It was a cocktail of coincidence, a Ph.D., and the financial crisis that brought Oleguer and Laia from Spain to Denmark back in 2012. Since then two kids have come along, as well as a very amorous cat.
Oleguer and Laia are certain that they one day want to move back to Barcelona.
– We miss our family a lot, says Oleguer, adding that the family ties in Spain are much stronger than in Denmark, and they used to visit family members frequently.
Oleguer and Laia also want their kids to know the Catalan culture from within – but the question of when to move back is a hard one to answer.
– Life in Denmark is easier compared to the life in Barcelona, says Laia.
Wages in Denmark are higher than in Spain, she explains and adds that you work fewer hours in Denmark than in Spain.
It is not the wage nor the work time that have made it difficult for Laia and Oleguer to move back home to Barcalona. It is the fact they feel pretty settled in Denmark and in their terraced house in Aarhus.
it was a much easier decision to move out. The economic crisis hid hard in Spain as in rest of the world, and turned many things around. Including the couple plants for the future. At the time there were no children or cats to think of, Actually, it was much easier to move out. .
– In 2012 I was supposed to do my Ph.D. at the Canary Islands but because of the economic crisis it was impossible to get the funding, says Laia, who is a marine biologist and study whales.
Laia’s tutor had some network at Aarhus University, and Laia and Oleguer ended up in Denmark
– In my opinion one of the most difficult things about moving to Denmark is to integrate into the Danish society. It’s not helping that we don’t speak Danish very well, so I think it is important to learn Danish.
Since Denmark is not a place where whales often hang around –except from the dolphin-like porpoise, you might think Denmark is an odd place to study whales. According to Laia there is a well-founded scientific group which travels a lot to the places where whales often are spotted. It’s a group with a lot of international scientists which leads to another of Laia and Oleguer points:
It is not only the language that has been a challenge.
‘I think that the main thing is that you realize that suddenly things are different than they are in your home country. Suddenly you need to learn all the new ways of behaving. That can be hard sometimes,’ says Laia.
‘People are more private here,’ adds Oleguer.
Therefore, getting new Danish friends hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world. What is left is the question of when it is the right time to move back to Barcelona or perhaps if the couple is better off staying where they are.”