I was fortunate enough to be told about this hidden beach and I'm really hesitant to share the location out of fear of people overcrowding and ruining it. At the same time it's an amazing place and people should have the opportunity to appreciate it. It's called Platja Coll Baix and is located on the northern side of Mallorca near Alcúdia. It's only accessible by hiking 2-3km or by boat. When I arrived there were only 3 other people on the beach and a single boat anchored in the cove, while I was the only person actually in the water. The visibilty was amazing and the water temp was perfect. I highly recommend bringing fins because even though the water may look calm, you never know what kind of currents are coming through these places. I actually lost a friend down in Mexico a few weeks ago after he was caught in a riptide. He was a strong swimmer, but didn't have fins on. Anyway, fins (I was using Churchills) and a quality mask (I was using a Riffe) will make the experience much more enjoyable. After hiking and climbing over some rocks to get to the beach, jumping in the water was a refreshing reward. Up to this point this beach is definitely one of my favorite spots I've been to.
Recollections, reviews, discoveries, and future plans.
For the past 6 weeks I've been living on a finca (country estate) 2.5 miles outside a small town called Montuïri on the Spanish island of Mallorca (also called Majorca) in the Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca is part of the Balearic Islands located off the east coast of Spain which includes Menorca, Cabrera, Ibiza, and Formentera. Over the past 8,000 years the archipelago has changed hands and has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, and Moors. You can see the historical influence from each of these civilizations as well as the religious influence from times of Christian and Muslim occupation.
Everywhere you go on the island you hear a mix of Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian, Swiss, Italian and English being spoken. Even though Mallorca is part of Spain, Catalan is the preferred language of choice by the real locals. Street signs tend to be in Catalan or Spanish, but not both.
So far my experience here has been pretty cool and I'll have more specific posts focusing on each experience. I was supposed to fly back to San Diego on May 18, but decided to stay longer so I'll probably be adding quite a bit of content over the next month. Here are some photos of the area I've been living in.
I arrived in Mallorca on April 19 and prior to getting here, I was craving some good Mexican food, which I had neglected to take advantage of before leaving San Diego. I've been living in the countryside near a village called Montuïri and there really aren't too many food options nearby, definitely no Mexican food because this is Spain after all. Anyway, after a couple of weeks in the countryside, I decided to spend a weekend checking out Palma. After arriving by bus I was walking to my hotel, still craving Mexican food. As I stopped to check some directions I looked up and saw that I was standing in front of a place called El Aquanauta and saw the word "tacos." I went in, had a seat and ordered 3 different tacos off the menu. Each one was great and I was wishing I had a larger appetite and more accommodating belly that would allow me to try more from the menu. These tacos were easily on par with anything in southern California.
I've been back a few times, not only because of the great food, but also because the staff is super cool and very welcoming. The chef Raúl is from Mexico so he knows his shit and is a great guy to shoot the shit with. He's lived and worked all over the world so we've had plenty of good conversations across a wide spectrum of subjects. The owner Andres actually spent time in San Diego researching taco spots to get inspiration for El Aquanauta, which makes this a very appealing place to hang out when I want a taste of home.
If you find yourself in Palma you should definitely make a point of having a meal here, whether you're looking for Mexican food or just looking for good food, in a cool environment, with a staff that enjoys their job. This place is a great hang out or meeting spot to get the night started.
I've been busy working on a nonprofit rhino anti-poaching team in South Africa called RHINO 911. I had a few days of downtime 2 weeks ago so I stayed in Marakele National Park for a few nights. As my buddy and I were leaving, this elephant decided to block the road and forced us to go in reverse for about a kilometer.
I thought this was pretty awesome.
1. You’ll get to recharge.
Often times when we’re surrounded by other people, we’re expending a lot of energy. Trying to keep others happy, make them laugh, soothe their egos, read their emotions, and all of the other rigors that come along with regular interaction.
It can be mentally draining if you’re constantly connected to other people. A little alone time lets you recharge and take a break from the emotionally and mentally taxing job of constant interaction.
2. You’ll reflect more often.
Your life is always moving at a crazy fast pace. So fast in fact, that it’s probably rare when you have a moment alone to sit and reflect on your life.
Being alone gives you the perfect opportunity for a little self reflection. Since you aren’t spending so much time processing the thoughts and feelings of others, it’s the best time to turn your focus inwards.
