American in Spain: if you ever get the chance to travel outside of America to Europe it is well worth it and it will forever change your life. Although traveling to different countries is an amazing experience, you will also go through some cultural differences that take some time to get used to. This is not something to worry about but it is important to be more socially aware and willing to adapt to different situations.
Greetings in Spain
Something that is very different in Spain from America is that Spaniards greet each other in a more affectionate way. Often, when you meet up with friends and family they say hello with a hug and two kisses on the cheek. This is very normal for Spaniards and happens every time you meet someone. In America when you meet someone you might shake their hand or just give them a wave. Unless it’s someone you know really well then you might give them a hug or kiss on the cheek.
Something you will notice about Spanish culture is that they are never in a rush to get through the day. They enjoy the little moments of life and aren’t stressed about getting the next thing done. When they go out for meals they sit and enjoy each other’s company or the area they are in. During the week you will see people sitting at a cafe for lunch with friends drinking a glass of wine.
In America, people are eating their lunch at their desks or just grabbing something to eat very quickly. When you go to a restaurant in the U.S. oftentimes your waiter will get your order in right away and are trying to get you in and out of the restaurant quickly. In Spain, the waiter doesn’t bother you too much and most of the time you have to ask for the check. Overall the Spanish lifestyle is a lot more relaxed and slower-paced than it is in America.
Cheers to the weekday?
A big cultural difference you will notice traveling to Spain from America is that people drink alcohol more casually than they do in the U.S. When you go to lunch, it is very normal to order a glass of wine with your meal. Some of the locals have mentioned that growing up they always had a glass of wine at dinner with their parents. This really creates a positive relationship with alcohol which a lot of Spaniards have. In the U.S. alcohol is almost frowned upon openly to drink until the legal age limit which causes kids to drink way too much because they have not been exposed to it before.
American in Spain: weekend getaway
Lastly, if you love to travel, living in Europe is the place to be. It is very accessible and easy to travel to many other countries in Europe and for a reasonable price too. In America, most states take a few hours to get by plane, and can cost a few hundred dollars. In Spain and Europe in general, you can find fairly cheap flights to almost any neighboring country. This is why most Spaniards love to travel for vacation or just for a weekend getaway.