About Me

Hola! I’m Jessica and I’m 24 years old.  I’m from England, but I grew up in California. I’m a new college grad, and as I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life, I took off for some aventuras in Spain. Hasta la vista, California, y hola Barcelona!

My hair usually doesn’t look this crazy – promise!

Living and working in foreign city where they speak not one but two different languages is sometimes challenging, but I love my life here and I’m enjoying living on the Mediterranean! I hope you like reading about my travels and adventures in Spain.

Oh, and I called my blog “Hola Yessica” because that’s how they pronounce my name here.

You can get in touch with me at holayessica@gmail.com, or check out my F.A.Q.


All photos and content on this blog are mine unless otherwise stated. You can repost/share/whatever (actually, please do!), just so long as you credit me.  Here’s the official rundown:

© Hola Yessica (Jessica Bowler), 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hola Yessica with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

130 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I don’t think it’s especially hard, particularly if you have experience.

    I just ran into a bit of bad luck, first because of my age (too young) and then because I worked at an academy that had almost no students due to the crisis. Most people I’ve talked to said they had no problems at all!

  2. Hi Jessica, nice to meet another expat my age! I’m trying to gather expats for a series of guest posts on my blog, if you’re interested please let me know — I’d love to feature you and Barcelona!

  3. What a great thing you are doing for yourself! That’s what I did when I graduated from college. I moved to Madrid, and I loved it. That was 15 years ago, and I must say, I’m a bit jealous… in a good way 🙂

  4. Another young expat! Thanks for stopping by my blog… I’ve never been to Spain (even though I went to uni in London) but it’s definitely on my Bucket List 🙂

  5. Hey Jessica, can’t believe it’s taken me this long to stumble across your blog! The title made me smile – for years I’ve suffered all manner of shenanigans when it comes to Spaniards trying to pronounce my name. Mostly these days I settle for ‘Yuliah’. Hmmm. Hope you’re enjoying BCN:)

    • Haha they really don’t know how to say the “J”s here. Though I know a Colombian named “Jhohn”(John), and that seems to do the trick! Hope you’re having a good time here too. 🙂

  6. hey Jessica .. thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂
    i have never been to Spain but it’s now on my Bucket list i loved it from the photos and your adventures over there
    good luck 🙂

    • You’re welcome, thanks for returning the favor! 🙂 Yes, you must go to Spain sometime, it’s a great country (I’m only a little biased).

  7. Hey Jessica – I’m starting to plan some weekend trips when I get to Barna. What have you found are the best cheap airlines to fly (beside Ryanair and Easy Jet)? Have you ever taken Vueling?

  8. I am honoured to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick up your award at http://travelswithtoby.wordpress.com/. Copy and Paste the Award to your blog and follow the rules of acceptance. I am very aware that some people do not wish to participate in Awards, and I completely respect that… no strings! But in any case, Congratulations, you have a Lovely Blog!

  9. Enjoyed your blog tremendously. But of course, I am partial to anything Barcelona. I love everything in it and on it (though it’s not perfect). I am old enough to be your grandpa but still dreaming of maybe one day following your footsteps….living the life of riley in Barcelona, specifically in the Barceloneta area. What a place! Was there about three weeks ago with my family and I just fell in love head over heels. I am missing it terribly. Salut!

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading yours too!
    I’m also posting up poems from people from all round the word, any theme as long as it’s written with love! Would you write one too? in English o Spanish. un abrazo

  11. Thanks so much for stopping by Gallivance to read Those Bodacious Baltic Beasties. We really enjoyed the Art Nouveau animals and are happy that you did too. And we really like your post on Packing a Carry-On Bag for Ryan Air. We’re big believers in traveling light and these are great tips!
    All the Best, Terri and James Vance

    • You’re welcome, it was a great post! Thanks for returning the favor, and I’m pleased you liked the Ryanair post. I’m looking forward to seeing more fun posts from you guys!

  12. Hey there! I’ve just stumbled across your blog! Really looking forward to reading more of it. I know it’s going to make me insanely jealous, as I’ve always wanted to make the move to Barcelona, so looking forward to reading your tales about my favourite city in the world! I make it there every year so hopefully I’ll eventually make it for good!

