I moved to Barcelona the first time by accident. It was 1993, the year after their summer Olympic games and I had bought the cheapest one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Europe I could find, which happened to be Amsterdam. It was May and I had not packed well for Northern Europe so I was freezing my ass off! After two days of smoking everything possible in the cool cafes near the Red Light District, I took a train to Paris. Paris was too expensive, San Sebastian and Pamplona…

I’m a California native, 5th generation descendent of Irish, German, and British immigrants to the United States of America. My family didn’t go to the U.S. because they had a foreign worker’s post in the embassy – or a job at all! They were fleeing from a poor economic climate (mostly from Ireland), looking to improve their life in a country that promised a brighter future. My ancestors were immigrants, plain and simple. Luckily they weren’t fleeing to escape shellfire and tyranny like so many millions of people…