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  • Writer's picturePepe Bonet

Thank you, Barcelona!

I tend to think that one way of growing is to move to a different place, get out of your comfort zone, face new challenges, and evolve into a better version of yourself. I may be right, but it is about that time again, and this time I feel the change more than ever. I am moving out of Barcelona after depositing my thesis and finishing my master's. Man! Has this city seen me grow! I am nowhere close to being the same person I was when I moved in.

So many things have happened: the Ph.D., the master, working abroad. There is no doubt about it. However, I doubt these more academic things are the ones that leave a mark forever and make you truly happy. Instead, I believe that the people you spend time with are what makes the difference. They are the ones able to make you smile at the memories going around your head. And it is about those people that I would like to talk about. There are not enough words to describe how grateful I am for the people I have spent time with in this marvelous city, but I will try.

Around four years ago, I arrived at the lab as a fresh Ph.D. student. I could have never expected to find some of the most amazing people this city could give me. What a team of Ph.Ds. we had! Thanks to Joan! You helped me discover that work was a place to enjoy and have fun. There was nothing like waking up to go to work knowing that you were going to be there to talk already at 8 am. You invited me to climb with you at the beginning, and we went climbing two days before I left. You deserve all the good things that happen to you. Oriol, you gave a new definition to hard work and showed me how difficult and satisfying it is to forge a true friendship. You are, without a doubt, the person that has impressed me the most throughout these years. You are such a fantastic individual, and I believe that the future is in your hands, take it and enjoy it. Hania, you have been my rock, the person I have shared with the most. The one that I have learned to express how I feel with and the one that I listen to constantly. We are there for each other every moment, and I could not be happier. My Ph.D. would not be the same without you!

When I arrived in this new city, I moved into a new flat in Barcelona with one of my really good friends, Pol. Who would have told us when we were partying around Maastricht or Copenhaguen that we would live together? What a decision we made! Nobody said it was easy, but wow! It has been amazing! From all the crying of laughter moments and the nights talking to the Thursdays at Bella's and the trips together. My friend, I do not know who will be the next person I share a flat with, but I am not expecting less than this magnificent time we had! Thanks also for introducing me to Ger. What a blessing to have met you, buddy! Listening to you is a pleasure. It is fascinating to see how easy things can flow when somebody is similar to you. I owe you the passion for learning and understanding any field and how the world works.

Halfway through my time in Barcelona, I decided to enroll in a Master in Business Analytics. It took a while to start due to covid but this decision shaped how I saw the career options for my future. What an enriching experience! I met people like Nico Espino, giving it all to come from Uruguay and find a better opportunity by doing the master. He is one of the nicest people I have met and with the warmest hearts nobody will ever find. I met Alfredo, a crazy Mexican guy able to deliver the most theatrical presentation of a dashboard I could ever see. A living example of living life to its fullest. I met Fabian, my brother in arms through Patagonia and to infinity. You are an example of following what you want despite how difficult that option is. Keep it up! I met Xavi. Thanks for showing that faith in me from the very beginning. I owe you more than what you think. Your brain goes at the speed of light, and I think I had the chance to grasp a bit of it. And I finally met Nico Sanchez! I saw that you were on a mission: change your work. I am learning from you every day, and I hope to keep doing it. You are an outstanding example of taking the bull by the horns and starting something new. I could not be more proud of you. In short, It is a joy to call all these guys my friends!

I also would like to give special thanks to Mandi, Nico, Reza, Cristian, Gerard, Inés, Claudia, Katyayani, Stefano, Fran, Santi, Carol, and Robert. They also made my life special during this time. This city changed my life, and I owe it to so many more people than the ones I mention here. If I ever spend some time with you, be sure that I remember you, and I am also grateful to you! Thank you!

Barcelona has seen me grow, and the main reason is not only what I have done but the people I had the chance to be surrounded by. Here is a summary of some lessons I have learned and that have undoubtedly changed me for the better:

  • People have the most significant impact on your experiences

  • Enjoy while you work

  • Work hard but also smart

  • Making true friends takes time

  • Express your feelings

  • Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, then talk a bit

  • Living together is not easy but can be beautiful

  • Live is about those moments that make you feel alive

  • Enjoy things that flow

  • Understanding the economy and the world implies learning about many things

  • Be humble

  • Live life to the fullest

  • Follow your dreams

  • Your trust in people can change their lives

  • If you get a good chance: work for yourself

I am sure that I still need more time to process everything that has happened during the last years, But for now, I can only have these words and many more to all the people I mentioned. These last years were also not the easiest, and this group of people has been there with me. I will never be able to express enough how I feel about them, but I hope they get a glance at it through this.

List of Books to read in the following months
  1. The psychology of Money. Morgan Housel

  2. The almanack of Naval Ravikant. Eric Jorgenson

  3. Meditations. Marcus Aurelius

  4. Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds. David Goggins

  5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg McKeown

  6. The daily stoic. Ryan Holiday

  7. The Richest Man in Babylon. George Samuel Clason

  8. The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho

  9. The Element. Ken Robinson

  10. Animal Farm. George Orwell

  11. Surrounded by Idiots. Thomas Erikson

  12. Tuareg. Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa

  13. Cupido. Jilliane Hoffman (German)

  14. In Deinem Namen. Harlan Coben (German)

  15. The Devil's Star. Jo Nesbo

Thank you for reading the blogs, and feel free to follow me on Twitter if you want to know more about me.

From a friend,


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