I am 25 and I moved from Denmark to Barcelona a year ago. This attractive city is a great option for many of us. We come to Barcelona for work, internship or study reasons. In my case, I decided to take my internship here and after that I decided to stay. In this article I would like to share with you the reasons why I decided to stay here and the process to take that decision.
And to do so, I can easily differentiate three different stages about my stay in this vibrant Mediterranean city during the past year.
5 senses activated
This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about my first months in Barcelona. I can affirm that it is a city that inspires you. It has something. And this is something different for each person.
For me, it was the summer vibes. As I arrived in July 2016, I could quickly feel this atmosphere. I was going to the beach right after work, 10 minutes walking. I was enjoying tasty food for a very good price and trying different and delicious drinks.
I really had the feeling that my 5 senses were discovering new things every day, and as we all know, that is always a pleasant feeling.
Also very important the fact that most of the events happening in Barcelona are concentrated during the summer. Barcelona Beach Festival, Sonar, Palo Alto Market, Open Air cinema at Mont Juic, a barbacue at a friend’s rooftop, Seafood dinners, Mexican restaurants (or Japanese / Lebanese / Vietnamese / Italian / Portuguese / Brazilian / French … well, most of the nationalities included)
Also important to mention that you need to get lost at the Gothic Quarter, such an adventure.
Hola Barcelona, I am nice to meet you
After the first 3-4 months living here, you start to realize that it still feels like if you just have arrived. It is a big city, and it is not enough only a few months to really have the feeling that you know it.
What I do remember about these months is the idea of finding your own routine between many different options. My internship had finished and I was then working full-time. I had found a stable job and now it was time to choose how to spend my time.
We are speaking about November. Almost winter in Spain which means that it is not extremely cold, but the beach is closed until next summer (unless you are a real Viking and you dare to swim at this period). However, the fact of living by the sea has always positive impact in your life. Even when you cannot swim, you can still go and drink something with a friend looking at the sea. I still do not know a person feeling stress by doing this but rather the opposite. It calms you and it brings you peace (Y)
As I was saying, time to find new activities according to the weather and new time schedules. Another advantage of living in a big city is that you can find almost everything. Imagine you wake up one day and you feel like giving a try to Brazilian Jujitsu but you can only do it at Wednesdays, speaking English and nearby your place. You will find a group on FB, someone who also wants to do it or even a community or a website dedicated to it. There are options for almost everything.
I personally tried street photography; Portuguese lessons; hiking at Montserrat and Montseny; visiting towns and cities around as Girona, Tarragona, Zaragoza or even Montpellier crossing the French border.
A year later
Normally after a year people here start to wonder if they want to stay or they want to move somewhere else and this also happened to me.
From my experience, I see a lot of opportunities for people coming from abroad here, even if you do not speak Spanish or Catalan, although everything is easier when you learn it. Big companies, and small-medium start-ups are constantly looking for new talent and motivated people to join their teams. I’ve chosen this path and now I live & work in Barcelona. I ride my bike 15 min every weekend to go to the beach and I am now able to orient myself in the Gothic Quarter.
Barcelona is a big city influenced by the beach style and the nature. International people and always new and original things to do and places to visit. Every day a surprise. In my case, and as for so many other, I can say I am enjoying life here.