culture shock in Mallorca





The biggest culture shock that I have had since coming abroad was: Mallorca, Spain. A small island off the coast of Spain that has stunning views, sketchy hikes, and a lot of locals. We visited in March, off-season for the island. The picturesque instagram bars and restaurants were closed for the season. The hot vacation hotels and tourists disappeared. Arriving from the airport we immediately made a bad choice to get into a large bus like cab because of language barrier- an expensive and unnecessary luxury. I speak a good amount of Spanish but here they spoke Spanish that sounded more like Catalan. We joined the mostly empty hostel, the few solo travelers sticking to themselves. Our meals also included no translation, one of the girls did order liver and then was too embarrassed to send it back. Our biggest mistake of all: planning to do a big day of sightseeing on Sunday. Our hostel was conveniently located next to the largest church on the island, and boy did we hear the bells. Coffee shops, convenience stores, brunch spots, lunch stalls are all also closed on Sunday. We were at a loss in the empty city. Instead we decided that we would take a hike and see a cove. A little disheartened and pretty hungry we headed out. About 30 minutes later we were doing a quiet advanced hike for our jeans and converse combination. About 45 minutes later we saw the prettiest cove I have ever seen. It was completely isolated and we sat and stared at the water for a long time. It was a sea blue teal color with little caves on both sides. We don’t think there is any wildlife in it because it is so clear. Then one of us decided to go swimming in the really cold weather. It was that bone chilling cold that you think you can only handle for a few seconds when you first get into the body of water. Then all the sudden the rest of us were taking the plunge. Jumping off rocks and climbing through caves felt like we were kids again. The connection to nature was highly needed. We swam for an hour and sat in the sun for another. Hiking back up to the bus stop, we met the big group of girls. They invited us back for dinner and drinks at a small local restaurant near the outskirts of the main city. We learned about the food, the language, and a few other spots that we would visit the next day. The next day we incorporated a few more of the touristic items but they just didn’t compare to the peace we found hiking our first Sunday. The experience of the weekend was so far out of our comfort zones that it made the weekend memorable. Our trip back to London felt like we were going home refreshed and starting. We were able to tackle the stresses with a new perspective and patience.