One day in 1997 I was called into the bosses' office. "The guy in London quit," they said. What do we do? Ideas, gentlemen." After some initial reasoning, I said the best option would be to send someone from New York. That way we could integrate the two offices. "Yeah, but who would do something like that?" they asked.

I don't know how it happened, but the strangest word I have ever uttered came out of my mouth at that moment. "Me?" I said. Everyone looked in my direction and said it was a great idea, a GREAT idea. I should book a plane right away and arrange some interviews. It all happened so quickly that I'm still convinced it was a setup.

I'd lived in London during the 70's. I had sometimes thought about living in Europe, but dismissed the idea because getting there as a working adult seemed out of reach. But here was an opportunity. Besides, most of my friends were having babies and unavailable, so who would notice if I went missing for a while and had an adventure?

The one request I made was that if it were possible, I'd like to stop off in Barcelona for a while and stay with friends. To do well at my London interview, I'd need to get over jet lag, and more importantly, I'd need to practice drinking, which was something I hadn't done in a while. The ticket would cost the same, and nobody objected. What a coup!

I stayed about four days with a good friend, Jordi, who had  lived in New York for about 9 years. Jordi and I met the week he arrived from Barcelona, and we were friends until he left. We'd had minimal contact after that, so it was a great thing to be able to spend some time together again. And of course, it was an even greater thing to poke around Barcelona, which is an exceptionally beautiful city.

This trip came two years after the trip to Peru, and I'm afraid the photography is still fairly klutzy – I had yet to develop into the rank amateur that I am today. Where in Peru there's enough scenery that you can get away without a wide-angle lens, Barcelona is nothing but city, and everything is close. It took another 2 years to come to that realization. I suppose that's how you learn. In any case, Barcelona has so much to offer that I hope the subjects speak for themselves.