In an attempt to do something productive with my Sunday, I decided to get back on the blogging horse. At least to make one more hurrah, to go out with a bang, to tie up the loose ends of this blogging/study abroad experience. So today is brought to you by the letter F: Formentera, finalidad, fear, etc.
After school ended, K. and I were lucky enough to receive a personal invite to Formentera, the smallest and most rustic of the Balearic Islands. Armed with R.’s dungarees and various degrees of SPF, we boarded the flight (followed by the ferry) to destination: Dirección Sur. Just as we did in Barcelona, we immediately set out for an adventure (“you have to say you did something amazing your first night on the Island!”–R.). We drove the to the southern-most tip of the island, marked by a beautiful lighthouse beneath which is a system of caves, one of which we descended into. Placing candles in its crevices as we walked through it, we came upon the opening on the other side where we found ourselves feet from the high tide lapping relentlessly against the side of the cliff. Shooting stars welcomed us to the island from above.
The next day, after 12 hours of sleep (a fact R. would not let me live down) we headed to Illetes, a narrow strip of beach at the northern-most point of the island. There we braved the freezing water of the early season with the help of wetsuits, breaking for a picnic and a walk afterward. On the walk we met Johannsen, an older German gentleman who has been coming to Illetes for twenty years to embellish and expand his “castle”: a collection of rock sculptures he’s made from all items he’s found in the area (driftwood, rocks, old ship parts washed up on shore). From there we went to meet more old guiri-hipis (foreign hippies), arriving at Diki’s house in time for tea and cookies. Diki is a fixture in Formentera, squatting for more than thirty years on his patch of land, making amazing wooden sculptures and keeping a low profile. When he’s not outdoors on his land or in his workshop, he’s sitting by the fire in his one-room hut. He’s the prickly type that I end up grating on with my intensity, so when we broke for another walk I was relieved to have a chance to exhale. Down to the cliffs we went, to further admire the aqua-blue water and incredible geology of the island.
The next day was spiced up with the arrival of X., everyone’s favorite singer/songwriter who spends half the year physically living in Barcelona, while mentally living all twelve months in Formentera. Another day at the beach was therefore planned, this time in a new location that required all swimmers to dive into the frigid waters from the side of a cliff. Then it was back to R.’s incredible homestead (called l’Ermita, the hermitage, due to its resemblance to the architectural similarities it shares with Formentera’s churches) to clean ourselves up for the soccer game we were going to watch in town. Barça won, and all was right with the world.
From this point on you can imagine the daily activities: beach, try not to burn, try not to get stung by the jellyfish that had invaded the island, amazing seaside lunches, further cave exploration, aiding in the construction of an addition the l’Ermita (okay bet you weren’t expecting that one. But I’m positive I moved [read: pilfered] scaffolding material from the lot next door at least three times, while wearing a jersey dress), Spanish food workshops led by X., guitar strumming, etc. It was truly an amazing vacation, the perfect ending to the perfect year abroad. [Suspend your disbelief].
So now we’ve covered the first of the aforementioned Fs (Formentera). Now onto finalidad with a touch of fear. I’m going to gloss over the hellish travel stories I have in my attempts to get home, all of which revolve around the f***ing (another F) volcano in Iceland that decided to disrupt all of my well-crafted (and expensive) plans. But I made it home safe and sound, sana y salva, and that’s what counts. Being home, however, is weird. There’s no other way to describe it. I feel as though I have been teleported into another world, and Spain could not feel farther away now. All of the people, relationships, and events that used to be the center of my world are now 4000+ miles east, 6 hours ahead and complicated by a language barrier which for nine months I attempted to overcome. And things that I yearned for and missed while over there (driving the PT, Bodo’s, my queen-sized bed) are already losing some of their novelty, and life without Radio 3, paella and a metro system seems unmanageable and totally undesirable. I know I’m suffering hard from the “grass-is-greener” syndrome, and that it’s all a process that I’ve hardly begun, but as M. says “es lo que hay” (“it’s all there is”; “it is what it is”). And with that statement and the sentiment it conveys I will face the upcoming months, filled with summer jobs, a publishing internship at a local magazine, old friends and hopefully some productive soul-searching and maybe a few steps closer to entering the real world.
Y ya está. Con eso, mi público, ¡me piro!
Besos from a broad abroad at home.