In Humans of Catalunya, we talk to interesting people who live in, you guessed it, Catalonia (or Catalunya as they say in Catalan). The first in this series of stories is 24-year-old Susannah Gibbin from the United Kingdom. We were curious how she ended up here. What her days are like. Her favorite things about Catalunya. And, not unimportantly, how and where she lives. We remain Casalunya, of course.
Who are you?
‘I am Susannah Gibbin, 24 years old and i’m from Swindon, UK. I studied art and architecture in Edinburgh and graduated about two years ago. I work as a language assistant at a school in Tarragona. In my free time I spend most of my time in nature or with my friends.’
Can you tell something about your life?
‘It’s difficult, because at the moment I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Although I studied art and architecture at Edinburgh University, I don’t really want to do anything with that. Nor do I want to spend my whole life teaching I think. But living in Spain is enough for now.’
What does your day look like?
‘I get up around 6.30am. Take the bus to the school where I work. Walk around the classroom so the children can ask me questions if they want and read things to them. Since they find my accent very interesting. Most of the time I work until 11 o’clock. This is what my working day looks like. When I get home, I go to the beach to prepare for the next working day and sometimes take a little nap. And I usually meet up with my friends.’
The first time you stepped foot in Catalunya. When, with whom and why?
‘That was a few years ago in Barcelona. I used to be in a big band with which we gave concerts where nobody came. And that’s also what we were doing in Catalunya. So we started in Barcelona after a hell of a 40-hour bus ride. And I don’t remember much, but I remember very well that we went swimming at the beach in Barcelona at night. Which, when I think about it now, was really irresponsible. And I also remember that we went to Port Aventura and that we had to wait everywhere.’
Where do you live and why?
‘I live in Tarragona, in Parta Alta. And I think that is one of the most beautiful places I am ever going to live. Sometimes I forget how beautiful it is here, until someone visits and I see it with fresh eyes again. I live here because this was the place where they needed a language assistant. I didn’t want to say yes to the job offer at first, until I started researching Tarragona and found out that it was very beautiful. Also, it is well connected to Barcelona and the fact that it was located by the sea certainly helps. Tarragona is therefore a big reason why I said yes.’
How do you live?
‘I live in a house with 2 other people in one of the touristic streets of Tarragona, named “Pilonstreet” or Carrer de’n Compte. The room is large and has enough space for friends who come to visit. I also have a private bathroom which is very nice and a rooftop terrace. I must say that it’s not very well looked after by the previous tenants, which is a shame.’
What is your favorite thing about Catalunya?
‘The first little thing that comes to my mind is that the streets are very clean. But my favorite thing is the lifestyle of the people here. They are very outdoorsy. Everyone is always outside, sitting on the terrace or just walking around. And the people here just look very happy.’
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