The internet can be a faceless world where anyone can pretend to be anything they wish. I’d like to use this page to give you a little background to myself and to Spanish Fiestas which I hope will give you every confidence in our website when planning your trip to Spain.
My name is Gerry. I’m originally from the north-west of England. In the late-1980s I moved to Palma de Mallorca to take up a teaching post at Queens College. Four years later I met my wife, Kirsty, when I moved to work at Kings College in Madrid. We now live on the coast of Granada in Southern Spain.
How Did Spanish Fiestas Begin?
In the mid-90s Kirsty and I decided to go travelling around the world for a year so we headed for London Gatwick and off we went to Kathmandu at the start of an amazing year. It was during this trip that the idea of Spanish Fiestas arose. More precisely it was on a tourist bus in northern Queensland where my ‘eureka moment’ convinced me that I could start arranging for British football fans to come to Madrid to see Real Madrid matches at the Bernabeu stadium when I got back to Spain.
Back in Spain a year later we set up an English language teaching business in the village of Miraflores de la Sierra near Madrid which Kirsty ran whilst I got a job in the Business Studies department of San Pablo CEU University in Moncloa.
After much preparation in a pre-internet world our first customers arrived in 1996 when we began offering our football weekends in Madrid. This soon expanded to include FC Barcelona after I met a young entrepreneur from Barcelona who we’ve continued to work with to this day. In 1998 the Spanish Fiestas website was born. Little did I know that it would become central to my working life for the next 25 years.
Spanish Fiestas Goes Full Time
In June 2001 we decided that it was time for me to work full time with Spanish Fiestas as there simply wasn’t enough time in a day to balance a part-time travel business with a full-time teaching job.
The website was starting to attract significant visitor numbers and the internet was fast becoming a way of life for doing business. We moved away from Madrid to Almuñécar on the coast of Granada where Kirsty took a teaching job in the local international school whilst I worked on developing the website and expanding the services we were offering. I recall my first week of working full-time on the site only too well as she called me from the school on September 11th to tell me to switch on the TV and watch the news!
Within three years Kirsty was able to join me full time as I could no longer cope with all the tasks associated with the enormous volume of traffic the website was now attracting. Over the following years Spanish Fiestas grew to offer a wide range of travel services all over Spain, developing valuable partnerships with reliable providers along the way.
Many years of travelling around Spain have provided us with invaluable knowledge of our destinations. To this day (December 2024) we continue to add new information to our website and and update old articles providing valuable content for readers planning a trip to Spain.
Digital Nomads Since 2005
Most of the time we spent building Spanish Fiestas involved sitting at computers in Spain, however, we started to wonder how easy it would be to spend extended periods of time outside Spain whilst still keeping on top of the work.
So in November 2005, our quietest period of the year, we travelled to Asia for 6 weeks, visiting Vietnam, Laos and Hong Kong. The following year, over the same period, we went to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam which cemented our love affair with South-East Asia.
Nowadays there are hundreds of thousands of people working from remote locations around the world thanks to the wonders of modern technology. We were fortunate enough to achieve this lifestyle 20 years ago which puts us amongst the first wave of ‘digital nomads’ although no such title existed in those days!
Spanish Fiestas Goes Down Under
The Asian experience encouraged us to go further afield so we decided that we’d try running Spanish Fiestas from Australia. After explaining our plans to the Australian Embassy (and successfully passing a verbal test about the Brisbane Broncos rugby league team) we were granted a 12 month visa and headed there in 2007.
Equipped with a new laptop we then travelled around Australia in our Ford Falcon station wagon for much of the year stopping off for extended periods in apartments with wireless internet connections to ensure that we were always on top of our website work.
Back to the UK … and Peru
After Australia we returned to Spain but decided that running a small business in the ailing Spanish economy was no longer a good idea so we moved to the UK. After 3 few years it felt like time for another move. We learned that some friends from Madrid had taken jobs at an international school in Lima and there was a vacancy for a mathematics teacher. So Kirsty headed down to London for an interview and we arrived in the Peruvian capital for Christmas 2013 and a new adventure dawned.
Escape From Brexitland
We were in a restaurant in Lima on the night of the 2016 Brexit referendum and were in a state of shock when we heard the result. Clearly British citizens would no longer be able to continue enjoying the benefits of freedom of movement which we had taken for granted for so many years. To cut a long story short, we returned to Spain before the Brexit deadline and once again reside on the coast of Granada where I’m still editing the Spanish Fiestas website in the glorious November sunshine.