"The first time I was in Barcelona was for the interview. I wasn’t actively looking to move to Spain, it’s just the opportunity kind of came up to move to Barcelona so I jumped at it. It looked like a cool city. Maybe it was a bit of a risk, I don’t know…, just moving to a city that I know absolutely nothing about.
It was probably quite easy for me landing down in Spain because I had been brought out there and relocated by the company I work for. My first impressions of Barcelona were that it’s quite an easy city to get comfortable in because it’s such an international city. I spoke no Spanish before moving to Barcelona and that wasn’t much of a hindrance initially, but I then did have the support of my company.
Having lived here for nearly 3 years, my Spanish is quite poor for what it is. I have enough to get by, but I am nowhere near fluent and I’ll probably never be fluent in Spanish. All my social circles are English speaking. If I was to start all over again, I would definitely try to make a better effort to learn Spanish, maybe get myself a Spanish girlfriend. Of the people I work with, the people who became most integrated are those who have a Spanish partner or Catalan partner.
I feel comfortable in Barcelona but I don’t feel integrated into Spanish society. I feel on the periphery of Spanish society, your kind of that foreigner or foreigner group, but I don’t have any intention to leave in the near future.
I don’t miss a massive amount in Ireland. I had been living in London for a year before that so I had already got used to living away. Friends and family: you kind of miss that, but I’m only living in Spain and it’s only a two and a half hour flight back, so it’s not that difficult for me."