"Today’s Zeitgeist is all about community, communication, creativity and collaboration"
A former BBC, ITN and SKY journalist. Carrie Frais is one of the co-founders of Maresme Connect and the founder of No20, a showroom, co-working and events space in Vilassar de Mar. She is also the founder and director of MumAbroad, an online resource for the international community living in Europe, the co-founder and director of FiG Communications, a creative agency and the co-founder 4Voices, an online platform to encourage more public speaking among teenagers. She is a regular events host, voiceover artist and hosts her own podcasts ‘The Soundtrack to My Life‘ and ‘Notes on Leadership‘. She is also the co-founder of Bremain in Spain and author and editor of the anthology #LivingTheDream, exposing the harsher realities of life away from home. Originally from London, Carrie lives in Montcabrer in Cabrils with her husband Tom, two kids Poppy and Bertie, two rescue cats Wally and Maggie and rescue dog, Reggie.
When I moved away from my native home my world got so much bigger. I used to live in one of the most exciting cities on earth but there’s nothing more enriching than living in a new environment and experiencing a different culture. It opens your mind and ensures you keep learning and growing.
I opened a co-working because I found working from home unstimulating and lonely. I like to be able see people face-to-face and bounce off their energy over a morning cup of coffee. Humans are mostly very social animals.
I prefer asking questions than giving answers. I tend to think people are more interesting than me! Everybody has a story. The quiet ones in the corner are often the most interesting of all.
My mum died suddenly of a heart attack and my dad died of cancer over a prolonged period of time. I’d like to go the way my mum went, quickly and hopefully with little suffering.
When my parents died I lost my sense of belonging. It took me several years to work out my new identity without them. Strangely, I am now more sure of who I am than I was when they were alive.
My mum taught me to never judge and always save water. My dad taught me the joy of reinventing oneself, not to take life too seriously and how not to cook!
I used to be a proud of being British but Brexit, Boris and all the political rubbish since leaving the EU has sadly changed that. I am much prouder to be European.
My teenage children can sometimes be monosyllabic and grumpy but I’d never swap these years for the toddler years again. They often make me laugh out loud. They see life from a much more refreshing perspective than us oldies.
I decided to create the anthology #LivingTheDream to give a reality check to the shiny Instagram lens we so often see about life abroad. It is still the case that ‘expats’ are portrayed as white, privileged westerners enjoying sangria on the sand. The reality is often far removed from that.
I thought I was a cat person until I got Reggie. He is precious.
Maresme ticks all the boxes for lifestyle. I love the fact you can be on the ski slopes in the morning and back in time for a sundowner in a chiringuito at dusk.
Today’s Zeitgeist is all about community, communication, creativity and collaboration. That is the thinking behind creating Maresme Connect. Despite some of the uneasiness in today’s world, I do feel positive about tomorrow.