September 16th – September 30th, 2017
We curse a lot, us Irish people. I find myself spilling expletives more often when I’m home. And on this flight from Lanzarote I’m sitting in the vicinity of some middle-aged folk from West Cork who think nothing of throwing a casual fuck into almost every sentence. Sometimes two in one. I’d fuckin love a cup of tea now I’m fuckin tellin ya.
Six of us carrying this wooden box from the pointy building where men dressed in robes said my grandmother is in a place called heaven now. We walk to a hole in the ground and put down the box and some men lower it into the hole and cover it with a sheet of fake grass. Then there are words and tears, singing and hugs and handshakes. I find it hard to believe but I hope those robed men were right.
Fresh morning on the way to Cork. Humble mountains in the distance. A valley draped in fog. Lines of cloud across a pale sky. And those green fields stretching out, dotted with farms and cottages. That’s where the custodians live, tasked with taking care of the land as long as they live. To do the job well, they’ll have to give it better than they got.
Back in Tenerife. Different landscape. Kayaking across glass as the sun goes down, a white ball fading into the haze. We’ve been paddling a half hour to the feet of the giants, Los Gigantes, massive walls of rock almost a kilometer high. We see odd streaks on the rockface like melted wax running off a candle. We stop paddling and float for a while.
Most people selling something don’t want prospective customers to know their competitors exist, especially strong competitors. But holding back like that means you’re not serving people as well as you could be, you’re not pointing them towards the best info, the best service, the best value for money. I like to think you can be a signpost as well as a destination and still do well for yourself.
Camp is over, Wolfhouse is quiet. We’re in a hammock in the garden after a tiring day, looking up at a thousand stars. You know how they say many of the stars we see in the night sky may not exist anymore, because the light we see from them has taken millions of years to reach us? Blows my mind every time I think about it.
Teide. An active volcano once believed to imprison the devil. Columbus sailed past here on his way to the new world and reported seeing a great fire. Modern-day scientists come to test robotic vehicles destined for Mars. Sulfur dioxide and other gases can be seen spewing from the peak. Four million people visited last year, and we’re locked in a metal box with thirty strangers headed for the top.
€121 to rent a car here for eleven days. That’s €11 per day. Ridiculously cheap. What tends to bump up the cost though is parking on the footpath overnight because there’s nare a free space to be found in this town and then you wake up in the morning and the car is gone and you have to walk to the impound and pay €200 to get it back.
Looking at an attractions map of Tenerife. Dozens of dive sites around the island (including three shipwrecks), scores of beaches, endless hiking trails, plus all those caves and cliffs and pueblos to visit… you could spend a couple of years here and do something different every week and still not say you’ve seen it all.
In a stupid supermarket, scowling at their sub-par hummus. I’m tired and cranky and everything sucks. Why can’t the future hurry up and get here and I’d be wearing some device that would measure my blood sugar and other biological stuff and tell me to eat some cashews or whatever to get my mind right and not be standing here hating the world.
Going through 36 questions that lead to love. The fourth: What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? Well, today wasn’t far off. Woke up beside my lady. Morning beach swim and workout. Solid work sessions. Healthy eats and better hummus. Money in my inbox. And now we’re on another beach watching the sky fade and falling deeper.
Loving life in Las Palmas, easily one of my favorite places in the world. The coliving situation here is even better than last year, staying at this epic apartment close to the beach. Cost of living is reasonable and there’s a great community of entrepreneurs and digital nomad types. Only issue is my lady can’t stay here for more than three months at a time :-/
Coming up on seven years since I quit my last real job. If I had stayed with regular employment I’d surely have a lot more money in the bank by now. But man, the things I’d have missed out on these past seven years. And even on a day-to-day basis, the freedom I have is hard to beat. Simple example: I woke up early this morning, a Thursday, read for three hours, then went back to bed until 11.
Beach again, fourth day in a row. We’ll see how long we can keep this streak going. There early today, for a quick bit of movement and a cheeky swim. Had to hurry back to get everything setup for another episode of Digital Nomads Having Coffee. Great guest for it but had some technical issues and the audio/video came out crappy. That annoyed me more than it should.
Double date breakfast down by the beach, croissants and coffee and chat. Then road tripped the day away in a rental car with another couple. Stopped off at Roque Nublo, long lunch in a lazy village, then hit up the sand dunes in the south for sunset. Good food, cool people, nice weather, beautiful scenery, and another day with my lady. One of those days that doesn’t cost a lot, but leaves you feeling wealthy.
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These are my Momentos, vignettes I write daily and publish twice a month. They're incredibly self-indulgent and I'm surprised anyone reads them.
There's one for every day since February 27, 2013.