33 Funny (and not-so-funny) Differences Between Spain and the US

People don’t put babies in pumpkins for clicks and giggles

Michael Thompson
9 min readJan 15, 2022


Last week my friend Anthony J. Yeung wrote a post about the little differences between Europe and the US.

As an American living in Spain for the last twelve years — who is still very much American in actions and spirit — it got me thinking about all the little funny, quirky, and sometimes not-so-funny things that separate life between these two countries and below is what I’ve got so far.

1. Babies are not put in pumpkins for Thanksgiving photos

And this isn’t only because people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s also because people don’t put their kids in pumpkins or bowls of pasta for clicks and giggles.

2. 21-year-old life coaches aren’t really a thing

Except for digital nomads which most Spanish people don’t really consider a thing as people have been traveling while working since the dawn of time. Most people (outside the US in general) prefer life stories over someone telling them how to live their life. Or, in most cases, not telling people how to live their lives at all which is kinda nice.

3. In Spain, when someone fails they move back in with their parents

In the US, however, they take their failures and position themselves as successful coaches, growth hackers, and viral bloggers which some people could consider ironic, or, at a minimum, questionable.

4. Side-hustles — smide bustles

This could just be because it’s expensive to be self-employed here (I pay the equivalent of $500 a month to invoice clients which is roughly a third of the average salary), but this whole movement of improving your life by locking yourself in your room after working eight hours a day doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. Content isn’t king and bloggers may exist, but they don’t position themselves as any smarter than anyone else which again is quite nice.

5. Talking about money is a good way to lose friends



Michael Thompson

Co-creator of two cool kids with an equally cool woman • Storytelling Coach •.Fast Co., Insider, Forbes • Free storytelling guide here: https://bit.ly/3h1KZeT