For sure, the best part about living here is the people I met and the experiences I have lived.

I have very fond memories of my childhood. I would spend a lot of time with my family,  especially with my grandmother, I would practice a lot of sports and different activities after school. My family is very loving. We have a really strong bond and we would spend a lot of time together. Both of my parents are self-made professionals, born and raised in Morocco. Ever since I was a kid I remember being really sociable, so I would love to make new friends – I  think it’s a trait that I got from my grandmother – she would literally talk to anyone. I also loved to paint, which I still do, and this I got from my grandfather that is a talented artist. I loved going to the countryside on a sunny day, and spend the day there in peace, with my family and all the animals and nature.

Life before leaving Morocco was good. I am lucky enough to have lived a comfortable life, with a  loving family, but I felt like there were not as many opportunities to grow, especially in the creative scene. Due to that, I decided to go abroad to study, so I moved to Barcelona. I have been living here for almost 5 years. It was tough at the beginning because it was the first time I lived alone, without the comfort of living with my parents. Managing the paperwork was also one big challenge. I have been renewing my NIE every year, and I spend more time struggling to get a response than actually having the card in my hand and being able to use it. It also made it harder for me to travel and to enjoy certain opportunities that I would have been able to enjoy if I didn’t have this issue.

I was lucky enough to meet amazing people that made the living so smooth
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Nowadays I am finishing an internship that I started almost a year ago. I am also trying to get my life plans together and seeing in the long-term, which isn’t that easy, especially given the current situation. For sure, the best part about living here is the people I met and the experiences I have lived. I was lucky enough to meet amazing people that made the living so smooth. Moreover, I think the freedom I was given once I moved here – as well as being able to single-handedly decide what I wanted to do, what I wanted to see, who I wanted to hang out with –  was a life-changer for me.

Now, Barcelona feels like home, even though I am ready for a new adventure elsewhere now that my studies are done. I am not sure about where I would go, but I would like to move to the UK for some time and hopefully work in the music/creative scene. As for my long-term plans, even though it sounds kind of cliché, I just want to be happy, no matter what life path I choose or chooses me. I also want to make my parents proud, no matter what I do. It’s really important to me.

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Mariia Iefimova
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