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Is it abnormal to think about going back to Spain already right after getting back to US?

Okay— maybe “abnormal” is a wild choice of word but that’s how much I miss Spain already. It’s hard to pinpoint why I liked so much of my 10- day trip to Spain (Barcelona, Granada, Seville; excluding Madrid due to staying only overnight for flight and being too touristy). It could be multifactorial — the amazingly fresh and relatively more affordable seafood especially octopus and drinks(sangria and wines); such a lovely weather (in contrast to still chilly east coast in the U.S.); beauty of architecture and history; kind people including taxi drivers and waiters/ waitresses who were enthusiastic in helping us when my brother spoke basic conversational Spanish; miscellaneously, extremely clean streets and restrooms.
I have one year to think about but am curious to hear your thought. Would you go back to other parts of Spain OR different European countries that you haven’t visited for change on sceneries?( I am thinking about two of the following: Britain, Austria, and perhaps Switzerland).
Happy travel!

Posted by
8051 posts

Only go where you crave (places you know you will get bang for your buck), don't over think it. (I've been to Spain 3 times 2002, 2014 and 2019). Watch travel videos on the internet or read guide books (most public libraries have them) until you find a destination that calls you instead of Spain. For some it is more of what is unattractive about hanging out in the USA versus going overseas.

Posted by
956 posts

Madrid too touristy vs Seville or Granada or Barcelona???? Certainly not my experience!

Now, responding to your "where to travel" question - if it is Spain that calls you, I vote go for it!!

I also have favorite destinations, but have felt through the years that I should try new areas. Often, these new places are not areas I feel the need to return to. Nothing wrong with the spots, no problems encountered, pleasant memories, but just not the "I'm home" feeling of my favorite destinations.

It took me a long while to realize that I should not feel that I need continuous completely new destinations, but in now planning a return to one of my favorite countries, I'm eager in a way that the research for "new" places hasn't drawn me. My return trips to favorite destinations generally include areas of the country or city that are new to me, so a combination of the familiar and an exploration beyond past trips. Just like you are contemplating with Spain!

(I'm being purposely vague on my favorites vs one-time-was-sufficient destinations. Everyone is different!)

Posted by
3992 posts

Glad you had a good time! I think Americans usually discount Spain in lieu of UK, Italy, or France on a first or second time trip to Europe, thinking Spain is just like Mexico, but really it's very different.

Spain is the second largest country in the EU, there is much to see and do, especially outside the main tourist areas you have listed. My guess is that 90% of the foreign tourists in Spain only visit 10% of the country, even after multiple trips. There's still so much to explore :)

Posted by
4325 posts

Nope, not abnormal!

However truthfully I am always in love with my last destination and want to return. After a few months, though, some places stick with me with a desire to return and some fade into a lovely memory of a lovely experience but I don’t need a return. I have learned to give myself some time for it all to “settle. LOL.

That said, I have been to Spain 3 times and will go again: twice to Andalucia - and I know I will return, as well as adding some new stops to my repeats.

Posted by
6795 posts

Whenever we visit Spain it’s like returning home because we fell in love with the country when we lived there in the late 70s. Spain was much different then. There were only 6 interstates that started in Madrid. Most Spaniards didn’t have vehicles and if they did it was a Seat. Most places were free to enter and there were no lines. Parking in the historic center of anyplace was easy. On my first trip to Segovia I drove between the aqueduct arches.

Not everything was great however. Since it was shortly after Franco’s death, there were things you didn’t discuss and the Guardia Civil still ruled with a softer iron fist. Many towns still had “Franco” in their name e.g., Barbate de Franco is now just Barbate. Since there were no interstates crisscrossing the country, it took significantly longer to get anywhere. One never saw shorts and dressing conservatively was the norm. Everywhere one went there were the civil war widows dressed in black standing the the doorways. They were a constant reminder of the horror the country went through.

At this point we choose to visit different smaller geographic areas and small towns, villages, and hamlets on each trip. We mostly stay in locations where there is a Parador, but that’s more for sleeping. The places we tend to visit see few tourists. We’ve visited 9 times since 2004 and are headed back later this year.

So yes, I understand you wanting to return so soon.

