As I prepare to send 3 students off to Spain, I can’t help but reminisce this past summer when I spent six weeks there. It was life changing. I really don’t know how else to explain it.
For your convenience I’ll try to sum it up in 6 quick reasons, although there’s definitely 100 more.
1. They appreciate life and what they have.
People there live. Like actually live. It was enough to have a nice apartment, a kid or two and a decent job. There wasn’t that push that we have here in the U.S. to keep looking for more. Here, I feel that it’s as if nothing is enough.
There’s always a bigger house, a better car, better furniture. Shoot, better kids and a better spouse too. But in Spain, at least in Barcelona everyone seemed to be so content and it allowed them to seem truly appreciative of what they had.
2. The cost of living is cheaper.
I can’t speak for everywhere, as I’ve only lived in Barcelona, but overall it was wayyyy cheaper than the cost of living in one of our major cities. Public transportation costs less than 2€. Coffee (the good kind… no, not starbucks) costs 1 euro or less. Beer 3euros or less (yes, the good kind), and meals in general at restaurants can cost under 10 euros (NO, not fast food). I didn’t eat out everyday but I still ate out frequently because I wanted to try as much as possible, but I NEVER felt bad about eating out because it wasn’t costly. And don’t get me started on health care, rent and groceries. #LetTheChurchSayAmen #LetTheChoirSing
3. Education is CHEAP!
Liiiiiike super cheap in comparison to the U.S.
To put it into perspective, a Master’s degree at Florida State University would have cost me around $23,000 for 2 years at 12 credit hours a semester (not including summer classes). Actually it would’ve been a bit more considering that you are considered out of state for the first year. So the new total is $38,000!!!!!!!!! That’s not including fees.. at a PUBLIC university…….. Thank the universe for scholarship!
Whereas my brother-in-law just completed his Master’s degree at a PRIVATE university in Madrid for 16,000 euros……………….. K.
4. It’s historic.
I don’t really know how else to phrase this point. But it’s like this. The U.S. has a lot of really amazing things to see; awesome landscapes, tall buildings…. awesome landscapes…. tall buildings. But that’s about where it stops (I’m obviously exaggerating a bit… New Orleans is AMAZING from what I’ve heard). I loved the old architecture in Europe. The historic churches, entire neighborhoods that have been preserved for centuries, historic sites that just screamed HISTORY. They also have culture, customs and traditions that are purely … well, Spanish.
I once had a conversation with my friends about “what is American culture?” and honestly, it’s a bit hard to define. We’re such a melting pot that it’s hard to really pinpoint what exactly is ours? And drinking excessively every chance we get does not count (NO, not even St. Patty’s Day). It is a beautiful thing to be so diverse, sometimes it seems like those benefits would only be reaped in an ideal world. Here we have strong minority cultures that are usually mocked and scoffed at until they’re reintegrated into society by non-people of color. Hip-hop, fashion, hair. And no, I’m not just referring to African Americans when I say minority. Think Mexican, Native American, Asian, the list goes on. (How did this become “political” so quickly? Simmer down Sherez!)
5A. YOU ARE IN EUROPE!
I’ll be honest. I almost didn’t want to go to Spain because Europe wasn’t that high up on my continents to visit. I had this idea that it would be just like the U.S. with better dressed people. I assumed it wouldn’t be that cultural and that as an African American I wouldn’t be embraced, much like here in the U.S.
I was obviously wrong (Not about the better dressed part though). I felt like I was seen as a human being and that the color of my skin didn’t stick out as much. In Milan it was different but that’s because I kind of look Ethiopian and they have a massive influx of Ethiopians right now.
5B. YOU ARE IN EUROPE (continued lol)
In Spain, I was able to travel to France for less than 175$ round trip and to Italy for less than 200$ round trip, and this was during the high season in Summer! I can’t even fly from Tallahassee to Miami for that price and it’s in the same state…..
So if you like to travel, living in Spain is ideal because you could easily visit 2 different countries (or more) per year! I don’t really see anything better than that. Not to mention the fact that you could become a multilingual beast and learn to communicate with the majority of the world.. but that’s just my inner linguist talkin’.
6. The food will make you be willing to sacrifice your significant other (if you have one)
It’s literally lucky charm, magically effing delicious. It’s not costly. The ingredients are fresh. Food is a culture. Food is enjoyed.
So if you’re not convinced to move over to Spain after reading this, then just stare at the food pictures until you are convinced.
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