As we lay on the sunbeds at the far end of Paradise Beach in Mykonos, sipping Prosecco and slowly watching our skin turn from lightly tanned to golden brown, Charlotte and I began to reminisce about our partying days in our late teens and early 20’s. You know the kind of holiday I mean, where you go to some European resort, party all night and try to sleep off the excess the next day. Soaking up about as little culture as can be expected in the kind of resorts that are as far removed from the real Greek/Spanish/Turkish experience as you can get.
But listening to the sounds of chilled out dance music took us back to the carefree moments of that time, where all that mattered was which outfit to wear that night and which boy you wanted to kiss. As our favourite songs from the nineties pumped out of the speakers, we wanted to teleport ourselves back to those easy days. Forget the sensible dinners, seeing the sights, chatting about our futures and pondering life, we wanted some wild abandon and so we bought two tickets to the beach party that night and vowed to take a girls trip to Ibiza the following year.
Fast forward a day…awaking in a drunken stupor, unsure of how we got back home after far too many vodka red bulls. Flashbacks of dancing poolside in the club and waving a cigarette in the air like a naughty schoolgirl began racing through my head and the thought of the day long journey to Naxos across a choppy sea filled me with dread.
By the time we arrived in Naxos feeling more than the worse for wear, I vowed never to drink again, never mind spend a whole weekend in Ibiza partying like a teen. Well we’ve all said things after a night out that we don’t mean…
Half way through my yoga teacher training course and back in the office feeling wholly uninspired by my day job, I absentmindedly scrolled through Twitter as I daydreamed of far away places. Then out of nowhere a tweet popped up that captured my attention more than the hundreds of others I’d glanced past that morning:
Yoga + sunshine + music…sounds like my kind of trip!
Of course Lottie was keen but she rebelled a little at first, not wanting to commit to another holiday as she’d already planned a 10-day trip to Spain with her mum. But as usual, my powers of persuasion didn’t let me down and fast forward two months, we were packing our bags for the White Isle.
Due to the last minute arrangements, we headed to the airport separately; Lottie arrived early on the Friday morning whilst I sat on the edge of my seat all day at work, counting down the minutes until I could join her on the beach.
By the time my flight touched down in the small hours of Saturday morning, I was exhausted and slightly nervous at finding our abode for the next few days which was situated in the North of the Island, close to San Joan de Labrijita. Luckily I’d had the foresight to organise a last minute shuttle from the airport to the villa and by some stroke of luck I was the only one taking the journey and so, although the driver was meant to drop me off in the nearest town, thankfully he took me all the way along the windy mountain roads, up a dirt track until I finally reached my destination, Samskara.
Although absolutely beautiful in the day, the imposing gates and pitch black sky didn’t feel quite so welcoming at 2am in the morning. I called Lottie to come and open the gates but she was deep in the land of nod. The driver was clearly starting to get agitated and as he spoke quickly to me in Spanish, the panic began to rise in my chest as I tried to figure out what he was saying, certain he was planning to leave me alone in the dark, I wondered what I would do if no one arrived to let me in. What felt like an eternity and a lot of shouting later, Jo (the organiser of the retreat) woke from her slumber and let me in.
The next morning, although not quite well rested, the morning sunshine did plenty to lift my spirits, as did the welcoming faces of the other guests who would also be joining us for the two-day yoga festival.
I’ve wrote about the festival in more detail here so rather than repeat it…enjoy!
Post-festival, Lottie and I joined our new friend Ellie on a whirl-wind tour of some of the best parts of the island; lunch at El Chiringuito followed by a snooze on the beach, then on to Playa D’en Bossa for the-most-amazing-smoothies-ever at the Passion Café (I had the honey bee version which was so good I spent half of the next day driving – and getting lost – around the island just to get another one!)
As the evening drew to a close, we tore ourselves away from the beach and hopped in the car to head to San Antonio for the infamous sunset. Not quite anticipating how long it might take to find a parking space, we arrived just in time to purchase a couple of bottles of Prosecco and head to the rocks to watch the sun disappear behind the clouds. Ah well, there’s always next time!
Sadly it was now time to wave the girls goodbye. I dropped them off at the airport and headed back along the winding roads to my home for one more night. I must admit, navigating the roads in the dark with my notoriously bad sense of direction wasn’t the highlight of the trip but there was something calming and freeing about being on the road again, tunes turned up and mind focused only on the road ahead.
I arrived home late to a text from Jo asking if I wanted to join her and another guest for a morning hike the next day but although it was tempting, I knew I needed to spend some time alone dealing with the conundrum that had been plaguing me for the past year…to stay in London or to go…
So the next morning, I packed up the car and headed over to the South of the Island, to a wonderful spot called Cala D’Hort where I had the perfect view of the magical and mystical Es Vedra rock. Shrouded in myths and legends, and known as the third most magnetic spot in the world, it seemed like as good a spot as any to have my epiphany.
Soaking up the sun, swimming in the sea and dotting around in my little car without a care in the world, it seemed only natural that my answer was to move to Ibiza but when I got back to reality, my colleague kindly reminded me that I say the same thing about every sunny location I visit..hmm he does have a point!
The main thing the trip left me with was the realisation that I was actually quite happy with my life in London, so whilst I save up my pennies for my dream house by the beach, I might as well continue enjoying the present and when the opportunity presents itself, I’ll know where I need to be.