Posted by
2016 posts

I think it's normal to want to return to anyplace you go on vacation. Last year, I wanted to go back to Munich/Austria. This year I just got back from Mexico and miss the weather Oaxaca was wonderful and the food. And a really authentic Mexican restaurant.

But I find there are too many other places I want to see after a while. I've been watching Conan O'Briens new travel show and now I want to go to Norway as it looks beautiful!

Posted by
14241 posts

Well, completely normal for many on this forum but don't whisper it to your non-traveling friends! They didn't understand why you went in the first place and they will NOT understand why you want to go back.

Not necessarily Spain (haven't been there since 1973, lol) but other places have just caught me in their clutches. Orkney and Shetland unexpectedly have done that. I waited a few months after my return but I have planned a return trip for 2025. Paris...did not like it in 1973, 1974, 1977....fell in love with it in 2014 and have returned mostly yearly if not every other year. Sometimes twice a year.

I have gone to places because I thought I "should" - everyone raves about "X" or "Y" so I'll probably like it but no, have decided now that I am closer to the end of my international travel time than the beginning that I will only go to places that really call to me.

BTW, I love to revisit places that really entranced me. Usually on a first visit I'm so busy just "seeing" the big picture that I can't take in the details. The more times I go to Paris the more I love it!

I will say that the problem with Spain is that it's not geographically located so it's easier to combine with visits to Austria or Switzerland. Britain would be easier with a flight in to Heathrow and then one of the cheap flights a week or so later to Spain.

Posted by
37 posts

Ha, Ha, I usually say my favorite destination is wherever I am traveling at the moment--or wherever I am making plans to visit next!

You sound a bit young to me, especially if you traveled with your brother. Like others on this forum, I have a LOT of travel years and travel experiences under my belt. I have lived my whole life in the East coast USA, but I also went to school (university), worked in, and traveled all over Spain at many different times of the year, and it can be QUITE cold in the Winter as well! ( I am bilingual--actually, multilingual.)

Did you stay in nice hotels? My first time independently all over Europe I did backpacking and youth hostels, and I can attest that many bathrooms were not that clean at the low budget level in Spain. In fact, I used to carry a roll of toilet paper with me as it was so often lacking in public bathrooms. Well, honestly, I say Spain is like my second home, and I could live there permanently in an instant, but now that I am a bit older the change would be too radical for other family members. Thus, we visit often.

Yes, European architecture and history are amazing-- I love going from country to country and exploring. Oftentimes we rent a car (I am no longer a poor student), and stay in special hotels, like old castles. I have visited more than half of the countries in Europe multiple times, and some I have not yet seen I many never to be able to visit, such as Ukraine. This year we are going to Switzerland twice, just so my husband can ski, and in the Summer we will go to Italy and Spain, because I love Mediterranean countries, especially in the heat (Yes, I am an ancient sun worshipper--I am always willing to tramp around Greek, Egyptian and Turkish archaeological sites in July and August, unlike most folks!). Next Summer we will be in Mexico, Central America, Brazil and Argentina. Probably in two years we will do our India trip--up to then our work schedules prevented us from traveling there except during the rainy season.

We actually created some travel bucket lists based on our life interests, and have been slowly and surely checking them off. Two years ago we went back to Iceland again (first time was 1973, but multiple visits) in the cold Winter just to see the Northern Lights.

When I was much, much younger I was so bitten by the travel bug that I became a travel agent for a few years! That way I learned all about travel from the inside-out.

I always say that when you are young "the world is your oyster" (Thank you, Will Shakespeare), and you should go everywhere and do everything when you have the time, energy, health, and ambition, even if you do not have the money.

So, start planning--sometimes the research is almost as fun as the real trip! Best wishes!

Posted by
7710 posts

Yes, it is abnormal. I can speak as an authority on the subject. We first experienced Spain in Barcelona and area for a week in connection with a business trip, then Madrid and area with the same, Madrid a second time for a week with more daytrips, then a year and a half ago with Madrid, the Basque region, and Andalusia over 3 1/2 weeks, and back now, with just the Andalusian coast (Cadiz, Tarifa, Malaga, and Nerja) for 2 weeks of a 4 week trip.

We have plane tickets in and out of Amsterdam in September for a month, we know we will probably go someplace during that trip (we bought the tickets because they were dirt cheap, with no plans), discussed Sicily and Malta, maybe Croatia again, Sardinia, Greece...but Spain came up, maybe Galicia and Asturias, with a bit of Madrid, and is a strong contender.

