The best part about living in Spain are the lifestyle, the people, how things work.

It has been a long time since I left my home-country, it has been around four and a half years more or less. The life I had before leaving was pretty stable. I had an apartment that I owned, I was living there with my ex-girlfriend and I was studying and working at the same time.

Though I also have my own personal goals, which have to do with my self-improvement and starting certain routines.

My childhood was pretty great, I lived with my family until I was 19 years old: My mom, my sister, my dad and our pets. When I was a child I was very active, so I always played a bunch of different sports. I really liked to play sports like football or handball. I also loved videogames as a kid, so you could say I was a real nerd. I remember my dad and my mom worked a lot. But my mom used to spend a little bit more time at home. My parents always worked hard and had their businesses going on, so we were doing pretty decently. Regarding my family background, not particularly in my direct family if that makes sense, but that part of my family has ever gone to university.

Choosing a favourite memory from my home-country is a very difficult thing to answer. I had really good memories, but I cannot choose a favourite one. Maybe, my favourite one is about that one summer when my family and I went to adopt my family dog. I remember I was super happy because I have always been interested in dogs and cats and whatnot, so I remember that as a very specific memory which is nice.

Initially, I decided to leave my home-country because I wanted to travel. I went travelling for seven months, and then I just kept on travelling. I was a little bit down when I was living in Sweden. I guess it was just not the fit for me at that point in my life, so I wanted to explore something different and new. I have lived for a little while in the United States, and also in Norway and now in Barcelona, Spain. I have lived here for two and a half years. When I moved to Spain I was supposed to go back to Sweden later. In the end, I could not return due to all the circumstances and the things that are happening recently in the world, especially with this corona thing. I ended up where I am now because of covid-19. If it was not for covid-19 I would have been back in Sweden, at least I hope to be for this next spring, we will see how it goes.

The obstacles and challenges I had when coming to Spain were the language, the cultural aspects and how things worked. Especially when it comes to living and finding a place to live in Barcelona, because that is always a pain in the neck; finding a good place to live that is not a scam, that you can afford living there, finding a good neighborhood, etc. It was a really big culture shock for some things. I had some difficulties at first, because I barely spoke any spanish at first. It took me some time to understand how everything works, and getting to know people at the beginning, but those things got easier.

The best part about living in Spain are the lifestyle, the people, how things work. The fact that people are very casual in a lot of ways and very open. I like that a lot. But of course, also the Sun, it is awesome to have this much Sun compared to Sweden, the sunlight makes me feel so much better mentally. Mainly, a lot of things I enjoy have to do with the spanish lifestyle. It has also been my self-development. Another part was meeting a lot of nice people from all around the world that are going to be my friends for a long time and that I will keep in touch with, which is nice.
Recently I graduated from a bootcamp in UX/UI design. I would consider being a product designer, UX/UI designer and a UX researcher. At the same time, I am doing a course now through spring through my university in Sweden. At the moment, my goals are mainly professional. I want to finish the course that I am doing and then I want to develop myself as a product designer on the job market. Hopefully, I will work in the industry really soon.

Though I also have my own personal goals, which have to do with my self-improvement and starting certain routines. For example, I want to start reading a little bit more, start painting, learn how to play another instrument. I have a few of those interests, but mostly I am focused on self-improvement and my professional goals.

In the current situation, I wish that everything could go back to normal, because now it is not a great situation, the one we are in. That is something I am really hoping for. When it comes to my future, I have been pursuing this career that I have talked about. I am really happy since I found that to be very interesting and fun to work with.

My wishes are that I can pursue these goals that I have for myself. As long as I am happy with myself and the situation that I am in, I think it would be alright. I do not think I would have any more dreams or hopes, even if that might sound basic.

Screenshot 2021-03-16 at 14.23

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Mariia Iefimova
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