It could be you – Barbara Swaan

13 November 2016 0 Comments Category: Barbara de Swaan, blog, Expats Interviews, Living in Spain

My name is Barbara, and I’m part of the Typical Non Spanish team. I came to Spain almost 16 years ago. I moved because since I was 5 years old I’ve had an emotional attachment with this country. I visited Mallorca with my parents and told them that I didn’t want to go back to the Netherlands, I was so happy and enjoyed that holiday tremendously.

All my life I’ve always had a connection with Spain and its culture, I already started Spanish lessons in high school, something quite unusual in the Netherlands. I came to Barcelona when I was a teenager and drank from the fountain on the famous Rambla to guarantee that I’d come back again. When I was in my teens I told everyone that I was going to move to Spain when I was older, it  was at that same time I also met my current husband. He too wanted to go and live in Spain: he also spoke quite a bit of Spanish and like me had a bond for the Spanish lifestyle.

I (can say that I) fell deeply in love with Spain in general and with Cataluña specifically; I wanted to learn as much of the language as I could, I was so passionate about the food, the weather and of course the people and the energy that this country gives you.
In December 2000 we decided to leave our house, our work and our country to move to Barcelona with nothing, just two cats, our bags and a big truck with all our stuff. The first year was hard sometimes, we started many jobs and lots many as well, but quickly I started my own business. With hard work and dedication I began to succeed and my husband found a great and steady job.
One of the things that we enjoy the most is the weather: you have more hours of light in the day. You work the same hours as everybody else, but when you leave the office there’s still sun so you can take a walk in the beautiful mountains of Barcelona, or you can go to the beach, or have a glass of wine by the end of the day on one of the great terraces.
If I had to travel right now to the Netherlands, I would take a good ‘Pata de jamón’ to share with my family and friends, and if I could bring something back to Spain it would be the charming houses they have over there.



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