So if after 8 weeks or so of Spain, I am still thinking of it, you can be excused for wanting to go back after 10 days. You just were given a taste, you need a full banquet.

Posted by
1504 posts

When I returned from Spain after a three-week visit last fall— I started thinking about moving there.
So. I’d say it might be abnormal to NOT think about returning!

Posted by
15673 posts

Then I'm at least as abnormal. I was a week into Andalucia on my first visit to Spain and I already knew I'd be back. I've explored more places than that 3 week trip, including Barcelona (3 visits - I don't count the 4th because I was there for only a couple of hours before I broke a leg and had to be shipped home on a stretcher) and Valencia. My trips were all in February and March, a little rain, a couple days of chilly wind, otherwise comfortably warm and sunny. Love the history, the architecture (not Gaudi, though), the food and wine, the music, the scenery, and especially the people.

I thought I'd never love a country as much as I did Italy (multiple visits), but now I love Spain as much. I haven't been to London or Paris in about 10 years, not sure I'd like them as much with the explosion of tourists. Vienna is a very good destination - I combined it with Budapest and Prague by rail. That's a trio that's hard to beat.

Posted by
1596 posts

I think about going back to destinations even before the trip!!

Posted by
252 posts

There are several places that have gotten under my skin and to which I have already returned to multiple times or intend to return to. Umbria, Italy, Andalucia, Paris, the Adirondacks in New York. But we also mix new places in as well. Right now we’re in the Yorkshire Dales and I suspect we’ll return here. We do love exploring new places, but sometimes I need something b with a bit of familiarity, too. Our jobs are hard enough as it is, and sometimes doing new place after new place exhausts me (as the planner) and my husband (driver and navigator).

Spain is great! The food and wine is so inexpensive. I would visit the southern end of Spain the next time we come back. I loved Madrid but it’s rather pricey for accommodations in April.

Posted by
2488 posts

Some places you just know you're going to go back to again (and again). No one on this website would think it was abnormal ;-) You're in good company here.

Posted by
208 posts

I have one year to think about but am curious to hear your thought. Would you go back to other parts of Spain OR different European countries that you haven’t visited for change on sceneries?( I am thinking about two of the following: Britain, Austria, and perhaps Switzerland).

So - one trip a year to Europe is in your plans? That's how we started off. Save some vacation time and some $$$ and take our main vacation in Europe. We VARIED it each year for a while - usually working up the "easy" scale or using opportunities that popped up.

My wife had lived in Germany as a kid and taken European vacations growing up, so she was fairly comfortable with the classic European locations of the day (Germany, France, Italy, etc). We visited England & Wales first to get me acclimated to travel in a super "easy" no language skills required sort of way. Then German speaking countries where my HS & college German was at least helpful, and she had lived there so we had that. Later was France and Italy for visiting family & friends, and following RS advice to try Slovenia, and meeting her mom and dad in Hungary. And revisiting those places several times over, but often different cities/regions.

We neglected Spain because we had no pull (no friends or family) to visit or nudge us to go, but it slowly & steadily crept up our list and we planned it for April 2020(!). Post-COVID, once travel was back in the works, we first took advantage of fewer people and went back to Paris for a great trip, and said "let's get Spain BACK ON THE CALENDAR" and added it to our following year plans.

Just Madrid, Seville, & Cordoba. Take it easy and see if it is fun. OMG was it fun! And beautiful! And the food, museums, culture, lifestyle, etc. resonated deeply with us. It was IMMEDIATELY on our return list. We had the Netherlands planned in between (for our anniversary), but we were able to come up with another Spain (and Portugal) itinerary that took in many places we hadn't visited the first time - Barcelona being one of them, but several other wonderful places like Granada & the Alhambra (magnificent) and Valencia (under the radar great) and Cadiz.

I would - in heartbeat - return to Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, and more. We have no plans for the coming year to do that (Netherlands and Norway in the summer and Asia in the Dec) but both Spain and Portugal are on the "return and explore further" list.

