Catalans Abroad

carla garcia. berta coll.

Carla is from Barcelona and has been living in Berlin for seven years. She is the founder of the digital magazine Femspire, for women who want more from their life.

Living in Neverland

Last year I decided to take one year off to explore, start writing again and begin my own project: “Femspire”. That would have never happened with the salaries paid in Catalonia

Why did you leave Catalonia?

I left because of my work situation. I finished my theatrical studies and I was not able to find a proper job. I had to work in retail, which was really tiring, and the money didn’t allow me to have a decent lifestyle in Barcelona. I got accepted for a part in a play at the Biennale di Venezia and my teacher motivated me to leave Catalonia.

Why did you choose Berlin?

I wanted to continue with my theatrical career and Berlin has a lot to offer. I also wanted to learn German. Back at that time not a lot of people were actually moving to Berlin, London was the place to be, so I actually thought I would have better chances in Berlin than in another city. Everything was really cheap compared to Barcelona: I was able to afford to live alone in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods and have lunch for just four euros!

How long have you lived there?

It’s been seven years now.

Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?

I am happy I got a job really quickly having no experience in the field and at that time also with no German, but on the other hand , I couldn’t continue with my theatrical career because of the German but I found my way into other fields. I know back home I would have never got the opportunities I’ve had here; I’ve always had a job and I grew in my career until I became head of a department in an American corporation.

Last year I decided to take a year off to explore, start writing again and begin my own project: “Femspire”, a digital magazine, a community and platform for women who want more from their life and career. That would have never happened with the salaries paid in Catalonia. At the moment I’m a freelancer writer and an E-commerce&Tech Operations Personnel consultant.

What do you think is the best thing about living in Berlin?

The people you meet. Berlin is a place for lost souls which end up finding their path over here. I always like to call the city “Neverland”. People here don’t judge, there’s no age limit for anything, there are new opportunities every day and you meet people from all over the world. In fact, now I can say I have met people from almost every quarter of the globe and this is something that has no price. Berlin has something special that cannot really be explained until you live here: the same way you hate the city and its weather, the next day you just love it.

What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?

Flea Markets (Mauer Park or Boxhagener Platz on Sundays), have a beer in Monbijou Park next to the river, enjoy the open-air karaoke in Mauer Park on Sundays and avoid touristy places and food... just get lost in the streets of Kreuzberg, Neukölln or Prenzlauer Berg. Rent a bike and ride through Tempelhof (the old Berlin airport).

And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?

Then experience the party scene and go to a club in the morning. Pay a visit to Teufelsberg, which used to be an American listening station during the Cold War but today is a popular place for a day out and taking amazing photos.

What do you miss most from home?

My family and Barcelona. Berlin is not a pretty city so I miss the architecture a lot , the streets and soul of Barcelona...and the sea! Also, speaking Catalan on a daily basis.

Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?

Not for now and not anytime soon with the political situation back home. Also, the salaries they are willing to pay are not an incentive either.

CATALANS ABROAD berlin (germany)

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