WHO IS BarcelonaMan? BarcelonaMan - and known by other names as well - is a 40-year old United Statesen who first visited Spain in 1995 but made his first visit to Barcelona in 1999. WOW! What a city. I found it to be one of the most elegant, most interesting, & most beautiful cities in all the world. At the end of December 2005 I moved to Madrid, Spain and received my permanent residency a few months later. So I'm legal.
Born and raised in a small town in north central Ohio - a great midwestern state sharing a border with Canada - I avidly participated in sports (mostly football, baseball, and track) throughout my teenage years until the time came to attend The Ohio State University in the state's capital of Columbus. From there, in 1989, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Geology and immediately started working for an environmental consulting firm in Dayton, Ohio as a bonafied Geologist. Three years passed and I realized THIS was not what I was meant to do with my life; too much travel around the country, too much mud, too many potentially harmful/fatal contaminants, too many hours standing in knee deep snow for hours and hours in the winter and swatting wasps and mosquitoes in the hot summer.
Years went by and I had a number of jobs in Columbus, Ohio, most of which were computer-sales-related. In 1995 I made my first trip to Spain. There, I spent the majority of my one-month visit in Madrid but also made daytrips to Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, and other villages in central Spain. I WAS IN LOVE WITH SPAIN IMMEDIATELY!
Upon returning to my one bedroom apartment in Columbus, Ohio and becoming increasingly discontented with life in general I decided I needed a hobby. I asked myself, "How can I combine my new love for Madrid, Spain, travel, and computers?". Answering this question I came to start my first website on the burgeoning internet. And MadridMan.com was born. This was a great opportunity to do something productive with my spare time while learning about Madrid and all of Spain's jewels - including Barcelona!
More years passed, discontented and disenchanted with life and finally decided to TRY to use my geology degree once again. This brought me to a full time, secure job with Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency where I spent 9 years. This professional experience was, by far, my most meaningful job to date - until now.
I'd made about a dozen trips to Spain from 1995 until 2005 and couldn't stand ONLY living in Spain IN MY MIND so I got busy! After nearly 2 years of getting my papers prepared, translated, filed, and approved to MOVE TO SPAIN I FINALLY did it at the very end of December 2005. THANK GOODNESS! NOW I can finally live in the country which occupied my daydreams AND nightdreams for so long. WHO KNEW that someday the little-website-that-could might become a full-time job on its own accord.
I've only been living in Spain fulltime since the end of 2005 but I cherish everyday here, loving every minute while walking the streets and hearing Spanish spoken - as well as a number of other languages - and haven't regretted the permanent move for one moment. This was the best decision of my life. No more living in Spain only in my mind. Now it's my daily reality. I'm definitely staying forever.
So what do I do with my days now? Everyday I wake up, look out over the neighborhood terracotta rooftops from my balcony, smell the city air, and see people walking down the street to the metro or bus stop on their way to work. After this moment, after I thank my good graces for this dream-come-true, and after the smile leaves my face, I go to the kitchen and make some wonderful Spanish coffee and start my worday here at home, developing & maintaining a number of travel-and-tourism, Spain-focused websites - my fulltime job. Wow. I'm so fortunate.