Making a move abroad - from Barcelona to Hamburg

I’ve always liked interacting with people from other countries and cultures so the fact that ePages is an international company was one of the reasons why I joined the crew in the first place. That was the beginning of my software developer career at ePages, two and a half years ago in Barcelona.

Back in Barcelona I had the pleasure to work with many different and outstanding people from France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. I had a wonderful time there, learnt lots of things and will definitely bring great memories with me for the rest of my life. But I’m using the past tense, so it’s quite obvious that I no longer work at the same office. I decided to relocate from Barcelona to Hamburg.

Making a decision

At some point I decided that it was the right time for me to make a career change. I had worked on the same project for quite a while and I wanted to do something else, learn something new. However, if possible I wanted to stay at ePages, and join a different development team in Hamburg, with a focus on other projects. Nevertheless, the process wasn’t that simple; I first had to think of all the pros and cons of relocating.

The good stuff

Staying at ePages. I was happy to be part of the crew and continuing to do so in a different location definitely sounded good.

Moving abroad. I’d been thinking about moving abroad for many years to live the experience of being in a different kind of environment.

Hamburg. Hamburg is one of the most important cities of the north of Germany, and there are direct flights from its airport to Barcelona.

Learning German. I studied German in Spain, and I want to reach a good level one day.

I already know people. I already know many of my colleagues, and I was sure I would feel comfortable with them.

My personal situation. I am young, I don’t own an apartment, I’m not married, or have children.

The sad side

Leaving people behind. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to see my friends and relatives that often.

Weather and food. I know it’s a classic but when you’re used to experiencing good weather during most of the year, this is of course something to take into account. Same applies to food, I guess everyone prefers what they’ve seen at home.

The result

After analyzing all the pros and cons I realized that the former weighed more heavily than the latter and decided to ask for a relocation. Fortunately, the company helped me with the whole process and everything was pretty straightforward.

Life in Hamburg

It’s been approximately three months since I moved to Hamburg and I don’t regret it at all. I have fantastic colleagues and team mates, I’m doing something I enjoy, and I’ve been able to settle down more or less. The only annoying thing I had to go through was lots of paperwork, but that isn’t such a big deal.

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One of the things I like the most about Hamburg is how green it is. Actually, there are many beautiful areas around, but my favorite one is the “Binnenalster” which is an artificial lake. It’s near the office, and sometimes after work I go sit next to it and read a book.

Near Hamburg there’s another city I can totally recommend visiting: Lübeck. It has a beautiful old city, and if you are a sweet-tooth like me you need to go there and try some marzipan products - they are delicious!

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So, what now?

Well, I’m studying German, I still have to sort out a couple of things, but I’m happy to be in Hamburg, and I’m certainly looking forward to continue gaining new personal and professional experiences.

About the author

Xavier Alvarez is a Java and Kotlin Backend Developer, and an Ubuntu fanboy.