Leaving Life In Spain – What Will We Miss?

As you know we are Preparing To Move – Spain To Southeast Asia.  We will be leaving Spain in just a few weeks and exploring around the Netherlands, Belgium and Champagne France for a while.  Then off to Sweden for a couple of days, to catch our flight to Bangkok.

A little while ago we asked you What Do You Want To Know or Have Us Show?  And you had no trouble letting us know what was on your mind.  This question came from Micki on “I’d love to know what you’ll miss most about your time in Spain?”

Almuñécar Spain - San Miguel Barrio Streets

We could probably go on for quite some time on this one.  I have traveled to Southeast Asia before, so I have a hint of the culture shock we are in for.  That said, it was over 20 years ago, so I am sure it has changed tremendously.  I decided to ask the entire family to contribute what they like on this post.

What will we miss about our life in Spain?

  1. The little things.
    1. Our town, Almuñécar and Costa Tropical.  The charm and character of our town is like no other for us.  Just  being out and about and almost always bumping into people we know.  We have a quick chat and then continue on.
    2. We will miss the little man playing the accordion outside of the restaurant at the bottom of our hill.
    3. The long walks along the paseo, perhaps a stop off for a coffee or ice cream.
    4. Our “to die for” sea view  as well as the sound of the sea that fills our walls every day and night.
      Almuñécar  - view from our terrace March 4 2014
    5. Owning a car!
    6. Walking to/from school.
    7. The occasional Dolphin spotting.
    8. Playing with friends on our street or at the beach.
    9. Seeing and hearing my kids effortlessly speak Spanish with their friends.
    10. The sight, sounds and smells of the sea.
    11. Magnificent sunrises and sunsets.
    12. Homemade Spanish rice made in a Paella pan (the double irony of eating a food with a Spanish name that is not Spanish cooked in a Spanish pan).
    13. Being able to keep our slider door open for months at a time
  2. Food – As you know we aren’t huge Spanish food connoisseurs, but there are some local favorites that we will miss.  The greeting from our friend Vittorio at Farinel Pizza, the yummy Shawarma or the wonderful Ice Cream and even the zumo and coffee.
  3. Culture
    1. History and remnants of the past surrounding us.
      Almuñécar Spain - Fountain in old town
    2. Watching Spanish fútbol at the local bar or even at the stadium.
    3. Learning how a Spanish classical guitar is made.
    4. It will be strange not to go to our “regular” shop keepers at the market or grocery store.  Or to attend the Spanish events, like birthday parties or communions.
    5. Speaking Spanish on a daily basis.  We will try to keep it up on our own at home.
    6. Spanish celebrations Fireworks, Ferias and Bulls!

  4. Europe – Travel to so many different cultures and languages.  We will be getting a variety in Asia, but it will just be different.  Here are some of the places we visited.
    To Do in Rome (8)
  5. Most of all the People.  We have made some amazing friends while living here and we will miss them a great deal.  We are connected via social media, so we plan to keep in touch.

What won’t we miss about life in Spain?

  1. The red tape for any process or lack of process to get anything done.  That said, it may not be any better in Asia.
  2. Dog poop on the sidewalk.
  3. Parking idiocy.

What are we looking forward to in Southeast Asia?

  1. A completely different and new experience!
  2. Food – we hope.  This is likely the topic that most people are curious about for our upcoming trip.  From what we know, we love Asia food.  That said, it won’t be American Asia, so we will see how it goes.  I know when I was backpacking Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore 20 years ago, I ate and ate and ate.  I am not sure how Alan and the kids will do, but from what we hear there are plenty of Western food choices as well.

Thanks for asking the question Micki.  I am sure we will add to this as time goes by.  Once we are really away from Spain for a while, we will let you know if there is something more.  What will you miss about our time in Spain?

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

24 thoughts on “Leaving Life In Spain – What Will We Miss?

  1. Leaving Spain was the saddest day of my life and I feel like I carry it with me everywhere. I love returning (only 11 days to go) it’s home for sure. One day I will move back there, I’m sure of it.

    I totally get what you mean about red tape and parking! OMG! Haha, they just dump their cars and walk away. It’s brilliant. I love in comercial centre’s when they have actual parking spaces- I’m convinced the Spanish think it’s normal to take up two (or more) spaces.

    • Ha! You are so right about the commercial parking spaces. Without fail they park at an angle and take up a couple of spaces. Too funny. Well, we welcome you back to Spain, just a few days after we say our “see ya later”. We just love it here!

  2. Aw thanks so much Charles. Yes Mexican and Thai are our favorites too. Glad Cole had a good laugh at that. Perhaps we will bump into you again on your next venture out. Take care.

