Sarah: Barcelona Besotted
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Barcelona, etc.
I am an Australian who first came to Barcelona for a long weekend in June 2006, I stayed for 10 days. I then returned every summer after until I finally decided to move in October 2011.
My life is travel, hospitality and events. I have lived in both Melbourne and Sydney and always enjoy discovering a new location.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging last year when I moved here because I am besotted with this city and I have an ongoing infatuation. I am always seeing something I think is beautiful, fascinating, interesting or different and I wanted to capture and share these things.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
- ...it started with a kiss...
- ...because of most amazing pool deck in the city…
- ...because the Farmacia wraps pills like a present!…
- ...because I find pieces of Australia in random places…
- ...because of the breath taking beauty of the completed interior of the Sagrada Familia...
Tell us about the ways your new life in Barcelona differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I had been here many summers, so I knew what daily life involved. There are many things different in this culture but the most obvious and most dramatic is eating dinner at 10pm. Something that is inconceivable and impossible in Australia manages to function as norm here.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Barcelona? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was prepared because I had been here before. I knew what I was coming to and what to expect. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to learn more Spanish before I arrived.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
The best classic learning language faux pas when I was at the beach on a very hot day and craving an ice-cream, I went to the beach cafe to ask the guy behind the counter for a ‘Solero’ but instead asked him for a ‘soltero’ which in Spanish is a single man! I left with neither of those but a very red face!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Barcelona?
- Nothing happens in a hurry. This is part of the appeal of the Spanish life and can also be very frustrating.
- Network and ask people who have moved here for advice.
- Try to learn the language as there are many more opportunities for work and friendships if you speak some Spanish.
How is the expat community in Barcelona? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Barcelona has a big expat community. It is almost as if the city is divided into three parts: expats, Catalans, and tourists. Many expats are from Spanish speaking countries and once an expat I think that it is easy to meet others. I have found a great network of expats here and I think that is because so many people choose to come here because they love the city rather than move here because they have to.
How would you summarize your expat life in Barcelona in a single, catchy sentence?
It is a city that inspires the joy of living.