The Dancing Irishman in Barcelona

25 Sep
Just getting to know my new neighbourhood. That's just the local amphitheater, nothing special.

Just getting to know my new neighbourhood. That’s just the local ancient-Roman amphitheater, nothing special.

So… I live in Barcelona now!

Which means that in the last 4 years or so this is the fourth country I’ve “officially” lived in. After 4 years living and teaching in Japan I left in 2010, lived in Ireland for a year working at the Japanese embassy, moved to Colombia in 2011 working as a freelance translator, came back to Ireland via Cuba and the US at the end of 2013 and now, after all that, I am resident of one of Spain’s most famous cities.

I’m beginning to understand why my friends constantly tell me that they can never envision me settling down in one place. I’m not quite sure if I should be worried or not.

The Irish Diaspora
Since 2006/7 emigration out of Ireland (particularly of young people) has increased significantly; part of the great global economic depression. I was always secretly proud of the fact that I didn’t leave Ireland because I had to, because there was no work for me but because I wanted to experience life in other places. Hence my stays in Japan and Colombia.

This time is a little different
This time, I couldn’t find a job that I wanted to do. A job that I could actually see myself doing and importantly, enjoying, long-term. Anyone who has been following this blog will know from an article I posted a little over a year ago, when I left Colombia, that I left because I wanted to start thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.

Well, this year, living back home on the farm in the far south of Ireland, I had plenty of time to think. If we want to get all “touchy feely” about it, I wanted to do something that I loved. So I had a few options. The blog itself is actually a pretty decent window into the things that float my boat:

  • Dance: After all this blog isn’t called the “Administrating” Irishman. I do love dance and it is a huge part of my life. I’ve even taught dance before but it’s not what I see myself doing in the long term. I’m much happier working on my own dance and learning as much as I can fit in myself.
  • Languages: I’ve been working as a freelance Japanese translator for a few years now and while I enjoy the freedom it affords me, the work isn’t exactly regular. I may have “future” kids to think about and a “future” family to provide for so something a little more stable is called for. Also, my particular field of expertise, biosciences, while interesting, hardly makes for riveting translation.
  • Travel: I really don’t know how I could make a living just traveling the world. If you do, just drop me an email. That said, I think I’ve come to a point where I’m starting to want just one place to call home (other than my family home).
  • Fitness: I love researching fitness, putting it into practice and helping people get started in the gym or just exercising in general. That said, I don’t think I’d really make it as a personal trainer. I just don’t have the pecs for it.
  • Food: Now we’re getting somewhere. I do spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about food; cooking it, eating it, rolling around in it. However, while I considered becoming a chef in secondary school I pretty much turned against the idea when I realized I would probably be working social hours. That, and Gordon Ramsay in “Hell’s Kitchen” scared the crap out of me.
    Which leaves us with…. Drumroll please
  • …Nutrition: I love being able to improve my health through the food I eat, I love reading up on the latest research in nutrition and I really love helping people with their diets. It genuinely makes me feel fulfilled. Add to that the fact of the western world’s expanding waistline and it looks like it may be a rather lucrative little industry too 😉

Sooooo… I am about to start a Masters degree in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Barcelona & the University Rovira I Virgilli. Further education is going to be my first stepping stone towards the career I really want.

Why so far away, Irish?
Firstly, it’s cheaper than living and studying in Ireland. Significantly so.

Secondly, it allows me to indulge some of my other loves at the same time (we wouldn’t want to neglect those now would we?):

  • Salsa: Barcelona is well known in Europe for having a spectacular latin dance scene
  • Language: I get to do my Masters through Spanish and maybe learn a little Catalan too
  • Food: it’s just sooooo good here

Presenting… The Nutritioning Irisman!!!!
Hmmm, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it? Maybe I’ll hold off changing the blog title.

In any case, I’m going to do my best to keep updating the blog and providing you with as much helpful and mildly humorous info as I can… just from Barcelona.

If you have any tips on the salsa scene here I’d be very happy to hear from you.

Keep dancing folks.


Have you been working-out lately? Because you look spectacular 🙂 If you liked this article go ahead and share it with your friends via the Facebook or Twitter buttons below and if you use Stumbleupon please give it a “Thumbs Up”I’d really appreciate it 😉

7 Responses to “The Dancing Irishman in Barcelona”

  1. Robert September 25, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    Hi there , I don’t know if you remember me we spoke briefly on the phone in cali I’m the one from inverness. Time passed by any we never got the chance to meet but I have followed all your posts and really enjoyed them, also took 2months of salsa classes with son de luz in cali. Returned to Scotland for the summer worked all season and now that’s me going back to cali for my 6months. Do hope you let us all know how eveything turns out in Barcelona and I’m sure everything will fall into place take care.

    • The Dancing Irishman September 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Hey Robert
      Of course I remember you. Great to hear that all’s well with you and that you’ll be back in Cali soon. You can bet I’ll be keeping everyone up to date over the coming year here in Spain. Say hi to Cali for me when you get there.

  2. Brian September 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Been casually enjoying your blog for a while. If you are interested in the working while travelling thing then I’d suggest checking out the Tropical MBA podcasts/blog (I have no affiliation, but do listen every week). If found it useful, even without travelling!

    • The Dancing Irishman September 29, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      Hi Brian,
      Thanks for the tip, I’ll look into it, it’s certainly piqued my interest.

  3. carinaofdevon September 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    This blog rings true for me. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m unlikely to settle down any time soon! But travelling doesn’t pay it’s own way, and right now we’re trying to figure out how to earn some money this winter and fund the next leg of our voyage. The thing I love (one of the many things I love) is writing, and so I’m trying to recreate myself as a professional writer, and earn money doing what I love.

    And where is this re-creation taking place? In Spain of course! We’re here, near Almeria on the eastern end of the Costa del Sol. COME VISIT US!! Seriously…this is not some half hearted ‘come visit us some time’ sort of invitation. Come down for a long weekend…we’d love to share our little onboard life with you (alas, not so much room for dancing). At the very least, you could prove to your mother that I’m a far greater lost cause than you are!!

    By Inuit reckoning, you and I are practically family anyway!!


    • The Dancing Irishman September 29, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Hey Martina,
      Long time. I can’t believe you’re all in Spain. As soon as I get some time I’d love to pay a visit (and find out how we’re considered family by Inuit reckoning).
      Writing is something I’ve really come to enjoy myself too (when I have something to write about, that is). I really hope you can figure out how to make a living out of it (let me know when you do).


  1. Macros, IIFYM, Clean Eating & Enjoying Food over Christmas and Forever | The Dancing Irishman - December 23, 2014

    […] consumed calories and not much else. If I have learned anything so far in all the lectures of this Masters degree in Nutrition that I’m doing, it’s […]

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