Sit down. And have a churro with me.

Please take this sugar-sprinkled churro right here.

And while you pretend-pig-out, let’s chat.

Whether you’re visiting Barcelona for a few days, or you live here like me, we have one thing in common: Barcelona makes your toes curl.

Or not.

But at least, you’re at “my-interest-is-piqued” level. And that’s enough to share a churro over, right? So here we are.

My name’s Justine, and I’m the one-woman band behind all this absurd madness I call Latitude 41.

Justine Ancheta of Latitude 41, a Barcelona blog

Taken by my husband of Instagram.

I’m from Orange County, California, and I’ve been living in Barcelona since 2008. I started Latitude 41 in December 2013 because people kept telling me I should start a travel blog – since I already had one to share with my kinfolk at home.

I’m also a writer and web copywriter, having worked with several businesses and brands. See more about my writing on my HIRE ME page.

I believe that a luxurious life isn’t about money. It’s not even about living in a spectacular city like Barcelona. It’s enjoying and appreciating what matters most. And for me, it’s my friends and family, and nurturing those relationships. I find myself lucky that I’ve found my way here – and I can help others enjoy the city too.

What you can expect on Latitude 41

I share no-fluff information about what to do, where to go, and how one survives big-city life in Barcelona. While I’ll always have an undying love for the iconic sights (La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Gothic Quarter, etc.), I squeal when I find underrated and undiscovered spots like the Sant Andreu neighborhood, Parc del Clot, or La Casa dels Entremesos. I’m lucky to explore other Catalan cities like Sitges, Cadaques, and Montserrat.

You can learn about Barcelona family living, or basically, easy places to drag the kids. And as a foodie (because I eat food like everyone else) I love to share cafes and restaurants like El Nacional or Els Cuatre Gats. Cultural clashes are also great fun, especially when talking about Catalans and pooping. Expect me to weave in a bad joke or 9 in my posts.

So, why dost I love Barcelona?

  1. I will never, ever be bored here. I love Spain. And I love sacred Sundays. But in some Spanish towns, everything closes on Sundays. And people retreat with their parents and aunts and uncles indoors, and everything feels dead. Barcelona is not that city — people are constantly moving around even though most shops are closed. In an overcrowded city, there’s bound to be people around. Seeing warm bodies makes me feel part of a community, it gives me hope!
  2. Public transportation. The city’s designed in a way that you’re supposed to get from Point A to Point B in less than an hour and a half, or something close to that. There’s the metro, bus, trams, a bicycle sharing system, and commuter trains to get you easily outside the city. It’s so frickin’ easy!
  3. Creativity and inspiration. Not to knock on my hometown of Orange County, but everything starts to look and feel the same whenever I go back home. Consume, buy the newest toy, get a better body, and follow the latest candied onion shmonut craze. Ugh. But here, I feel alive. And not like a consuming mindless robot. The moderniste buildings, the elderly women with the fire-red hair, the gritty Gothic quarter, the skateboarders at MACBA. All in walking distance!
  4. The sun. My doctor told me I’m not allowed to live in a city with less than 300 days of sunshine. Well, I think that’s what he’d say. In fact, I’m so lucky to live in a flat with a living room that faces the sun. I soak it all up. (However, I am not one to sunbathe on the beach doing nothing. I do not want wrinkles.)

And if you’re still so intrigued… my story before living here:

I first came to Spain as a junior in college, studying in Salamanca first. I thought I knew Spanish well, but all I could really say was “Camarero! Camerero!” based on my high school Spanish textbooks. People stared at me like I had three heads. Everyone thought I was Chinese, but I’m really Filipino-American. (Apparently, China or Japan are the only Asian countries.) I was repulsed by jamon serrano because it seemed slimy. My first experience wasn’t really fun, but I made some great friends, it was eye-opening.

I moved to Seville, and things felt better. I went back to the US, had some awesome writing and marketing jobs. But I was definitely missing Spain. I went back to Seville, met my then-boyfriend / now-husband, and used him so I could live in the country and have his two babies. Ahahahahahah.

I’m now a freelance writer, and am raising my three Filipino-American-Andaluz-Catalan kids to further confuse their identities.

I’ll probably be here for awhile. So far, so good.

I still miss my In-N-Out Burger and my choices of Thai food, Mexican street tacos, good sushi at decent prices, the international food choices in general. Yes, I know they have variety here. But it’s not the same! So please never make me eat at a grade-B Chinese restaurant again. (When locals say, “It’s not bad”, it means it’s horrible.) OR if they serve both Chinese and Japanese food? Don’t ever do it!

Okay. So what about you? Drop me a line at justine@latitudefortyone.com if you have any questions about traveling or living in Barcelona. I’d love to hear from you!