As I sit here and type, I can’t help but feel there’s been an energy shift in Ibiza this week. The winds of change (alongside the late September storms) have swept across the island over the past few days, making everything feel as fresh as new. The summer season is over and autumn has arrived – a transitional time that brings with it many changes. This shift is so subtle you may not notice it if you breeze in and out of the island on holidays throughout the season. Sure, you’ll notice the physical differences – there’s much less traffic, more taxis, fewer people, smaller queues, it’s easier to get a table in a popular restaurant and Ibiza town feels more like a charming European destination than Disneyland – and probably appreciate them too if you’ve navigated the island during peak season before, but it’s island residents who’ll really feel the difference. It’s like Ibiza has shrugged her shoulders, taken a deep breath and then followed it up with a huge sight of relief. Order has been restored in her universe for the next seven months and those who have dedicated their time to contributing to the success of the tourist season can now kick back and enjoy Ibiza for themselves. Well, once Space and DC10 closings are out of the way, anyway. Talk about change – can you IMAGINE an island without Space?
Someone once said that winter is the reward islanders get for surviving the summer, and I think never a truer word has been spoken! I have to admit, while I do love the summer, at the end of September I am so ready for the new season. Five months of fast-paced work environments, high stress levels, strung out or flaky colleagues/clients/partners/friends/neighbours, too many parties and NEVER enough sleep does eventually take its toll. Oh and did I mention the never-ending heat? The change of season can be bittersweet at times. We say goodbye to friends who are seasonal workers or simply summer dwellers, as they go back to their home countries or hit the road in search of an endless summer somewhere else around the world. Summer jobs in restaurants come to an end – and subsequently, as the restaurants close, dining options become more limited to those of us who stay here all year round! Those who’ve rented their homes out throughout the summer return home, while others need to find winter accommodation – a tricky situation this year, with rental prices skyrocketing and limited availability. The party vibes also switch gears, going down a notch to more intimate, smaller affairs – only Pacha and Sankeys remain open (on weekends) and are scaled down versions of their summer selves and all the frontline open-air bars in Ibiza’s famous port and Marina shut their doors as the cold front comes in, and residents seek out more cosy watering holes as they finally have time to catch up with the friends they haven’t seen all summer.
The breezy weather is already cool enough at night to warrant wearing boots and a scarf, and possibly even a light jacket. The Spanish fashionistas immediately shift from summer to autumn wardrobes overnight the minute the equinox passes – despite the fact the sun is still shining gloriously by day, dammit they WILL wear their new winter woollies because fashion has declared AW17 open. Meanwhile, for the less style obsessed, the weather is actually nice enough to still hit the beach by day and develop a lovely end-of-season tan to replace the nightclub pallor of the summer months (depending on your lifestyle of course)! With the occasional storm passing through, the island also looks so lush and green, which is a welcome change to the arid dryness of summer. There’s a rush on new memberships at gyms and yoga studios all over the island, while juice detoxes and healthy foods start flying off the shelves as everyone vows to turn over a new leaf at the beginning of October. Taking care of mind, body and soul becomes a priority, and when everything is in balance once again is when new ideas start to flow. Be it ideas for a new business next year, that novel you’ve always wanted to write or masterpiece you’ve always wanted to paint, or the inspiration to get creative and redecorate your home – winter projects are born in autumn! My favourite thing about the change of season is that everyone is positive – smiley, happy people embracing this welcome month of transition after another season of highs and lows, ups and downs, ebbs and flows. I for one, welcome autumn with open arms – in a bikini by day and with warm layers at night! But first… let’s get that final Space Closing Fiesta out of the way!