After spending a week in Madrid after my trip through Sevilla/Lagos/Lisbon, I came to the realization that if I wanted to go anywhere else before school started, I’d have to go there by myself (because many friends already had different and overlapping travel plans). I absolutely love the beach/swimming/anything aquatic, so I figured that the Spanish island of Mallorca would be a great (and relatively inexpensive) place to go.
I found discounted Ryanair flights and booked an Airbnb (which actually turned out to be cheaper than any hostel I could find, and more centrally located!) My Airbnb host was a wonderful woman named Patricia who gave me lots of helpful hints for what to do and where to go in Mallorca.
I soon realized, however, that traveling solo and staying in a hostel is incredibly different from traveling solo and staying in an Airbnb. In Mallorca, I was truly, 100% by myself. There was no one with whom I could go to a communal dinner, no one whose plans I could join to explore the city and no one with whom I could strike up a quick conversation.
And as a result, for the first time since crossing the Atlantic, I felt quite a bit of homesickness. I really do credit my wonderful roommates back in Madrid with keeping the homesick feelings at bay during my first few weeks in Spain. I joke that living with 6 other people is kind of like being back in Quincy house again. I love working on my computer in our common area (as opposed to my own bedroom) and it’s so nice to have people to talk to and unwind with at the end of the day.
But even with the twinges of homesickness, I was able to have a blast by myself in Mallorca. I rented a bike during the first few days and was able to follow this incredible beachfront bike path for what must have been about seven miles around the island. I went on a snorkeling day-trip, wandered around the gorgeous cathedral and marveled at the island’s historic castle.
I was craving a bit more adventure, and after checking out TripAdvisor, I saw an ad for a cliff jumping adventure package. To be honest, it looked a bit sketchy (and I wanted to sign up for the next day) so I decided to call to get a better feel for the company. They answered all of my questions and I ended up getting a spot for the next day (probably because this was the middle of the week!) 18 hours later, I was in a van with a driver, and three Swedish tourists and we were off on our adventure.
This turned out to be a remarkable experience. After about an hour drive and 10 minutes of hiking, we arrived at the cliffs. The “smallest” cliffs were about 3m high and the tallest ones we could jump off of were about 10m tall. They started us out slowly – we simply jumped off the cliffs into the water, swam a bit, and then climbed up some rocks to do it again! After a few jumps at each level, we would increase to the next highest cliff. The day ended with a wonderful zip-line across two rock areas (except during this zip-line, you had to jump off into the water halfway through!)
The loneliest parts of the whole trip were when I would wander to find dinner by myself. It wasn’t all bad, though, because when I ordered a whole serving of croquettas I realized I would be eating them all! I also tried a delicious ice cream shop per the recommendation of Patricia and got to watch part of a soccer/fútbol game with some of the island’s locals.
Overall, Mallorca was a beautiful, action-packed trip that showed me what it’s like to truly travel by myself and explore a city on my own.
TGT: 1) Cliff jumping/rock climbing adventure 2) Biking all around the main/touristy parts of the island 3) Touring the inside of the Cathedral