7 Lessons I Learned From Living, Working & Playing in Ibiza

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Written by: Vernon Foster | October 02

Source: Vernon T. Foster II

Is Ibiza calling your name?

Maybe you’ve partied in Miami and Vegas and they just don’t do it for you anymore. Maybe you just want a peaceful island getaway to reset and figure out your next move. Either way, Ibiza provides ample opportunity for both.

After having spent a month this Summer in Ibiza hanging with locals, exploring world class beaches and discovering the nuances of the island life, I wanted to impart some wisdom in the hopes that you’ll one day be ambitious enough to give it a shot.

Es Vedra Sundowner, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

Es Vedra Sundowner, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

1. Come prepared to drop some dough

Ibiza isn’t a backpacker friendly destination. It’s about on par to what you’d pay in a major U.S. city. As with all travel, your biggest expenditures will be on transportation, food and accommodations. You can save some dough by coming during the off season, using public transportation and shopping at Mercadona.

Cover to popular clubs like Ushuaia and Amnesia will set you back $30 – $40 or more depending on the day and headliner. A beer in either venue will set you back $14 and bottle of aqua will set you back $8. Expect to pay $16-20 on the low end for a decent meal and $32 plus for the fancy stuff.

 

Hardwell at Ushuaia, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

Hardwell at Ushuaia, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

2. Make friends with locals

Taking the initiative to learn the language and meet the locals will by far net a greater experience than if you just stick with the group you came with. Spanish natives come from the mainland during the summer months for work and they’re open to showing you how Ibiza gets down. Promoters have even created special parties like Ants and Mantinee with membership access to serve their local clientele.

Just strike up a conversation in your broken Spanish with any restaurant, hotel or retail store employee and trade Whatsapp or Facebook contacts. How else would I have found off the beaten path gems like the hippy vibes of Las Dalias or the cliffside sunset hangout overlooking Es Vedra?

 

View of Santa Eulalia, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

View of Santa Eulalia, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

3. There’s life beyond the party

It’s no secret that Ibiza is home to the party Gods and Goddesses. The island has a rich history dating back to 650 BC when the phoenicians established Sa Caleta. Today it’s evolved into a pleasure seeker’s paradise. From the U.K. shuffler to the German family to the Italian yachtsman, everyone comes with a goal. But not all are the same.

At the other end of the spectrum you have hard working Spanish families and British expats in tranquillo towns like Santa Eulalia that you’d never know existed. Venture beyond tourist filled Playa d’En Bossa and San Antonio if you wish to indulge in more than paying homage to the rave gods.

 

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Apartment office view, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

4. Get work done and still have fun

When you’re running a business from the road, wifi is often more important than food. At least it is for me. There was no shortage of cafes, coffee shops and Internet service service providers if you need to deliver projects to clients while working in paradise.

I was able to take Skype calls from clients without any drops of interference, but large video and audio files would take a few hours to upload. There were also plentiful banks and ATMs to take out some cash.

 

Kayaking off the coast of Cala Xarraca, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

Kayaking off the coast of Cala Xarraca, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

5. Mercadona will save you a small fortune

If you’re balling on a budget, you’ll need to chef it up to extend your cashflow. This place is The Wal-Mart of Ibiza and you can get everything you need on the low low, from Estrella (Cerveza de Mediterranean) and pollo, to contact solution and pre-packaged Spanish tortillas.

I went shopping here and filled up an entire shopping cart to the brim. What did it set me back? A grand total of $100! Try that next time you’re at Wally World.

 

Cala d’ Hort

Cala d’ Hort, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

6. The most beautiful beaches are right next door

I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and it’s safe to say we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Take your pick: Bahia Honda, Anna Maria Island, Ft. De Soto. None of them could prepare me for what I witnessed.

When we pulled up to Cala Salada, I almost lost my shit. Then I kayaked off the coast of Cala Xarraca. And then, I watched the sunset at Benirras with African drums as the backdrop. But then, I witnessed the carribbean style beauty of Cala d’ Hort. See what I mean?

 

Ibiza Town

Ibiza Town, Source: Vernon T. Foster II

7. Money is secondary to enjoying life with friends and family

I had the pleasure of spending the whole month getting to know several locals (locales). Going for beers and tapas would easily turn into a four hour affair, everyday! It really opened my eyes to the lack of time spent with my friends and family back Stateside and my unhealthy addiction to the daily grind.

When I returned home, as with all places I visit, I vowed to incorporate this perspective into my daily life. Taking more time to enjoy and reach out to friends and family. Cultivating an awareness to know when the hustle becomes excess and trying to find a balance between the two.   

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Ibiza has a pulse of it’s own. Maybe it’s the people and laid back tranquillo vibes. Maybe it’s the breathtaking views from majestic cliffs that drop off into the crystal blue mediterranean sea. Maybe you’ll just have to go and experience for yourself.

So when are you making the trip across the pond?

I’ll leave you with this — here’s a GroPro edit with some footage from my trip if you need some inspiration. I should warn you though, you will want to quit your job in buy a one-way ticket to Spain if you watch it. 

Una Vida! To the moon!!

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Ambitious Places, Featured

Vernon Foster

Vernon has been on a mission to become the best version of himself since he ditched commercial real estate in 2011. When he’s not globetrotting or studying ancient texts, he’s quietly plotting world domination in a dark corner of Starbucks. Check him out on Instagram , Twitter, or Facebook .

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