Showaround Locals in Barcelona: Meet Kimberly
Background: Here’s a bit about me. My name is Kimberly. I grew up in California, and afterwards moved to North Carolina - I've lived in both States for 10 years, and now my parents live in Indiana, so when I go ‘home’ it's to neither of the places I actually lived!
I studied dance and psychology because I wanted to do something with dance therapy, but then when I graduated, I came to Barcelona for ONE year as a ‘post-graduation-study abroad experience’ and I've been living here for 7 years now. Every year I find so many things to do and see in the city; it never stops.
I'm a total nerd about local celebrations and activities, so I am always out doing those things. Each year the festivals get more elaborate with more acts and spaces. Every weekend there's something going on here - it's tough to keep up with sometimes - I love it.
I worked for 5 years as an English teacher (to survive), but since I realised my passion was for showing people around, I created my own business entirely dedicated to that. With my business, I can help people plan and manage their trips giving them all of the information they need in order to make informed decisions on what they want to do with their time here.
I work with them to create a full itinerary of their stay which includes logistical details about how to get there etc. Then when they arrive, I can show them around, so they have a local friend to accompany them through the things on their list. The whole idea is to have a stress-free all-inclusive package for Barcelona. I'm there for them the whole time, so if they need anything, they can always rely on their local friend.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Kimberly: I've always been passionate about helping others. And I still think about my own experience and difficulty finding my way in certain situations, so after I understand something, I am keen on showing others to make it easier for them. Getting to know Barcelona was quite a challenge for me - I was very naive. So once I had an idea of how to do it, I became a master of helping others find their way because I knew what they needed to look for.
It has since become my passion. After years of showing around Barcelona to friends that I met through a language school, people would go home and start telling their friends and family about me, until it got to the point that I was just showing random families that I had little connection to, and even then I enjoyed it! So I decided to make it my livelihood.
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Kimberly: Many locals don't live in the city centre (I do), so they can avoid tourists easily by sticking to their local bars and plazas - and that way they don't have to travel very far when they want to go out. People also enjoy sports and nature - it is prevalent to go running or hiking through some of the parks or small mountains such as Collserola.
One event that has become very popular is the Palo Alto market, which is like a fancy hipster market featuring a beautiful factory-turned garden, local music artists, handmade crafts and products, and food trucks. The market takes place every first weekend of the month.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Kimberly: Now that depends on what you're in the mood for. I have my favourite spots for various cravings. One that really makes me go nuts is Abissinia, which is the best place in the world for Ethiopian. So much yums!
If I want a tasty sandwich, my go-to place is Bo de B. It's a small little restaurant - you have to make two lines outside the door depending on if you want to eat at one of the few tables inside or take it to go. People have been known to wait 40 minutes for a sandwich; it's that awesome. Also, they're between 4-5 euro, and they're big.
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Kimberly: Personally, I don't drink alcohol, so my preferred joints for a drink are a bit different. I enjoy Rosa del Raval (Tex-Mex restaurant), for example, because they have these raspberry mojitos which you can order without alcohol for just 3 euro - they taste like lemonade. Grab them with the nachos con queso más guacamole. Otherwise, I enjoy going to La Clandestina which is one of the few tea cafes in town. This cosy corner has an excellent selection of teas, lassis, and even the cheapest shisha in the city.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Kimberly: I used to have a weekly get together going for pinchos on Blai. It's cool because the whole street has pincho bars and all standard pinchos are only 1 euro. So you can just choose a place and grab a few and keep going because the street gets quite lively too.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of Barcelona?
Kimberly: For me, this is the most challenging question of them all because I hate putting people into boxes. Also, there are different types of local people. You have those who were born and raised here, who I like to call the natives; then you have those who moved here from another country and are now locals due to setting up their lives here.
I feel like those people have contributed to building a new community that is trendy and artsy. I think a lot of the aesthetically pleasing things that people come through and see are based on some of the artistic community contributions in the city. Regarding the cultural aspect and sense of traditions and festivities, that's where the 'natives' step in. There's never a weekend without a fantastic festival or event to see.
Showaround: Thank you Kimberly for your answers!