About nine in the evening as I’m strolling through old-town Puerto, on the way to meet friends but not sure I want this walk to end. You ever have those times when everything seems clear and perfect and beautiful? You notice and rejoice in all the details, wouldn’t change a thing. That’s me this eve, floating through the streets, violin music and ocean waves, a shining moon in the sky.
Third presentation in three days. They all went pretty well methinks. I still need to ask for feedback, definitely lots I can improve, but I was more at ease up there than expected, enjoyed the process for the most part. I’ll be speaking to 100+ people in three weeks in Las Palmas, now feeling less intimidated by the thought of that.
About twenty people here for my balcony guacamole fun-time get-together at the apartment. German, Polish, Italian, Dutch, English, Slovakian, Romanian… no Spanish actually, hmm. Anyways, it’s great having them all here. Must try host these kinds of things more often. Beats the bejesus out of spending Friday nights alone watching Netflix.
Decided I’ll stay in Las Palmas when I head over there in a few weeks, rather than return to Tenerife. I like it here in many ways, but don’t think I could spend the entire winter. It’s a bit too quiet, mostly elderly tourists roaming about, not much of a dating scene. Las Palmas is the biggest city in the Canaries, should be more my style.
Sun’s about down and we’re at a big old abandoned church hanging off the edge of a cliff. There’s no roof on this thing, but the walls are mostly intact. Some dude can be seen on YouTube walking along the top of those walls, braving the deadly drop. Mostly mindset that, well-trained attention. Put the same width of wall three feet off the ground and anyone could walk it.
Been a month now since I started experimenting with fixed-schedule productivity, as Cal Newport calls it. I get up at 5:30am and finish work by 1pm. Spend the rest of the day lunching, napping, swimming, practicing Spanish, occasionally something social. I don’t feel like I’m getting any more or less work done, but I’m more relaxed, having more fun.
First time surfing. Out there for about an hour and spent approximately 50 minutes of it paddling. Such is surfing, they say. Didn’t manage to stand up on the board but had a blast still, got a good rush a few times bodyboarding towards the shore. Easy see how people get addicted. Exhausted after and a banging headache. Totally worth it.
By paying most of my usual expenses through my new Chase Sapphire Reserve card the past three months, I’ve managed to unlock $1,500 worth of travel credit. Unfortunately, that credit can’t be used to book Ryanair flights home for Christmas. Guess I’ll have to keep them in the bank for a few adventures next year.
Ten thirty-six. Left a good time at an Irish pub tonight to come home and get to bed so I can be up fresh at 5:30 as usual. Not sure it was the smart move this time though. Discipline is good. Excessive discipline, not so much. But what’s really bothering me is that I didn’t tell that cute French girl I liked her before I left.
Been working on my Nomad City talk the past two days. Asking myself, “How can I make it fun? How can I amuse myself up there?” My answer so far involves adding a few game show-like questions, roping in a beautiful assistant, and throwing sailor hats back and forth with the audience. That should do the trick.
Today makes it 1,368 consecutive days I’ve been writing these Momentos. Although it should probably be 1,369 since I had an eight-day week crossing the Pacific that time. Who knows how long I’ll keep it up? The rest of my life, maybe? I like the practice. A little creative exercise every day, keeps me reflective.
Morning, meditating, noticing the senses:
- Taste: still a hint of cinnamon left over from breakfast.
- Touch: flip flops on my feet, patio chair supporting my weight, food in my belly.
- Smell: nothing at first, then the slight scent of flowers, then nothing once more.
- Hearing: mostly birdsong, whispers from neighborly wind chimes, light traffic in the distance.
- Sight, once I open my eyes: Red tiles, palm trees, an ocean on the horizon, two paragliders in the sky.
Up at 5:30 this morning, straight to work. It’s 21:40 now and I’m just wrapping up. (Though I did break for a nap, some swimming and a Spanish lesson in the afternoon.) And I’ve been fasting since breakfast. So essentially I starved myself all day and worked way later than usual, but I’ll still be walking home with a smile on my face. Autonomy makes all the difference.
Speaking practice. Tis a very important part of learning a language, but not enough on its own. You still have to sit down regularly and study grammar. Which is what I spent two hours doing today. Now I know why these four sentences all use different words for “was” in Spanish:
- He was a teacher
- He was angry
- He was here for an hour
- It was a great party
Three weeks ago when I first got in that pool I could barely do one length. Now I can swim three without stopping, freestyle, head in the water and turning to breathe. So I’m 3x better than I was three weeks ago. Had to pause and think about that. Sometimes I’m so focused on how much further I can go that I forget to appreciate how far I’ve come.
In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?