“I have never been to a city where there is less reason to go to bed…” – Ernest Hemingway … about Madrid

SPEAK started in Madrid

At the beginning of this year SPEAK opened in Madrid and someone had to go there to build the partnerships and network.  After discussing it with the team (“Pick me! Pick me!”), I got to travel to Madrid, and here is my experience so far in the city!


It’s my 10th day in Madrid, but it will probably take me 10 years to feel like I really know the city. Madrid is an amazing city! Probably the only city that makes me feel like a small-town girl moving to a big city! I still get fascinated by the huge streets, amazing stores and how much life there is in it. It doesn’t really stop!

The first weekend

My boyfriend came to surprise me and to show me around his favourite spots as he lived in Madrid for 10 years (he’s Spanish) and the problem is that most of any Spanish favourite things are related with food. Oh boy… they can eat!

We went searching for the best tortilla, the best croquetas and the best cocktails in town. It’ almost a contest of all you can eat and my idea is that that the best croquetas and tortillas can be found in many, many places. If you need some cool hints, check the 7 Must-to-do Things in Madrid: The City that Never Sleeps. 

So, in order to make up for so much food, I had to move my bum! I heard about this guy – Gibril, who is a refugee from Gambia and is now giving boxing classes at Retiro Park. I love outdoor sports, so it sounded like a plan… until I noticed I was completely unprepared! The only thing we had in common were our shoes (same brand): that man has muscles in places I didn’t know existed. After I recover from my shock and can walk again, I will definitely go back!

The thoughts that come with being in a new city

Every time I move to a new city I find myself thinking “here we go again”! I need to shake it and find tools to meet new people and practice my Spanish. My Spanish is not so bad… even though my boyfriend used to call me Yoda. Seriously, I don’t even get the joke as I don’t watch Star Trek (is it Star Trek, Star Wars?!) oopsss…

It would have been cool to have a project like SPEAK when I was moving around and I am happy that the project had a very warm welcome by our new partners in Madrid. Growing to a new city always has its challenges… but it’s much easier when you find amazing partners.  Here are three examples:

Espacio Geranios 

Espacio Geranios is a social enterprises incubator and a co-working place, where people can learn from each other and know each other. Here, independent professionals and social entities share a space where they can develop their projects in a collaborative working atmosphere.

espacio geranios

Madrid for refugees 

Born out of the common will of dozens of strangers to act in regards to the refugee crisis affecting Europe. Its mission is to aid and empower refugees of all nationalities in Madrid. They achieve this through donation drives, fundraising campaigns, community outreach, and awareness campaigns

Sleep’N Atocha 

An amazing Hotel in the center of town for which the word “commitment” is full of meaning. They work hard to carry out the business in a sustainable way with our environment and our community. They invited SPEAK to host a course at their very cool bar. 

Author: Mariana Brilhante

Mariana is SPEAK’s Community Manager, she loves nature and adventure, has a sort of obsession for typical sayings.

Author: Mariana Brilhante

Mariana is Chief Marketing Officer at SPEAK, she loves nature and adventure, has a sort of obsession for typical sayings!

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