Living in San Sebastián, Vol 1

City view of Donostia - San Sebastián in Spain

I moved to San Sebastián, Spain on September 2017 to volunteer work at a surf hostel. On the following posts I will give you a glimpse of the life of a hostel volunteer.

I’ve been living abroad during the past four months. I was three months in Gothenburg, Sweden working as a digital strategist. I applied for a volunteer job from a hostel in Spain and on the last day in Sweden, I received a positive reply from a hostel in San Sebastián. After spending two weeks with my family and friends in Finland I flew to Madrid and travelled for a week through Gijón and Santander. I arrived to the beautiful San Sebastián on the last week of September.

I have no apartment in Finland because I gave it away when I moved to Sweden. I will have to finish my degree eventually so I will be found in Finland again, at least for some time. My excuse to come to Spain and pause my studies is to learn Spanish. The hostel life is vivid so it’s challenging to concentrate sometimes. It’s good that the weather here isn’t only sunshine, so I can sit down and study.

Travelling in Spain and Denmark
Travelling to San Sebastián through Copenhagen (a flight change), Madrid, Gijón and Santander.

For long, I have felt that I might fit better for somewhere warm close to beaches rather than my homeland Finland. Trips to Portugal, interrail in Europe and my childhood travels with my mother have confirmed my thoughts year after year. I love to swim, surf, longboard, live healthy, eat lots of fruits and live spontaneous. Sunshine and light have a straight correlation to my mood. I feel the urge to see more than just the country of my childhood. I would always wonder about the rest of the world if I never saw those optional lifestyles.

La Concha Beach in San Sebastián is one of the most beautiful city beaches in Europe.

No place is perfect and there’s no life without struggles but I do love it here and I love this city. San Sebastián, or Donosti in Euskera, is located to the North coast line of Spain, in Basque country. It is near to the border of France. Not many Finns have found their way here but other travellers yes.

The city has two (or in a way three) beaches right in the city center. La Concha is one of the most beautiful city beaches in Europe, while La Zurriola is an amazing sand-bottom surf spot. There are three mounts, two on the sides and one in the middle next to Parte Viaja, the old town. All of them are amazing hiking destinations.

La Concha beach
La Concha in San Sebastián.
Sunset at la Zurriola beach in San Sebastián
La Zurriola beach is “the surf beach” in San Sebastián.

The city is a popular tourist location and I heard that it was very crowded during the summer time. It’s especially a nice town for travellers who love an active lifestyle, water sports, skating and hiking. The weather is changing a lot and the locals say that it rains a lot, but for a Finn, it’s still very good weather most of the time. There can be a week of just rain and then a week of sunshine with temperature rising up to 28 degrees. The nature and the beaches are amazing. I love to climb to the mountains, look at the sea and wander in the forests with, for me, exotic flora.

Acai bowl and surf while living in San Sebastián.
The next best thing after surfing at Zurriola is to sit there eating a delicious acai bowl on a sunny day.

Working at a hostel, I’ve got many new thoughts and ideas. I meet a lot of people and I’m surrounded by travellers. Some of them are doing their first trips and some have traveled for years. For some, travelling is a way of life. The guests and my colleagues are from all different corners of the globe.

The more one travels, the more one sees how people are people everywhere. We are all just world citizens, not that much of Finns, Germans, Americans, Argentinians, Mexicans, Taiwanese or others.

San Sebastián bridges and lights at night. This is how it looks like to live in San Sebastián.
The views when I arrived to the city on one Monday night.

This is my home now. For how long, I’m not sure. I love this city and I’ve met great people here but there are certain things pushing and pulling me to Finland as well. However, I don’t think I could go back to the lifestyle I had before I left Finland. I will try to finish my degree and look for more adventures.

Where will be my home in the future, I don’t know. My home is where the road takes me and where I feel like home. I don’t think I need to own many things. An amazing life can fit into a backpack. I’m learning more about what I need and what I don’t.

Many people think that you belong to the country where you happened to be born. I don’t agree with that. Why the fact that I was born in Finland, would need to limit me into the borders of Finland? Being stuck in one country, makes no sense to me in this globalised world.

Many people are scared to live the life they want to live. They forget that they have just this one chance to do what they want. Life is a playground and we should test our limits. As long ad we don’t hurt other people, we can explore and try new things. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t, but that’s the only way we can learn.

Live life like you want to live it. Why is it so hard for many?

4 Replies to “Living in San Sebastián, Vol 1”

  1. […] than I had before. If you want to read more about the experience, check out the previous posts Living in San Sebastián, Vol 1 and How Was It to Volunteer at a Hostel – San Sebastián, Vol […]

  2. […] travelling a lot all my life but lately I’ve made trips alone, more spontaneously and been working abroad. However, I think that adventuring is an attitude and it doesn’t necessarily require […]

  3. […] in Spain. If you want to know more about the experience in Spain, check out the previous posts Living in San Sebastián, Vol 1 and How Was It to Volunteer at a Hostel – San Sebastián, Vol […]

  4. Thanks for the useful info.

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