We all know those people that we see on social media; constantly exploring new places, traveling to different parts of the world and those who just seem genuinely happy with their day-to-day life.
Here’s the thing... that can be you too.
As a black person living in a country like Spain where the population is largely homogenous – at least in outward appearance – it’s not an uncommon occurrence to find out that you’ve instantly become a walking museum exhibit. For many, you’re one of the few chances they have to get an up-close look – or touch – of this rarely-seen specimen that is a black person. Does that mean it’s ok for someone to breach your personal space for a rub of your skin or a grab at your hair? No. But it does help explain why it’s happening.
Okay, it’s time to talk about Tinder. Don’t worry; this article isn’t going to make you feel horrible about yourself if you use it. We get it… we know the story, dating nowadays is tough. Some people might even say that dating culture doesn’t exist anymore. For reasons like this, many people turn to Tinder in hopes of meeting new people (guilty as charged). This isn’t to say that people who use the app don’t believe in true love but sometimes it just comes down to the fact that we live in a busy, fast-paced society and it’s an easy way to get to know others.
When getting ready to move to Europe, the thought of weight gain (or weight loss) is probably one of the first things that come to mind, and with good reason. The endless accessibility to fresh bread and high quality yet affordable wine is tempting on so many levels. I’ll start by saying this, while living in Spain I’ve been the heaviest weight I’ve ever been in my life, as well as the healthiest. Hear me out...
Before leaving the states one year ago, my plan was to travel around Europe for a few months, then go back home and save up for the next summer like I had done many times. But something was different this time. After a bit of soul searching, a few weeks into my trip I decided to stay in Spain permanently.
We all assume that living abroad challenges you on a physical level, since you are moving yourself to a new country, but the mental challenges are often forgotten. Aside from the expected such as language barriers or apartment searching, any identities you have in your home country can clash at any moment whether it’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Sometimes you’ll be yearning for that siesta! For me, navigating spaces as a black woman and an American were second-nature. To add “Fulbright English Teaching Assistant” and “U.S Cultural Ambassador” was challenging when interacting with Spaniards and Americans alike.
Perhaps you're in love with the idea of Spain and its sandy beaches, perpetually blue skies and exquisite cuisine. It's possible that you've settled into a job that you adore, and have no intention of leaving any time soon. Maybe you've fallen in love with an actual Spaniard and you don't want to live anywhere else.
Whatever your backstory, here's what you need to know about living in Spain long term.