You know how the most annoying thing about a trip is when other human beings attempt to invade your space by being friendly? Could anything ruin a relaxing vacation more quickly than some group inviting you to hang out with them or join in their festivities? Or going to a restaurant and, damn, wouldn't you know it, there are other people there. Well, worry no longer. January in southern Spain is every introvert's dream. All the beauty, some of the convenience, and none of that tiresome human interaction. This describes much of the Mediterranean coast of Europe in Winter; but Playas de Vera, Spain is something special.
In my mind I referred to the place as Ghost Town Boca because of its resemblance to Boca Raton, Florida if all the people were suddenly sucked up in a hurricane and deposited somewhere other than Boca Raton. I didn't refer to it verbally this way, mostly because there was no one there to verbalize my thoughts to.
To this day I really don't know how I ended up there. I got off a bus in some small town, pulled out my compass, and began walking east on the assumption that I might hit the Mediterranean Sea eventually. This hypothesis was based solely on previous views of European maps I had come across so I was really kind of relying on the work of dead cartographers at this point. And I have to say, they came through for me. Had Mr. Mercator not been the craftsman he was, I may have died in an avalanche in the Pyrenees, but he did, so I did not. Instead, I eventually meandered into an immaculate resort area that has a part time job as a ghost town.
Someone is apparently landscaping daily, however, but I don't know who. I suspect magic is at play as I never saw any people at work, yet every blade of grass maintained a height of precisely 4.1385 cm the entire time I was there. Yes, I measured.
Wonderful, abandoned beaches await a serenity and ocean loving misanthrope to come and enjoy their fabulous attributes. I believe I saw five other people upon the beach in three days. One of those people, who I have written about previously in Tragedy On the Not So High Seas, lives the life of a true hero. I like to think of her as Ikthwoman, protector of bony fishes and innocent sea life everywhere . . . within throwing distance of a beach. The other four were random nudists from the naturalists community here and represent further proof of the theory that states: "The idea of a nudist colony is far more appealing and exciting than the actual practical application of said nudity." As a man I never believed that I may one day, when confronted by a naked woman, find myself searching for a Spanish translation of the phrase, "Please, for the love of God, return your clothing to a position that obstructs my view of your body." Nevertheless, compared to the visual, audial, and mental assault of the majority of beaches nothing compares to the peace of Playas de Vera.
Another advantage of visiting Ghost Town Boca is the plethora of quality lodging options available. I spent my nights relaxing in a lovely room overlooking the Mediterranean for the price one usually pays to lay sleepless in a lumpy mattress carcass with bed bug and mildew memory foam technology inches from several other wretched bunks piled with filthy, scruffy backpackers who smell just as foul as you do. Wonderful, virtually private breakfast included. In Amsterdam, I would have been overjoyed to pay that price for the private bathroom alone. My only complaint about the room was the fact that I found myself awakened at sunrise when the entire room would be transformed into an orange and violet kaleidoscope from the brilliant light show taking place over the water outside the window.
Be warned my dear misanthropic comrade, at breakfast you may find yourself sharing the enormous dining hall with three or perhaps four other human beings. Distasteful, I know, but bearable. Where these people hide the rest of the day I have no idea. They were not present in the hotel at any other point in time and I never witnessed them anywhere else in town. I suspect they represent like-minded souls. Solitary wanderers journeying through this mortal existence with a dream of taking in the world while engaging with as few other people as possible along the way. Each of us sitting silent and alone at points around the room equidistant from one another, like sub atomic particles repelling and being repelled in perfect synchronized harmony. Solving intricate geometric problems with barely a thought which we would have failed to ever comprehend in an entire semester of high school geometry.
Everything about Playas de Vera in January welcomes the antisocial misfit with withheld arms. Frolicking on a beach never felt more free and uninhibited as it does without the distraction of others to soil the mood. The occasional open restaurants you find seem run by fellow introverts - happy to serve you enchanting meals with as few syllable passing between you as possible. Even intimate moments relaxing by the pool or walking down the beach can be enjoyed without all the stress and hassle of companionship. Imagine sitting down for a romantic meal, trying to determine the right thing to say to create that special moment. Then you look across the table into her eyes, and . . . oh yeah, there is no one there. Blessed relief. Potential disaster diverted. Besides, who needs her? You already know you are going back to the room tonight with the best you ever had.
Then the next morning, following a blissful night enjoying getting to know yourself a little better, you arise refreshed - whenever the hell you feel like. And, assuming you still respect yourself and remain on speaking terms, you venture back out into the Ghost Town Boca sunlight. You turn to yourself, get a little dizzy in the attempt, then simply stare at the ocean while you ask, "What do you want to do today, Me?"
"Let's go find some other people and make friends," you respond. You both laugh.
"Sure, sounds good," you say quietly as you walk off toward a particularly isolated patch of beach surrounded by lonely, forsaken trees. You hold out your hand for your best friend to take and they leave you hanging. You smile contented and continue on your way.
The Introvert's Dream Vacation