“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison
I am sure you have heard the quote above. I admire people who go for the life they want. It is not for everyone and it’s risky, it is so much easier to settle. And so much less rewarding. I wanted to find out from Jamie how he ended in Barcelona and why. So let’s find out together…in his unedited replies..
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Jamie and I’m from Reading, a large town outside of London. Ever since leaving college 14 year ago, I’ve always been in the finance industry. Starting off small and working my way up. I have worked for companies such as Prudential, Google and then more recently I found myself in the online gaming industry as a Risk Analysis. This gave me plenty of opportunities to travel and as such I have lived in Dublin, Gibraltar and the south of Spain.
Two years ago I got itchy feet and decided to leave the finance industry and follow my passion. I trained and qualified as a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, and decided to move to Barcelona and work for myself.
How did you end up in Barcelona of all places?
Barcelona is my favorite city in the world, so it was a no brainer to see if it was possible to be based here. The climate is perfect for training outdoors (which is what I now specialise in), and so I moved here 2014.
What is the best and worst about Barcelona for you…what is a typical day and weekend??
Not being able to speak much Spanish, it was a real challenge for myself to move here, however I am taking lessons and slowing improving. Apart from that I can’t really fault Barcelona. Thankfully most of my current clients are expats who speak English, so while it’s been difficult finding them, most of them have now been with me since I started a year ago.
How do you find the lifestyle in Barcelona compared to your hometown in the UK?
The lifestyle in Barcelona is second to none. It has everything London has, but on a smaller scale, with better weather and we have some beautiful beaches close by. The cost of living is far lower in here too compared to London.
How do you make your living now – and how would you like to develop that career?
I’m a Personal Trainer and I train clients one on one or one on two. At the moment we do most of our training outside, although in the future I’d like to expand and eventually set up my own training studio.
Do you see the differences between nationalities easily – yours vs. Americans vs. other Europeans?
Barcelona is very diverse, and my clients are from all walks of life. Currently I have clients from Spain, the UK, France, Italy, Venezuela, Jordan, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and Russia. Everybody is completely different which is why I love doing what I do.
What do you miss the most – and the least from your own country?
The only thing I miss from the UK is my friends and family. However, being in Barcelona I am never short of visitors. The ‘red tape’ and bureaucracy in Spain means everything takes a long time to complete, however you soon get used to it.
Knowing more about life and having lived with your decisions for a while (like work) – would you still choose to be there and why? Why not..
I wouldn’t change living in Barcelona for the world, it’s an amazing place and very central in Europe too, so easy to explore or get away for the weekend if I want to. Recently there has been a lot of press about Catalonia breaking away from Spain, I hope this doesn’t happen as I can’t really see any good coming out of it.
What cafes or restaurants do you recommend to tourists to go to in Barcelona and why? Or to do something else.
There is a great coffee shop called Federal in Gotic where you can watch the world go by. Make sure to try their cakes, they are pretty good!
What would be your ideal life – with no monetary issues to make it happen!
I love passing on my passion for health and fitness, so I would love to have my own training studios around Europe. I’d employ only those with the same passion and work ethos as mine and we’d work hard to get Europe fit!
Anything else you would like sharing with us?
If you are based in Barcelona and would like to start training, or even if you are visiting and want to try something new, be sure to look me up!
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