It’s written nowhere, but it’s something that all who have experienced it do know. It’s something that is not felt until its lack longs. It’s something that although you feel it, you don’t spread it as well, but when it is said, it is said from the bottom of your heart.
Islands do have something special.
It happened to me in Greece. All Greece is spectacular, but it was inevitable not to notice many phrases ending in “…but in the islands is different.” There are more than a thousand islands in Greece and I did not get a chance to see a lot, but in the few I saw, the difference was visible immediately. Especially in Crete. Crete…
Bread, cheese, wine, lifestyle, even the accent speaking is different in the islands.
The same happened with Italy. Rome will always be Rome, but my time in Sardinia, its sights and smells marked me. I have to get to know the south to visit it if I can find someone to help me finding that cheese with worms. On the other hand, the mythical me Sicily is pending too.
All my Italian friends speak to me in a special way about Sicily and I have met many sicilians who offer me their hospitality. I do not understand why I haven’t gone yet. I haven’t found the moment, but I will appear there one day. Promise.
The Balearic will always be in my heart. Despite the massive tourism they receive, they have not lost their charm and beauty. All mediterranean islands actually have that characteristic blue and vegetation close to the sea that makes of any place a beautiful a postcard picture. That emerald blue, such as the Pacific Islands or the Caribbean, accompanied by white sands have created among us that idyllic island paradise concept. Though it doesn’t particularly call me, I can not deny that looks nice.
I must admit that I prefer the Atlantic blue. The brave ocean. As in the case of Madeira. What to say about Madeira. Its food, its coves and mountains. Its incredible similarity to the Canary Islands made me feel comfortable since the first moment and when I heard about the fire last summer 2016, it hurt me as much as tha one that one week earlier hit the island of La Palma because a lunatic tourist set fire to a paper after wiping his ass. That was awfull, dammit. Go do the same in Germany to see what you get.
It is true. I reaffirm. Islands have something special and it is an undeniable fact that the islander who takes a long time without returning, experiences a feeling of nostalgia very difficult to express.
In the Canary Islands we call it Mawa, which literally means longing or sadness. Once again, it is not about the beauty of the landscapes. I’m talking about lifestyle, food, tradition…
It’s something which affects the closeness and warmth between people, personality, joy of living, to having a particular history and culture different from the mainland. You just have to see the difference (which is notable) between each of the 7 Canary Islands, not to mention La Graciosa, the eighth island that poeple don’t count on with their hands but which is in everyone’s mind when you really need a break. Whoever has enjoyed La Graciosa’s magic knows what I’m talking about.
Don’t misunderstand coming from a coastal village or city with being islander, which looks similar, but is not the same. You can miss the sea and can be comforted by approaching to the coast, but for an islander that’s another story.
Large cities, crowds. That’s good, especially when you’re young and always want more, but we all get to that moment when you realize that sometimes less is more.
This thing is different, for example, in the case of Britain or Japan (which are amazing) but they are too large islands. They lose the essence of the concept of island. Just getting a little far away from Tokyo (which is a spectacular place), revealed me a simple of the true magic of Japan. I regret not being able to visit Okinawa, Hokkaido or any of the smaller islands in my time in Japan. They must be fantastic. Next time.
And it’s time to talk about Jeju Island in South Korea. It seems that it is lately becoming internationally famous. Aside from being one of the few surfspots in Korea, it is apparently becoming a destination of interest for digital nomads.
For me personally, not taking in account the irrefutable fact of my Korean origins, I am very interested in the issue of Haenyeos, the Mermaids of Jeju. A peculiar lifestyle.
The ironies of life. What once was considered a very low social status, ends up becoming a World Heritage by Unesco. I’d love to go to Jeju only to see them in action.
Also seeing a couple of korean calligraphy artists in action. Maybe I could learn something for my stuff. I’ve been told they are very high talented.
So that’s it. Islands have something special that do not have the coasts of peninsulas and continents. Something unexplainable that can not be satisfied with the smell of sea. It’s probably because people in the islands are different. I’m not saying better or worse, just different. It must be due to the fact that going round an island has a beginning and an end, then you start a new cycle. Something like life itself. Perhaps this is why immortality is overvalued, because of the beauty of the ephemeral.
“I live in an archipielago where they play the drums and people start moving”