All posts filed under: People

Old Stomping Grounds | Vagabrothers visit San Sebastian

The Vagabrothers (who can you follow here, here, and here!) had a recent stop in their old stomping grounds of Donostia-San Sebastian. Guided by Food Blogger Marti Kilpatrick and Eli Susperregui of San Sebastian Food, the Vagabrothers headed around the city for some of the best pintxo’s to be experienced when visiting this Basque city. For those of you who don’t know, I spent the past year and a half living in the Cultural + Food capital of the Basque Country: Donostia-San Sebastian in the North of Spain. While technically a part of Spain, the culture and people of the Basque Country are quite unique. Having the oldest language known in Europe (with unknown roots), they continue to carry on these traditions of language, food and festivals. I ate some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life in this little city/big town and even though I no longer call it my home, I’m proud to have spent some time here and learn about & share the culture with the Basque people. Take a peek at …

PEOPLE | To Be Basque Tours

“The process is three steps,” Igor said as we stood around a fake caserio – or farm house in Spanish – and looked at the different tools they used to make Idiazabal cheese. After explaining the entire process step by step – from the milking of the sheep to churning to the storage process, we moved on to visit various expositions showing the history of the town of Idiazabal to the Basque region. As we ended the tour, we sat around a small table towards the entrance of the museum and Igor disappeared into the back. We chatted about the smells and the entire process of cheese making as we waited for our final treat. Igor returned with plates of cheeses, various wines, and cider. It was a picoteo or appetizer just before our lunch in the next town over. And with that, our tour was complete. Our next stop with To Be Basque tours was to Zerain to have lunch in what used to be a prison that dates back to 1711. The quiet …

The Local Lowdown | Courtney on LA

Only a local of LA for about seven months, Coutrney Hunter, 23, from Orange County, California moved to Venice, CA in September of 2013. The California native spends her time speaking Spanish as a way to stay connected to her year spent in Andaucia, Spain; she also highly enjoys: yoga, hiking, cooking, and listening to live music to name a few things. Courtney reveals her love of LA and all its hidden treasures below in her top 10 list – but before we jump ahead, Courtney shares some insider knowledge: LA is HUGE and DIVERSE.. Every beach town is different (and far) from Hollywood and Downtown LA; yet, what is so attractive about this city is how every district has something different to offer. Downtown has completely revamped and is a great place to walk to bars/restaurants, see concerts at Club Nokia, or go to the Staples Center and catch a game. We-Ho (West Hollywood) is where the “scene is at.” You have SO many opportunities for so much: clubs, speakeasys, concerts (Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Paladium, …

The Local Lowdown | Amaia on Zarautz

Amaia San Jose-Lunney, 27, grew up in a small Basque town, just a hop skip and a jump over the mountain Igueldo from Donostia-San Sebastian. Although Amaia now resides in Donostia and has lived all over the globe, she will always call Zarautz her home. Her family, her people, and her culture have always been attached to her.   She feels so attached that she and her Australian husband now have made it their business to share her culture with visitors. “Basque people are really kind and they will always help you,” she says. “Any visitor that comes to (visit) should learn about the culture and try to get to know the locals.” You can check out her company’s website To Be Basque for more information of getting the full local experience if you ever visit the Basque Country. Amaia’s top 10 favorite spots in Zarautz & Donostia-San Sebastian – 1. The Walking Path: (Running) along the ocean that goes from Zarautz to Getaria (3.5km) , it is really relaxing for me to walk along the …

Mad to Live | A letter to James

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road  I woke up this morning to read a post from an unknown girl on Jame’s Facebook wall about memories she had of him. I had been thinking about him and his adventures in Asia so I clicked to read more. By the time I finished reading her post I was in shock. She ended it with, “I can’t believe this is real. You’ll be missed.” My heart sank as I scrolled through other posts on his wall. My friend James Hart had died. We met almost one year ago when he messaged me on Couch Surfing for a place to stay while passing through Donostia-San Sebastian before his adventure on El Camino de Santiago. …

PEOPLE |An interview with Lisa

Lisa has been an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for almost 15 years. Having lived in Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey and now Spain – she shared her travel stories, moments of culture shock and how life is for an expat on the move. “I think you get to a point where you spend so much time outside your own country that it starts to become foreign,” said Lisa Page, sitting at a table in the Uruguayan family owned bar – La Cristina in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. She cradled her cup of café con leche as she remembered her time in Taiwan. After five years living there she realized she wouldn’t be moving back to Canada. It had already been seven years since Lisa had packed her bags and moved to Mexico to start her career as an English teacher abroad. After one year teaching in Toronto, her students from Guadalajara convinced Lisa she needed to go. And that was that. Although Lisa graduated with a BA in Linguistics and a TESOL teaching certification, she …

PEOPLE | An Interview with Beltza

“Ah, of course! I forgot seitan! Traditional seitan that we make ourselves. It’s wheat gluten,” said Beltza – owner of Tedone Jatetxea in the neighborhood of Gros, Donostia-San Sebastian – after listing off five ingredients you’ll always find in the kitchen at his restaurant. The other ingredients they always have on hand include: biological vegetables; red, integral rice; tofu; fish; and miso – which makes Tedone the hidden gem that it is in this small northern Basque city. Tedone Jatetxea came into the hands of Beltza seven years ago which he uses as his outlet to promote healthy and sustainable eating. “I spent several years messing around in the world of food, but especially in macrobiotics. Because of that I wanted to put together something that had a little to do with food and macrobiotics,” explained Beltza. “But not entirely because it’s complicated, it’s a philosophy, but considering that we are what we eat, we wanted to try a restaurant to make this concept go a little further, not only thinking about the food but …