We only get to know our country once we leave it, such is my experience. Although I was born in the United States, I was raised in Spain, living there from the age of 2 until I hit 30, when I moved to San Francisco. Since then, for the last 20 years, I have come to truly appreciate my adopted Spain, discovering and seeing with brand new eyes the marvellous country I left behind. One of my recent discoveries was the Basque Country, one of the best-kept secrets. How? Through Instagram!
I’d been to the Basque Country once before when I was 24. We drove through Bilbao, a then very dark industrial city nobody seemed to think much about, to a wedding in San Sebastian. It was a very short trip, in and out, so I sort of missed the beauty. I was also too young and self-absorbed to appreciate much but the wedding party we attended. Now, I look back and kick myself.
Fast forward 26 years and now I am a fan of the best-kept secret and in love with the Basque Country, especially Bilbao. How did I discover it? In short: fate, chance, friendship, my newfound enthusiasm for unique experiences and adventure, and surprisingly through Instagram as I just mentioned.
I started to follow Basque Experiences Instagram account because of their warm interaction with followers like myself and, of course, their pictures with stunning views, food, people, traditions, architecture, wineries and the works. Soon, we exchanged many likes and became friends. On my following trip to Spain last year I went to visit them. Actually, they invited me and they were the perfect hosts. I was only there for 28 hours, but they took me to so many places, beaches, towns, restaurants, bars which I could only have gone to with experienced Basque people. Only insiders know the ins and outs and the hidden gems. I was immersed in a culture of food, friendship and warmth like no other.
Truly, I would have never gotten to know the Basque Country without them. It’s not like you can grab a lonely Planet guide and tread alone. You must know a local who is proud and happy to share their culture.
If you like a good time, culture, food, wine, nature, and unique experiences, I suggest you contact them. I’m certainly going back!
Want to come with?
Full disclosure: Neither the author nor On Life and Hope y todo lo demás received compensation from the brands mentioned in the article. The authors opinions are hers only.