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A failed travel experiment: the relaxing vacation

Last updated on 03/07/2017 at 15:54:30

A few months ago we, my girlfriend and I, decided for the first time in our lives that there should have been a trip that wouldn’t be a trip, but a relaxing vacation. No one of us had ever experienced something like going on vacation to relax and do nothing than… relaxing, so we decided to seize the moment and do this travel experiment this year, in August.

Because of our jobs, August was the only month in which we could do something like that, so we manage to find at least one week of time to go somewhere, somehow. We considered the idea of going on a cruise, staying at a resort or some SPA in the countryside. We quickly discarded the latter since there wasn’t what we really wanted: the sea.

Soon we discarded also the cruise: too expensive for just a travel experiment and the ones we found didn’t correspond to our time slot.

As the time was passing by we opted for a DIY option, with a fancy hotel on a renown seaside resort in Spain: Palma de Mallorca.

Let’s start this travel experiment!

Sun, warm temperatures, crystal clear sea, soft sand and a period in which usually tourists are already gone home, for the most part. We planned everything in the detail, as follows: wake up, have breakfast, go to the beach, have lunch, take a nap, go to the beach, have dinner, post dinner moderately alcoholic, go to bed. The perfect plan to relax and charge up our batteries. And get a bit tanned too, considering we’re pale as ghosts!

E Arenal - Luca Travels Around

Do you see what I mean?

We arrived late in the afternoon so we just enjoyed discovering that the hotel was two blocks from the beach, a proper distance I’d say, have some food, and take a walk on the promenade, trying to understand the place.

A lot of shops, for the most part souvenir ones, many bars, restaurants and pubs, and a few spaces left for excursion or rental agencies and little supermarkets. A place build with one purpose only: make you spend money.

The following day we started with our plan: e-book readers in the bag, some beach towels, solar screen, sunglasses and nothing else, we also left our mobiles in the hotel! Our satisfaction at the end of the day was tangible. Finally, we were recharging up a bit, our belly was adequately full, and we were less pale than the day before. Actually, we were turning dangerously red in some spots, and I had to buy a hat to protect what’s left of my brain!

The failure…

The following day, though, it was different. Not because sleep deprived, we both slept like babies, and our breakfast was abundant and tasteful too, but after having spent some hours at the beach, we didn’t want to do the same in the afternoon. We were missing something. Long story short, what a bore!

The problem was we weren’t actually relaxing. Ok, we did nothing hard except digest food and take some swim, but that was not our idea or relaxing. That was our idea of wasting time and money in a place we didn’t discover yet.

We believed the island had something to show us. In the end, the reputation as a touristic place came in the last decades, but there should have also been something interesting before!

Since this time no one cared to read anything about Balearic island before arriving, we discovered there are some beautiful caves to explore, with one in particular, Coves del Drac (Caves of the Dragon), being the home of the biggest underground lake in the world. It’s time to see it!

Coves del Drac - Luca Travels Around

Yes, a boat too.


I’m not saying that Palma de Mallorca was boring. The city is vivacious, and if you’re looking for a particular kind of place, that could be the one to go. What I’m saying is that, even though I can see the pros of a city focused on young tourism and sea activities, for us there was nothing exciting laying on the beach all day long. Yes, the books we read were intriguing and captivating, but nothing beats the joy of discovery a new place, with its history (and Palma de Mallorca has a lot!), sights and people.

Luca walking towards the city - Luca Travels Around

Let’s go!

Well, in the end, our travel experiment failed on the third day, after only one day and a half of relaxing. But for us probably the idea of relaxing was a bit different from doing nothing all day long. At least now we know!

And you, have you ever experienced something like that, maybe on the contrary too? Tell me in the comment section!

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A failed travel experiment the relaxing vacation - Luca Travels Around

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40 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I get what you mean by the part boring by just doing the same thing over and over. It is great to take a few days off to recharge on the beach. Did you ended up explore other parts of Palma de Mallorca?

    • In the end I only managed to visit the old and historic part of the city, which I found extremely nice, and I went on the east coast on Porto Cristo to visit the caves. It’s a pity I didn’t have more time to go somewhere else!

  • I do enjoy a few days of total rest, but I don’t enjoy spending a whole vacation like this. In the end, curiosity always wins and spending time and money just to sit around the whole time it’s not my idea of a good investment. Although I must say that, during my trip to Namibia and Zimbabwe, I could’ve used a few days of relax since, out of 13 days (excluding the inbound and outbound trips), I think I only had two half-days of free time!