  3. Crazy that’s it’s been 2 years for you guys. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

    It’s funny how it’s the little things we remember the most from our trips. A tiny restaurant, a friendly face on the corner, a favorite desert in a local bakery. Cole loved the dog poop on the sidewalk comment, it’s one of his strongest memories of Spain. 😉

    To be honest, we loved Spain however it wasn’t our favorite place to eat either. Thai and Mexican are still our faves though we had some amazing food in Turkey as well. I don’t like spicy either so there is hope for the picky eaters in your bunch. Chicken and cashew with rice was my favorite and the lemon grass chicken still makes my mouth water. Micki misses good Thai food so much she’s always saying we should head back to Thailand next.

    Good luck on your next adventure guys.

  4. I know what you mean Alyson! I am looking forward to the “thinning” too. With the heat, extra water and so many good veggies, it just magically drips away. I remember after just 2 weeks in Thailand (20 yrs ago) I lost 14 pounds and I ate everything in site! I look forward to it.

  5. You know what, Spain is nice, but Asia is huge, you will find your place, somewhere that steals your heart. You’ll never look at a sunset the same way after seeing a Ko Phangan sunset and oh the food!! It make you thinner too, I can’t wait to go back just for that, the other hemisphere is larding me up. Enjoy!

  6. That’s right Emiel. After the houseboat we are going to roam around a bit returning to the Amsterdam area for 1 final night on the 21st. Then off to Sweden. Take care.

    • I know you are Heidi! Early that week I will be in Adana, Turkey but let’s see if I can make it to Amsterdam later on. House boat right? 🙂

  7. I can so understand why you love Spain so much… But Asia! Asia is also for us the place we return to every year (this summer for the 6th consecutive year); the food is awesome (of course you can also encounter a bad cook, don’t worry..). Enjoy your final stay in Europe and I am looking forward to reading about your Asian adventures!

  8. Thanks Amy, We will be using your blog as one of our resources while we plan. It is always so bittersweet to leave, but the world awaits.

  9. Wow, amazing sunset shot! Even though Spain has been your home for quite a while I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Asia, I can’t promise the food will be as good, but then I am a fussy eater! Enjoy planning for this new adventure 🙂

  10. Thanks so much Cat. We still have so much to write about Spain, so we will sprinkle it in, here and there throughout the year. The plan is to return, so let’s hope we do.

  11. The little things are what make Spain, Spain! Wishing you and your family lots of luck in SE Asia!!

  12. Good to know NZ Muse. It has been 20 years, since I have visited that area. I just know I loved the food, so hopefully the full family will as well.

  13. Malaysian is absolutely my favourite cuisine followed by Thai. Don’t know about the smaller towns but big cities definitely have variety in international cuisines!

  14. Thanks so much Sophie! It is very bittersweet, but that is what adventure is all about. I do hope the food is yummy. 😉

  15. Hi Peggy, Yes we will miss the leisure family time, but not sure we will miss the split days. We do plan to return to Spain, so we will see. I know we are in for the heat adjustment and more of the harassment of the tourist, but I don’t think you can really prepare for that. We do plan to keep up the Spanish, let’s hope we do.

  16. Hi, My husband, myself and our 10 yr old son have just returned from 7 weeks travelling round spain and we love Spanish food. I think, though, it’s not so much the food as the way the Spanish celebrate leisure, family and friends in the consumption of food. A shorter, split working day with a later start, the way children are welcome to stay with the adults for the evening are the things we fell in love with on our first visit when our son was 4.

    We have spent quite a bit of time travelling in SE Asia and the culture shock comes by way of the heat and humidity together (32 degrees in Bangkok when we were there for a few days last week) and the constant harassment of foreigners by touts and large groups of sellers of roses and tourist tat. You, as Americans, will be particularly noticeable and will receive extra attention because of the the popularity of the $US. Keeping the Spanish up when out and about might help that.

    Happy travelling

  17. Hi Lillian. Coincidentally, I just returned home from the US a few hours ago. I am currently writing a post about some of the things I missed. Alan was back in the US for a week last year as well. So look for that coming to the blog in a week or so.

    Here is our USA Miss list we made after being in Spain a few months https://wagonersabroad.com/about-us/miss-list/

    Yes, we do like a tortilla but it isn’t our favorite. I am sure most people would love Spanish food. Apparently we are a picky family, who knew?

  18. Hi, Heidi! Big and exciting changes are coming for you guys. I hope you gain something special from every place you go.

    I’m really glad you wrote this piece. Even though I haven’t spent as much time in Spain as you have, I can relate to the things you’ll miss versus things you won’t list for sure. However, although I don’t eat meat, I do love the food–especially tortilla!

    Have you ever written about your feelings toward home, meaning the U.S.? From what I can tell, you guys haven’t returned to visit since you left 2 years ago. Have you ever thought about it? Are there any particular reasons why you haven’t? I can try to guess, but I would really like to hear this from you. I’ve often asked myself how homesick I’d be if I did what you’re doing, so just wondering what your take on this is.

    All the best to you guys, and thanks so much for sharing your adventures so honestly and charmingly with the rest of us.


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