The summer season is officially over, awards season has come and gone, and the winter season (as locals like to call the six month break between club closings and openings) is here. Depending on whether you call Ibiza your summer home (leavers) or if you reside here all year round (remainers, obvs), the arrival of winter will mean one of two things: booking flights to warmer climates or much colder parts of Europe, or pulling your winter coats, ugg boots, dehumidifiers and heaters out of storage. I fall into the latter category, and for me, this is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!
For leavers however, it seems to be a bitter sweet time of year – which is totally understandable – as they pack up their things and say goodbye to the island and their friends. This season it seems that the longstanding tradition of saying goodbye has transcended phone calls or text messages or the time-honoured tradition of farewell drinks, and has made its way onto social media – is anyone surprised? Since early October, I’ve been reading a string of goodbye and thank you messages on Facebook and Instagram that wouldn’t be out of place if they were read out at an awards ceremony.
I’m talking about the kind of end-of-season wrap up posts that goes through the highlights, lowlights and achievements of the summer and thank every new friends and old friends (#youknowwhoyouare) for making it all possible, posts that mention every venue someone has ever danced or dined in, the posts that express so much love for the island that is their spiritual home while also expressing dread at facing reality ‘back home’ or about having to embark on ‘new adventures’, always ending with a ‘see you next summer’ kind of vibe because clearly we were all on the edge of our seats as to whether you’d be back or not…
I’m all for practicing gratitude, don’t get me wrong. I fall asleep every night counting my lucky stars and wake up counting my blessings. True story. But I don’t feel the need to post about them all over my social media accounts – well, except for my cats. You’ll always see me posting about cats. But I digress. I can’t help but wonder whether these are driven by the leavers’ hearts or by their egos? Has modern society (in Ibiza anyway) become so narcissistic that people now make thank you speeches about every day life? You weren’t fighting a war, putting out fires and unless you’re a vet or doctor, you probably weren’t saving lives. Whatever happened to one to one communication? What about getting together and expressing these sentiments with sincerity to the people who deserve to hear them, in person?
The irony of complaining about having to read unsolicited opinions/speeches from people in Ibiza is not lost on me as I type this blog. I’m 100% certain not everyone wants to read about my cats/love of winter in Ibiza/hatred of WhatsApp voice messages/obsession with Luciano (watch this space on that one!) or countless other waffling topics I’ve written about over the years. I also know full well that if I don’t like a post, I can just look away or unfollow. But let me be clear: it’s not the thought of expressing thanks that bothers me (the more gratitude in this world the better) – it’s more the idea that most of these posts (which usually come accompanied by an album of heavily filtered selfies in key Ibiza locations with ‘cool’ people) seem like an insincere attention seeking, look-at-me, desperate attempt to get more likes.
Side note: I am very much looking forward to seeing how the online world responds to Instagram’s removal of likes this week! A glimmer of hope is on the horizon…
I want to empathise more with the leavers, really, I do. Maybe I’m such a staunch remainer, I don’t remember what it feels like to leave the island after an intense summer. Almost all of my close friends are remainers, so we never get faced with the sadness of saying goodbye. Perhaps I am the one in the wrong here, having never publicly thanked everyone who has made my life in Ibiza possible! With that in mind, I would like to jump on the online thank you bandwagon and take this opportunity to express my gratitude to every single person who has contributed to my experiences in Ibiza (#youknowwhoyouare). Gracias, gracies, merci, grazie, danke, arigato, obrigado, spasiba, tak, hvala, mahalo, terima kasih and THANK YOU! It wouldn’t have been the same without you – yesterday, today and in all the days to come.