End of Summer in Spain

It’s officially the END OF SUMMER in Spain. And while not the OFFICIAL end of summer by the calendar, the Spaniards here will swear it’s all over. ALL OVER. Done. Finished.

Summer in Spain essentially starts July 1 and ends on August 31. Most everyone takes off at least one month or the other, August being the most common, but a small few take BOTH months off.

I don’t take vacation – EVER. Okay, I’ve been known to take one entire week off in the summer to cooler Spanish climates. I will also visit my parents in the United States for 10-14 days at some other time in the year but even while visiting them I’m working online. That’s the great thing about an internet business is that you can do it more-or-less effectively from anywhere in the world. Of course it helps to be IN the country (or city) about/for which you’re writing in order to truly feel the pulse of your surroundings.

WHO can take off 2 months for vacation?? Good question. Not many! Usually only teachers, students, and successful writers (probably).

WHO can take off 1 month for vacation? Nearly everyone else! The one-month length vacation is the de-facto term of vacation for most all private and public employees, shop and bar owners. To me it’s surprising that some government offices actually close for the entire month of August!! How can the government shut down for a month?

So now it’s the first week of September and everyone – but everyone – is back to work, all the stores, restaurants and bars are open, all the public servants are publicly serving – surely with a longer frown and shorter answers than usual, and schools are just about to start up once again. My favorite bar is open once again and I’m looking forward to getting those morning porras or afternoon coffees.

In the United States there’s always talk towards the end of summer about how employees go through some level of depression and stress when returning to work after 2 or 3 weeks of vacation. That may very well be true. I never experienced but I guess others whom absolutely hate their jobs do. But having to return to work after 4 or 8 weeks must be truly difficult. I can’t imagine it.

Some people, most often women, are VERY happy to return to the relative peace and quiet of an office after cooking, cleaning, chasing and caring for children – and husbands, and managing complete days and nights.

It’s been a long, long time since I spent weeks on end doing absolutely nothing or whatever I wanted – probably not since I was a teenager. My work is my pleasure so simply “switching off” would deprive me of what makes me want to wake up in the morning. But then again, just living in Spain, to me, seems like vacation everyday.

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1 Response to End of Summer in Spain

  1. laduque says:

    Hi MM, good post! This summer, for the first time, I did do absolutely nothing while in Madrid and I loved it- I met with friends for lunch, read 6 great books and played with my daughter!
    Back to work was especially difficult this time around because of it. Usually I take classes or trainings over the summer, and this was the first time I stayed so long in Madrid.
    Well, I got back to San Diego on a Thursday and went back to work Friday (to set up the classroom), today is my first day of doing nothing.
    Miss you guys, keep blogging!

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