Diana is a Bulgarian Product Owner, who recently joined e-commerce company based in Barcelona. Even though she has never been to Spain before, she decided to make a move and move abroad. You can read about her experience with relocation and life in Barcelona below.
How was the process of moving from Bulgaria to Spain?
It was challenging but went smoothly. One of the hardest parts at the beginning was finding an apartment to rent when I didn't know the city and the language at all. It was great to have Ewelina (from Nederlia, who approach me on LinekedIn) to guide me through every step of the process and help me with Spanish all the time. The tips and links I got from the guys at Nederlia (Ewelina and Claude) were super helpful in choosing my neighborhood and apartment. It was great to have not just recruiters but real friends to talk to while making all these decisions and dealing with so many unknowns. I was also very lucky to have the HR department of my new company (eDreams ODIGEO) give me precise instructions on how to get my NIE, SSN and city council registration. Now I really enjoy my choices and look forward to knowing my new city better :)
As an expat do you feel well integrated in the city?
I've only been living here for about a month and sometimes I happen to forget that I'm a foreigner. Natives are very friendly and culture is not so different from Bulgarian. I've met many people who moved to live and work in Barcelona just like me, so I don't feel alone in my mission to integrate better. My company provides Spanish classes, even if our professional language is English, which helps a lot too. I was also well prepared in advance by Nederlia for some of the local happenings and habits. The city itself is quite international and diverse and I've found many interesting events that help me socialise better with native people.
Do you think you can take advantage of your spare time? What activities you like doing?
Yes, there is plenty to do in my spare time. My preferred activities are jogging, swimming and snowboarding. Of course I enjoy just hanging out with friends, having fun, clubbing and dancing. Fortunately all of this isn't hard to find in Barcelona at all. I was happy to discover all the nice bars in El Born and Gothic and meeting new people is just as easy as walking in the narrow streets of the Old City. I also love the sea- whether swimming or just walking on the beach, it energises me a ton. The food is marvellous, I've had some some great tapas and a lot of fresh fish.I find Mediterranean life style very charming and delightful as a whole and I just enjoy exploring it.
What does still surprise you about Barcelona?
Its diversity combined with its identity. There is such a great variety of places like districts, neighborhoods, relief, infrastructure, architecture, events, etc and yet each one is unique and has its own history and character. It must be really hard to get bored around here :)
What would you suggest to someone whou would be moving to Barcelona?
Don't overthink it. Things happen nice and easy even if you've never been to Spain and don't know Spanish like me. And don't bring much with you. You'll find it here:)