I didn't just choose to move to Barcelona out of the blue - there was no glamorous waving of the finger over a world map or arriving with my cat in one hand & a cigarette in the other a la Holly Golightly. Since I had to move back to Europe from the US for visa reasons, I decided that because of the current financial climate, it would be easier to go freelance vs look for work; if I was to work for a multinational again, that would limit where I could live (London, Luxembourg & Dublin... grey, grey, grey) and I wanted to live somewhere where:
- the lifestyle is "work to live vs live to work"
- I have close friends
- there is a good climate
- where life is affordable (a prerequisite when starting up as a freelancer)
On the day I decided I had to leave the US, I contacted a few friends in different cities to see if any knew of any apartments for rent - my friend Lali from Barcelona (Lali & I went to university together in Switzerland) immediately replied saying her family rented apartments in the building she lived in! Within two hours I booked my flight! I lived in Barcelona from '99 to '03 so I know the city well. I immediately told my friends MamaKikoy and PapaKikoy (some of my friends will have nicknames on this blog - I went to boarding school in Switzerland with MamaKikoy, and PapaKikoy is her lovely hubby) that in a month's time I was moving to Barcelona and that was that.
Barcelona is a great city and I am glad I chose it as a landing spot. It has changed a lot since 2003, there are a lot of tourists now and with that comes an Apple Store and a few Starbucks (not on every corner like in Seattle) but it is good to see the city thrive with locally owned bars, shops, restaurants and cafes. It is also a city where foreigners come to live and not just vacation - I need to live in an international city, which Seattle was not. I've only been here for a month and a half but it already feels right.