Moving to any foreign country is undoubtedly a challenge. Between adapting to a new culture, a new language and new habits it can cause a lot of stress. Moving to Madrid is no exception. There are new timetables to adjust to, new environments to explore and new a new way of life to discover.
Amidst all of these difficulties, it’s easy to find comfort in what we left behind at home and start to resent our new surroundings. However, this is Europe, we are here for several months, and the novelty of it all should be embraced.
We all have the things we miss. For me, it’s bagels (smothered in avocado and with a nice fried egg on top or otherwise toasted with heavy schmears of cream cheese) and definitely peanut butter and all the wonderful combinations you can make with it. I’m not going to lie, these are frequent topics of conversations among friends.
Forget America for a minute though, it’ll always be there. Spain is new and exciting! Instead of focusing on what I miss, I’ve really tried to embrace the lifestyle here.
No eggs for breakfast? A hard adjustment.
Dinner at 21h? Okay, more time to enjoy strolling around in the evening.
Whatever it may be, I’ve found the good and excitement of living as much like a Spaniard as I can.
Time is perhaps the strangest adjustment to make. Here, it shifts. The days are longer and the hours to enjoy them greater. For an early riser such as myself, getting up at 8 or 8:30 has been a surprising treat. Mornings are filled with runs in parks along with the other Spaniards out for their morning strolls, often accompanied by dogs that I have to restrain from stopping to pet. Between the hours of 14h and 17h, the city stops. The heavy metal doors of shops come down and proprietors head home to enjoy lunch with their families. Bars and cafés are filled with people taking drinks and tapas or otherwise enjoying an afternoon coffee accompanied by delectable pastries. In the evenings, the brisk air is filled with laughter and people are once again out and about at the bars and cafés, enjoying the liberty that comes after another day of work put behind them.
Whatever it may be that is a hard adjustment to make, embrace it. I, like many others, am in no rush to get home, and look forward to enjoying my stop in Madrid as one of many in my life journey.