Don’t stop me now
(Listen to the music while reading blog post. This time Tatiana és Catarina de Lacerda gave me the idea of this song, huge thanks for it!)
Summertime in winter, colourful flowers everywhere, the sunshine gently warms up your soul, the ocean breeze touches your face.
You open yourself up to embrace future experiences and simply feel that good vibes are coming. Your blood is racing as you imagine the airport of the island and the moment of the arrival. You know what is waiting for you.
You don’t have the slightest idea what is waiting for you.
It’s the fourth time I visit Madeira. If you search in the menu, you’ll find previous post about the island. Although none of them contains tourist attractions, none of them is to tell you what to do on the island. It’s you who have to explore it for yourself, I’m only telling stories to inspire you in exploring.
And it might be impossible to give guidance, because even for me every single visit was completely different.
First time I was the photographer of an agency during a 10-day active holiday on this amazing island and I fell in love with it for the first sight. We checked the most important attractions, did the ‘must see’s. In Funchal, the capital, we used the teleférico, went to the botanic garden, saw the Cathedral, Monte, the old town, some of the group tried toboggan as well. We made long levada walks, drank poncha, ate espada. We visited Ponta de São Lourenço and Pico Ruivo, the highest peak of the island, swam in the lava pools of Porto Moniz and looked down to the infinite depth of Cabo Girão. I truly loved every single moment as the magic chaos of Madeira took me. But I still didn’t know anything about the island.
A year later I returned for a month of volunteering. The time slowed down as I checked the must see places before, that time I went for experiences and exploring instead. With my fellow volunteers we cooked and ate together, and laughed a lot. We visited nearby places and at those rare occasions our heart wanted to explore further, we hitchhiked. We drank poncha with the locals, admired perfect sunsets from the rooftop. We saw the island from above paragliding as a new dimension opened up for us. We made friendships and life-changing experiences.
The third time was only a few day visit before my journey to the Azores. Paragliding, sunshine, freedom, living the good life.
And the island drew me back again for the fourth time. Like a passionate but unfulfilled romance that wants you to keep returning until you finally fulfill it. And here I came again to find home here. I let go any kind of control (ugh, it was sooo hard), without plans and expectations I just let life happen. And the fourth visit, although being only 10 days, was the best. So far.
At 6pm I sat in a t-shirt and laughed at the last rays of sun watching the horizon of the ocean when the little devil sat on my shoulder and whispered that in Hungary it was already dark for at least two hours.
The agapanthus flowers that normally flourish in June transmitted the message that they don’t give a shit to seasons, on this island it’s always spring.
Looking out of the window of my first host I saw a view as breathtaking that I almost fell down in sudden.
In the warm light rainbow coloured gliders were shining and we drank Madeira wine as our gaze lost somewhere in the infinity.
The hammock in the garden of my second host made me a hedonist while a cute dog was playing with my flip-flops beside me.
The unpredictable screenplay of life just forced me to meet ‘accidentally’ with certain people to be able to make real friendships.
On a quad tour we visited no man’s land and got out of the vehicle to move complete trees and big rocks out of the way in every second minute.
The more poncha I drank the worse my play of three-in-a-row became, but the less frustrated I was because of losing.
I watched the ground from cloud level and watched the clouds from the ground.
I had cold in foggy laurel forest and swam in surprisingly warm ocean.
I made friends with idiots like me and had fun several nights, like it was my last one on the island.
And I was laughing, laughing and laughing. It was simply amazing.
Every journey is intense, the experiences are coming with an unbelievable speed, your heart is busy processing all the happiness. But now during these ten days some specific miracle happened to me. I haven’t seen any tourist attractions, just lived life as the island was already my home. And this is how it became my home a bit.
My lovelies! I got an incredible amount of positive energy from the island, the nature, the infinity, the countless experiences, and all the love the locals gave me that I will never run out of it. As I wrote on the facebook page of Mind the Map: after a tough period now here I fell in love again with the whole world. With the men, the women, the long levada walks, the ocean breeze, the view of the infinity, the smiles, the banana trees and the sunshine. I think I fell in love again with freedom.
So if you want some for yourself, want a bite of Madeira, a gulp of sunshine, a little happiness, just let me know! Let me give you everything I received. As my local friends said, happiness is to be shared.
And then he smoked and added: and weed as well.
(The group picture was taken by a random tourist, thanks for that!)
All the blog posts and pictures: Melinda Egyed / mindthemap.com.