In case you haven’t heard, Iceland is sort of becoming a thing. In recent years, the country has amped up its tourism efforts—especially in the states—and as a result, everyone and their mom is heading to the Nordic island. If you’re thinking about taking a trip this year, Iceland should be at the top of your list. So, here are the top 7 reasons why you should take a trip to Iceland...Read More
An extremely helpful guide to backpacking Latin America, Toasty Style. It's just like Lonely Planet, only much less specific.Read More
There are certain trips that go down in the memory bank as “that one trip.” The kind that when you hear a particular song or catch a smell or taste something vaguely familiar, the memories come rolling out of you like a wave, an echo of images and thoughts and feelings reincarnated from another place and time. Where moments come pouring out of you in one long string of images, as if they were sewn together, washing you in all of those good memories.
This past trip was one of those.Read More
I’m a little late on this post, but better late than never. Especially for a hike as worthy as Torrent de Pareis. If you live on Mallorca, you’ve probably heard the name thrown around once or twice. The Gem of Mallorca, I’ve been told on more than one occassion, as if it’s a second name.
I’ve been on my fair share of hikes on the island, and I’ve never seen anything quite like the Torrent de Pareis. Running along the northwest side of the island, beginning in the mountains of Escorca and ending at the beach of Sa Calobra, it’s nothing short of epic. For an average person, it takes around six hours to do and consists of a mix between walking and bouldering down the riverbed (meaning this isn’t a hike to do after or during a heavy rain).Read More
Look who's back! For a very, very short time.
In my last post, I dropped the bomb that I quit my job and was off to South America for a few months' of adventure. Three months later and I'm back stateside for a hot second before departing (again).
In short: I regret nothing. While myself and Kelsey have many more posts planned about our adventures, for now I'll leave you with a few photos to fuel your wanderlust. After all, I have another plane to catch...;)
P.S. We have an Instagram!! Double-tap that ish: @thetoastyavocados
From caves created by ancient Genoese sailors to live music concerts in caves, this weekend was one for the record books. Swarms of jellyfish, hikes through pine forests overlooking clear blue Mediterranean water, and boat rides in underground lakes surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.Read More
As a small island in the Mediterranean, Mallorca has some of the most beautiful beaches and clearest water in all of Europe—perfect in the summer when you can go from scuba diving to cave swimming to cliff jumping in a matter of hours. But even Mediterranean islands get cold, and winter here is no exception.
So what do you do on an island in the middle of winter? You adventure by land. And lo and behold, you come to find out that Mallorca is not too shabby of a winter destination—especially during the holidays.Read More
That's right, back at it! The holidays really got in the way of important things like this here blog. No more!
Now that a new year has begun (when? How? Where does time go?), time to stop for a little reflection. Kristine wrote a lovely and inspiring post that you should definitely read if you haven't already, and if you have, read it again. She drops truth bombs left and right.
I'm going to be honest: 2014 was not a good year. I'm not saying it was entirely awful - good times were had, laughs were laughed, new adventures were abundant. But mentally, phew, it was a rough one. It was a year of disappointments, regrets, isolation, self-doubt, tears (and I'm not a cryer). I wasn't depressed - I didn't let myself fall entirely. But I found myself gritting my teeth and putting my head down just to get through each day. That's no way to live.
To sum it up: I let the world get the best of me, and that was my own fault.
Yep. MY fault. Because not once during those moments of desperation or self-questioning did I ever stand up and make a change. I never once took a risk. Instead, I let myself fall further down the hole rather than stand up, pull myself together like a grown-ass woman, and step confidently out of my comfort zone.
If there's one thing 2014 taught me, it's that there's never a "right" - a right time, place, thing to say, way to do things, career...you name it. I was always waiting for the "right" thing or the "right" time or was doing what everyone told me was "right." How silly is that? That's a lot of time wasted spent worrying about something that doesn't even exist.
So, my mantra for 2015 and beyond is (drumroll please): there is no right. So if you're worrying about taking the right job, or saving up just the right amount of money for that trip, or saying just the right thing to make that guy like you, whatever it is...guess what? You're wasting time. And there ain't time to waste, because life is short.
It's only two weeks into the new year, and this state of mind is already working out pretty darn well for me. I feel good about my decisions because you know what? They're always "right." I'm not wasting time worrying or feeling sad or wondering "What if?" I'm just doing. Because when you follow your gut, you take action, and that's empowering.
I'll talk more on setting specific "goals" later, but for now, happy 2015. Trust yourself, be mindful, do cool shit when you feel like it, and stop and smell the roses (or ocean) every once in a while. Life will love you for it.
