Life in Spain: How Long Does It Take to Feel at Home?

Question

How long does it take to get used to life in Spain? Two years? Five? I’m not enjoying it so far, but it probably hasn’t been long enough yet. What has been your experience of feeling comfortable? Please don’t come at me—this is hard enough already.

Answers

These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“I’ve been coming here for 15 years but for short holidays. Then I started to spend 3 months at a time. I settled in straight away and I wasn’t really planning on living here. But

I remember that I used to get stressed out with the customs and attitudes and also how dry and untidy it was everywhere but I’ve got used to it now. I love it here and actually feel nervous about doing anything wrong in case they send me back! I hope you feel more settled very soon. I’ve joined loads of groups on Facebook and met lots of people too.”

“What are you struggling with?”

“I felt the same, don’t worry you are not alone.”

“I think at first it’s meeting new people and the language barrier I found the hardest. Never regretted it though.”

“Weeks is all it took us!!”

“Do you speak the language? i think it’s the most important factor here.”

“From my experience, I have lived in other foreign countries. There are 3 phrases: 1. everything is nice, I’m so happy 2. after 2 or more years, everything is shit, I want to go home. 3. after more years, I’m happy and accept that there are advantages and disadvantages in any country. Maybe you are in the second phrase. It might seem so slow but it’ll pass.”

“I really dislike Spain. You are not alone. I have lived abroad in other countries (European) and this is the one I like the least. It’s the people & the culture I cannot stand.”

“You have not really provided anything like enough background info for anyone to provide advice.”

“The second we landed we loved it.”

“lived here 19 months and loved every min of it!”

“I have found shifting to other countries that it was getting past the first Christmas, the first round of birthdays and special events. It takes time to make new friends and you have to make an effort to get out to places where you can meet people.”

“Nothing not to enjoy.”

“The moment we landed it felt overwhelming but once we got our paperwork in order and our cards we felt a weight lift.”

“Remember what were the reasons for moving!”

“Honestly, if you don’t like it after a year, you shouldn’t stay (unless you have to).”

“We’ve been here 8 weeks. Please be kind to yourself.”

“If you don’t love it already, I’d say it’s not for you!”

“Curious?? What’s NOT to like about living in Spain??” “I very new over there also, got my visa in august, yes some days I’m like, I’m here alone and my family is in Scotland!!”

“I’m waiting to get into my new home. Renting a small apartment with no view. But everyday I feel better about this move.”

“Where abouts are you ?? Country or coastal ? Do you have family ?? or friends around, Most places have free Spanish lessons, sign up you will learn a bit of the language and meet new people.”

“If you are near the coast go and watch the beautiful sunrises we have at the moment, get out into nature it is a beautiful country and has a lot to offer.”

“All depends on the individual, I would have thought anybody moving there would have loved it from the moment they stepped off the plane.”

Conclusion

Adjusting to life in Spain varies greatly among individuals, with experiences ranging from immediate comfort to struggles with culture, language, and social connections.

Key factors influencing adaptation include language proficiency, engagement with local communities, and personal expectations versus reality. Some find solace in the beauty and lifestyle Spain offers quickly, while others may take months or even years to feel at home.

It’s crucial to explore the reasons behind discomfort, seek social connections, and remember the initial motivations for moving.

Ultimately, whether Spain becomes home may depend on one’s ability to embrace its culture, overcome challenges, and find a sense of belonging.

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Bruno Bianchi
Bruno Bianchi is the Director at SpainGuru, where he offers his expertise on Spanish immigration, visas, and residency. Over the years, he has been a guide for many navigating the intricacies of Spanish immigration & bureaucracy. In addition to his role at SpainGuru, Bruno anchors the SpainGuru YouTube channel. Through this platform, he shares valuable insights and updates on immigration matters, simplifying complex processes for a global audience. Bruno's dedication to providing clear and trustworthy information has made him a trusted figure in the community. In addition to his pivotal role at SpainGuru, Bruno boasts over 17 years of professional experience in several online platforms. With roles ranging from the COO and co-founder of Spotahome.com and Sales director of the MAPSA Group, Bruno's diverse experiences (he holds 3 nationalities) and multilingual capabilities (he speaks 5 languages) make him a dynamic and influential figure in both the immigration and business sectors.