Of course, my general feeling is that a trip to Europe (anywhere in Europe) is generally a good vacation opportunity, so I wouldn't put all my vacation eggs solely in the Spain basket. If a better opportunity comes up for Italy or Austria or Belgium or..., then go try them out. I'm a Spain "convert" but we still adore France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and more.

If you're young, you'll get to see them all :) And remember, there are also other wonderful destinations worthy of your time - from around the US, & Canada, down through Mexico and into Central and S America. There is Africa - especially a somewhere like Morocco to see where Spain got so much cultural influence - or Asia (easy to get to Istanbul for a Europe meets Asia trip) or Down Under in Australia or the amazing New Zealand.

So, after this ramble, I guess my standard "you can't go wrong" answer ends up being where I land for your question. You win with Spain, you win with Britain, Austria, or Switzerland. You win, in general, with travel.

Posted by
69 posts

We’ve recently returned from Spain and this morning whilst having coffee on our deck far away in NZ we were reminiscing about being in Cordoba having coffee at our favorite café.

On our recent return from Europe after a grueling flight we said, never again. But Naples beckons, and maybe back to gorgeous Valencia or our 2nd home of Seville. We’ve been to Andalusia 13 times. There’s something reassuring about returning to a place and being greeted by the locals passing in the streets you’ve come to recognise over the years.

I’ve returned to some place time and again since departing NZ aged 19, on an old ship to the UK (there were no flights back then) I lived in Paris for two years London for thirteen years, and Spain during the Franco era for a short time. I’ve been back to these destinations off and on for 45 years. I’ve loved every European city/village I’ve visited, however some places simply lure you back.

There are no rules when it comes to travelling the world. It’s mostly a blast with the odd mishap thrown in!!

Posted by
7446 posts

Abnormal? Nope. Just a sign that you had a fantastic time! We love Spain, too.

Happy planning!

”I used to carry a roll of toilet paper with me as it was so often lacking in public bathrooms.”. I agree with that comment above! I was continually replenishing the TP in my purse in February when we were in Spain!

Posted by
357 posts

interesting that you ask. i was in eastern, central, and southern spain last year and going back in about 2 weeks to explore the west and north. i don't have qualms about repeated visits to the same country but in general i like to explore new places. i feel there is so much more to experience compared to the time and opportunity i have left. having said that i did go back to many places in 'northern' Italy but after more than 20 years. this year after spain i will carry on to southern france, vienna, and southern germany. perhaps give yourself a couple of months to reflect and then do whatever floats your boat!

Posted by
59 posts

Whew! I feel so reassured and “normal” thanks to all your comments about your great experience and insight in Spain :) I feel grateful for getting to know this community to allow sharing our wonderful memory despite at different times.

Can’t wait to my future adventure in Spain again and elsewhere in Europe. Cheers!

Posted by
18733 posts

I fell into a similar trap about 20 years ago with Italy.

Would you go back to other parts of Spain OR different European
countries that you haven’t visited for change on sceneries?

In my case it was 10 days in Italy plus 6 days someplace new and different. On one trip I ended up in Budapest as the "new and different" and after that I never returned to Italy. Then for the next 20 years it was 10 days in Budapest and 6 days someplace new and different. The only place I found that came close to making me as happy as Budapest was Ukraine. But I have seen a lot of the world and have great memories as a result of not getting completely tied down to onr location.

So stay with what you know you love, but poke the bear a little too. You never know what you might discover.

Posted by
366 posts

It may be "abnormal " to some of my friends but I don't care! I'm a long time solo traveler. I love Spain but Italy, Portugal other western European countries and have returned multiple times .
But I am leaving tomorrow for Ireland which is a new country for me...also because it's not part the Schengen Zone so it doesn't count as part of the 90 days.
I only have 2 weeks after returning from Ireland before I go to Slovenia,also a new country for me.
I'm usually ready to go somewhere in Europe after only 2 weeks at home! But I usually have longer time between trips.

Posted by
252 posts

I just booked another trip to Spain for next Spring. We’re returning for a week at Casa Olea, a guesthouse in rural Andalucia that I discovered on this forum. It’s magical and I can’t wait to go back.

Posted by
25 posts

We are a country in southern Europe and close to Africa.

There are 50 different Spains.

You still don't know Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Cuenca, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, the Basque country (San Sebastián), Galicia. Come back again and you might enjoy it even more than the first time.

Regards