For me it all started 3 years ago when 2 seemingly unrelated events took place that have lead to this point in my life. I started taking Spanish lessons and I accepted a job working for a big software company in Vancouver.
I’ve always had an obsession with languages, seeing foreign travellers come to Canada and so easily switch between English and their first language always amazed me.
Since French is our second language I thought at some point I would take the time to learn it properly but it just didn’t fit, it didn’t feel natural to me. Something about the Spanish language and culture always seemed much more exotic, and from my very first lesson I fell in love with it.
Up until that point in my life I was relatively untravelled, I grew up in a small town and taking a new job on the west coast was a huge deal for me. The job itself was a big step up, a bigger fancier title, more money, and much more responsibility. I had visions of working from coffee shops in Vancouver and being able to travel to exotic locations for a month at a time all while continuing to rake in this new increased salary. It all sounded perfect, and when I first arrived in Vancouver, it really felt like I was fulfilling a dream.
But then reality set in, I was constantly on call, working 10 hour days including most evenings and weekends. I rarely found the time to work from anywhere other than my apartment, it always seemed easier to just stay at my desk where I had a big monitor, solid wifi, and a phone near by. Even though Vancouver is an amazing city, paying $1500 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment with a desk in the living room wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
In Sept of 2011 I decided I’d had enough. I worked enough over time to bank 2 extra weeks vacation on top of the 3 weeks I’m given each year. Myself and 2 friends decided we were going to backpack across Europe and only stay 3 days in each place. Amsterdam, London, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Interlaken, it was going to be a whirlwind of cities ending in Barcelona for the final 2 weeks. It was a pretty ambitious plan for only 5 weeks so I came up with a scheme to get an extra week. We could do the majority of the travelling in 4 weeks, then after the 1st week in Barcelona I’d call my boss and tell him I missed my flight and since I work from home anyway, it would be easier for me to work from there and I’d find another flight home the following weekend. It actually worked out exactly as planned but there was 1 problem, I wasn’t satisfied, 6 weeks wasn’t long enough, and I hated the fact that I had to lie to get the extra week.
y travels throughout Europe were amazing but being able to speak my broken Spanish for the 2 weeks in Barcelona was all it took for me to be hooked on Spain. So for the last year I have been saving as much money as possible, continuing with my Spanish lessons, and this Sept I will leave my job to return to Barcelona to pursue my ultimate dream.
Living in this exotic land and attempting to learn Spanish to fluency. Since Barcelona was the city that firmly implanted this idea I think it’s only fitting that I start there, but I plan to fully explore all of Spain and more areas of Europe as well. So for now, the count down is on, 4 more weeks.