Thursday, 21 January 2010
Made in the Mediterranean
Expats in Spain are always getting a bad press. The way they get pigeonholed at home (I'm using the UK as my point of reference but I'm sure they get similar stick in Germany, France and Holland) you would think they were all sunburned alcoholics incapable of a) learning a language or b) holding down a proper job. Admittedly, there are few that fit the a) and b) profile staggering around the place (admits the binge-drinking freelancer who avoids his elderly neighbour because she speaks as fast a jet fighter) but I reckon the worst of them should be seen like bad pop music; louder than everything else and seemingly everywhere, yes, but not always the whole story. Because if you dig a little deeper, beyond the brash and the predictable, you'll discover richer themes bursting with creativity and tenacity that connect the lives of literally thousands of unsung expats. So when I was asked to find a few expat success stories (ie. the silent majority that can drag their arse off a beach to work) across the Balearic Islands for a series of interviews in Ling magazine, the inflight magazine for Vueling, I was thrilled at the chance to re-balance the debate. I found a young web designer and digital entrepreneur in Menorca, a veteran events guru in Mallorca and a husband and wife team serving up contemporary Indian cuisine in Ibiza to help me prove that there is a more industrious and inspirational side to life as an expat. Check them out respectively at: www.aflua.com, www.gloria-events.com and www.cardamomclub.com.