  • hahaha, i can relate to this so much. as a kid i was always bored when my sister an parents wanted to be at the beach and do nothing but getting a tan. and now, im almost 30 and still bored, when my boyfriend wants to lay at the beach 😀

    • Eh eh, consider I also grew up on the seaside but really, I miss the sea as an entity when I’m away, but I can’t lay under the sun like a lizard 😀

  • I’ve never been able to take a ‘relaxing’ beach vacation either, and I have no desire to! It’s just not really my style. I like getting out and seeing and doing new things. The underground lake, now that sounds cool!

  • I’m not a beach type myself, that’s the reason why I don’t usually stay on beaches for the weekend – it bores me. But going out for something unknown, unplanned trips, that’s what make the activity truly crazy, amazing and worth taking. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • In my opinion, and for past experiences due to the city I grew up into, the best moment to go to the beach is early in the morning and late in the afternoon. And no weekends! The rest of the day can be spent to do some amazing activities, I agree!

  • With the amount of traveling Ive been doing, I should also take a break and go on a vacation!I Just dont feel its a great use of my time because I like being up and actively exploring the place I’m at. Great read!

    • Probably one full day of vacation once in a while could do the job. Instead of more days to charge up, just one every few weeks, maybe in a different place. I know that if you’re like me, you’re getting bored soon and, as you just wrote, it could seems you’re wasting time, but your body and mind would probably thank you! Just my 2 cents 😀

  • Sorry to hear that you guys were bored… looks like a nice place though. I get what you mean by relaxing but not really “relaxing” lol Next stop… Hawaii haha!

  • I love the sea and relaxing, but I also love a little adventure. Maybe if you had other activities like kayaking or snorkeling, it would spice things up a bit. A day or two by the beach is great, fantastic even, but it gets boring indeed after awhile. Hope your next adventure is more fun!

    • Thanks, probably the beach I was at, wasn’t the right one for those kind of activities, but you’re right.
      During my stay I only saw people on jetskis, paragliding dragged by a motorboat, or that sort of big, yellow, inflatable “banana” where you sit on, hold tight and try not to fall while a motorboat drags you high speed on water!

  • Hi there Luca, here in my country which is The Philippines, we call those that have this symptom as “Very Tita”(Very Auntie) they supposed to seek relaxation more than anything when going to vacation. Haha just a little trivia for you. Anyway, this is a good read, never have I experienced to experiment on my travels but most of them were done out of spontaneity. Happy travels to you!

  • That cave pic looks really cool! Like Bill Hicks once said, “I don’t fit in at the beach, I got tan teeth and white skin.” In addition to that, I find it incredibly boring and hate getting sand all over my body!

  • I’m with you on this one. I’m a go-go-go kinda traveler but had my first “week on the beach” with my gf a month ago in Indonesia. We had fun but if it wasn’t for my journal and some good books it would have been a bore! Definitely looking forward to my next trip where I can explore.

  • What an interesting concept you had. After reading your post, I realized I also never had a “relaxing” vacation. Well, I’m no fan of being idle anyway. But maybe I could try doing nothing for one day as long as I am in the beach.

  • Yes, when you are accustomed to hectic activity and the adrenalin flowing continuously, it is a challenge to just relax. This can be done for some time and then boredom creeps in. I agreed with you that relaxation is not necessarily doing nothing.

  • I agree! It is hard for me to just relax the whole time on a vacation. I like doing some relaxing but I start itching to explore a new area. I’d rather have an adventure any day! The caves sound awesome!

    • Maybe I should try to find some more “relaxing” moments once in a while, considering also I have not all the time I’d like to have to read a book, lately. But yes, adventures and caves are awesome! 😀

  • I have tried this so many times! It never works, I get bored within a few hours and get a serious case of itchy feet. Life is too short and there are far too many unexplored places to sunbathe!

    • “there are far too many unexplored places to sunbathe!” I like it! 😀
      I have also another reason to not stay too much time under the sun: pale skin, I get red as a lobster after a few hours!
      It’s better to do something more productive than being roasted!

  • I’m with you, relaxing to me is anytime I’m not at work! When I travel I kick it into high gear though, I always want to keep moving and seeing as much as I can. We always end up almost killing ourselves from walking so much but it’s always worth it!

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