Mallorca, Summer 2018

In 2008, I had the privilege of living and working in Mallorca for 1 year during my career with Meliá Hotels & Resorts.  I fell in love with the island and vowed that one day after I get married, I would return with my family to spend some time there.  After constantly hearing about me rave about Mallorca and its beauty, Sina agreed that it was time to spend some time there.  So we planned for eight months to spend the summer of 2018 with our girls on one of the most stunning islands in the world.

Mallorca has so much to offer.  Palma de Mallorca is a vibrant city teeming with nightlife and full of history.  The beaches of Mallorca are incredible, and each one has its own unique offering.  There are charming towns in the mountains and on the coasts that too many people never take the time to visit.

Spending three months in Europe changed our lives.  Even though Sina is from Austria originally, she has not lived in Europe since high school.  As an American, I believe there are things about the cultures in Europe that we should look at emulating.  In Mallorca, people work to live, they do not live to work.  They take the time to enjoy life and the phenomenal island that they call home.


The time in Mallorca was extremely valuable for us as a family.  Since I work for a Canadian company, I was able to spend at least some time with my kids every morning before people in the US and Canada started waking up around 11am to 12pm Spain time.  Granted, I usually had to continue working before and after dinner, but that isn’t much different when I’m at home on the East Coast.  The fact that the girls were on summer vacation certainly contributed to our ability to spend more time together.


As you get older, it can be difficult to have a close group of friends.  The people that I consider friends, from college or grad school, live all over the world and I rarely get to see them.  Here in Charlottesville, there are plenty of nice people that we enjoy spending time with, but that’s different than having close friends.  On one hand, there is a limit to how much people want to let you into their lives.  As an example, when someone throws a birthday party for their kids, it is typically limited to 2 hours and then it is understood that everyone is to leave.  It feels like “please come to my house so that my child can have a party but then get out.”  Maybe we just don’t fit in here.  In Mallorca, we felt like the friends we have there just ‘get us’ and we could sit around for hours just talking about life, love and happiness.


Here in the United States, our lives revolve too much around money.  I sit down in my seat on United Airlines and by default I’ve got the CNBC ticker tape in my face.  Ever day I open my mailbox at home and have to carry the armful of useless brochures and fliers to the recycle bin because of all the companies that bought my data in an attempt to sell me something.  Not to mention the spam phone calls I get from robots telling me about that business loan that I’ve been approved for, or the CIGNA health plan that they are selling.  More importantly, our work consumes our lives in this country.  This is very different in Europe.


For some reason, people in Europe take more time and energy to dress nicely, even if they are just popping out to the grocery store to buy some eggs.  Not everyone… but here in the United States you have to really look for someone who has gone out of their way to dress nicely.  It makes a difference when you walk down the street and people are fashionably dressed.  This does not mean they are wearing expensive name brands or fancy suits.  It just means they put some thought into combining colors and expressing themselves through fashion instead of throwing on the first pair of jeans or sweat pants they could get their hands on.

Personal Development

I don’t know why it took living in Mallorca for the summer to wake up and realize that I have been putting off doing the things that I really enjoy for far too long.  Photography, film making, music…  these are all things that I want to spend some time on each week.  Entrepreneurship is a great way to kill any chance of spending time on hobbies unless you can somehow incorporate those into your work.  Over the summer I was able to take some time and spend it learning how to mix music and beats in Garageband.  I created the mix used in the video above.  I wonder if one can be sued for copyright violations if the music is changed enough.  Comments anyone?  Since we have been back and the girls are learning to play the piano, I have also started to play a little bit each day and get back into the music I used to play when I was younger.


It was only three months, but it had a huge impact on our lives and our outlook.  It was difficult to come back home.  While we love our home and it was extremely difficult to leave our pets with house-sitters, something just didn’t feel right after we came back.  Sina and I are not the type of people to accept the status quo and we tend to follow our instincts.  So we have decided to move to Paris for a year.  I plan to blog about our travels and experiences over the next year.

