It was a rainy afternoon when I was looking for my next mission in life.
Initially, I was looking to start a Masters degree when I came across the advertisement. An internship for 6 months in the Basque Country, in the South of France. My heart started to race, it was a sign. After falling in love with the French Basque Country one year ago during a weekend trip, I couldn’t believe that there was an opportunity to live there. Live by the ocean, surf every day, see and hear waves every single day… I was so excited.
I sent the application the same day : one skype interview and two weeks later I received the contact for a 6 month internship. I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it. Was it that easy to make your dreams come true? I had so many questions and doubts in my head and no one encouraged me to accept the internship besides my sister. Even my closest friends seemed to doubt my decision. « I should do my master degree first and then I could think about travelling », they said. But I took one step back and asked myself, « Why ? Why should I walk the path that society deems acceptable ? » School, university, and after, full time employment to make money. It seemed like life’s goal is to gain more money than you really need so that you can build a house, meet the man of your dreams, get married, and have children. Having fun and travel can wait until retirement. Only then we have time to live. And what about my passions and dreams ? Isn’t this the goal of life ? To live your life to the fullest, to see new places and try new things even if you fail? So I decided to follow my gut instinct and trusted my sister. Fuck it, life is too short, do it! I accepted the contract.
My adventure started one month later. I drove alone the 1650 km to Biarritz, with only a bag stuffed to the max, a yoga mat and a cocktail of different emotions. I hadn’t even figured out accommodations for when I arrived! (Note to self : never search for an apartment in August in the Basque Country, it is not possible, or you pay a fortune per night. Far more stress than it is worth).
It is now three years ago that I arrived in Biarritz and I can honestly say that I am living my dream in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its idyllic location is only a stone’s throw from the ocean and the mountains. The Basque Country offers a large range of nature, summer/winter sporting activities, excellent food and quality of life.
If you asked me what a perfect day looked like, I would answer: Meditation in bed, a nice early waking-up surf session, Yoga to relax, lunch at the beach, skateboarding in the afternoon and having an apéro with friends while watching the sunset and playing guitar.
Of course, it is difficult to have this kind of day every day especially while you are working five days a week. But at least I try as much as possible to enjoy every single moment to appreciate my life and be thankful for my surroundings. There is nothing more relaxing after a hard day in the office than going for a walk down the beach just to watch the waves and take time to breathe.
As move in the direction of my dreams, it’s difficult from time to time, but I believe that I am supported by the universe in all kind of ways. Otherwise I wouldn’t know how I ended up here so fast. Things can change fast, so I use the time I have on this planet to enjoy my life, moment by moment.
So the moral of my story : don’t be afraid to do the things you want to do. I think people spend too much time staring into screens and worrying about the ‘ifs and buts’ instead of listening to their heart and intuition. In the end you only regret the things which you didn’t do. So trust your intuition, I am definitely happy that I did!
Some Places I love in Biarritz:
The ocean. On sunny days, windy days, rainy days. Small waves, huuuuge waves, for running, chilling, breathing and take a pause. The spot in front of the Blue Cargo restaurant in Ilbaritz is one of my favourite spots to watch the ocean. Close your eyes and just listen to the waves, smell the salty air and feel the sand under your feet.
Bidart Centre is one of five surf spots of the little village between Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It is one of my favorite surf spots in the area with a nice beach break, which works more at low tide and mid-tide.
Having an early surf session before work at the Côte des Basques and having a coffee afterwards at the Etxola Bibi while watching the waves – you can’t start better the day. Avenue Notre Dame, 64200 Biarritz. Opening hours : 8h to 23h, closed on Wednesday.
If you are looking for a nice place to watch waves and eat delicious food, Le Surfing would be the perfect address. An extra plus, the awesome view on the ocean, the restaurant is on the bottom of the Côte des Basques, 1 minutes walking from the beach. 9 Boulevard du Prince de Galles, 64200 Biarritz, 05 59 24 78 72. Opening hours : daily 9h to 22h30.
Chez Dano (my insider tip **) is a nice little butcher shop / restaurant (only for lunch but worth it !) situated in the Beaurivage district since 2015 owned by a young couple Mathilde and Wilfried. Closed on Monday. 22 Rue Harispe, 64200 Biarritz, 05 59 43 82 27. Opening hours : 9h to 14h and 17h to 19h30 (10h to 13h30 sundays).