Sex, Drugs, and Ibiza. Or: How to Survive Party Island

After the Tomatina festival, I joined a small group of students who were going to a nearby island called Ibiza.

Ibiza is known for loud techno music, late-night clubbing, and drug use*.

*Drugs are not my thing. Frankly, the closest I have gotten to drugs is Improv theater when I had to act out “smoking a bowl.” Which basically translated into me lighting an imaginary cucumber with a blow torch.

I was high on dietary fiber for the rest of the week, but otherwise there were no lasting side effects.

That I know of.

Apparently, every other person in the universe has heard of Ibiza, except for me. I was unaware that Ibiza was a party island when I bought my plane ticket.

They said, “Ibiza” and “clubbing.”

I heard, “Amish farm country” and “knitting.”

And I thought, “Ooooh, knitting!”

I did not know what I was getting myself into and – by the time I figured it out – it was too late to turn back.

Thankfully, I am a survivalist.

I’m also a run-and-hide-alist, but that particular strategy did not seem wise given the fact that the island – by its very definition – was in the middle of the sea.

I quickly realized that the only way to survive a trip to Ibiza was to play by my own rules.

Here are my Top 5 Rules for Surviving Ibiza:

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to be Uncool

On our first night at Ibiza, the rest of my group went to a concert by a DJ whom I’ve never heard of, which probably makes me wildly uncool.

Continuing my streak of uncool-ness, I skipped out on the club and went to Dalt Vila, which is the furthest east side of the island and considered the quieter side of town.

I watched the sunset from the Ibiza Castle and it ended up being my favorite experience on the island. These pictures explain why:

Ibiza Castle

Dalt Vila

Sun setting and moon taking over

Literally on the edge of the island

2. Plan a Night In

When we first arrived at Ibiza, our hostel realized they had double booked our rooms. So, they upgraded us to a fancy-schmancy hotel for free.


The Ibiza Rocks Hotel was awesome…sort of. Here’s the breakdown:

The Good

1) Las Vegas-styled swimming pool with DJ booth and concert area.

Is there a better alarm clock than pumping Iggy Azalea music?

I think not.

2) So many shirtless bros and cocky douche-bags that my people-stalking-eyeballs could barely contain their glee.

My only regret is not Snap Chatting the sh*t out of them and sending them to others for mutual glee.

The Bad

1) Whoever built this hotel needs to be shot.

It was a complete maze.

I could not find my room when sober. 

I eventually figured out that you need to use the third floor to get to the first floor…let that sink in for a minute.

I needed to use the third floor to get to my room on the first floor.

Jesus Christ.

I’m still convinced that place is Narnia.

Or the Matrix.

2) Kristen and I were bunking together and the hotel staff gave us one key for our room.

One key.

For two people.

I explained to the staff that I had just met Kristen and, as much as I liked the girl, we did not suddenly become Siamese twins.

We had different plans for our trip and we needed two keys.

They did not give us a second key because…wait for it…they did not have one. 

What. The. Literal. Fuck*.

*Sorry, Mom.

To summarize, the hotel’s organization blew chunks but it definitely knew how to party.

On Friday night, they had a concert in the pool area. And since my room faced the pool, I got to jam to some tunes from the balcony.

  1. Join a Party Boat

I joined a party boat and swam in salt water for the first time.

  1. Go to the Beach

I went to one of Ibiza’s most famous beaches and – when it got crowded – I followed the advice of the locals and found small beach fronts nearby.

They may or may not have been topless/nude beaches.

Meh, when in Rome.

  1. Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming…

I also went scuba diving for the first time.

I thought it would be similar to sky diving and I would go through it with no problems. But I panicked when we went down the first few meters.

I waved my hand in front of my face, which is the code for “Problem!” and indicated to the instructor that I wanted to go back up.

But she would not let me.

She waited until I had calmed myself and was ready to go down the next few meters.

And then I went down a bit more.

And then I coded, “Problem!” again.

And then we repeated this process until I was no longer having panic attacks.

I’m not sure why there is a scuba code for “Problem! I want to go up!” if the instructor always refuses to listen to you.

But whatever, I’m alive, so it’s coo.

We got to the bottom of the cove and the instructor showed me and Josh – the random guy that I had been paired with for this adventure – how to take our breathing tube out while underwater.

Then, she signaled to Josh that he should give it a try and copy her.

Josh signaled back, “No way in hell, lady.”

So, she looked at me.

And I was like, “I’m in, yo.”

So, I learned how to take out my breathing tube and put it back in, and how to take my mask on and off…all while sitting at the bottom of the sea.

Pretty freaking cool if you as me.

Me and my random partner, Josh, whom I forced to take this pic with me. 😉

As we neared the surface, I saw a jellyfish.After about a half hour of swimming, it was time to come back up.

I had not seen a jellyfish before this excursion, but since coming to Ibiza, I had been told that they “sting like the devil.”

So I pointed to it and signaled, “Problem!”

My instructor shooed it away as though it were a fly.

I was like, “Oh, is that all? People have been freaking me out about these things.”

We swam a little bit higher and came across five more jelly fish, clustered together near the surface.

My instructor dipped us lower so that we by-passed them completely.

But when we came back up, I was faced with my third encounter with jellyfish – an entire school of jellyfish, to be exact.

“Problem!” I coded with both hands, “Major freaking problem!!”

The instructor managed to navigate us around the school of jellyfish and back to the boat.

I am still not sure how she did that.

Perhaps she could have helped me with my Matrix-of-a-hotel room.

I came to the surface and started swimming towards the boat.

My hand reached out to the side and smacked four jellyfish!

After all that, I still managed to hit the damn jellyfish!

I yelped and swam away from them…

…effectively backing into the school of jellyfish that had followed us to the boat.

According to the people who were watching from the vantage-point of the boat, it was like watching a horrific car crash happen in slow motion.

When you say, “Nooooooo…!” but your voice sounds like it’s stuck in quicksand because there is nothing you can do to stop the horror that is taking place before your eyes.

I do not know how many times I got stung.

I lost count after eight.

I had been told that being stung by a jellyfish was life-changingly painful.

This is not true.

Let me break it down for you:

  • 1-4 stings – Suck it up, you’re fine.
  • 5-8 stings – Damn it, this is painful!
  • 9+ stings – Whaaaaaaaaaa! I want my moooooooooom!

I’m guessing that 15+ stings = hospital.

My battle scars.

The welts were raised up.

Josh got stung only once but his wound looked like jellyfish legs / talons.

To make a long story short: If you follow my top five rules, you will be an Ibiza survivalist.

But if you encounter a school jellyfish, I highly recommend becoming a run-and-hide-alist.