Marcos González and I have a lot in common. We’ve made reverse journeys across the Pond. While away from our home countries, we have lost loved ones. I founded Dreams Abroad while teaching in Spain. In my latest interview, I speak with Marcos, a traveler who swapped the North Coast of Spain for the West Coast of the States.
“Come home to paradise, come to Asturias.” This is the slogan of the principality’s tourist board. A green and pleasant land, this is northwest Spain. A rugged coast and majestic mountain range crown Asturias. The fare is of the hearty variety, made to satisfy the appetites of those accustomed to working outdoors. It’s Marcos González’s native terrain and while pandemic-enforced absence makes the heart grow fonder, he has embraced a new life in California as a hospitality professional.
You come from Asturias, land of fabada asturiana and sidra. What dish or drink do you miss most from your home?”
I miss many, but mackerel is one of my favorite ones! Undeniably, I do love cabracho cake too. It’s like a paté made with rockfish and it’s delicious. I am lucky to be from a country and a location with a rich, delicious, and varied gastronomy.
If somebody is planning a Spanish road trip, what are the unmissable things to see and do in Asturias?”
First, they need to hire me as a guide… kidding! Asturias is small but you will be surprised by the number of beautiful places that we have. Definitely, Oviedo is a must. Covadonga, Llanes, Somiedo… everywhere there is something beautiful to visit, from waterfalls, lakes, castles, caves, and beaches.
How much does being based in California (where over a quarter of the population speaks Spanish as a primary language) help you with adjusting to your relocation?”
Well, it’s nice to be able to speak my language. Nonetheless, I am fluent in English, so I don’t mind speaking one or the other language. I have lived in the UK and even in Ireland before, so the language is not a problem for me. The problem is for the poor Californians who have to understand my accent!
On your Instagram page, you describe yourself as a traveler, explorer, adventurer. Where was the first place you traveled to both in and outside of Spain?”
Good question… the first time that I went out of Spain was to Ireland. I loved it. In Spain… I would say Barcelona, I think it was the first city out of Asturias that I visited as a traveler.
Which country have you enjoyed exploring the most?”
I must say that I have loved exploring all of them, but I think France is my number one! I love France. As I used to live in Andorra, I was in France all the time!
What has been your favorite individual adventure?”
I would say my trip to Hawaii. It was somewhere that I went by myself as a traveler and I had so much fun! Visiting Hawaii was a beautiful experience full of adventure. Kauai conquered my heart!
You work in hospitality. How did your accommodation react to the pandemic?”
Now I am a food and beverage manager, but I was a hotel manager in the past. We have followed all the protocols and we have been open and busy all the time. I haven’t taken any vacations since March 2020 and it doesn’t seem that I am traveling any time soon. Despite there being a pandemic, I have been working more than ever. I just wished that certain guests could have been more understanding and easier with us. Some people have been extremely rude and aggressive toward us during all this time, forgetting that we are doing our job and putting our lives at risk.
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the hospitality industry?”
I love the industry. My advice is to be ambitious and enjoy what you do. You should take advantage of the industry to live in different countries as I did.
Which one photo that you have taken do you like looking at and why?”
There is a photo with my dog in Asturias that I love. First, because I love my dog and Asturias. Second, I took it when I started getting interested in the photography world.
When will you return back to Asturias to see your family?”
I don’t have plans yet. I am vaccinated and they are too, but I think that it’s risky. With everything that has been going on, I won’t put my family at risk. I can wait until I feel it’s safe. Sometimes, deciding not to visit someone is the greatest proof of love, don’t you think so?
We want our interviews to be as comprehensive as possible. After reading them, we hope you have got to know our interviewees as well as if you were introduced to them in person. Dreams Abroad targets the aspiring globe-trotter. Working in education and hospitality are gateways to travel. You can follow in my footsteps and in Marcos’. If you want to move, we hope our articles give you a little push in the right direction.
While Marcos is committed to securing residency in the United States for work purposes, his heart remains in Spain. Marcos looks forward to the day he can fly back to Asturias to reunite with his family. In the meantime, Marcos is traveling locally around California. He particularly likes visiting beaches and national parks such as Big Sur and Bodie State Historic Park.
If this interview has sparked something deep inside, make your way over to the Resources section of Dreams Abroad. Here, you’ll be able to explore our VLOGS where a colorful collection of characters like Marcos the traveler showcase what is important to them. This is also where you will find Recommendations that reveal the sites we like to turn to and enjoy reading in our spare time.