Postcards From Home: Corbmac McKay

As part of GCN's current Travel issue, we talk to members of the Irish LGBT+ community who have made new lives abroad.

A young man with a beard poses against a Barcelona subway mural as part of a postcards home feature

Corbmac McKay: Postcards From Home – Barcelona

Why did you move?

I was holidaying in Barcelona in August 2015 and during my stay I decided to apply for a job here. Next morning, I got a call to come in for an interview and got the job – it was really random and unexpected. After getting back to Dublin and winter was kicking in, I decided to accept the offer and move here for a few months. Three and a half years, a boyfriend, and a dog later I’m still here with no plans to leave.

What do you miss about Ireland?

Like everyone else, I miss the usuals – Irish milk and butter, a fry after a night out and a decent pint of Guinness. But moving to Barcelona made me miss the efficiency of getting things done quickly and having a system (you don’t know chaos until you need a document from the Catalan City Hall). I also miss customer service, which is non-existent in Spain.

A young man with a beard holding a dog in Barcelona as part of a postcards home feature

What do you not miss?

It goes without saying that the obvious answer is course the weather – the sun constantly shines here. Back home it seemed that I worked non-stop and that I lived for the weekend, but over here life is more relaxed and my work / life balance is incredible. We have so many public holidays and 30 holiday days on top of that meaning I get home a lot. I definitely don’t miss paying an extortionate amount of money on rent and being charged a fiver for a coffee.

What do you love about your new city?

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Barcelona – it has so much to offer. I love the fact that my office is literally on the beach, so during my lunch break I can chill on the sand and sunbathe. I love how diverse the culinary options are here, the parties are some of the best in Europe, and there’s literally something for everyone in Barcelona. Usually when people visit they complain about it being so busy with tourists but as a local I know the great getaways and more local spots.

A young man with a beard wearing sunglasses in Barcelona as part of a postcards home feature

Rate your queer scene.

Barcelona is one of the top gay destinations in the world, so the queer scene is incomparable to Dublin. As the home to Matinee, Barcelona hosts Circuit Festival every August which attracts guys from all across the world and is a great opportunity to meet new people. We have a gay beach, a large gay district, and the city has zero tolerance towards homophobia. For a gay man, Barcelona is a place where you can feel free to be yourself with no judgement. 

Look out for more Postcards From Home featuring postcards from the Irish LGBT+ community abroad and from new members to our queer family who have made a new home in Ireland inside the current issue of GCN

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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