On an island that boasts of amazing hiking and canyoning and kayaking and cave swimming and honey and olive and wine fairs, it’s not too far off from the truth to say that I want to do all the activities. All the time.
But I got to thinking how funny it is. How you have something so planned out in your head, the way something should be, or how you should experience something. How much you want to do and how determined you are to pack it all in.
But it rarely turns out the way you expect it to. What you experience and how you experience it.Read More
After quite a few excursiones on the island so far, I've begun to acquire a very important skill: How to find a good sandwich spot.
I mean, let's be real. You can't just eat your sandwich in any old place. You have to find the "it" spot--that vista that you will think back on in three years and think, Wow, that was such an amazing hike.Read More
Today we drove to the other side of the island for a little salt and sand at one of Mallorca's most beautiful beaches, Caló Des Moro, near the city of Santanyí. We had to park on the bluffs above the beach, and there are trails that are surrounded by pine trees and thick green vegetation that took us down to the beach.
It is absolutely gorgeous.
The first glimpse of the ocean from the trail is an expanse of brilliant blues and some of the clearest water that I've ever seen. Cliffs tower on either side of the narrow stretch of water, and a few caves can be seen on either side.
The beach itself is very small and scattered with large rocks so it can get crowded easily (there is not much "sand space"). If you go, I would recommend getting there early to make sure you have a spot to lay your towels down and set up camp for the day.
The beach is pristine and mellow, making it a great place to swim or snorkel. There isn't much reef near the beach but the farther you venture out the more you'll find. There were a few people that climbed up the rocks on the left side of the water and were jumping off into the ocean (although I'm not sure how much the tide can change here/how shallow it can get).
If you swim out about 100 yards on the right, there's a big cave that you can swim into. We swam in, and at the very back we climbed up on some low rocks and jumped off (the water was about three meters deep here). There is more reef in and around the cave which can make for a fun place to snorkel.
I also heard that the beach can get crowded during the height of tourist season in Mallorca, but since we are nearing the end of the season, there didn't seem to be too many people.
After we had our fair share of swimming, we decided to stop at the town of Portopetro, a very small port town to the East of Santanyí. The town is quiet and quaint, and while small, harbors some beautiful boats and some decent restaurants. We stopped at a place overlooking the water for a café con leche and chatted as the sun went down. It was a perfect way to end the day and a nice stopping point before the drive back up north.
These are the kinds of days that allow you to savor, rather than just see. The moments that make you think about how many beautiful gems there are out there and how many corners of the world that you have yet to see. And to think that in this moment in time, you somehow got to this place, to see this. You start to appreciate the timing of your life, regardless of whether it may seem right or not, and you begin to trust in the path that you've taken, regardless of how chaotic or directionless it may seem at times.
You begin to realize just how lucky you are to be right here, at this point in time. To see this beautiful beach and to feel how awesome life is. And you begin, poco a poco, to savor. To enjoy the adventure of each day. Live happy, live it up, and enjoy the little moments.
Less than five miles away from my new apartment in Pollença is Cala Sant Vicenç, a small town consisting of three beautiful, calm beaches and white boutique resorts set on the surrounding cliffs. The water is crystal clear blue and the beaches are tucked away in small, protected coves (cala translated means cove).
While the reef doesn't vary too much, it can make for some fun snorkeling since there are some small fish, and the bay makes for a good swim with the water being as calm (and clear) as a pool. I swam out a ways and lay on my back, the sun beating down on me. It was nice, just laying out there in the sea, letting everything go in the sunshine. All the colors at San Vincenç are so vibrant, it's a good place to get back to center, to remind yourself to breathe. To take it all in, smile, and let it all get washed away by the water.
October is at the end of tourist season in Mallorca and I went midday on a Thursday, so there were not too many people. It turned out to be a quiet spot to read and lay in the sun and snack on some dates. As it got to around 4pm, after everyone got off of work, the beach got a bit more crowded but everyone cleared out pretty much by 6:30pm as the sun was setting.
While you can't see the sunset from the beach, it's a beautiful spot to sit as the shade comes over the water and the cliffs on either side of the bay are lit up in that setting-sun golden orange. Everything was quiet and there was hardly anyone on the beach.
Every once in a while you need to find your happy place and reset. Recharge. After a few weeks of being on the go from traveling, it was refreshing to get back to the ocean, to swim, and to refuel with some mellow "me" time. Sometimes something as simple as a swim in the ocean, reading in the sunshine, or making tea and sitting in the tub can reboot you for a whole week.
Take some time today or in the next few days to recharge. Find your happy place - your favorite beach, a great trail, the hammock in the backyard - and take some time for you. Breathe, smile, and let it all go.