Tina Verelst Interview

Costa Women Meet Tina Verelst

Finding an ‘unreal’ home in Calpe meet Tina Verelst.  She traded Luxembourg for Barcelona first and now loves her new life in Calpe. Tina is creating space to Learn, Adapt and Overcome. Read her story.

Why Spain?

So, back in 2016, I was living in Luxembourg, but the travel bug had bitten me hard. I was working for this big insurance company, constantly on the road. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool at first, but after a while, I was like, “Is there any way I can ditch Luxembourg for somewhere new?”

My boss, well, he wasn’t exactly jumping on it. The office in Luxembourg was tiny, and with all the traveling, I wasn’t exactly building friendships with my colleagues. He basically said, “We’re in the middle of some changes right now, so relocation isn’t exactly on my plate. But hey, I’ll keep you posted.”

Fast forward to December, and guess what? My boss hits me up and says, “Barcelona is opening up – fancy a move?” Boom! Just like that, I was swapping grey skies for sunshine. Started February 1st, same company, just a way more exotic location. Definitely a step up from Luxembourg!

And where are you now?

We switched Barcelona for Calpe right before Covid hit, and let me tell you, it was the smartest move ever. We found a sweet house with a garden and pool – can you imagine being stuck in a tiny Barcelona apartment during quarantine? No thanks! Having our own space to relax and unwind during that whole mess was a lifesaver.

This place is unreal!

Seriously, if you’re even thinking about a move to Calpe, here’s why we’re loving it:

Sunshine practically year-round? Heck yes! Traded those more grey skies in Barcelona for some serious Vitamin D. My skin thanks me!

This giant rock, Peñón de Ifach, sticking out of the sea? Beyond cool to look at, but you can also hike it for unreal views (personally I’m too lazy to do it). Epic photo ops for sure!

And lastly, Calpe’s got this perfect blend of chill and adventure. Beach days? Absolutely. Water sports? Check. Exploring the charming old town for a taste of history and some fine places to eat? Double check!

There’s something for everyone here.

Calpe Tina Verelst

What was the biggest challenge for your move?

Everything definitely moves at a slower pace here in Spain compared to what us northerners are used to. Those first few months were a laugh, trying to adjust – everything from the language barrier to the laid-back schedule. Super frustrating at first, no doubt about it!

But guess what? It grows on you. You pick up the language, maybe not perfectly Spanish, but enough to get by and have a laugh with the locals. And then, bam! Everything feels a little less stressful. They’ve got a saying here, “Mañana, mañana” – it basically means “if not today, then tomorrow.” Wise words, really. Less rushing, more relaxing, soaking up the sunshine – that’s the Spanish way of life!

Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?

Stop overthinking and just do it! Sure, there will be bumps in the road – frustration, stress, the whole shebang. But regrets? Not a chance. This is your life, your adventure! Don’t listen to the naysayers, follow your own path, just like we did.

What is your Calpe life like? 

Up until February, I was stuck in full-time grind mode at that same insurance company. Burnout? Never thought it’d hit me, but wham bam, there it was. So I said “peace out” and took some much-needed me-time.

Right now, I’m footloose and fancy-free – no job, all play (well, most of the play). Spain and Calpe are spoiling me rotten! Long walks, catching up with friends over coffee, and slowly, slowly building this freelance gig on the side. No pressure, just chilling and letting it flow. Plus, my two furry buddies are finally getting the attention they deserve – those pups keep me on my toes!

Tina Verelst_Coffee

If you could achieve one spectacular thing in just one day what would it be?

That’s a tough one! Honestly, with the life I have here in Calpe, most days already feel pretty spectacular. But if I could pick just one thing to achieve in a single day, it would probably be to bottle up some of this sunshine and chill and share it with everyone important back home! Imagine it – a sprinkle of Calpe sunshine to chase away anyone’s bad mood and a dose of our laid-back attitude to slow things down. Now that would be a truly epic day!

Something you are grateful for?

That’s a great question! It’s hard to pick just one thing, to be honest. This whole move to Calpe feels like a win-win. But if I had to choose, I’d say I’m most grateful for finally listening to myself and taking that leap of faith.

Who would be at your special dinner party?

For an unforgettable dinner party, I’d invite:

1. My two dogs: Because let’s face it, a party isn’t complete without my furry best friends. They’ll always be happy to see me and provide some unconditional love.

2. Steve Jobs: A true innovator and pioneer in technology. It would be incredible to hear his insights on the future of AI and how he envisions the world developing.

3. Mom (for family warmth): There’s no place like home, and mom brings the warmth and love that makes a gathering feel special.

4. Dad (for balance): Can’t forget Dad! He’d add a different perspective to the conversation and keep things interesting.

5. Leonardo da Vinci (for a touch of Renaissance brilliance): A true polymath – artist, inventor, scientist, and engineer – Leonardo da Vinci would bring a fascinating perspective to the table. It would be amazing to discuss art, science, and his visionary ideas that continue to inspire us today.

Tina Verelst_dog

What’s your secret weapon?

Life throws punches, but I never stay down. I get back up, learn, and keep going.

Do you have a mantra you live by?

Learn, Adapt, Overcome

Learn: Be open to new knowledge and experiences, constantly seeking ways to improve.

Adapt: Be flexible and adjust your approach based on new information or changing circumstances.

Overcome: Don’t let challenges stop you. Use what you learn and adapt to find solutions and achieve your goals.

Do you have a favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Tim Robbins portrays a man wrongly convicted of murder and sent to prison.

He LEARNS to navigate the brutal prison system, ADAPTS to his circumstances by using his intelligence and resourcefulness, and ultimately OVERCOMES injustice to find a semblance of freedom.

Something you would tell your younger self?

Listen up, younger self! Work is important, but it’s not the only thing that defines you. Remember to make time for the things that make you happy – hanging out with friends, playing your favorite sport, maybe even starting that hobby you’ve been thinking about. Life is all about enjoying the journey, not just reaching the destination.

Thank you Tina Verelst where can we connect with you?

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tinaverelst/

My website: https://www.studioqaviar.com/


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Tina Verelst_interview