Maybe Ibiza Is Not That Bad After All?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lately, it seems that I’m running into cliche destinations a lot. The kind of places that are inundated with packaged tours, overzealous nightlife, and sunburned tourists donning wide-brimmed hats. The thing I’m realizing is that these destinations became cool for a reason. If you head away from the parasitic Cancun, you can find amazing countryside and Mayan ruins. Same goes for Thailand — you can find solitude, but you have to shed the crowds. These two shouldn’t be shunned because of their obnoxious high-rises and onslaught of hippies. These places are awesome — correction: still awesome — if you simply leave the tourist areas and venture off. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Spain’s Ibiza, and it’s Venga Boys song, is subject to the same phenomenon. At first thought, solitude and Ibiza don’t run hand-in-hand. I’m guilty of that thought, too, as “I’m going to Ibiza” echoes incessantly in my brain (oh, shit, I think I was just bobbing my head). Again, look past the high-rises and clubs, and you will be pleasantly surprised when the world seems to slow down and even rewind. The Wall Street Journal recently discovered the local way of life, where yoga poses are held as rusty bicycles pass by. I got a genuine feel the locals are trying, if not feebly, to preserve this:

On a narrow country road in Ibiza’s sparsely populated, mountainous north, a longtime resident points at a signpost in the shadow of some knotty pines. “See that?” he says, gesturing at a name on the sign obscured by black spray paint. “The locals did that, so the tourists can’t find this!”

Maybe they’re on to something . . . which reminds me, I think I need to head to the hardware store for some painting supplies.

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