By Anna Ellis •
Updated: 17 Nov 2023 • 9:56
Spain's Magnetic Allure: The Journey of European Wanderers. Image: Antonio Olivares.
Antonio Olivares, a true globetrotter with a passion for adventure, embarked on a remarkable journey that took him from the vibrant streets of Barcelona to the eclectic energy of London in 1995.
His mission: to delve into the world of stage design and immerse himself in the authenticity of the English language.
Little did he know that what was initially planned as a brief stint would unfold into a captivating 24-year chapter of his life in the heart of London.
Yet, amid the hustle and bustle of the city, Antonio couldn’t help but feel a yearning for the warmth of Spain, the embrace of family and friends, and the allure of the outdoor life culture he held dear.
In 2019, after years of fostering connections and establishing a life in the UK, Antonio made a bold decision.
Armed with a property in Alicante and a thirst for the sea breeze, he bid farewell to the iconic London skyline and returned to his roots.
Choosing Alicante wasn’t just about the sun-kissed beaches; it was a strategic move, a geographical sweet spot connecting him to the heart of Spain and the rest of Europe.
Now, back in his homeland, Antonio reflects on his time in London with a mix of nostalgia and longing.
“When I think of London,” he muses, “it’s not just the architecture or the diverse cityscape that I miss. It’s the friendships that blossomed over the years, the melting pot of cultures, and the charm of areas like Pimlico and Golders Green.”
“Oh, and let’s not forget the treasure trove of charity shops, something I dearly miss.”
Despite the allure of London’s international cuisine and the architectural marvels around every corner, Antonio couldn’t escape the frustrations. “Closing times of pubs! That was a constant source of irritation,” he laughs.
“Compared to the lively bars of Spain, it felt like the night ended too soon.”
However, his return to Spain hasn’t been without its irritations. Antonio candidly admits, “The bureaucracy and the lack of customer service can be exasperating. It’s a different pace, a different rhythm, but I’ve come to appreciate the quirks of both worlds.”
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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