Solitude provides the perfect environment for reflection.
3. You’ll get in touch with your own emotions.
Again, when you’re surrounded by other people all the time, you’re constantly trying to read, and cater to, the other persons’s emotions. So much so, that you could end up losing touch with your own.
When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll gain a greater perspective for your own emotions. You’ll create a deeper understanding of what makes you happy, what upsets you, and what saddens you.
With that knowledge, it’s then easier to regulate your emotions. But it all starts with understanding how you feel, and that comes from a little bit of solitude.
4. You’ll start doing things you actually enjoy.
When you’re constantly in the company of other people, you’re always making compromises in order to find solutions that the entire group can enjoy. And unfortunately, the things you want most, may not always line up with what the group wants.
So it’s easy to enjoy being alone once you realize that doing so gives you more freedom to do the things you actually want to do.
5. You’ll become more productive.
Being in the company of other people can be fun and entertaining, but it can also seriously affect your productivity. There are times when the company of other people acts as nothing more than a distraction from getting your work done.
Time spent alone can be some of the most productive time in your life—mostly because there are less distractions, and you can just put your head down and get to work.
6. You’ll enjoy your relationships even more.
When you spend time alone on a regular basis, and eventually start to enjoy being alone, you’ll come to find that you also enjoy your relationships with other people even more.
And that’s because the time spent alone gives you a greater appreciation for yourself.
But it also let’s you appreciate all the great things that come from your relationships with other people, most of which you were oblivious to before.
7. You’ll feel more independent.
Once you enjoy being alone, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to actually be alone. And that naturally leads to you feeling more independent.
You’ll no longer feel that anxiety, or burning desire for company, once you learn to enjoy being alone. You won’t feel the need for constant interaction with other people, or the anxiety associated with looking around and seeing no one but yourself.
8. You’ll get a break from constantly trying to keep other people happy.
Life is filled with relationships, and most relationships only last when both people are kept happy. And that can turn into a draining job depending who that relationship is with. Now, this does’t only apply to personal relationships, but every kind of relationship.
Once you’re alone, the only person’s happiness you have to worry about in that moment, is your own. You can treat yourself to thing that makes you happy, but may have upset someone else.
9. You won’t have to apologize for anything.
When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll quickly see that solitude means you don’t have to keep apologizing for what you’ve done. So often, we do things that end up upsetting other people, or hurting someone else’s feelings, and then have to quickly apologize for it.
But when you’re alone, you don’t have to apologize for anything. And that takes a lot of pressure out of most situations. You get to stop second guessing everything you say, or every move you make because you’re afraid someone is going to be offended, or saddened, and angered.
10. You’ll stop looking for validation.
So often we feel we the need to get the “OK” from our friends and family before we take action. We constantly look to other people for advice on what we should do next.
Of course, there are times where it’s not only perfectly acceptable to ask for advice, but downright necessary. But there are also times where we’re perfectly capable of acting on our own, be we instead of looking to others for an answer.
When you start to spend more time alone, you’ll learn to trust your instincts and make decisions without any third party validation.
This was taken about two weeks ago while I was traveling through the highlands of Scotland. I stopped at Loch Ness for the night and took this photo just after the sun had fallen behind the hills to the southwest. Urquhart Castle was built in the 1100s and changed hands many times through out its history.
This is a photo of the Kjalvegur Road / Kjölur Route in Iceland which I shot using my Nikon D7000 a few weeks ago while my buddy Chris (@chrislovesadventure) and I were exploring the interior of the country. This route, sometimes referred to as the "Ghost Road," used to be the main road used by vikings to travel between the north and south of Iceland. Some legends say the Knights Templar hid the holy grail somewhere along the route . . . Before embarking on this journey it was highly recommend that we rent a vehicle with 4 wheel drive so we opted for a Toyota Land Cruiser which we picked up from Hertz Iceland. With a trusty map and compass in hand, we set out to circle the island. Once we made it back to Reykjavik we still had a bit of time left on the rental so we decided to check out this highland road through the interior. The route starts just after the massive Gullfoss waterfall and continues on to the Ringroad near Varmahliöand and passes between the Hofsjökull and Langjökull Glaciers (Temple Glacier and Long Glacier).