I was born in San Diego, California in 1978, and grew up there. My mother, a language teacher and travel agent, exposed me to foreign languages and cultures from a young age. My interest didn’t evolve into a true passion, however, until my junior year at the University of California, at Los Angeles, when I decided to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain.
Upon returning to the United States, I could never manage to shake Spain from my mind, and meanwhile began working as a UCLA Campus Tour Guide. After graduating in 2000 and spending that summer in Jerusalem on a cultural exchange, I came to Barcelona, where I expected to stay for only a few months.
Coincidentally, my first job here (still without a work visa) was as the Public Relations Director for a Catalan touring company, specializing in the architecture of Antonio Gaudí. Thus, my passion for culture and travel began to mix with a newfound fascination for the history and architecture of Barcelona.
To assimilate and give myself a professional edge, I enrolled in a course to learn the local tongue, and quickly became known as “That American who Speaks Catalan.”
In the following years, I dabbled in a diverse array of professions, from holding positions at two of Barcelona’s largest multinational advertising agencies, a family-run corporate gift business, and a study abroad program… to passing out flyers on the street corner, bike-tour guiding, selling burritos in the park, and even running an underground gourmet restaurant out of my apartment. Meanwhile, I continued to study the people and culture of Barcelona.
Never feeling quite satisfied with my various careers, I sought to do something I enjoyed and was passionate about. In 2003, I gave my first private tour as a freelance guide in Barcelona, and from then, continued working as a “guide on the side” in addition to my conventional (and not-so-conventional) part- and full-time jobs.
Things went well, and in March of 2006, I created Hi. This is Barcelona… in order to impart onto others my unique experience in this extraordinary city, promising to offer tours of a distinct, lively, and personal nature.
Over the years, the company has grown to a comfortable (but still cozy) size. Now we have two full-time employees (including myself) and an incredible team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic individuals collaborating to offer fantastic tailor-made tours and activities in and around Barcelona, as well as Spain.
In my free time, I enjoy trying new restaurants and attending film festivals, concerts, and art openings, of which there is never a shortage in Barcelona. As you might have gathered from this website, writing and photography are also two of my favorite hobbies. However, the front-runner continues to be strolling or biking through Barcelona’s distinct neighbourhoods, admiring the architecture and countless other curiosities, while always finding time to stop along the way for the occasional ‘tapa’ and beer.
I enjoy travelling whenever possible, and have managed to explore most of Europe and journey extensively through Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and New Zealand, along with adventures in Turkey, Morocco, Israel, Jordan, Australia, and more. In each new place, as I’ve done in Barcelona, I go out of my way in search of an authentic, “hands on” experience. There’s nothing quite like wandering off the beaten track to meet the locals, dine in their neighborhood joints, and scope out the alleyways the guidebooks skip over.