An Extended Stay in Barcelona

Working from anywhere has its benefits. Instead of a daily commute, I worked for a few months from Barcelona, Spain and a few other places including London on an extended stay that gave me unique perspective on my work, while experiencing great food and culture. On the weekends, I headed out for a day or weekend trip to area sights by train. It was easy to hop on and off, have time to think, consider problems from a distance (very valuable) – and jot notes.

The best part of the trip was coming up with the idea for AnywhereWorkday at a cafe one morning and then outlining my plans for it literally at 39,000 feet on the way home.

Barcelona is famous for its inspiring views. Here’s one I captured from Park Guell, on the city’s Carmen Hill:

Barcelona panorama

Panorama of Barcelona looking toward the Mediterranean

About an hour and a half by train and transfer on the mountain railway is Montserrat, part of the Pre-Coastal Range.

Montserrat rewards hiking up the summit with great scenery and a view of the entire region.
Montserrat near Barcelona

Or, you can opt to climb it as these adventurers did. The view from the top –
Montserrat mountaintop

I found my home away from home in the very walkable Les Corts neighborhood. As I like to cook and visit the markets for fresh, local ingredients, I got an apartment with a full kitchen and balcony on which to dine, do my usual work in communications (you can find opportunities to work at home or remotely here) – or just relax. The rental manager and neighbors were pleasant and supplemented the travel guide I had with some area suggestions for dining out.
breakfast pastry and local coffee

local bakery

local food in Barcelona

local market in Barcelona

What’s advantageous about extended trips compared to vacations is having the time to really get a feel for a destination, see more, do more and actually feel refreshed. There were times in the past when I’d take a vacation and barely have enough time to rest, let alone fit everything in.
Gaudi architecture tour - Casa Batllo house or Sagrada Familia

A survey of employees in the US, for instance, estimated that 429 million vacation and personal days were left unused in a year. Among the hurdles are having too much work to do, affordability, and work piling up.

By contrast, working from anywhere gives you more flexibility and you can opt for rental accommodations or properties that offer an excellent stay and value, while reducing multiple trips and airfare to a region. You can also more easily travel during less crowded times or periods of a peak season.

Barcelona seaside

seaside in the city

Here’s a short video of my extended stay in Barcelona –