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Packing for Winter in Madrid

When I made the decision to move across the Atlantic ocean to Spain, there were some things I knew I would miss, like large breakfasts, bagels, and Target. But there were also a lot of things I was looking forward to leaving behind, such as rain, snow and freezing temperatures.

Unfortunately, it turns out my perception of Spain as a sunny vacation destination was slightly exaggerated. While summer may be swelteringly hot, it does not last all year and its residents are not exempt from braving through other kinds of weather conditions.

Not only have I been caught out in the rain more times than I’d like, but there have been a couple of occasions when I simply stared up at the sky in shock as white, fluffy flakes of snow came falling down. I’ve woken up on countless December, January, and February mornings to freezing temperatures, and spent a lot of time next to a radiator trying to warm up by numb fingers and toes.

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So, if you’re planning on living in Spain anytime from November through March, here’s a list of essentials to bring:

  • Umbrella
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain boots (or waterproof shoes)
  • Winter jacket
  • Earmuffs, scarf, and/or hat
  • Thick socks
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters/cardigans

Of course, don’t let my melodrama scare you away! A Spanish winter is still one million times better than a New England one. There’s no need for heavy snow boots and on average temperatures are much, much warmer. I’d take that over being buried in several inches of snow any day of the year.

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