Park Natural Mondragó

Playa den BorgitWe spent 3 months during the summer of 2018 exploring the beaches of Mallorca.  We tried not to go to the same beach twice, but there were a few that we loved and just had to go back.  In the Mondragó Natural Park, located on the southeast coast of Mallorca just east of Santanyí, there are 3 beautiful beaches within walking distance of each other.  They are Playa S’amarador, Cala Mondragó, and Cala d’en Borgit.

Mondrago National ParkThere are 2 ways to arrive.  The first is to type S’amarador into Google Maps.  This will lead you to the parking lot located to the west of the 3 beaches.  You will need to walk about 5 minutes from the parking lot to S’amarador beach, the first, and largest of the 3 beaches.  At the time of writing, Google Maps was leading us to a fork in the road where the road on the left was closed to non-residents.  You will also get there by taking the road to the right but the route that Google Maps uses to get to S’amarador is definitely not the most direct route.  The second option is to type Mondragó Natural Park into Google Maps.  This will lead you to another parking lot, and from there you can walk down to Cala Mondragó in about 7 or 8 minutes (pictured above).

Playa SamaradorMondragó Natural Park is about a 1 hour drive from Palma de Mallorca, but it’s worth it. The water is a beautiful blue and is great for taking photos.  There are 3 food outlets on the beach.  At the first beach, S’amarador, there is a small snack bar that sells sandwiches and ice cream.  At Cala Mondragó, the middle beach, there are 2 full service restaurants right on the beach.  The menu is extensive and includes typical Spanish tapas, pastas, pizzas, pork cutlets (chuletas) and much more.  There are also many options for drinks, slushies, and ice cream.  While the prices are slightly higher than what you might pay elsewhere, they really are quite reasonable.

Cala Mondrago walk As you approach the first beach (S’amarador) from the parking lot, you can cross the beach and reach a walk way along the rocks to reach Cala Mondragó.  It only takes about 10 minutes to walk from Playa S’amarador to Cala Mondragó but the views of the blue water are stunning and there are many great photo ops along the way.

Cala Mondrago 1This photo to the right was taken on another day as we were walking back along the path from Cala Mondragó toward Playa S’amarador.  While it might be tempting to jump off the rocks into the water, it is prohibited and there are a few people walking around to ensure nobody does it (during the summer months at least). It is quite difficult to judge the depth of the water from above.


The waves at S’amarador are sometimes a little more rough than the other 2 beaches because they roll in from the sea directly to the beach, versus Cala Mondragó or Cala d’en Borgit where the waves have to make a turn to hit the beach.  In this photo to the left, Playa S’amarador is to the right, and Cala Mondragó is the the left.  At Cala Mondragó, you can rent paddle boats with slides which are fun for kids (and adults!).  They are surprisingly inexpensive.  $15 for 30 minutes or $20 for 60 minutes.

Cala den BorgitOut of the 3 beaches, our favorite is actually Cala d’en Borgit (pictured to the right).  It is the smallest out of the three beaches, but it is the least crowded because you have to walk for about 5 minutes from Cala Mondragó on a path through the woods.  It is not a difficult path at all, but it is not clearly marked and I think many people don’t even realize it’s there.Playa Mondrago

If you try to reach Cala d’en Borgit, there is a sign that indicates the path to get there.  Be aware that there is a long path that takes you along the coast line so that you can take in the views, and a short path that cuts through the woods and goes straight to the beach.  If you pass by all of the picnic tables, you are on the right path (the shorter one).  Also, there is no food available at Cala d’en Borgit, so if you plan to spend the day there, either take some food with you or be prepared to walk back to Cala Mondragó where there are two very good full service restaurants.

There are so many beaches and calas to visit in Mallorca that the number of options can be overwhelming.  But Mondragó Natural Park is definitely worth a visit.  Here is a short 1 minute video below with some views of the beaches.  Enjoy!