1. Responsible day drinking
Living in Spain is like living in an ad for stain-resistant carpet: It’s totally okay to drink red wine in the middle of the day. Having a drink during your lunch break (which lasts an hour or two) is an acceptable way to break up the work day — just know your limits! Spaniards might be laid back, but they never drink with the goal of getting drunk, and showing up to work that way would not be acceptable!
2. Working to live
It’s no secret that career comes first for many people in the States embodying a “live to work” philosophy. But it’d be difficult to find anyone in Spain who lives his or her days simply to get ahead at work. Spaniards generally recognize three needs to survive: Amigos, dinero, y tiempo para disfrutarlo (friends, money, and time to enjoy it).
Thanks in large part to Spaniards’ ability to function normally on minimal sleep, they have full lives that happen entirely after the work day. Rather than coming home, cracking open a beer and plopping down in front of the television before heading off to bed, Spaniards prefer to live their lives outside of the home. Evenings are reserved for playing team sports, swimming at the community center, and going out with friends. In any Spanish city, there is not a single night of the week when the streets are not bustling with people moving from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant, enjoying a social night out.
3. Black-out shutters
How could something so wonderful and, really, necessary not come standard in the States? Pretty much every apartment and house in Spain comes equipped with roll down black-out shutters, making it almost too easy to indulge in an afternoon siesta (which expats in Spain definitely indulge in, even if Spaniards themselves are moving away from the tradition).
Puente, meaning bridge, is the term used to refer to a long weekend. Imagine there’s a holiday on a Thursday, and you’re given Friday off too so you can have a super long weekend and maybe travel somewhere. You’ve just puented.
Spaniards are supremely skilled in milking time off for all its worth, and this makes them avid travelers. Traveling anywhere throughout Europe, you’ll always encounter traveling Spaniards taking advantage of a puente.