Inside Devour: Miranda’s Search for a Place that Felt Like Home

This post is part of our Inside Devour series. We work with some of the most passionate and talented guides in the country—make that the world!—and we’re thrilled to tell you their stories.

Today, get to know Miranda, one of our expert local guides in Seville.

An apartment in London, a job at the BBC and occasional vacations in Spain—for most people, these would be the signs of a nice and normal life.

But although Miranda had all these things, she found herself wanting more.

Miranda craved change, adventure, and most of all, an escape from the “normal life” that she was leading in England. So, nine years ago, she left her life and work behind and went in search of a place that felt like home.

She found it in Seville.

Devour Seville guide Miranda has called the Andalusian capital home for several years now.

From England to Colombia and back to Spain

Miranda had been working in journalism for close to a decade in London. But while everyone around her seemed content with their day-to-day existence, she felt like there was more to life than a desk job.

Opportunity came knocking in the form of a three-week yoga retreat in Ecuador. It seemed the perfect opportunity to get some perspective. But at the same time, it opened her eyes to the world of adventure that lay outside her comfort zone.

In search of something more, she packed up her life in England and moved to Colombia. Miranda had never been to Colombia, but she had a passionate love affair with salsa music and dance. She moved to a seaside resort town in Cartagena, teaching English by day and soaking up salsa and dancing away the nights!

Miranda, a tour guide for Devour Seville food tours.
Miranda’s expat adventure started in Colombia, but she’s called Seville home for several years now.

But she found it hard to integrate with the local community, and grew tired of feeling separate to the locals. She started dreaming of Spain, where she’d been traveling to since she was a child.

“I was frustrated by the fact that my Spanish wasn’t fluent,” Miranda says. “I wanted somewhere that was really Spanish, and I didn’t want to live in a resort city.”

She had found the adventure she had left London in search of, but missed feeling like part of an authentic community.

Three and a half years after moving to Colombia, she packed her bags once more and came to Seville—and she’d never been to Seville either!

But Seville’s location closer to home, and the allure of its flamenco dance scene made it the perfect choice. She wanted a city that felt traditional, truly Spanish, and a city where she could feel like a local.

And how did it shape up?

“Before I came to Seville, I had this idea in my head that it’d be the perfect mix of the laid back attitude and passion of Latin America and the crazy local culture of life in London. And from the moment I arrived, I knew I’d been proven right!”

Seeing Seville through the eyes of a local

It was a tapas bar that helped Miranda to start living like a local in Seville.

At her neighborhood taberna on the way home from work, the bar’s owner would always greet her with a smile and a hug. “He would take the time to explain the different local dishes to me,” Miranda recounts. “I remember the first time he served me Seville’s famous cazón en adobo (fried school shark marinated with vinegar and cumin)—it blew me away!”

Marinated school shark, a Seville tapas classic.
The crispy-fried cazón en adobo that started Miranda’s love affair with tapas in Seville! Try it on our daytime Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Seville food tour.

She fell in love with the dishes that helped her understand the culture, the history, and the people of Seville. A few years of falling in love with tapas and wine later, becoming an expert guide with Devour just made sense!

Although Miranda had never been on a tour (let alone led one as a guide!), she wanted to help other travelers do the thing that she had spent so long trying to do: fall in love with Seville, and get a real sense of place through connecting with the local community.

So now that she’s got plenty of guiding experience under her belt, what’s her number one tip for people coming to Seville?

Don’t do too much!

“Seville is full of amazing things to see and do, but the city is really about living in the moment. Sit back and smell the coffee, the orange blossoms, and watch the world go by around you. Enjoy the food, the place, the people-watching…try and absorb the pace of life here.”

For visitors to Seville, Miranda’s advice is to make a connection with the locals that make her favorite city so special. “Rock up to a bar, start chatting to the owner, and ask them about their day. People in Seville love talking about themselves and their lives here, so strike up a conversation for a real insight into day-to-day life in Spain!”

Miranda, an expert local guide for Devour Seville.
After nearly a decade in Seville, Miranda is now practically sevillana herself!

A new normal

It’s now been nine years since Miranda left London for the first time. Her search for a sense of place and a new “normal” has taken her across two continents, but she’s found her home in Seville.

“That three-week vacation in Ecuador had got me thinking. It was the first time doing something totally on my own. I realized, ‘I can do it.’ I could either stay in London, or take the leap and doing the thing that had been fermenting in my mind for so long.”

We couldn’t be happier that she decided to take that leap!

If you’d like to get to know Seville like a locak, just like Miranda did, why not start with our expert insider tips? Download our guide to eating like a local by adding your email address in the form below! ADD_THIS_TEXT

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