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My WFA Adventure in Barcelona

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Barcelona is a beautiful city full of amazing sights.

It is also the capital city of Spain’s autonomous Catalonia region and is known for its art and architecture. 

I arrived in Barcelona in June 2022 after spending eight days with my children in Germany because my youngest was starting a study abroad program.

It was a solo trip and I was determined to see as much as I could between meetings and preparing client deliverables.

This is one of those trips when I would have preferred to be on vacation so I could visit a few museums, enjoy more time at the beach, and simply people watch as I stroll along the avenues.

I stayed at a cozy, clean, and spacious aparthotel in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasí neighborhood in the northwestern corner of Barcelona. 

As I usually do, I placed my luggage in my room and off I went to the nearest supermarket. I always visit a supermarket when I arrive in a city for four reasons: (1) I have food allergies and follow a strict diet, (2) it’s a great way to get to know my surroundings, (3) I get to see and compare the cost of food, (4) it allows me to prepare basic meals and save money.

Client work completed in Barcelona

Since I'm highlighting my work from anywhere experience in Barcelona, here is a brief overview of some of the client work I did while I was there:

  1. Helped a client manage the requirements of its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
  2. Hosted a monthly meeting with a client and their subawardees to discuss a TANF grant
  3. Prepared a monthly financial report that is always due on the 15th
  4. Hosted a meeting with a prospective client (she later signed on in August for a five-figure engagement).

Exploring the sights and sounds of Barcelona 

I enjoy exploring independent cafés in the US and in every country I visit. Every morning I went (Google Translate at the ready) to Bopan Forners Artesans, a beautiful bakery café, to enjoy a cup of café con leche de avena (coffee with oatmilk) before going back to my room to work.

 

 

One of my first stops was to the world famous La Sagrada Familia. It is the largest unfinished church in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and rated as Europe’s top must-visit attraction.  

 

 

Another destination on my must-do list was Park Güell. Park Güell is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona. It is a park system composed of elaborate architectural elements designed by Antoni Gaudí from 1900 to 1914 for Eusebi Güell. 

 

 

 

I walked for about two miles from my hotel to enjoy the many quaint shops and eateries along Carrer Verdi in the Gràcia district. It was there that I picked up adorable, recycled leather bags for my daughters.

 

I also had a chance to briefly visit Casa Battló on the famous Paseo de Gracia. It is a building that was redesigned by Antoni Gaudí between 1904 and 1906 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 

I’m a bit of an urban planning observer so catching the train to see how its public transportation serves the population was a must-do.

 

I also had to visit at least one beach so I went to the famous Barceloneta Beach. I strolled along the promenade, enjoyed a meal in one of the many beachfront restaurants, danced at the Lost and Found Market Festival located right on the beach, and purchased a gift for my mother. I regret not walking to the water line to put my feet in the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

The two things I regret from my trip to Barcelona are not staying longer and not enjoying at least one museum.

I am aware of Spain's complicated history, including recent history, of its treatment of Africans and African migrants. I am also keenly aware of my presence--my Black female presence--in European countries. However, I still try my best to observe and appreciate the culture and lifestyle differences and engage with the local population in each destination.

Mission accomplished in Barcelona.

Lessons Learned:

Overall, this trip and others reaffirmed my decision to become an entrepreneur--so I could serve my clients, build a successful consulting firm, and travel around the world while doing it. I don't have any WFA lessons to share from this trip other than the two listed below.

  1. Schedule in 2-3 non-working days.
  2. Visit at least one museum.

 

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