Real talk

Living in Barcelona for 6 months + What’s next?

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A few weeks before moving to Barcelona in May this year I got cold feet: Would I be able to pay the monthly rent? Was it really worth it to get my own place, even though I was travelling so much? Maybe this was all a really stupid idea? Now 6 months later, I can luckily look back and say without a doubt, that it was one of the best decisions I made this year.

Moving to Barcelona taught me that if you want something you can make it happen. If there is a nice apartment that you really want, you will somehow find a way to pay the rent. If there is a city that you feel drawn to you can figure out a way to move there. The only thing that is holding you back is fear and being comfortable.

People always say that you must step outside your comfort zone and I used to think I knew what this meant. However, when Alex and I decided to move to Barcelona without any support from our parents, without knowing anyone in the city or being able to speak a single word of Spanish, I first realized that I had actually never really left my comfort zone before. How do you know that you are actually stepping out of your comfort zone? You can tell by how fu**ing scared you are. Because being scared is the biggest indicator that you are stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Why did you move to Barcelona?

I got this question a lot. After quitting university in Cape Town (read about it here) I didn’t see much point in staying in Cape Town all year around, because you are so far away from everything and it is pretty hard to work there as a blogger. Alex had just finished his Master’s degree in Cape Town and he had always been wanting to move to Europe. Thus, we decided to move somewhere in Europe together. Now the only question was: where to? I didn’t want to stay in Germany, because I found little excitement there and I wanted a new experience. We were looking for a city with good weather, which was preferably close to the sea. Barcelona was a great match, because it is one of the only big cities in Europe that is right by the sea and that has a milder climate than Germany.

What is it like to live in Barcelona?

We only went for a 6 month lease for our apartment, because we wanted to see how we like the city, before making any long term plans. I really enjoyed living in Barcelona, because you have a city with lots of things happening, but at the same time you can escape to the beautiful Costa Brava in 1.5 hours. The city is full of expats, who move to Barcelona to study/live there for a few years. Thus, it is very easy to meet new people, because everyone is so open minded.  There are lots of creatives living and working in Barcelona, so Alex and I really felt at home, despite both of us not being able to speak a single word of Spanish.

What’s your plan now?

The 6 months in Barcelona have passed so quickly and I have mixed feelings about leaving. On one hand I am looking forward to the unknown and finding out where life will take me next, on the other hand I will miss Barcelona, because it has really started to feel like home. Next up, Alex and I will be spending a few weeks in Munich and then we are going back to CAPE TOWN. For how long, I don’t know yet. I definitely want to stay there for a few months, but after that I want to return to Europe. I would love to move back to Barcelona next year, but at the same time there are so many other cities e.g. London that I find intriguing. We will see. Oftentimes in the end nothing works out the way you planned it anyway, because the universe has better ideas for you 😉

 

sagrada familia jolie janine barcelona
arch gothic quarters jolie janine barcelona

barcelona balcony jolie janine barcelona

couple kissing kitchen

promenade barceloneta barcelona

w hotel barcelona

barcelona beach jolie janine

rooftop barcelona couple
mandarin oriental rooftop barcelona

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2 comments

Eva 29. October 2018 Reply

One should trust the universe. That like the one of the most reliable tips there are.

Right now I am trying to apply for a working visa for South Africa, which is quite tough. But why not trying. If it doesn’t work out something else will pop up.

I really enjoy reading your post. I like the way you see life and that you always trying out new things. Anxiety is normal especially if you leave the comfort zone. But what is the worst thing which could happen? That the expectations were too high and you don’t like it that much..well than you have always a place to go. Home!

So keep going. Never stop trying and encourages much girls as possible to step up and try new thing! 🙂

    Janine Jahnke 31. October 2018 Reply

    Thank you so much for your comment- it made me so happy! I am really trying to embrace uncertainty right now and see it as something positive instead of something scary.
    Also, I am wishing you good luck with you work visa- really hope everything will work out for you. Let me know how it goes 🙂
    Maybe I will see you in South Africa! xx Janine

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