Should I stay or should I go now?

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Should I stay or should I go now?
Spain has seen a drop to 22% of its normal visitor numbers this year. image: Twitter

SHOULD I stay or should I go now? Many expats in Spain are facing the tough question of whether to stick it out in Spain or move back home.

Like everybody else, expats in Spain are currently living through the biggest health and financial crisis since World War II, prompting the question: What would make you leave Spain?

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People from around the globe flock to Spain every year for the promise of eternal sunshine and an idillyic lifestyle. Many were lured here by the golden beaches, chilled Spanish outlook of ‘mañana’ and a desire to escape the hum-drum, 9–5 of the UK and Ireland. In this respect, Spain has certainly lived up to her side of the bargain; however, after hefty lockdown restrictions and whispers of worse still to come, people are wondering, what would be the final straw to push us to return home?

Locals in sunny Spain talk of the horror stories about how they’ve been furloughed, how they’ve had to close their businesses, how they are holding off one debtor so they can pay the minimum to another. But yet they’re still here.


It’s no secret that so many people are struggling to make ends meet. Hopes of a late summer tourist trade extending into autumn have been obliterated with Spain failing to meet requirements for green lists, and a long, quiet winter season is stretching ahead of us.

So why are people still here? People are broke despite working all the hours they can, and fellow expats are depressed. Starting sentences with “when COVID is over” is beginning to sound a lot like “when I win the lottery”.


People are still here, because despite the challenges, Spain continues to offer everything it promised. The reasons people left home in the first place are all still there – horrible weather, stressful job, the extortionate price of a pint. Before COVID brought the world to a standstill, Spain gave everyone a glimpse of what life could be like, and if they stand by her, they’ll surely see that Spain will deliver everything they hoped for.  Sure, expats still need to work hard, and bureaucracy is bureaucracy wherever you live. But would expats choose to swap tapas for the tube or beaches for Boris? Not a chance, think many will stay now.

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