I won’t lie. I was a little skeptical about going to Spain. I had heard so many horror stories about things getting stolen and the locals not being helpful at all. However, I already had two trips booked to go there so I didn’t really have a choice. The two trips were very different, and I’m happy to say both trips went very smoothly and I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to go!
The first place I went was Ibiza with five other girls. It is known as the party capital of the world, but it was off season when we went there so we didn’t really experience much of that. We still had an amazing time. We ended up finding an apartment for all of us to stay on really cheap online. We were skeptical about how nice the place would be, but when we showed up, we were pleasantly surprised. The apartment even had a balcony that overlooked the beach. It was also a nice change to go to a place in the high 60’s-70’s rather than England with low 50’s. We spent most of our time laying on the beach and walking about the town. Neither was very busy since it was off season. It was a very relaxing trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
My trip to Santander, Spain was much different. One of my friends here has a best friend who is studying abroad there at this time, so we had our own personal tour guide, which was especially lucky for me because I do not know one word of Spanish. I felt that I experienced more of the Spanish culture while in Santander rather than Ibiza. Ibiza is mostly centered on tourists so it is a little more “Americanized”. Santander is not. This time we stayed in a hostel that really felt like Grandma’s house. It was an apartment building where an older couple lived and they rented out a few rooms. Each day the lady of the house would clean our room, make our beds, and give us clean (free) towels. We even had our own personal bathroom that was cleaned daily as well. The culture in Spain is very different from most. The three things that are mainly focused on there are sleeping, eating, and night life. They also have a totally different concept of time. A typical day for the Spanish includes a nap, or siesta, in the middle of the day and not eating dinner until about 10:00 or 11:00 at night and then going out to the clubs until the wee hours of the morning. Even the little shops around town close for a few hours during the day so everyone can get their nap in. It is very different from what I’m accustomed to, but it is something I could definitely get used to. Once again, this was a very relaxing vacation. We saw many of the sites (we even saw penguins and seals!) and ate traditional Spanish dishes, such as seafood paella, but we never felt rushed and we always felt rested.
Spain is such a beautiful country. I would highly recommend a trip to Spain for a nice relaxing time and a taste of a different culture than your own.