LA ODIO!!! Nunca he entendido que alguien pueda elegir venir a Madrid voluntariamente. Aunque hay sadomasoquistas a los que les gusta el sufrimiento. Supongo que las españolas os ponen muy cachondos a los guiris y eso es suficiente. En España no se puede vivir, solo ellas y los funcionarios viven bien. Para los demás es un infierno. Para los hombres es doble infierno, es un país feminazi donde cualquiera de ellas puede mandarte a la cárcel con una denuncia falsa y quitarte a tus hijos, tu casa, tu sueldo, todo. Los hombres no tenemos derechos en España. Mierda de país.

  23. Hola Daniel,

    soy Verónica, española, de Mallorca y me encanta ver que alguien que no es de aquí valora España como yo creo que se merece.

    Hace un tiempo (relativamente poco) que te sigo y quería decirte que ¡¡¡me encantas!!!. Estoy viendo videos tuyos en YouTube y quería darte las gracias. El inglés es mi asignatura pendiente, pero al verte y leerte creo que aunque enseñes, lo haces fácil y ameno. Se me hace menos cuesta arriba y quería decirte que lo explicas de una manera muy llana y accesible. Sólo viendo tus vídeos y leyendo en tus blogs creo que he aprendido mucho más que en todos mis años de instituto.
    Por cierto, sigue moviéndote por España que creo que puedes descubrir más sitios bonitos y nueva comida que degustar, como por ejemplo Sa Tramuntana de Mallorca que es un deleite y la gastronomía de aquí.

    Bueno, lo dicho, gracias por enseñar inglés y un beso desde Mallorca.

  24. You did bring tears to my eyes. I would love to go back to live in Spain but at almost 75 and living in a beautiful part of Virginia (the Alleghenies) I find it very hard to decide to do it.I love reading what you write, but you know it because I have told you before. I read the two articles on “How to be Spanish, what the Times got wrong” and you are right on. Thank you

  25. Wow I’m from Tarragona and you certainly made us all look so great! Thank you for the article and for your honesty. Although I do think you should spend some time here in some Catalan areas, we’ve got plenty of ruins as well hahaha. Sending hugs from one side of the peninsula to the other!

    1. Thanks Mireia, I’ve actually never been to Tarragona. The only places I know up in Catalunya are Barcelona and Vielha in the Pirineo Catalán. But it’s on my short list of places to visit 🙂

  26. Daniel,

    I am a cuban living in US for more than 16 years and I love Spain too (la madre patria). Estaba dudando en mudarme a Espana o no pero tu articulo me ha dado la certeza que necesito. Have a wonderful life in that marvelous country!

  27. Hi, I recently discovered your blog when looking for resources for my english test. I find it quite enjoyable but, this is unforgivable… XD XD Jerez de la Frontera is the capital of sherry, not El Puerto de Santa María. All the D.O. of the province are even managed from there. You can walk around the city and feel well fed only by the sweet aroma from all the bodegas…. Please… and you have and article for El Puerto, but not Jerez?? XD XD ains….

    1. Hey Noemí, you’re right of course. But I’ve only spent a few hours in Jerez – El Puerto is where I’ve spent most of my Andalucía time. Thanks for commenting!

  28. Hello Daniel,
    Great article, full of passion…
    Love reading your blog, just like love Spain…
    Thank you,
    Robert

  29. Hei Daniel. I am from Spain, concretely from JAÉN in Andalusia. I have enjoy a lot to read your awesome article. I would like can any day writing about traditions, landscapes, food and way of living of USA. The first thing is travel there, i hope to getting it more soon than later. Like you know the spaniards say “Follow something, obtain something”. A tender greet.
    Steve.

  30. Thanks so much for this post i discover just now! I love Spain too, and after 16 years here, i’m almost sure i will spend the rest of my life in Spain! Thanks again 🙂

  31. Daniel, you have the general sentiment right but the wrong location. I, too, am a North American expat and together we are the problem that is Spain. Several years ago I landed in Madrid thinking that the center and capital would be the be all and end all. After a few months I could no longer stand the bureaucracy and pomposity of the city (We’re Madrilenos!) and left for other parts. After a few dead ends, I have landed in Barcelona and most of what you say applies here as well. I, too, like my morcilla and jamon and also the north is the best. Here we have the Pyrenees, Rioja, Pais Basco and overlap with Cantabria, Asturias and the cities of Burgos and Leon, my personal favorite. I will give you Reina Sofia, the Prado and Parque Retiro. They are special. A boat, a bottle and a beautiful senorita on the lake in Retiro on a hot summer’s night. Magic. But all in all, you are absolutely correct. I, too, have visited most of the countries of Europe, each with something special, but none can compare with the totality of Espana. We should meet in some small village between us, drink some wine, eat some local food and swap stories.

  32. Hi Daniel, i’m Guessing thar you hail from the USA, a great place (or sadly it used to be), however my my wife and I were married some 53 years ago, and our honeymoon was in Torremolinos. But since then I have visited Spain and I just love the feeling of being there, it has an old world feeling of joy that I have never found anywhere else. Originally from the UK, and spent many years in NZ and then the US, I have never found that same feeling. And as you say, the food is unspoiled and beautiful – like nowhere else ! As the years go by, I have now reached a healthy and active 82, and my final wish would be to end my days in that idyllic place in this world – Spain ! It may happen or it may not, but a dream is a dream. I should have made the move 30 years ago, but I am now in Canada, which is a great and safe place to be, but I salute you Daniel for having the foresight to place yourself in a lovely country. Who knows I may meet you in the near future.

    Take care and enjoy life dear friend, it only comes one time – then it’s off to Andromeda or some far off part of the Galaxy 😄
    Cheers, Stuart

  33. Hi Daniel, i’m Guessing that you hail from the USA, a great place (or sadly it used to be), however my my wife and I were married some 53 years ago, and our honeymoon was in Torremolinos. But since then I have visited Spain and I just love the feeling of being there, it has an old world feeling of joy that I have never found anywhere else. Originally from the UK, and spent many years in NZ and then the US, I have never found that same feeling. And as you say, the food is unspoiled and beautiful – like nowhere else ! As the years go by, I have now reached a healthy and active 82, and my final wish would be to end my days in that idyllic place in this world – Spain ! It may happen or it may not, but a dream is a dream. I should have made the move 30 years ago, but I am now in Canada, which is a great and safe place to be, but I salute you Daniel for having the foresight to place yourself in a lovely country. Who knows I may meet you in the near future.

    Take care and enjoy life dear friend, it only comes one time – then it’s off to Andromeda or some far off part of the Galaxy 😄
    Cheers, Stuart

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