Looking back at 2015… the year of change… and into the beginning of 2016

So let’s see, this is in order – I worked for 1 travel agency, visited Washington DC for the first time as an adult, turned 40 and got a room at the Delano in Vegas, traveled in the summer to – Poland – saw AC/DC in concert, Denmark, Germany – went to a wedding, France – went to Disneyland Paris, Italy, Spain, and Croatia – went to Ultra Music Festival, worked for the biggest wine retailer in the USA, traveled by train 27 hours up the west coast of the USA from Los Angeles to visit my family in Issaquah, Washington, sold everything I owned and left for Spain, visited Norway, Svalbard(part of Norway),  saw the Northern Lights, went dog sledding, climbed up a Fjord, drank mulled wine, ate rabbit, got my first overseas haircut, celebrated my first New Years Eve in Europe, met more incredible people,…..hmmm, what did I leave out? God knows and maybe later on I will as well.

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Mom and I at Snoqualmie Falls

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Oh and did I mention, I came to Spain, found out the only Visa I could get while in the EU was in Germany? I flew to Germany twice in 0C temps and acquired my 2 year Freelance Visa? Oh Yeah I did! Talk about never giving up! I mean I am not at all the success story that trumps all but I did what I sent out to do and yes, against all odds. So adding on to the above adventures, I saw and touched the Berlin Wall, went to the top of the TV Tower, saw the new Berlin/Brandenburg airport which will open in 2017( will take 33 million travelers per year). Now I am starting an incredible wine and beer tasting company in Barcelona and I intent to stay.

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Now I am ready to kick some ass in Spain. For the last 4 years I have dreamed of moving abroad and living a better life. Arriving back in Barcelona feels like home. I can honestly say that.

I do miss my family – Mom and Gary, Dad and Diana, Gina and Troy and my little buddy nephew Axel 🙂 , I love you all and I promise to come and visit as soon as I can. For now I must follow my dream and complete something in my life. I will be adding a bucket list menu soon. I have done and seen a lot in my life and want to share it all.

In my last post I had just moved to Barca. Lo siento it has taken so long for me to write again. Honestly I went through a lot – trying to waiver my options to legally stay in EU or Schengen Zone. I never want to be an illegal no matter how stupidly easy it is. If I get banned from the Schengen Zone that is an end to a dream…. NO WAY JOSE!

So I did the 2 week stint and went to Berlin to get my Freelance Visa that allows me to stay in Schengen Zone for 2 years. I will pay taxes in Germany if I earn money living there but I can live anywhere in the Schengen Zone.  The EU is a fun place and if you are single with no kids or married or whatever, I hope that you live in Europe for a few years to see that the world is an interesting and amazing place. You will never know this if you live in the same country for your entire life. I hope to someday own a condo in Asia and the Caribbean or a sailboat – perfect winter holiday locations. Work 6-7 months of the year and holiday the rest? Really? My dream!

My last few months living in the USA were very important as I was able to check more off my bucket list with Stacie Matsunaga @ http://www.staciethemats.com. We went to the Grand Canyon but they wouldn’t let us take Stacie’s car as they wanted to put us on a tour bus for $70 so we decided to BBQ in the parking lot. I had brought my portable BBQ. I cooked hot dogs with all of the fixins.

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I also had to give up my beautiful dog Marley whom I still think about. She was the best dog a guy can ask for. I love you Marley!

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As I settle into Barcelona, life is wonderful. I do miss many people and a dog back in the USA and that is part of life. Nothing is forever even cold November Rain as Axl Rose said and soon my nephew Axel Hendricks will say the same.

My move to Barcelona has been quite the journey so far. I have lived in 3 hotels, 1 airbnb, rented a room through a friend, stayed with my good friends Laura and Vito and finally moved into a permanent room with a fun couple who are expecting a baby in 2 months. The husband is a futbal player from Senegal and the wife is from Argentina. I was blessed to have found such open and relaxed people to share a flat with. For those reading this that live in Europe, you call it a flat, in the USA people call it an apartment. It means the same to a point. In Europe you rent a room or a flat from a private owner whom owns the flat. In the USA most flats are owned by a commercial company. This can be a good thing in a way as they will fix and replace broken items and appliances that come with the flat. Yes, we have all had some issues at times with this but it is part of the contract so they fix the broken stuff.

Living with Laura and Vito was so cool. Castelldefels is a real beach town similar to Southern California. Small cafes and bars and the long sand beaches.WP_20160306_16_23_29_Pro

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It also reminds me a lot of Panama beaches. I do like the long beaches as to me they hold some sort of soul to them. Barcelona beaches are nice but they are not natural as they were made by man. When the port was built, so were the beaches.

Life has been easy and difficult at the same time. I miss my family and friends a lot. I did have a moment while in Berlin that I asked myself “what am I doing? I could move back home to the US.” Thank God that faded away and my drive for life took over. I’m not sure that I have ever heard the words “I believe you can do this”  from more than 2 people and I have heard “I don’t think this will work” from someone here in Barca. But I basically, in all honesty hear the words “JUST BRING IT!” come to my head. If you tell me it cannot be done than I will tell you that it can.

This is the first year in 6 years that I have not been to the Caribbean in the winter. Now most of you will say boo hoo and that is understood. hhhmmm. but not so much. You see, we all make decisions and I believe that if you want to live your life than do it. Never let some corporation or another human being tell you NO! REALLY! They are not your master or your parent.

Now we don’t all have to agree. Did you know in Germany the woman receives 1 year off of work for maternity leave and everyone gets 5 weeks of holiday time? Ask yourself why isn’t that everywhere? Well, survey says people in the US would rather work than take holiday. WHO IS SO OBSESSED TO NOT TAKE THE GIVEN HOLIDAY? YOU NEED TREATMENT!

Life is not about the past or what you think will happen in the future – it’s all about the ride!

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Jamon and queso is still cheap here and so is the vino.

My new wine and beer class/tasting is opening in 1 week. Come join the group for 6 select wines and learn about them from a Sommelier while being paired with local hams and cheeses. After that we stroll down through historic Gotico to the marina to end the day with a 4 craft beer tasting and tour at Black Lab Brewery. You can also check out www.bcnwineandbeerexp.com for more info and tickets. The Barcelona Wine and Beer Experience is a one of a kind event.

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Visit my website or email me at daniel@bcnwineandbeerexp.com for more info.

This summer is going to be amazing with the hundreds of festivalsand endless beaches to lay on, you will never be bored. Come visit Europe and the Med.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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