Madrid, Spain - Tapas

Could I live in Madrid?

Madrid is one of my favorite cities, but...

Madrid, Spain

In my travel plan, that one I made in June and almost immediately abandoned, I had thought to return to Spain after three months in South America.

I wanted to spend some time there. At least a month, hopefully three, longer if that damned visa didn’t exist.

I first went to Spain in 2011, a month into what turned into my 15-month, or three year, depending on how you look at it, ’round the world trip. Spain was a turning point.

In Spain I finally started to get the hang of traveling. In Spain I started thinking that I never wanted to stop traveling. In Spain I allowed myself to have random sex. In Spain I finally started letting go.

Spain was a turning point.

I always imagined that I would go back to someday, get an apartment for a few months, study Spanish, learn Flamenco, eat all the tapas, drink all the wine.

Of course, life happened, and I ended up accepting a job back home in Chicago instead.

But I still wanted to return to Spain before I “finished” traveling.

So, instead of going for three months, instead of renting an apartment, instead of studying flamenco and Spanish, I took my friend Christina up for her offer to let me stay at her place in Madrid for a week. And in that week I did almost nothing.

But Madrid was a good enough place to do so.

I wandered the streets. I ate. I shopped. I slept way too much because I just couldn’t acclimate myself to the time change. I got caught up on my blog.

It was a different feeling than the last time I was in Madrid. Because the last time I was in Madrid it was in the blistering heat of August. And the Pope was in town, attracting millions of followers.

This time, with temperate weather, without the Pope, I loved Madrid even more. I felt like I was just living while there. I didn’t feel like I was traveling.

Part of me wished I was staying. Part of me wished I could stick to my plan of living in Madrid, of living somewhere in Spain.

But then the weekend came along and, in traditional Spanish style, we went out for tapas at 9 and then went out, staying at the bars until 4am before stumbling to a nightclub. I left at 7am: the rest of my friends continued until 4pm the next day.


Walking home from a club, alone, beyond tired, at 7 am, trying to navigate back to the apartment, I thought, “I could never live in Spain.”


p.s. I only took photos of food in Madrid…

Prawn pasta in Madrid, Spain

Seafood on toast in Madrid, Spain

Tapas in Madrid, Spain

Chocolate con churros in Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

BBQ Pork Sticks in Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Tom @ Waegook Tom
    November 10, 2014at8:37 am

    Staying out until 4pm? I feel tired just reading that. It’s an achievement for me if I make it until about 2.30am these days. I’d probably just head home after the tapas if I lived in Spain…

  • Ali
    November 10, 2014at10:16 am

    Wow, I’m too old for that sh*t. 2-3 drinks is plenty for me, and even aside from the drinking, I would not do well being out until 4am let alone 4pm.

    I’m sure you could live in Spain without having to do crazy stuff like that. At least not often 🙂

  • Ed Rex
    November 11, 2014at3:48 am

    7am! I would just be passed out on a chair in the club and then woken up by puzzled cleaners the next morning.

    Tapas and home for a nice cuppa tea… that’s how I roll…

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