Move to BCN or stay in ZRH? (Barcelona)
I moved to Zurich from San Francisco about 8 months ago, and I travel every week to a different European, Middle Eastern, or African country. My time in Zurich is mostly on weekends and, to be perfectly honest, that is too much. Zurich has a population about half that of San Francisco, has wretchedly cold winters, bland architecture, an incredibly rigid way of operating, an absurd cost-of-living, and a less-than-warm culture with which it is very hard to connect. On the plus side, there is a big lake surrounded by hills, I can survive without learning German, and public transportation is ALWAYS on-time.
I visited Barcelona this summer for a few days and before the landing gear of the Airbus touched the runway I thought "I *must* live here!" Warmer weather, the Mediterranean, hills around the city, stunning architecture, lower cost-of-living, and what seemed to be a much more friendly culture were big positives for me.
The questions I have about moving to Barcelona, and for which I could use some advice from other expats (especially any from San Francisco), are Protected content expat-friendly is the culture, Protected content well can I survive without learning Catalan or Spanish (I really don't have time for classes since I'll usually only be there on the weekend), Protected content bad is the income tax - my initial research indicates it's twice as high as Switzerland, Protected content overall stable/reliable is public transportation (i.e. would it be smarter to take a cab or a train to the airport every week).
I'll have to make a decision within the next 60 days or so about whether I want to stay in Zurich or move to Barcelona, Any feedback to my questions or anything else you might find helpful would be greatly appreciated.