1. Learn English.
“El inglés te abrirá muchas puertas.” English opens many doors. That’s what I heard all the time while studying technical architecture at the University of A Coruña, in northwest Spain. So after graduation, I moved to Ireland to improve my language skills, thinking my dream job — drawing for an architecture firm in Madrid, Valencia, or Barcelona — would still be there when I got back.
Ireland was a fantastic experience. I lived in Galway for three months, where I learned more than just the ‘hey-I-can-hear-you-and-I-can-tell-you-things-now’ level of basic English. I also realized that travel can be something far more meaningful than the seven-day holidays to the Cantabric village of Noja my family takes every August.
I always knew my English vocabulary would never be like Thomas Pynchon’s, but at least it would allow me to travel, meet people, buy smoked salmon almost anywhere, and understand a few party jokes.