Leo, a cheerful UX Designer from Brazil, was working in Rio de Janeiro when we contacted him for a UX opportunity in Barcelona. It was only last June when we first spoke and in August he was already working for one of the biggest European e-commerce companies located in Barcelona. Here's his story.
How was the process of moving from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona?
Everything went welll but I took more time that I was expecting to find a place to live. Barcelona is a very popular destination in the summer, the period that I arrived here. However it was a nice period to stay in a hostel and know a lot of people there.
As an expat how much do you feel at home in the city?
Well, I think Barcelona is one of the best places to expats because we are a lot here. I know more people from other countries than Spanishes. For example, I have some neighbours from Peru, Mexico, Portugal and the USA and, counting only my work team, people from almost ten countries. So I feel very comfortable and the Catalans are great people. And speaking Portuguese, it is not so difficult to understand Spanish or Catalan.
Are you able to make the most of your spare time? What activities do you like doing in Barcelona?
In the beginning, maybe because of the summer and the autumn, I was doing more outdoor activities that is one of the things that I love to do. I went a lot to the beach, played beach volley and swam a lot in the summer. Nowadays I am usually riding bicycle, travelling to closer cities, visiting museums and going for a run sometimes - I ran the Barcelona Half Marathon last month! There are many cultural events and concerts here that I am going at least twice a month.
What still surprises you about Barcelona?
The architecture, the people habits, a new corner that i didn't know before, the people that came to live here, the colours of the sky… Everyday I find something new or look to something that I saw before in a different way.
What tips and advice would you give someone who's moving to Barcelona?
Relax and don’t hesitate to come to live in Barcelona! The city is fantastic! It is important to do a research about the city and the country before, mainly the cost of living here. A plenty of things are very different from Brazil and you will need some months to be adapted. Depending of the period of the year, you might need some time to find an apartment so be prepared. And keep your mind open to a new culture and an easy-going way of life here. It is a good challenge!