Just a little over a week ago, I was arriving home from the epic Hï Ibiza Opening Party – you know, at the very civilised hour of 9am, after catching the first hour of Apollonia’s closing set – and I realised that life as I knew it had changed. For the next few months at least!
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the open-all-hours ethos of Ibiza’s clubs (they were one of the reasons I relocated here so many moons ago!), the fact is, if you’re not here on holidays with your pals with zero responsibilities aside from rubbing in some sun lotion each day, having a good night out generally means a little bit of forward planning is required. Anyone reading this blog with a steady job or family responsibilities in Ibiza is no doubt nodding their head in agreement right about now. For me, it means meeting all my deadlines a day early (no mean feat in itself!) so that feelings of fear and panic don’t strike me just at that moment as I drift off to sleep, with the amazing wooden shutters on my bedroom windows making it as black as night. It also means putting my phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode – believe it or not, a function I only recently discovered existed – to ensure I still wake up when my alarm goes off, but I’m not bothered by that pesky vibrating sound when clients, friends, bank managers, vets and everyone’s favourites, telemarketers call you, unaware that you’ve been out all night and that they may be disturbing your beauty sleep. I always let my co-workers know that I won’t be available that morning and I even go so far as to put an ‘out of office’ reply on my emails, just to make sure no one thinks I am ignoring them intentionally.
Even before I get to thinking about the morning after, I also have to think about how to handle the classic ‘walk of shame’ to my home. Again – there’s actually no real shame in this ritual (unless you’re barefoot – ewww!) and in fact, it’s almost a rite of passage to close out your night of clubbing. But after spending all the off-season and early spring befriending my local shopkeepers, Ibicenco café owners and elderly neighbours… being spotted slinking up the hill to Dalt Vila in heels and a sparkly dress during business hours can cause unwanted attention. Let’s face it – they’ve been here all their lives, and they’ve seen it all before, but I like to put on my best friendly face at all times. I once knew a very cool girl – let’s call her Miss L – who lived even higher up the Dalt Vila hill than me, who would leave a strategically placed pair of flip flops in the shrubbery at the base of the fortress, which she would retrieve each morning as she exited her taxi and began the ascent to her home after clubbing. I think she was onto something. Because packing flip flops in tiny clubbing purses just doesn’t work. Oversized shades are a given, and I’ve come to realise a lightweight neutral or black scarf doubles as a wrap and can easily disguise any unwanted shimmer.
For many other people, such as my friend Miss M, a night out means organising childcare – not just for the hours she wants to spend on the dance floor, but also those valuable morning-after hours when she needs to catch up on her sleep. Or for those with older kids, someone to take over the school run responsibilities. Because wouldn’t you know it – the best parties really always do fall on a school night. Weekends are entry level stuff. And why should child-less people have all the fun? For those islanders who have day jobs, it means picking your favourite parties in advance and then switching shifts with like-minded friends, so everyone gets a good rave every now and again. This means getting to know your way around clubbing calendars very well, or having certain Google alerts set (hello ‘Lee Burridge Ibiza’) so you have plenty of time to make arrangements – there’s nothing worse than calling around to your colleagues frantically at 9am and trying to arrange cover. Even worse, going to work without any sleep!
It’s always worth it in the end. Ibiza parties are the best parties in the world – there’s absolutely no doubt about it. Like most really fun things in the world though, they’re best in moderation. I’ve learnt all the above pre-party-planning lessons via 11 years of real life experience. In the past, I’ll truthfully admit I have gone to work without any sleep. I have frantically called colleagues looking for cover. I’ve bumped into my very conservative neighbour on the stairs while still wearing a mini skirt and wristbands from club hopping. And I’ve been foolish enough to answer my phone – to a boss, a bank manager, a telemarketer or a client – while I’ve been half asleep. Thankfully, I’ve never had to do a school run – and please remember parents, one hour sleep after arriving home doesn’t mean you’re safe to drive! So now I feel like I can call myself an Ibiza party season veteran. I may no longer go clubbing every night of the week, but I know how and when to pick my parties, and how to minimise any effects they will have on my day-to-day-life. I can’t say this doesn’t mean there won’t be any slip-ups throughout the season… after all, isn’t spontaneity one of the greatest elements of the Ibiza lifestyle? When this happens, you need to simply be very good at reverting to an emergency plan of action: switch off the phone, go off the radar and return to reality at your earliest convenience. Just think of Kate Moss, when she famously said: “Why the fuck can’t I have fun all the time?” But always be honest about it – another thing I’ve realised after 11 years of partying and working with partygoers? No one believes a case of fake sniffles or a migraine the morning after your favourite DJ did a sunrise set at an after party, especially not with the rise of social media. [Note to self: stop blogging about favourite DJs – Lee who?] You never know whose Insta-story you might appear in the background of! **Most photos taken from my favourite place to plan a party: Pikes!