It Could Be You – Claire Barrowman

7 July 2016 2 Comments Category: blog, Living in Spain

My name is Claire Barrowman and I moved to Spain six years ago to work for a Spanish oil company. I was born in London but I lived in Spain as a teenager with my family. My best friends were made during that time, and even though only one of them was still living in Madrid I thought that coming back would be easy. It was a little bit harder than I was expecting though especially as my Spanish was pretty basic. In those first weeks there were quite a few failed telephone conversations with potential landlords who had no idea what I was saying.

Luckily things soon improved for me, I met my husband here (he’s Spanish) and we had a beautiful baby together a few months ago. Spain is a brilliant country in which to bring up children. It feels really safe and people love children here; it’s almost impossible to walk down the street without someone stopping you to comment on how cute your baby is, and we feel like we can take her to nearly any bar or restaurant without anyone really minding.

It took me a while to learn the language but once I properly committed and actually put some effort in I improved quite quickly, although I still feel shy speaking to people! Luckily I have very understanding in-laws and friends who seem to more or less get what I’m saying most of the time.

My favourite city definitely has to be Madrid as I have so many happy memories here. My husband and I got married right in the centre a few hundred meters away from Sol, and it’s also the city where my daughter was born. I love that it’s a major city and yet you can still walk more or less everywhere and you often randomly run in to people that you know. It’s also pretty amazing to be able to sit in a terraza with a glass of wine for a large portion of the year, and to be able to lie in bed with the windows open listening to the swifts singing.

There are tons of great things about Spanish culture. I think one of the most important is that people here tend to be really close to their families, it’s quite normal for 30+ year olds to talk to their parents every day and I really hope that I will have a relationship like that with my children in the future.


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