Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a ‘Share the Wanderlust’ article because again, I’ve been a very bad blogger. But today’s ‘wanderluster’ is someone who I actually met through Instagram who has an amazing story that I just had to share.
Reading through her answers had me feeling all inspired and motivated. To travel more. To take more risks and leaps of faith. To go after the things you want, even if friends and family are sceptical. But more importantly, to always believe and trust in yourself.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it, and hopefully it inspires you to book that plane ticket you’ve thinking about or to take that road trip you and your friends have been meaning to do since high school.
1. Firstly, for those that aren’t currently following the Wee Wanderer, tell us a bit about yourself and the blog?
Hello lovelies, I’m The Wee Wanderer and I grew up in Scotland! However I now live in Spain, Barcelona to be exact! My blog just turned 6 months old so it is still a baby but I’m so happy to share it with you!
During my time in Spain I discovered a love of travelling – being in mainland Europe has offered me so many more opportunities for easy, affordable travel including interrail travel, weekend city breaks, even 30 minute flights to wonderful places like Ibiza! Whilst I was travelling around all these places I always had a camera in my hand, I have always been like this since I was about 10 years old, so I thought why not use my photos for good – to help other people when choosing a new destination to visit, giving advice on what they must not miss and where they should try some local food and drink and this is how The Wee Wanderer Blog was born!!
I must say, there are SO many incredible travel bloggers out there who do it full time, but for me it is a side hobby as I am a teacher by day and this is my main focus during term time. I would absolutely love to travel more and even full time one day, but being a teacher we do get pretty amazing holidays during the year so at the moment I am trying to use them as much as I can to do my travelling. When i started I must also tell you that I did not realise how much work goes into blogging! Each blog post takes hours to write but I do feel so proud when each one is finished and i love seeing when people read them and they really find them useful – it makes it all worthwhile!
2. A 6 month trip to Spain has turned into 5 years. So how did you end up in Barcelona? And, what made you originally choose Spain and why?
Haha this is true! I actually went to Spain for 6 months straight out of University, I had a contract starting in Scotland 6 months later so I knew I couldn’t stay longer and I suppose that’s partly why I loved it so much! I lived my time in Madrid, Spain to the fullest! I made lifelong friends, met my wonderful boyfriend, got a wonderful job, got a great flat and fell in love with the city of Madrid. After my contract finished I had to return to Spain for more & chose Barcelona this time – mainly for the climate and the beach! I am now in my 5th year here and I cannot believe it – they do say time flies when you’re having fun!
3. Describe Barcelona in one sentence.
Barcelona is lively, original, colourful, energetic, strong, magical.
4. If Spain didn’t work out, what country or city was your backup choice and why?
I have always wanted to go to Australia, especially as a teacher as I think there are great opportunities over there. I didn’t make it, as you know but would still love to visit someday. I will have to ask your advice when I do go!
5. For those of us wanderlusters and wanderers looking to make a change or take a leap and move overseas, what advice or tips would you give them?
I would say – JUST GO FOR IT!!!
When I was looking into going away I listened to skeptical colleagues, I reassured my family that I would be ok, I tried to convince some friends to come with me, but in the end I was brave and booked my one way flight on my own and it was the best thing I ever did! Don’t get me wrong, there were tears within the first week, but the happiness, proudness and good times outweigh those nervous tears. It’s never going to be easy to do something on your own for the first time and even full time travel bloggers have hard times behind all those perfect photos, but it is so rewarding and I would recommend it 100%!
The big move was a bit of a risk – on my own, with no job lined up, or accommodation booked longer than a week in a city I had never been to before, but it definitively paid off for me! If you are nervous, try to line up a job before you move. I did this when we moved to Barcelona, as it was a more permanent move. I felt much better having my job secured, and it was then easier to find a flat in the right location. But of course it depends if you are making a permanent move or going travelling. My one way ticket to Madrid and my interrail tickets were the best things I have ever bought!
6. What has been the hardest thing about moving to a foreign country?
For me, the first thing was not knowing the language. This is a common thing I’m sure you’ve found if you are travelling to a foreign country. As I have learned over the past few years, learning a language is difficult and takes a lot of time, effort and pushes you out of your comfort zone. I would advise learning a few useful words and phrases before you go – people really appreciate you making an effort!
The second and most difficult is missing family and friends! When you are away from home you miss so many day to day things and there are definitely times when it is more difficult than others. But luckily, with things like whatsapp, skype and facetime your loved ones are not as far away as you may feel. Just remember why you are where you are, and try to make your choices for you!
7. On the contrary, what has been some of the highlights of moving?
A wonderful sense of independence and pride, that I came to a country alone and now years later I have an amazing boyfriend, wonderful friends from different countries all over the world, a job that I love and a flat in one of the most exciting cities in Europe!
8. If you could choose another destination to live in next, where would it be?
This is so difficult to answer because there are so many destinations I would love to explore and possibly live! I would still love to travel to Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South America, North America, Canada, Africa. Honestly so many places.
9. Best traveling experience/adventure and why?
My best travelling experience was 100% when I travelled by train round Europe for two months! It was my first experience of travelling and only fuelled my fire to want to explore more of this world! We explored 13 new locations in 8 different countries and it was so eye opening! We did so many walking tours and I honestly learned so much about the history of each place and I found it so interesting!
Andy Warhol exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.
10. Worst traveling experience/adventure and why?
Haha – this is a bit of a funny one. So whilst on holiday in beautiful Sardinia we were visiting a Caribbean-like beach, which had an island in the distance. It looked so cool and not too far so we decided to swim out to explore it further. The water was so clear – what could go wrong?
Ha! Well the water was so clear until we were nearly at the island, when it suddenly became black, dark and misty. Unknown to us, the seabed was absolutely covered in sea urchins! Spicky little fellas! By this point we were too tired to swim back and so the only answer was to go through them! We both ended up with Sea Urchin spikes in our feet for weeks afterwards!! Not advisable! haha After weeks of trying and a few old maids tales we finally got them out – I think with vinegar in the end! At least, with these experiences come great stories to tell!
11. Top 3 bucket list places?
- Greek Islands – Santorini, Mykonos
- The beaches of Southeast Asia
If you’d like to read more Share the Wanderlust features, click here.