You may have heard of Ibiza. You may have heard of Mallorca. But have you heard of Menorca? I’ll admit that prior to moving to the UK, I didn’t know much of…
I’ll admit it: I knew very little about the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, two sister islands, before getting the chance to visit at the beginning of the month. After what…
The cobalt sea stretched out ahead of me. In every direction, islands of the archipelago jutted up from the calm Mediterranean waters, some covered in the pale brown of a rock face, others overflowing with swathes of green forest. The sun shone bright in the blue sky above. Our big white boat carried us across the water with ease, the smooth journey bringing us just the right amount of warm wind, a sweet smell in the air blowing in from the pine-forested island shores. I realised I hadn’t even heard of this place until the day before – blasphemy, it seemed, as I experienced this paradise unfolding before me.
This was the beautiful, the quiet, the utopian region of the Göcek Islands of Turkey.
“How are you?”
It’s a seemingly innocent question, and one that, unless you know the person really well, always comes with the same answer.
“I’m good, thanks, how are you?”
Or, perhaps, if you’re having a great week (or you’ve run into an ex), you tweak the answer slightly.
“I’m really good, thanks!” or even “I’m great, thank you.”
Or maybe, if you live in London, or NYC, or Toronto, or just about any other big city in the world, or probably even some smaller cities, too, or perhaps even the countryside, or I guess just everyone I speak to these days, you say this:
“I’m good thanks, super busy,” or “Yeah, good, but really busy,” or “Good, thanks, but so busy I don’t remember the last time I slept for longer than four hours and my back always hurts and sometimes I forget if I’ve eaten lunch so let’s just stand here and laugh for a little while so I can forget about my ever-growing list of things to do and all those unanswered emails.”
OK, so maybe that last one is a slight exaggeration. But over the last few years, I’ve heard myself give some variation of that answer to different people, whether they’re friends, acquaintances, coworkers, or someone in between. I’ve also written about it a lot on this blog. When did I get so obsessed with being so busy?
For those of you who don’t know much about Mallorca – often spelt Majorca – it is the largest island in the Balearic Archipelago of Spain, located in the Mediterranean. Perhaps you’ve heard of its neighbour, Ibiza. And the thing about these islands is… they’re known for their partying. For their stag-dos, hen-dos, their all-night hedonism. They’re known for amazing nightlife, for clubs and house music, for a really, really fun time… if that’s your definition of a fun time, that is. And that’s the thing – that’s not my definition of a fun time. I don’t want to go out and hit up clubs full of 18-25 year olds doing shots of unidentifiable liquid. I like to party, I like to dance, I like to drink, but, much as my friend Sam said, I’m not exactly a ‘Mallorca type’.
But yes, you guessed it, I was completely, 100% wrong. I am totally a ‘Mallorca type’. I just didn’t know the truth about Mallorca, and that the paragraph I just wrote only describes a very small part of the island. The rest of the island – outside the area of Palma/Magaluf – is absolutely gorgeous, filled with sleepy Spanish villages, olive groves, and secluded beaches, and I will be writing more about my time there (and how to spend the perfect week on the island) soon. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful villas I’ve ever seen.
If you’ve read this blog for a little while, you may know that I used to travel a lot – I visited every continent except Antarctica at least once in the last four years, including long stints of backpacking around Asia and Central/South America. When I moved to London about two years ago, I didn’t really plan to slow down… and for the first year, I didn’t, not at all. Last year, despite having a job and a full-time master’s degree, I visited fourteen countries on three continents.
This year, however, was probably the slowest year of travel for me in the past decade. I don’t even really know how it happened, but with work and the final stages of the degree taking over, plus an undying love of London, I realised I had to – and wanted to – focus on a few more things in life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t go away; this year I’ve visited Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, and the USA, as well as lots of fun trips around the UK.
But I was a fool to think this wanderlust wouldn’t get the better of me eventually.