I’ve pretty much been silent for the last few days because I went to Tenerife, as I said in this post. It was such a nice holiday and finally, two days after I got back, I want to update you on it. There were both good points and bad points but luckily, the good outweighed the bad.
My mum, sister and I went last Friday to the airport, getting up at a painful 5 in the morning. As usual, I’d packed last minute at 11 the night before so everything was rushed; I was tired; I barely spoke to anyone in the 4 hours between waking up and getting on the plane. I don’t remember much of it honestly. The plane journey was uneventful apart from me falling asleep (which I never do). How do people manage to always sleep on planes? I got horrific pins and needles and my neck ached.
When we actually arrived, it was boiling. Really, really hot – 30 degrees! Compared to England I felt as if I was in a dessert but I refused to complain. I was used to hot weather, of course (I really wasn’t) and so I’d be dignified and get used to it. After whining about how much sun there was for about half an hour, we arrived at the apartment we’d rented for the 6 days. Although it was small, it was surprisingly airy with a balcony outside; my sister and I shared a room and I spent about 20 minutes frantically organising my clothes, moving them around when I didn’t like how I placed them and generally stressing as I always do.
Pretty early on, I realised that neither I nor my mum or sister could speak Spanish. That didn’t stop the other two from trying: on the first day, we managed to order something in Spanish before realising there was an English menu on the back, talk to the man in charge of the building in which we could only say “thank you” and me screeching over their mispronunciation of words (not that I could talk). It was pretty boring except for me inwardly fangirling in the supermarket when I heard a song from Eurovision on the radio. I would have been embarrassed but my family were too busy looking at fruit to notice my singing.
After a not too shitty night’s sleep, I woke up feeling irritated for no good reason. On Saturday, we went to the closest beach, neglecting to realise that it was really, really windy. So windy, in fact, that it was like we were in a miniature sandstorm. It hurt like hell; I hate sand anyway but when it’s being pelted at you at high speed, it’s even worse. Apart from me aggressively trying to wipe sand off of every single part of my body, it was alright until we decided to leave. Then, my legs felt like they were being pricked by needles and my hat ran away, causing my sister to chase it. By the time we got back, I had sand in my ears and also on my eyelids.
After that unpleasant experience, we just went to the pool. I rang a friend and attempted to relax. That day went into a blur because most of it was spent trying to get sand out, although I did start reading a book which has taken over my life. Bloody typical.
Sunday was significantly less stressful. We went to another beach – do you sense a pattern? – that was less windy. I actually sunbathed, read a section from one of the most interesting 18th century books ever and then we ate lunch at the most adorable little Tapas bar. I barely thought to be worried about anything that day, except the buying of a new book which I didn’t even read that day either. Instead, I wrote creatively for the first time in months: it felt amazing to sit there for hours, writing and developing my own thoughts. I went to sleep feeling an odd mixture of happiness and relief because I’d connected myself to something I loved.
We’d mostly kept to the surrounding area of our apartment (which I always managed to get lost in) but on Monday, we went to a holiday resort called the Playa de las Américas for the day, just to see what it was like. The beach was wonderful: it had a bunch of people sunbathing on it so I joined in and there was no painful wind to contend with. Eventually, my sister suggested, coerced and then finally forced me to go in the sea. I have a tendency to not want to do things at first but when I actually do them, I enjoy them. I’d forgotten how freeing it felt to get splashed by waves, do some version of what I call “swimming” and to smile as waves crested right beside me. When we’d had enough of the water, it took an age to find the restaurant where we’d eat which turned out to be lovely but god, my feet ached. Our eating times were always irregular so my sense of time that day was kind of warped.
I noticed a pattern in my thoughts for the first three days: they were quite blurry and I don’t specifically remember what happened in those days besides what I wrote down. I think it was because my mental health had been declining and I couldn’t put a finger on why. However, on our return to the first beach on Tuesday, I started to figure it out. Whilst lying on a deckchair, I came to a rather panicky realisation that I won’t mention here because I haven’t told anyone. It was to do with my feelings and how I think about things and I even interrupted my reading of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to think about it which made things have a little more clarity, I suppose. It made me feel so weird that I went into the sea with my sister to try and distract myself. As we ran across the sand, and was so hot that my sister said it felt like torture and we crashed into the sea with something like relief. For the rest of that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about god knows what: my mind wouldn’t shut up. I rang a friend and freaked out on them about it which helped, I think, as I’d messaged them the night before when I started to feel like things were crowding in on me.
On Wednesday, we climbed a mountain. Well, it was in a car but still. Along the way, we saw (or in my case, felt) really cool rocks that were part-volcanic; I also climbed a few. It was kind of embarrassing when someone random came up to me and told me that I was doing a “very good job” but I just had to deal with my face going red, not from the heat, as I walked back down the rock formation. I got rock dust all over my hands and as soon as I got back, I spent what felt like a year trying to sort out the 5 photos of me which had been taken. Yeah, I really am that pathetic.
In the evening, I did my best to pack as my mum made some lovely food. It was actually quite nice to eat at the apartment as we’d eaten at restaurants for most of the other days. I glued myself to my book and didn’t really emerge for the rest of the evening because I’m an antisocial moth like that.
Thursday was our last day and I couldn’t help feeling sad about it. Going back to England would mean a return to life where I couldn’t relax as much. It meant facing up to the reality that I hadn’t done much work, that I felt panicky. Maybe I need that, though, despite the sadness I felt. We didn’t do much: apart from packing, owe stayed in the apartment until 5 when we were picked up by a taxi to go to the airport. Shortly before that, I’d lost my sixpence necklace and had a full-on breakdown about everything so I went to the airport with reddened eyes, feeling sick. However, I soon cheered up and spent the entire plane journey writing and thinking so that I felt more alive than I had in a while.
Now, I feel rather listless but I’m at my friend’s house today which is going to be great! I miss Tenerife, it sun, the apartment and running into the sea but I know I can experience that again. My family, apart from the occasional argument, got on with each other and although nothing too momentous happened, I liked it that way.
Oh, and I got sunburnt. Quite badly. I only noticed it when I started to really hurt. It was, in a word, tragic.
Have you gone anywhere this summer?
From Elm 🙂