Remote Year Month 1: Portugal + 22 hours in Ibiza

How not to take it easy

After a whirlwind trip to Porto (30+ of us took the small, picturesque town by storm) I realized a few things — one, I still don’t like Port wine and two, I needed to pump the breaks.

It hit me at about 5am when I found myself locked out of my hostel and actually considered laying down and sleeping in the doorway.

From the moment I arrived in Portugal, I had been going and going — trying to cram as much life in as possible. And it was amazing. But completely unsustainable.

Beyond the hunger and exhaustion, I hadn’t had a chance to do the things that make me “me” — like practicing yoga and watching the Dillon Francis Snapchat story.

So for our last week in Lisbon, I decided to skip all of the side trips, settle in, and enjoy what Lisbon and the surrounding areas have to offer.

I planned a lovely Saturday touring castles in Sintra, visiting the beach in Cascais, and exploring Cabo de Roca, the cliffs at the western most point of Europe.

I enjoyed a pastry, as the Portuguese do, and basked in the history of Lisbon’s old, cobblestone streets. I think I’d feel a lot more connected to the past if I always lived amongst such antiquity.

I went to a professional soccer game and cheered with the locals. No alcohol was served in the stadium but passion flowed through their veins and a thick cloud of smoke rose from their lungs.

I went to bed before midnight (once) and got up early.

I even cooked dinner one night.

I was really doing it. I was traveling and working and making it work.

But then there was that 3am conversation I had with Aaron and Robby.

…Kygo was playing in Ibiza Thursday. And I love Kygo. And I had never been to Ibiza. And Robbie loves Ibiza. And Aaron loves Kygo. And it was Aaron’s birthday…

The way we saw, there just really wasn’t any option. We had to go.

So at 330am we logged on and made it official.

We would fly in early Thursday, see the show Thursday night, and stay out until we had to head to the airport to catch a 7am flight Friday morning.

But Friday is your last day in Lisbon, you might say. You’re moving to Morocco Saturday. Isn’t that risky? Won’t you be tired? Isn’t that expensive? Won’t you have to take vacation?

The answer to all of these is yes. We know — it was a completely unreasonable thing to do.

But nonetheless, I set my alarm for 5:30am (and 5:32 and 5:34) Thursday morning, threw on a dress over a bikini, grabbed the guys, and left for the airport. We landed in sunny Spain and headed straight to brunch. Each of our meals came with fresh squeezed orange juice. And you know what they say — when life gives you orange juice, make screwdrivers! So we did.

After brunch, we bought Aaron some shorty shorts and headed to Sa Punta to go cliff jumping.

I wish I could say we climbed to the top, threw down our stuff, and back flipped into the water. But hey, we’re adults.

We peered suspiciously over the edge looking for rocks. We debated the perfect height to jump from. We debated the perfect ledge to jump from. We wondered about the depth of the water. We saw people getting thrown into the rocks below as they tried to climb out of the water.

So we sat down to have a beer and soak up our cliffy coastal surroundings.

There was no way we were leaving without jumping, but it wasn’t until after we saw some Spanish boys casually dive in from about 30 feet up that we got our act together. A few false starts later, all three of us took the leap.

The next stop on the fun parade was the beach, fit with beds and lined with bars. We took a banana boat ride where I managed to fall off despite the fact that the people in front and back of me hung on.

We then visited what is, in my opinion, Ibiza’s greatest attraction — Drop and Enjoy, where you can shower and leave your bags if you don’t have a hotel.

Kygo, Sam Feldt and Klingande put on an epic show at Ushaia including fireworks, ticker tape, and a smoke machine that hit you like an avalanche.

We had already walked nearly 24,000 steps that day, but we had until 530am to leave for our flight so we stopped for late night pizza to refuel and then headed to the after party at Space where people danced like zombies to deep house music in the dark.

I have a theory that most people who say they like this type of music are lying. Just like most girls who say they like whiskey are lying. There are no vocals and the beat never drops. Whenever the music starts to build even for a moment, the crowd starts to wake up, but then it fades back into elevator music and the crowd fades back into their stupor. So Space isn’t exactly my scene. Plus, 3 vodka sodas cost 65 euros. Really.

But I was happy. We did it. We flew to Ibiza, enjoyed an incredible show, and stuck together.

Then around 4:30am, an hour before we needed to leave for the airport, Aaron and I realized Robby was missing. He never came back from the bar. And neither of us had working phones. We scoured the dark room for his reflective sunglasses. He wasn’t there. So one by one, we searched all of the other rooms of the club. Nothing.

Out of options, we walked back to Drop and Enjoy to see if he was there waiting for us. Nope.

We sat outside, trying to keep ourselves awake and devise a plan.

We realized that if we got wi-fi we could message him, so we set out to find an open restaurant.

When we finally found a spot, we messaged him. Don’t worry, Robby’s mom. He was fine. He was in VIP.

We collected his highness and staggered back to the airport, where we remembered, painstakingly, that we had a layover. The princes slept while I manually held my eyelids open and waited for our boarding call.

We laid over in Madrid, where the airport chairs are specifically designed to keep you awake.

Over 30 hours and 30,000 steps later, we arrived back in Lisbon, triumphant but exhausted and vowing to get more rest in the coming days.

Little did we know, when we returned to the airport the next day to fly to Morocco, airport security would be on strike and we would stand in a tightly packed, sweaty mob for hours on end in the longest airport line anyone had ever seen.

C’est la vie.