  13. Thanks for taking a look at my blog and commenting. I am following you now because I am just SICK about not getting to see much of Gaudi when I was in BCN, so I am going to live vicariously through you! 🙂

  14. Hi Jessica! I’ve just found your blog and it’s amazing! If you need any advice or want to hang our with a local, I’m here for you anytime 😉

  15. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog (maedetera.wordpress.com) and liking some of my photo. Spain is also my favorite among the European countries i went to during my 3-month backpacking trip in Europe. I definitely would want to go back and explore the rest of the places in Spain…thanks for posting your adventures here…brings back a lot of memories…susan mae

  16. Greetings from Bulgaria! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am having fun browsing through your posts. I visited Barcelona a few years ago but didn’t get to see much as we were there to board a cruise ship. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the city through your blog. -Whitney @ girlmeetsbulgaria.com

  17. Hey, thanks for visiting me at Mishfish13 🙂

    I’ve always dreamed of being able to do what you do, living and working in a different country. Mostly exploring what the world has to offer. Hopefully I’ll have enough courage and means to pursue it!

    Haven’t been to Barcelona yet, but reading your posts makes me want to visit soon!

  18. Hey Jessica, thanks for stopping by my blog. Your experience in Spain sounds amazing! Just realized you are from California, I go to school in Rhode Island. 🙂 I am also doing a study abroad program in Spain, and I only got here for like a month. Seems like you are having a lot of fun in Spain. Hope everything is going to be even more awesome. I would love to visit Barcelona sometime very soon in the future, and I might need some tips from you. Also, you should put Santander on your to-visit list, it is very pretty here as well. 🙂

  19. oh my, your blog is like a treasure find for me: I’m going to Spain for the first time soon– will check your blog regularly for local tips! keep on conquering Espana:)

      • I will be living in Torrevieja, Alicante, so I think most of my trip I’ll devote to southern Spain. Of course, Barcelona, that is no question. but not sure if I’ll have time for Madrid, though.. Going just for a week:( What’d you recommend to see in southern part?

        • Oh gosh, everything! 🙂 Haha but seriously, there is lots of great stuff to see in the south. I really liked Córdoba and Granada, as well as the beaches in Cádiz. There are also some amazing natural parks that I didn’t manage to make it to sadly.

  20. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Barcelona, and my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Spain and Morocco. Your adventures look awesome!

    Did you learn Spanish before you went to Spain? Do you have a California/Mexican accent or Castillian?

    • Thanks! I enjoy reading your blog too – it’s so interesting to read about other people’s language learning experiences.

      I had taken a tiny bit of Spanish in high school, but quickly found out I hadn’t actually learned any when I got to Spain!

      My accent varies quite a bit depending on who I’ve been spending the most time with. I did retain a bit of a Mexican accent from California, then picked up an Andalusian Spanish accent while I was living in Sevilla. When I moved to Barcelona, I dated an Argentine, so for a while people asked me if I was from Uruguay or Argentina. Now I spend more time with Spanish people, so it’s coming around to a normal Spanish accent.

      But accents are weird – in a three-day span I’ve had some people mistake me for Spanish and one tell me I have a strong foreign accent (they were all from Spain). Ah well…at least they understand me! 🙂

  21. Hi,thanks for stopping by!Seriously jealous here-just back from short break in sunny Almeria to Ireland covered with snow!Well done you and enjoy Spain!

  22. Hi Jessica!Thanks for stopping by!Very jealous here-just back from way too short break in sunny Almeria to snow covered Ireland:( Well done you!

  23. Nice blog! There is a ton of good stuff on here, seeing all this stuff just makes me want to go to Spain even more! 😛

  24. Hola, Yessica! I’ve always found it interesting names beginning with ‘J’ (like yours) and ‘H’ (like mine) can sometimes be a verbal-mine with the Spanish-speaking population. ‘Henry’ is not obvious, but when asked, say at a coffee shop, I can always go “como Enrique, o como un rey inglés viejo”. However, sometimes, even an explanation like that will still get my fair share of “blank looks” (qué?). That would be one of the lessons after five years in Chile. 🙂 Thanks for commenting on my post about the Sydney Royal Easter Show! I’m now following your blog, and I look forward to reading about your impressions of Spain. I’ve “only” visited Granada, Sevilla, and Madrid, as I now dream of driving around Spain for at least a month. Cheers, Jessica!

