I left Barcelona a few years ago to live in a small village in the Spanish countryside.
This is funny because I went full circle – I grew up in a village -> moved to a city (Hamburg) -> moved to a CITY! (Shanghai) -> moved to a “smaller” city (Barcelona) -> moved to a village.
I left because I could. The landlady for our shared apartment wanted to increase the rent by 52%, and we were flexible enough to give her the finger. Unfortunately, other people for example, with kids, or with a job that requires your presence in person, for example, aren’t.
I rented a house there. And with the house, I mean an old lane house in the village, not a Finca outside. No garden but a small terrace on the roof. Five floors altogether.
1. Garage/ Cellar (Front side entrance door)
2. Bedroom/ Windowless storage room
3. Kitchen/ Bathroom (Backside entrance door)
5. Laundry room and Terrace
You might have guessed that it’s a mountain village and the floors aren’t that big, and neither was the rent: 250€/ month plus water, electricity, and internet. So usually I paid around 300€/ month. As it’s the countryside, I also had to invest in a posh ride. 1.400€ for a VW Polo from 1999. Which has cost me an arm and a leg in repair. So let’s just say that costs me another 100€/ month on average without gas in repairs, Baluma (insurance), RACC, Tax, ITV.
With 400€/ month, that was still cheaper than the tiny room I had in our fabulous Barcelona apartment. My little room was the biggest of the four ~14m² with a built-in wardrobe. The four of us had a huge living room where I had my desk and an even bigger terrace with an incredible view but still… Now my view is equally as good, and I have a house for myself.
After several years in the village, I had everything that makes it an excellent place to stay: Good friends, more social life than I ever had in Barcelona, and activities that went beyond drinking and partying, so I started to keep an eye out for a shabby (read: affordable) house that I could remodel on a budget and really make it mine.
This brings me to the next part of the story: the house