At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 has been difficult for so many people across the world. At the beginning of the pandemic, we reached out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We wanted to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. Over a year on from the start of the pandemic, we’re reaching out again…
Originally from Madrid, Santi works in our WCIA Communications team. He has a background in Communications, Latin American Politics, and Spanish teaching. He is currently trying to pursue his dream of working in the cinema industry.
Here’s his story
When I first arrived to the UK back in August 2020, the world was still trying to figure out how to digest one of the biggest impacts in recent history: the Covid-19 pandemic. I transitioned from sunny, relatively open Madrid to Cardiff where the weather was still surprisingly good, yet everything started to close down. My first weeks I spent trying to acclimate to a new professional environment that I would basically relate via Zoom.
But life always provides endless possibilities, so what started as imaginary exercises of travelling through cinema, literature and very long walks in the beautifully green spaces around Cardiff, ended up with some other outdoorsy experiences here and there that fed my soul and certainly my sense of belonging. The list is regional and some would say a short one. But I am more than happy to have seen the always welcoming Welsh attitude in places such as Tenby, Saint David’s, Hay-on-Wye or Bristol, Bath and London in our neighbour’s land to the east.
“Travelling now exemplifies an absolute luxury to enjoy slowly”
Travelling now exemplifies an absolute luxury to enjoy slowly, in the manner that an old person who’s never seen the ocean would look at it with admiration, hesitation and pure excitement. Now I am figuring out how to visit my family and friends back in Spain during summer, but I don’t stress like I used to. One day at a time seems one of the most efficient ways to live in such uncertain times.
Wales has reminded me the art of love, taught me a life lesson I will always have to carry along, opened up professional windows that directly connect to my childhood dreams. It too has shown me the ability to master uncertainty and even been at ease with a combination of rain, sun, hailing, cold and heat in an hour span. I even got to vote for Senedd elections (Welsh Parliament) on the 6th of May 2021! So everything I have got to say comes down to gratitude. I feel grateful for I feel alive.
“I feel grateful for I feel alive”
I too feel grateful for the pandemic hasn’t hit my people harshly and we all can go on, and some day we will tell our grandchildren that 2020, 2021 and foreseeably some more years after that were peppered with some of the most terrifying events in the last two decades. Yet, they too brought about a sense of a global community that is increasingly characterized by more and more people embodying Human Rights and diverse voices. And this makes the world seem a bit more similar to the one I wish to live in.