Ibiza - my closing party
Blue water, flashy nights, candle lights, and a whole lot of really delicious looking europeans. That, in a nut shell, is the island of Ibiza. There isn't much beyond made-for-tourist culture here, even when you go far beyond the city limits. The clubs, small hotels, and shit food all congregate around main towns while sprawling expensive romantic restaurants, cliff-side villas, and beaches scatter about the in-betweens. You really have to have a car to be able to fully explore. Even then, I get the sense from repeat travelers and seasonal residents that most of what I missed is more of the same. Not to down play the island - it is the mediterranean and the water here is nothing short of captivating. I love that the salt content in the water is quite high, making it very easy to float away while gazing at the blue summer sky. Most of the beaches I went to were calm. There isn't much to be had here when it comes to surf, but I hear some parts of town have beaches that are great for kite boarding. For the most part the days are filled with beaching in the afternoon, catching sunset somewhere, eating at overpriced but ridiculously romantic spots (all 4 of us), and for the most part I'd split from there to go home and the trio would hit various nightlife activities. Looking back it is quite amazing how totally sober I am on a trip clearly pegged as "let's get effed up". Part of it has to do with the disappointment of the lack of culture. Why travel the distance when you can't learn anything from the place? Part of it has to do with the people I travel with. They are wonderful, wonderful folks. But it was clear from hour 1 that we have different priorities and value different aspects of vacation. I now realize that I am pickier than I thought. While traveling solo gives me the freedom to do whatever i want with my time it also spoiled me from having to think about others. I need to be better at this. I know what to do when traveling with friends next time around.
Aside from playing with the s90 non stop in and out of the water, scuba diving cert preoccupied most of my time. The first day was a breeze. Lectures made sense, confined water practice was super easy. The next day we took a small speed boat out to this little piece of land call el madivina (?) anyway there is a little cove there with about 10-20m depth. The bottom is mostly sea grass. Thank god cuz open water was *not* nearly as easy. I did everything well except for maintaining buoyancy. Prolly killed 1/3 of the tank fiddling with the BCD while occasionally submerged completely in the grassy knoll. If it was coral I prolly would've destroyed nemo's house completely. Saw some interesting fishies, an octopus, a creepy ass giant eel, and then proceeded to vomit into the regulator. Yep. Got seasick while under water. Who knew that could happen. I swam for another 10 minutes or so as we move about trying to gradually ascend before running out of strength. We had to cut short, surfaced, and for what feels like eternity I did nothing but vomit. Getting back on the boat didn't help. I needed to do 10 more minutes of OW before I could get the cert. I was green. The whole crew thought I wouldn't make it, except for Diego. Thanks for believing! Finally I just jumped into the water san gear and put them on while swimming to finish off the rest. I felt better underwater. Next time I'll have to take some motion sickness meds before doing open water. The hyped up irrational fear was unfounded. I feel better about myself, less scared of the ocean, actually had fun (while not vomiting), and saw great awesomest potential in underwater photography.
The last day Kim and I biked around Formentera (another calmer sister island 30 minutes away on the ferry) and checked out cala sahona for a bit.
To recollect the trip's theme of "eat, fear, love" the fear part is good to go. The trick to fear is to first be aware of its irrationality. Then tell yourself: your mind is weak, your body is strong. (wise word from eric) Leading up to the moment before you face said fear, keep thinking of all the possible horrific worst case scenario outcomes to over hype yourself. When it is time to really face it, you are always going to come out way better than you imagine.
The "eat" part unfortunately left something to be desired. Overpriced and expensive are two terms that come to mind. The local food was few and far between. Maybe crema catalana was probably the best local thing I had in Ibiza and off-the-chains jamon iberico in Barcelona. Seafood qualify was great tho. I think next time I'm going to have to watch No Reservation for my next destination before heading there. It seems there was a bunch of things I missed out.
Love. Love requires a bit more introspection. On this trip I set out to read the book art of loving by Erich fromme. He analyzes love based on 3 schools of thoughts: what freud thinks, what god thinks, and general observations based on his study of psychoanalysis. There was a bit too much parallelism to the preachiness of monotheistic religion for my taste so a lot of what he says I take with a grain of salt. The part I do find interesting is he defines love as "the willingness to commit. A promise." whereas falling in love is defined more accurately as that intense infatuation sensation we tend to associate love with. So when you say "i love you" it is a promise of continued desire to care, to tend, and to bond in union beyond the moment of now. There are various kinds of love: motherly (unconditional), fatherly (growth), brotherly (selflessness, caring), erotic (physical union), and self love (not to be mistaken with selfishness). To truly sustain the bond of love beyond the stage of falling in love, one must exercise all types of love throughout. Much harder to do than to say. He also broke down relationships into symbiotic, co-dependence, narcissistic, masochistic, sadistic, and maybe one other type. This attempts to analyze why people gravitates towards certain type of people in bonding and why people stay around despite the shortcomings. I wanted to learn from this book whether I actually do know how to love. Whether I did love. Good news: apparently I do and i did. I see parts of my friends and their relationships shining through in various parts of the book. I also see where I failed and where I need to grow. Overall it is a good read if you can weed out god related crap and are willing to unbiasedly analyze your situation and try to grow from it. The affirmation from the book left me angry - for having done the right things, for having tried to recover, to mend, to grow - and yet I still failed. I guess in the end a relationship requires two inputs. Both inputs have to love equally.
The return travel was long and uneventful. With lack of sleep from the night before, there was simply not enough fuel in me to try to make something more out of the 3+ hour layover in BCN than a nap at the gate. I was glad to land on a Thursday with a full 3-day weekend ahead at home. I miss Burton, specialK, and all my friends. I can't say I will be partying it up again anytime soon. Nor will i visit Ibiza again. Maybe some other parts of Spain. I'm glad I accomplished my goals and learned a bit more about myself, however unsettling that bit of knowledge made me feel.
For now, adios.
For later this year -- Yemen... maybe
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