Visiting Spain: Living the Good Life!

Hi all,

Writing in the town square

Writing in the town square

I’m currently in Spain chaperoning a school trip and thought I’d offer a little commentary on some thoughts I’ve had since I got here.  Hope you enjoy the little detour from the usual Beyond the Pale posts.

When you read about Spain in  either Asia or America, you often read stories of economic hardship verging on crisis.  After being here in the country for the last week traveling from Barcelona, to Granada, to Cordoba, to Seville I am at a loss to see the crisis we are led to believe.


Instead, I sit writing this in the town square of Cadiz and all around me the restaurants are full of people enjoying the hot weather of southern Spain as they eat, drink and laugh together.


I talked to a couple of our local guides asking them how the current economic conditions affect the average  Spaniard.  One replied, “Of course, the unemployment is high right now.  For young adults it is over 20%.  In any other country that would lead to social unrest but here in Spain, we enjoy life so much we keep going.  The families take care of one another, the parents provide for their older children while they look for work.  We are fine.”


I think that is what comes across to us visitors is truly how much the people of Spain enjoy life.  One other guide told us many people choose to work only part time to have more time to enjoy friends, family, and personal interests.

That is a hard concept for our Hong Kong team to understand because in Hong Kong…work is life.  The pressure on people is to create an atmosphere of “busy-ness”.  No one wants to be caught in Hong Kong not being “busy”.  in the work environment people stay late in the office often not because there is still work to be done, but because no one wants to be seen to be “leaving”.


Crazy I know…but thats what its like.

In Spain however, the “siesta” is still very much a part of the culture.  Most shops are closed between 2 and 5 while the employees enjoy lunch with family and then a rest before starting again in the late afternoon.

You can see the result as you interact here.  People are less stressed,  more friendly, and they greet each other with a kiss.  It’s like the “anti- Hong Kong”.

People here refer to it as ” viviendo la vida buena!”.  which means ” living the good life”

Jesus said he came to bring life and “life to the fullest”.  John 10:10

I think the rest of the world could use a little more Spanish in their diet.




  • Melas

    Thanks Steve. I just repented on some few issues. The same negative things are said about most countries in Africa. Until one has the opportunity to visit these countries, an image of wars, hunger, and crime is what is projected for the whole world to see. Thanks y’all medianites! Its also lovely to learn that the some Western countries value relationships against “busy-ness”. Again thanks y’all Medianites and Hollywood.

    • Steve

      Thanks Melas, I appreciate the comment!

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