So I always knew I would love Spain. The food, the weather, the football and the culture…but there is a specific reason why I love Valencia. I have the best Spanish crew!
When I was studying in Copenhagen on exchange in 2011, I met a few Spanish guys. I am not 100% sure about the details of how we first met but my version of the event is very simple. I walked into an exchange student event, saw two Spanish guys, they asked me where I was from, I said “Australia”, they said “Great! Come hang out with us, all these Europeans are boring” and since then, Pascual, Chimo and I have been friends. Pim pam!
The Spanish crew were always great to spend time with on exchange. I then came and visited them Valencia in 2013 for New Year’s Eve. Fast forward another 4 years to a couple of weeks ago and Pascual was at the airport to greet me on arrival and within about 5 hours of landing I was eating a paella with the boys!
I feel proud to be so connected to Valencia. A city that some may say is the best in the world… and I have to say, they have a strong case! Perfect weather, a beautiful old town and the beach.
Having said that, I also have a few other great Spanish friends from Barcelona, another awesome city! (Please stay part of Spain!) Alvaro, Inigo and Jordi are absolute legends. It was so good to catch up with them when we were in Barcelona for a weekend. We had Jordi as our own personal tour guide, chauffer and Catalan expert for the day. Met up with Inigo on the beach for a few cheeky beers and also managed to see Alvaro (the connection to Antonio and Neguin from one of my last posts) in the afternoon on Sunday to complete the “penya” reunion.
In Barcelona, we also stayed with some of Pascual’s friend’s Elena and Elena, two of the best people you could be fortunate enough to meet. They took care of us, made sure we were well fed and as comfortable as could be on a mattress in their living room that they picked up from friends down the street! For me, this is what travelling is all about.
So much has been going on here that it is impossible to cover it all in one post. In summary though…
Finally, some key phrases to remember in Valencia. “Que pasa nano” which translates to “how are you man” and it is always important to be polite, so use the phase “gracies bonica”, this is Valencian for “thank you beautiful”
The reflective stuff
I know I have commented on this before but it just is so apparent to me now more than ever. You never know who you will meet that will define your experiences in the future. I met Pascual at a random university event and now, after 6 years, thousands of Whatsap messages, plenty of phone calls, one visit to Valencia and spending time with two of his friends in Sydney, I am now living in Valencia and have been adopted by the best Spanish group of lads I could ask for!
Last weekend down at the port. I looked to my left and saw Pascual, Carlos and Roberto from my Spanish crew, I looked to my right and saw Stevie, Michelle and Kyle from my remote year crew, I looked up at the fireworks display going on just above us and thought, “holy shit, this can’t be real”. I then hugged the boys and was so glad that it was!
As always, take what you will from this post and let me know if there is anything else you really want to hear about. I might even write you a special piece!
Stay tuned, next stop, Ibiza!