Freelance working in Spain. Dreams vs reality


“People go to Spain to rest, not to work” – Maja wrote below the note about cafés in Barcelona where I could work.

All in all she’s right. To cut off from the world, turn off the phone, soak up the sun, eat shrimps, drink sangria and aimlessly sift the sand through fingers….

I decided to do an experiment

…and take my Warsaw mobile office to European cities in order to check if I can work and rest at the same time and not to feel like an alien in cafés sitting with my computer.

That’s how weirdly I felt in some of the countries I’ve visited – because if you want to work do this in an office not in a café.

At the beginning I divided my impressions into good and bad ones but after I had finished writing I found that every bad impression turned out to be a good one and that there’s always some kind of an imp in every bad impression.


Crowded cafes (on Sunday)

I just arrived to Barcelona so it’s time to test the cafés “where I can work”.
I put my computer into the bag and guided by Google Maps I set off at a freelancer conquest.
Ouch. A wall.
The first recommended café was full of people. The same was the second and the third one and there was no one with a computer. Like an alien. “Ilona, seriously? Are you going to get into a café with a computer on Sunday?” – quick shaking off.
Instead I went to the beach, sat on the sand, call my friends and family and took photos for the notes.

It’s good to remember about weekends even if you like your job. That’ll keep you sane.

Wifi doesn’t work everywhere

I lounged in a café. The coffee and food are ordered. I open my laptop, oh I’m going to play around with it for like 2 hours.
“Yes, Wi-Fi works well” – I was told by Enrique or other Manolo.
It didn’t. Time for another café but I’m not going to sit with an empty stomach.
So I drank the coffee, ate the salad and I talked to clients via phone.

Working with computers in Spain

Unless you go to some local bar when the bartender stares at you – “But how? Eat, drink but don’t work”. In such moments I’m convincing myself that I have a mission and I explain that I wrote articles about interesting places throughout the world. After that he doesn’t look at me like this anymore.

Cafés as a workplace are great

I loved going to cafés with a sign saying “workplace”. You can sit there for several hours among other people leaned over their computers and the service is accustomed to that.

There’s quite a lot of that places in Madrid and Spain. I’ve found the best for you and I made a list of them in the notes: Cafés where you can work in Madrid, Cafés where you can work in Barcelona.

Stay connected

And that’s what’s important in working and travelling is stay connected via phone.

When somebody called me from Poland for the first time I was very impatient thinking of every passing minute as a bar of gold. So I’m sitting there at a Madrid square, I’m discussing a campaign with a client, I’m planning further actions. He is in Warsaw I’m in Madrid.
I was calmly calling back my friends, coworkers and nobody bore a grudge that I’m outside Poland and it’s hard to contact me. Ilona is still on the line.

Guided by Google Maps

What’s the best, when I arranged to meet a blogger I was guided by Google Maps and I still could text, call, check my route. Invaluable comfort.

Tapas hours

Finally I didn’t feel cut off the world abroad. I thank Orange for that. I thank for supporting me with a roaming tariff Go Europe. Without you I wouldn’t be able to carry out my project in such a form and to call people while sitting on the beach.
And if you want to check how you could save with this roaming in Spain, here are tapas hours:


In the end I’m going to tell you this:

If you combine your passion with your work then don’t compete against your body because but listen to your body. The body will eventually say ‘no’ and it’ll be too late.

It’s fantastic to work in Spain but even in such a work you must find time for sifting the sand through fingers or a friend call.

Ten post jest dostępny w języku: Polski