20 Spanish Things I Miss in America

It happened when I noticed all the camo. When the waiter was so nice and attentive that it took me off guard. But perhaps there was nothing as striking as when I was at a bookstore and looked across the street at my next stop, realizing I would never walk there. No, I had driven my car and wouldn’t dare cross a small but treacherous stretch of road where the drivers were unaccustomed to pedestrians. I recognized this feeling: reverse culture shock.

Just as I miss American products and customs in Spain, there are irreplaceable Spanish items and mindsets that I miss when I visit the States. Even though I miss the people more (here’s looking at you, Andres), I do have material things that I miss as well:

20 Spanish Things I Miss in America

  • Laid-back, money-isn’t-everything mentality
  • Easy access to travel all over Europe
  • Central meeting areas like town squares
  • Awesome and affordable Spanish wine

  • Spanish food such as: Olive oil, olives, cured meats and cheeses, fresh fish, croquetas…
  • Terraces at bars and restaurants
  • The way people dress a more formally
  • Places with a ton of history – Not to say that the States don’t have their history–they do. But in this case Europe has just a few years on us.

Climbing through history at Almodóvar del Río (near Córdoba)

  • Puentes and lots of vacation days
  • Dry temperatures (read: little humidity)
  • Weekend adventures in a place where I can always explore something new (an unknown neighborhood, a different park, a new store…)
  • The mid-morning pause for coffee…and cafés on every corner

Coffee at Madrid’s Gaudeamus

  • Dos besos
  • Cheap meds
  • Widespread public transportation
  • Going out for dinner at 9 or 10 pm. - I love the way people are out and about until really late in the night, it gives the evening a social, festive feel.

Sevilla — Look at all these people out at night!

  • Spanish/European pastries – Croissants! Apple puff pastry! Napolitanas de chocolate!
  • Speaking a foreign language and the opportunity to learn more every day
  • Paseos
  • Being able to walk to the post office, the bank, the grocery store, etc.

What else would you add to this list?