Ibiza, Spain.

Ibiza.

I went to Ibiza for all the wrong reasons. The Spanish island is legendary around the world for its clubs and all day/ night party scene. While I love house music, I had no intentions of exploring that side of the island. I think people forget that Ibiza is still an island in the Mediterranean and insanely beautiful. Rest and relaxation are my only goals when I visit.

My first visit was when I was stationed in Germany. I boarded the plane at my then home airport DUS. It was mid-summer but when in Germany that means overcast, no trace of the sun, high chance of rain. The forecast for Ibiza was the opposite. Mid 90’s, all sun, no clouds for the week I would be there. Approaching the island from the sky the forecast proved to be true. You could see for miles in any direction. Pristine blue water, lush green scenery. Much more beautiful than I pictured in my mind. Please excuse the poor picture quality, the 2013 pictures were taken on an ancient HTC One with a measly 4MP sensor.

I was recommended by co-workers to stay on the “English” side of the island (San Antonio), so this required a 30-minute bus ride from the airport.

San Antonio is a medium sized town on the northwest side of the island. Famous for its sunsets and numerous bars along the coastline. When the tourists are not present it is quiet, gorgeous, and filled with lively locals. When the tourists are present it is one of the wildest parts of the island with drunk Brits and other tourists literally around every corner up to everything imaginable. My first trip was during the hottest time of the year as well as the most packed with tourists. During the day it was scorching hot. I had recently been prescribed vitamin D pills from the lack of sun in Germany. Spain supplied ample amounts. So much so that even with my dark skin it was almost painful to be outside before evening. I visited all the famous bars (insert bar names), along with some off the beaten path. Copious amounts of sangria. Friendly tourists offering shots. Topless women approaching you offering tickets to whatever club was having an event later that night. While interesting this was not what I came for, so I began reading about an island a short distance away from Ibiza named Formentera. More raw nature, beautiful untouched beaches, and peace and quiet. I booked a ferry ride over and was finally able to relax.

Ibiza was always special to me because of it’s beauty, but also because it’s where I finally began to understand house music. Despite being created in the US (Detroit / Chicago), I never really paid much attention to it outside of huge artists like Daft Punk. In Ibiza, I learned that there’s different types of house music and found my favorite particular type (Deep House).

My second trip was a few years later and organized much better. I arrived about a month before tourists begin filling the island which means I had most of the island to myself save for a few tourists there for a yoga retreat and the actual locals. It was a much more pleasant experience, one that I recommend for people looking for a more intimate experience with the island. I met this Spanish lady from the mainland on the bus ride from IBZ to San Antonio who was coming to the island for a job interview at one of the clubs. She was nice and explained a lot of the local culture to me which was very helpful. I do not like my travel experiences to be dominated by others though, so I politely distanced myself after a few days to figure things out on my own.

My second trip was a few years later and organized much better. I arrived about a month before tourists begin filling the island which means I had most of the island to myself save for a few tourists there for a yoga retreat and the actual locals. It was a much more pleasant experience, one that I recommend for people looking for a more intimate experience with the island. I met this Spanish lady from the mainland on the bus ride from IBZ to San Antonio who was coming to the island for a job interview at one of the clubs. She was nice and explained a lot of the local culture to me which was very helpful. I do not like my travel experiences to be dominated by others though, so I politely distanced myself after a few days to figure things out on my own.

On this trip I was a well-seasoned traveler, used to moving around somewhat like a local. I learned how the buses ran around the island. Where the nice grocery store is in San Antonio, found a Dominican barbershop(!), and become a local at a few small bars for a few weeks. I discovered that living in Ibiza is affordable if you live like a local versus a drunk tourist. I have only been in the summer so I am not sure how the island is during the off season, but I would consider living in Ibiza for a year or so. I can say for sure that 2 weeks is not nearly enough to explore everything this island provides so I am looking forward to returning soon and spending some quality time.


The two highlights of my trip would be the food and having close friends come visit during my 2 weeks stay. Being based in San Antonio, I found most of the food abhorrent and possibly geared towards drunk partiers looking for a cheap bite between drinks and clubs. It was so bad I left several negative reviews on Google Maps and began to frequent KFC just to alleviate the disappointment of trying new places. Things got better as I left the heavy tourist areas and ventured deep into San Antonio. The chef below made the best breakfast I had on the island and it was a pleasure dining in their café. The real fun began when I started exploring Ibiza Town. There is so much amazing food in the capital! The highlights were a sushi restaurant named (name) and this Spanish restaurant named La Brasa. Not only was La Brasa the best meal I had on the island, but in the top 10 I have had in Europe in over a decade. Simply amazing.

The first friend to visit was my boy J, from LA. I told him I was in Ibiza and he without hesitation said he was coming. J is the only person I know besides myself who really means what he says when it comes to traveling and sure enough a day later, I was walking to greet him in his hotel a few blocks away from mine. While J was in town, we explored around the island a bit, visited a town of bars, and tried some cool restaurants. We also island hopped over to Formentara and rode bikes for a bit, finding a salt mine and some very scenic places to take picture.

My second close friend to visit was Delilah from London. I had seen her on the way to Ibiza during a short layover in England where she said she might come down in a few weeks. I felt a little bad when she came because she arrived a day after J departed. I was burnt out from all the partying / exploring and sun. I have these small reminders that I am not 25 anymore and require a significant amount of time to recharge. Luckily, she had been to Ibiza before and did not require such an in-depth tour of the island. We spent a lot of time exploring Ibiza Town, frequenting restaurants and her showing me around where her and her friends used to party a few years back. It was a short but sweet visit. My departure was not for another two days but I was anxious to get to Barcelona (my favorite city in the world!). Flights off the island were high that day so I opted to take a ferry instead. That was an experience in itself!

Until next time, Ibiza.

Categories: Photography, Travel

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