Meet La Morena: Glo(ria) Atanmo
Featured in our “10 Instagrams To Follow In 2015”, Glo is a “professional risk taker” spectacularly globe trotting while chronicling her adventures via “The Blog Abroad.” Learn more about this glowing basketball player and entrepreneur turned Barcelona resident in our exclusive Meet La Morena interview below!
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, creative, and awkward!
What are 3 words that exemplify YOUR Spain experience?
Colorful, magical, and dynamic!
What are your 3 fashion must-haves?
Scarves, fedoras, and handmade bracelets! I always support street vendors when I travel who make handmade jewelry, so I’ve bought a bracelet in every country I’ve been to.
Name your 3 most listened to songs on iTunes.
Wow! This takes me back.
Mary Mary - God In Me
Maroon 5 - I Can’t Lie
Chiddy Bang - Fresh Like Us
Tell us 3 places on your travel bucket list.
It’s long! But the 3 places I’m anxious to explore are Dubai, Brazil, and Turkey!
What brought you here?
I was desperate to extend my stay in Europe after my visa in the UK expired and I knew the entrepreneur in me would be able to find a hustle if I gave it a shot. So I booked a one-way here and started teaching English to kids, learning Spanish & Catalan myself, and then soon went on to play semi-pro basketball for a Catalan league and get sponsorships through my travel blog.
If I were to hand you a no-strings-attached check for 1000 euros, how would you spend it?
I’m turning 25 in March and I’ve been wanting to do something special as it’s a milestone birthday, so I’d probably use half of that and send myself on a cruise around coastal cities from Nice, France to the Almafi Coast in Italy and then the rest to plan my next 3 trips. Before traveling, I don’t know how I wasted my money. It is literally the only thing I spend money on these days, because it buys you invaluable experiences and changes you forever.
Why did you choose Spain? Or did Spain choose you?
It’s hard to remember the exact deciding factor when you’re put in a situation between going back to a mundane life in the states or finding a way to extend your European stay by any means necessary. It just seemed like the perfect fit from what I’ve heard and researched online. There were 5 days in between my decision and my flight to Barcelona, so when I decided where I was going, I wasted no time getting here!
Best day trip in Spain so far, and why?
Sevilla! I absolutely loved visiting the Andalusian region because it has such an authentic feel to it. The culture is so different and as tourists usually route their vacations to a city like Barcelona before Sevilla, it was nice to not always be stuck in a crowd or be suffocated by cameras in the air and slow-paced walkers looking for the beach, haha.
If one song had to play every time you entered a room or walked down the street, what would it be?
SIA - You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
Describe your perfect day in Spain.
I wake up to the sounds of Spanish opera being sung by a street performer and take a cup of coffee out on the balcony to enjoy the show and the crowd that inevitably builds. I lounge around in my PJ’s and take 30 minutes to catch up on the global (read: American) news and gossip I missed last night from being 6 hours ahead of them. I text some friends in a WhatsApp group called “Barcelona Hangouts” and tell them I’ll be at the beach in an hour if they’d like to join. I bring my Spanish literature book, a towel, and headphones and make my way to the beach. On the way, I stop for a nutella-filled baguette at the local corner store and make small talk with the business owner. I rehearse basic Spanish phrases in my head and play out situations I might get myself into, only to butcher the words when said situation presents itself.
After lounging at the beach, having girl talk, and reading, I head back home for a 3-hour siesta. I check online meetup forums to see who and where there are concerts, language exchanges, or events hosted locally. I head there and recognize a couple faces from an event last week. We begin to catch up over drinks and enjoy the atmosphere of the night. I get home at 3am (at earliest), relive my night through my half-coherent snapchats, and snooze off.
Have you got a #girlcrush? Spill.
Yes! Her name is Jae (@FlyingWithPurpose on IG). She’s a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul and curls to die for. She’s currently living in Japan and I know I will visit one day JUST so I can meet her!
What’s your comfiest comfort food?
NUTELLA! With baguettes, crepes, gelato, you name it!
What’s the one T.V. series you can’t imagine life without?
SCANDAL. But ch’all knew dat.
Name one Spanish dish you can’t get on board with?
Gazpacho. It’s a type of thick, tomato-ish drink that is typical in the summer, but it seems more like soup. The people I’ve tried it with have it in a cup like a drink, but I can’t get myself to slurp it down like that. It doesn’t taste horrible, I just would be perfectly fine with never having to try it again, lol.
Who or what inspires your sense of personal style?
I would say fellow travelers and free-spirited people I meet. As a perpetual spender on all things travel, I don’t have money to splurge on the latest trends, so I take what I have and make it trendy and I think it has a BoHo chic, gypsy feel to it. Like if homelessness meets Urban Outfitters. Hahaha. I don’t even know what that means.
What is the most worn item in your closet at the moment?
My Moroccan scarf. It’s multilayered and has 3 separate patterns so that I can fold or tie it in different ways to appear like I didn’t just wear it yesterday, haha.
What has surprised you most about European living?
How cheap and minimally people live. If the average person in America compared the cost of living, expenses, and everyday spending to that of a European country like Spain, they’d spend 50% less a month. You just don’t need that much to live comfortably here, and I love that.
What’s your go-to mantra to fight the haters and have the best day possible?
You get to a point where you realize it’s okay to burn bridges with people that lead to a place you no longer wish to be in. I’ve burnt many-a-bridges and cut off many-a-people because for some strange reason, if someone else’s happiness doesn’t reflect or benefit you, they want no part in it, so they harbor this bitterness and it’s cancerous and ugly.
I distance myself from people that I can sense this from and continue to surround myself with loving, intelligent, and risk-taking souls who encourage and uplift you when you need it most. That keeps me going!
Do you have any wise words for those considering taking the plunge into Spanish life?
If you didn’t know a lick of Spanish beforehand like me, I highly suggest studying and learning as much as possible beforehand! It will make the transition so much easier and despite the everyday awkwardness of my regular jargon-butchering, I find myself having so much more fun meeting people now that I can understand and hold a higher level of Spanish conversations with others.
Also, JUST DO IT! If you’re looking for a country with an amazing culture, gorgeous sceneries, beautiful beaches, and an experience of a lifetime, look no further than Spain. This has been everything I could’ve imagined and more.
Be sure to follow Glo on instagram for constant wanderlust and travel inspiration!
Interview conducted by Storm Tyler. Storm is Style Editor at Las Morenas de España. As a lover of travel, writing, fashion, fitness and meeting new individuals, this Austin dweller is constantly fantasizing about her next great adventure that incorporates all of her interests. Storm is currently completing her last year as an International Studies undergrad while battling reminiscences of Spain.