Time flies, but not memories
Busy with what’s going on in everyday life, I sometimes forget that it has already been five months since I left Barcelona and moved back to Austria. Reality back home catches up with you so fast that you barely notice the time passing by. But then again, the memories of my life in Spain are with me wherever I go – and not only noticeable in my flat where a big picture of the Barcelona skyline shows the city in which I used to live.
Yet, it’s exactly this picture that sometimes makes me stop in my tracks and think back – back to that summer in 2017 when I tried to put my life into boxes, ready for a fresh start and looking forward to new challenges. Much has happened since then, since I decided to move the center of my life to the city of Gaudí. And for the Austrians among you – yes, my time there was a lot of Gaudi :-)
This chapter of my life, however, didn’t start in summer 2017 but some time earlier. Having already spent several months in Barcelona for work, the final decision to move there was an easy one – what more surprises could there be? None, I thought. Trust me when I say, I was definitely proven wrong.
However, while adapting to the Spanish way of life step by step, I also got settled in my new home, in walking distance to the famous Sagrada Familia. And let me tell you, leaving the house in the morning for work, the sight of the famous church in the morning sun is breathtaking.
Also, part of my settling in was buying a scooter and getting around the city with it. In a city as big as Barcelona, a scooter gives you a much needed flexibility. But one thing that comes with driving a scooter in Barcelona is managing the crazy traffic. Obviously, I could adapt to the traffic but it still got my heart racing many times.
When looking at the skyline of Barcelona on my wall, I‘m not only thinking about those first struggles or some life or death situations on my scooter. I‘m also remembering the people I‘ve met, the memories we’ve made together and the places I‘ve got the chance to visit. Because no matter where on earth you are, it always comes down to that: the people you spend time with and the memories you make together.
But first things first. Wanting to build a network in Barcelona also outside of my work life, I joined an expat organization. By going to a few of their events, I soon got to know people from all over the world. Some of them became really close friends and we spent our free time together, travelled and enjoyed life in Barcelona. Together, we discovered the beauty of Spanish architecture, fell in love with the breathtaking landscapes of Spain, enjoyed the country’s cuisine, turned nights into days and just made some great memories :)
Yet, not only my leisure time was exciting, also at work I got the chance to get to know many people, learn a lot and grow in many ways. At TGW Ibérica I worked as an Applications Engineer and was involved in many exciting and challenging projects. My colleagues welcomed me with open arms and made my stay all the more enjoyable. Also, thanks to them and their persistent ignorance of me preferring to speak English, I can now say: gracias por todo, por todas las horas trabajando lado al lado riéndonos y aprendiendo juntos y por incluirme tanto en el equipo.
So even if I am often tangled up in every day’s hassle, feeling like this experience was somehow in another life far away from now, I will always keep remembering those times in Barcelona and my work at TGW Ibérica. Not only because of that picture on my wall – it’s because of the many ways this experience has changed me, both professionally and personally.