There are decisions in life that mark you forever. I did not choose to leave Argentina, but I chose to go to live in Spain. This was one of them.
It was September 2002, the 21st century was just taking its first steps. It was back-to-school month in Europe. And we headed for Spain. Leaving the porteño winter behind to start the autumn in Barcelona.
It was September 2002 and we were starting a new life.
Taking such a step requires doses of courage and unconsciousness. When you choose to leave, you are giving up what is left, especially those who remain. And family and friends stayed in Buenos Aires.
Barcelona was radiant, sunny, welcoming. Jet lag, anxiety and nerves intermingled with the illusion and expectations of a new life.
And for us, doing well meant recovering quality of life, stability, security, progress and a project for the future. On the plus side was that. On the debit side, an emotional burden that had to be managed.
And like any beginning, one is full of nerves, fears, doubts and at the same time you have an overflowing energy and full illusions.
Until you collide, head-on, with the harsh reality.
Mountains of hours in paperwork, immigration, police, consulates, city hall, services and so on. Ranges of “no’s” to possible projects or potential clients. A bank account that is being consumed and expectations that are not fulfilled in the mental times that you brought in your suitcases.
Quitting is not an option.
Dealing with so many changes at the same time was an extraordinary maturation exercise, not without pain.
We were clear that we wanted to live in Spain. And we put our chests to the bullets, to make our dream a reality.
And along the way there were very special people, with a generosity that we will never be able to thank too much, who gave us a hand and many hugs.
We felt more and more confident in the steps we were taking and in the choice and decision we had made. And we moved forward.
And remembering our why gave us strength and energy to continue.
We didn’t come here to make money, we came looking for a better life, and if it made us money as a result, so much the better. A life where children could play in the street without fear of their parents.
A life where 10 is 10 and Monday is Monday. A life in which you can project into the future.
A life where you can give your children more opportunities. A life where you’re not looking back when you walk down the street.
A life in which you have no fear.
A life in which the currency is worth the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Coming out of the well.
You can start to breathe easier, you are getting stronger, you are loosening your ties with Buenos Aires. Although you had almost burned your ships, you are always connected.
Learning, learning more, and more was key.
Seeing, observing, listening, understanding, and above all doing.
Having a focus on progress takes ghosts out of your head and helps you create value. As the months went by, we connected with our new reality, and our new reality excited us.
We won’t deny that the more you settled into your new home, the less complicated it was to understand that you no longer had a broken heart, you now had two hearts.
Believe in order to grow.
This move was also hard, but not as hard as the first one. We were leaving behind some extraordinary years and experiences.
We were saying goodbye to our second home, to the city that saw us reborn and begin again. And just as we were melancholy about leaving Barcelona behind, we were very excited about arriving in Madrid.
And the start in Madrid was very different.
Already the mountains of paperwork were beginning to be saws and the tons of difficulties were being transformed into opportunities.
Madrid welcomed us different, better, more armed, closer to our dreams.
The two cities played an essential role in these years in Spain.
Each one in her own way and with her own ways helped us to evolve, to believe, to share, to improve and to grow. I am very fond of both of them.
The arrival in the capital found us stronger and more confident.
And what time brings, in many cases, is clarity. On a personal, professional and vital level, everything was progressing well. And our decision made more sense every day.
This September we celebrate 20 years in Spain.
Two of our three children were born in Spain, one in Barcelona and the other in Madrid.
We made new friends, who are extended family.
We were able to find the harmony and stability we longed for.
We manage to offer our children a range of opportunities.
We grew as individuals and as a family.
We contribute with our projects to generate work, development and evolution.
We published three books, planted dozens of trees, traveled almost the entire country (what an incredible country).
We learned to love Spain while remaining Argentines.
We discovered that distances are relative and that time is a mental tool.
We were able to transform pain into growth.
We mourn from a distance the death of loved ones.
We understood that true love knows no borders.
I was able to drink mate every day connecting with my roots and celebrating the years lived in my beloved Buenos Aires.
In twenty years a lot of things happen, even if tango says they are nothing.
To stop working as an employee in order to become an entrepreneur.
See how your family grows and how real friends are still there, twenty years later.
Travel the world lecturing or teaching or creating or transforming brands.
One son graduated as an engineer, another started college and the third has one foot in high school.
You grow gray hair and your skin wrinkles, your heart fills with all that you have achieved and accomplished.
You learn what is not written. And with everything you’ve experienced, you’re glad you made the decision we made two decades ago.
We can never be grateful enough for the generosity of the people who helped us in the beginning and throughout the years.
And we will always be accompanied by the joy of having met and shared with new people, on a personal and professional level, unrepeatable moments and experiences. Twenty years of thanks.
And here we are, twenty years later.
We did not choose to leave Argentina, but we chose to live in Spain. Undoubtedly, there are decisions in life that mark you forever.
It was September 2002 and we were starting a new life.