Happy New Year! Now that the extended Christmas holidays are over it’s time to get back to work and focus on the year ahead. We’ve said goodbye to 2018 and it’s now time to embrace 2019.
Every year is a big year for Ibiza but 2019 has an extra edge to it. Local elections that will define the next 4 years, the continuing Brexit debacle, a local residents uprising, a lurch towards polarising politics, a new right wing Spanish party, increased competition from other tourist destinations, an unpopular hotel ecotax. I could name a few more but I’m not here to focus on the negatives, not today anyway.
The Island runs in cycles and there’s no doubting that Ibiza has got itself into a bit of a pickle. A catch 22 situation that requires a long term plan but the local political parties prefer to play petty games with each other, agreeing on nothing and accomplishing very little (but more about that in a forthcoming post).
More importantly, what can be lost in the fog of all the hyperbole and the local political point scoring is just how fantastic Ibiza is as a tourist destination. I’ve just spent 3 weeks travelling around south east Asia and it feels so good to get back, One of the bonuses of getting away is the appreciation of what you have back at home and I can safely say there’s simply no other place on the planet like Ibiza.
We sometimes forget exactly what we have here on the island and more importantly the basic requirements for tourists to come and enjoy the islands in the best way possible. Eating fine foods, taking in the incredible nature, immersing in local traditions, hedonistic pursuits if that’s your pleasure, the best nightlife in the world, swimming in clear blue water or simply lying on a white sandy beach with a takeaway sandwich and a good book. The beauty of Ibiza is and has always been that there’s something for everyone.
Some, of course, will tell you that Ibiza is now only for millionaires and that you have to win the lottery to be able to enjoy the island. There’s no doubting that Ibiza is constantly evolving but thats one of the beauties of the place. I still find the ‘rich only’ notion amusing as I tuck into my sumptuous 9 euro menu of the day then take a long walk on the Cala Conta coastal path to work off the 3 courses and a bottle of wine, stopping for a 1 euro caña on the way back. The best things in life don’t have to cost the earth in this neck of the woods (and I’m not talking about a magnum of grey goose and a pretentious beach club).
Those that know the island also know that you can live like a prince on a paupers wage but you have to be clever and do some homework and I mean real homework, not just follow the Daily Mail or Guardian sponsored travel sections. Look at online forums, ask direct questions, get busy on social media and forge your own path around the island without becoming a sheep with deep pockets. Leave that to the August glory hunters (whose wallets are always welcome by the way).
If you have the notion in your head that you ‘love Ibiza’ and I mean really love Ibiza then in 2019 I challenge you to come over in the low season and discover the real island. Get a cheap flight, stay in a local hotel, go out and meet people, eat inexpensive delicious food, take a walk around the old town or on an empty beach and absorb that special Ibiza vibe that dissipates substantially for a few months over peak summer when everything gets lost in a haze of frenetic greed. Forget what you think you know or what you read in the tabloid, 2019 is the year to see Ibiza in a different light.
I guarantee that the Ibiza you will find is a special place unrivalled in the world and everything you want it to be. It’s there right in front of you, you just have to scratch the surface a little.
You can thank me later!