    • Thanks for stopping by mine as well! I’m so glad I found your blog too, and I’m looking forward to seeing more great photos.

      I can imagine that “H” names are tough too. I have seen people get around the “J” block by spelling their names “Jh”, so I guess they make the right sound when they’re together, strangely enough. I’m not sure how you’d trick a Spanish-speaker into saying “Henry” correctly though. 🙂

      Driving around Spain for a month sounds incredible! There really is so much to see here.

  25. Hi Jessica! How exciting to find your blog. I’m a spaniard living in England (kinda the other way around, huh?) and I might be actually moving to Barcelona soon… so I’m going to have to check all the best of Barcelona!

  26. Hi Jessica – thanks for stopping by my blog and liking it, thus leading me to yours! As a Kiwi now living in the US, I did much the same as you just in different countries! … just so much to see and do in this wonderful world if we are willing to go and give it a shot! Love your blog and look forward to sharing it with my nieces and nephews to inspire them even more. Cheers … Jane

  27. Hi Jessica. Thanks for visiting my blog. I find your blog very useful- with lots of pictures and information about Spain. What is the most amazing place you have visited in Spain?

  28. Hey Jessica. Thanks for following These Walking Boots. Your blog is lovely, and I’m so jealous that you’re living in Barcelona. I was there for just a few days last year and loved it! I’d love to go back and live there for a while, but it’s a bit tricky on a South African passport. Best of luck!

  29. Hola – What a great blog and a great time in your life – you’re a lucky girl and you have an interesting life – thanks for sharing it and thanks for stopping by my photo blog. Spain is on my bucket list. I’ll be back. Asta Luego (I still remember some 9th grade Spanish)

  30. Lovely blog you have! :-). I went to Barcelona last year and fell in love with the food. Especially Spanish olives.. A dream! We’re planning on doing a road trip in the south soon.
    I’d be interested in guest posting on here. Let me know about the rules and everything. Greetings! 🙂

  31. Hi Jessica, Thank you of stopping by my blog Vivir, que no es poco. You have a very interesting site here!

  32. Jessica, while I’ve been away you have taken a trip to my blog and decided to like and follow my own blog which is great. Thank you so much and glad you liked it. Just been reading your post on Borja which was very interesting and well written. Like the flavour of your blog so much that I have decided to put down a follow. Have fun and keep the spirit flowing. MM 🍀

  33. I love your blog posts! I am going to be studying abroad in Sevilla this spring, and I really hope I don’t get placed with the host family you had! Any other “must sees” you would suggest other than from your list of the Top 5?

    Also, I’m getting prepared to be called “Olly” all the time instead of Holly…. So I feel your pain Yessica!

  34. Hi Jessica, I just found your blog and I love it! I studied abroad in Barcelona five years ago and fell in love with the city too. I am itching to get back, but in the meantime, I plan on living vicariously through your blog. You write great things about such a great city!


  35. I wish our digital paths had crossed and I’d found your blog a few weeks ago! We visited Barcelona for a few days during our 2012 round the world trip, but we didn’t stay long enough to really get the details of the place… I had a reader contact me a few weeks back because she and her husband were excited to visit and wondered if I had useful tips — I’d have loved to just send her to your site! I’ll have to remember for next time 😉

    Hope you are well!
    xx Bethany

  36. Hey there “Yessica” 🙂 Thank you so much for following our blog. We were only in Spain in Sept/Oct of 2014 (doing the Camino Frances). We need to go back and see more of Spain, it is such an incredible country. In the meantime, we will rely on your blog 🙂

  37. I’m delighted I came across your site and was wondering if you or any of your readers can give me some advice about recruitment in Spain. I’m working for a company that is looking to expand into Barcelona and was wondering if anyone had any advice on the best places to advertise locally. We are looking for English speaking businessmanagers so any advice would be greatly appreciated. We’ve advertised on Linkedin and Monster.com but haven’t had much luck attracting the right applicants.

  38. Thank you for stopping by my blog Jessica. You have a lovely site here. My husband and I adore Barcelona. 🙂 I look forward to learning more about it from you. Thanks.

  39. Hi Jessica, I love your blog!! I’m watching House Hunters Int’l and was like ‘why does this girl look so familiar??’ Haha!!

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