Thirty days of detox and ten days of debauchery.
I’ve been on my hands and knees scrubbing floors, chopped a zillion zanahorias, dodged hand-sized spiders and been mauled by mosquitos. I’ve cycled over two thousand kilometres, climbed the island’s highest peak and enjoyed nudist beaches and nuns’ nipples. I plotted a monastery escape with a girl I’d just met, arranged a city-wide treasure hunt, met local basketball heroes and got myself an adopted Dad.
I’ve couch-surfed, hitchhiked, waltzed around my own private luxury villa and slummed it in a hostel from hell. I sampled every cheese, tested out the local vinos and smoked a joint with two travellers from Argentina. I’ve broken vows I didn’t even know I’d taken and even made local headline news.
…overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty interesting adventure.
30 Day Detox
My days spent volunteering at the meditation centre were as pure and simple as they were intended to be.
Week one was all about draining the brain, coming to terms with hurling myself off the hamster wheel of life and adjusting to my new sleeping arrangements with seven strangers in a teepee tent. I managed to shut my inner voice up and genuinely shift my mindset from one of ladder-climbing ambition to one of in-the-moment adventure.
Week two was all about silence, solitude and grieving the totally unexpected loss of one of my favourite people on the planet. It was good grief, in a way. I emptied my tears onto the fields of Menorca and the wheels of my bicycle turned into the reels of an old school film projector as I played out the memories in my mind, listening to the background crackle and zooming in on his smile.
Then in my third and fourth weeks I swapped my seclusion for socials. I had a personal tour of the island from my new adopted Dad, had actual face to face conversations with extremely interesting human beings and stayed up past nine o’clock.
10 days of Debauchery
As week five approached, mischief had been blown ashore by Tramuntana and somewhere amongst the muddied sheets and thunderstorms, the wind in my heart changed direction… I plotted my monastery escape.
I found myself floating around the most incredible, rustic but luxurious six-bedroom villa with a swimming pool and ocean views, before kamikaziing back down to reality with two sleepless nights under fluorescent strobe lighting in a hostel from hell. I couchsurfed for the first time ever and lived like a local.
The whole thing was thrilling and exciting and unknown. It felt right. And when you do something like that with somebody new, you can go from strangers to soul mates overnight.
Louise shaved her head and I made local news. We plastered posters all over the city of Cituadella and footprints on each other’s hearts. We had deep and meaningful discussions, fabulously philosophical debates and cackled our way over cobbles. We made a promise that every year we’ll meet up in different corners of the globe.
A Balearic Treasure
Menorca was never on my bucket list and if I’m being totally honest, I hadn’t expected much more than a few tacky beaches, screaming kids jacked up on E-numbers and lairy beer-bellied Brits Abroad drinking pints of lager in Irish pubs. And for that premature and pompous review I’d like to slap my snobby little self in the face.
Menorca is the hidden treasure of the Balearics and I’m really going to miss it.
I’ll miss the fresh air, the pure white sands and the still turquoise waters. I’ll miss turning random rocks into my own little life-pondering haven. I’ll miss having crystal clear views of the galaxies above and hearing nothing but the sound of crickets at night. I’ll miss the Caterpillar Crawl every dusk when hundreds and thousands of bright orange and brown caterpillars think it’s a good idea to cross the road. I’ll miss the gravel tracks that lead to nowhere, the lumps and bumps and the winding camis I had all to myself.
But most of all I will miss the people.
It sounds so cliché and so cheesy but it’s true – this place is a Mediterranean Pleasant Ville. There’s a trust here that I’ve genuinely never witnessed before and a generosity that’s hard to describe. It’s an island of warm hearts and kindness that still leaves me speechlessly overwhelmed.
Levitating to Liverpool
I thought I’d be heading home feeling so zenned out that I could cancel my flight home and just levitate back to Liverpool, but it hasn’t quite planned out that way…
What started off as a wholesome break quickly deteriorated into a hedonistic reality when I broke free from the virtuous confines of Monkville. Keeping up my vows of abstinence was easy when I was there and temptation laid low behind the monastery walls, but I soon morphed back into the perfectly flawed little human I am.
So right now I’m sat in Barcelona airport on my third coffee, feeling hideously envious of anybody in this place that managed to shower before they left the house. I’m suffering from a level of sleep deprivation akin to that induced by Japanese torture techniques and I’ve also discovered that Menorcan Rioja is not exempt from inducing a hangover.
I’m only Human after all