Magaluf @ 19 vs Ibiza @ 30

So I have just come back from my first holiday to Ibiza, a place I never really thought about visiting until one of my best friends said that he was getting married on the White Isle. When I was younger, about 16-17 years old I was really in to clubbing and would frequently go out dressed up like a futuristic rent boy and take loads of class A’s and flap my jaw wildly at strangers whilst telling them that I loved them before being sick in a bin. I used to go to trance and hard house nights all the time and saw most of the popular DJ’s at the time so it was quite surprising that I’d never actually considered a holiday to Ibiza, the main reason was of course, money, I had none. In order to fund my weekend adventures I used to work part time at a double glazing company doing telesales and basically conning lonely old people in to having a ‘free no obligation quote’, which involved sending some polyester clad, escort driving wannabe corporate schlong round to pester these people in their own homes for hours until they’d signed away their life savings for some shoddy-at-best UPVC windows and doors and for this I was paid the princely sum of £10 per appointment plus £5 per hour which was more than enough to facilitate a full weekend of gurning one’s face off but never enough to pay the extortionate prices that a week’s worth of raving in Ibiza would’ve cost.

So my friends and I looked at different, cheaper options. We did Faliraki at 16, Zante at 17,18 and Magaluf at 19 and this was where it all ended for me. Faliraki and Greece were brilliant but for some reason this one holiday to Magaluf just seemed to expose a horror that I’d previously either been a part of, or just hadn’t noticed due to the madness of crowds or something like that. I just couldn’t get in to it at all. We got so unbelievably wrecked over the course of the first two days that I literally could not get out of bed for the rest of the first week, just sweating and twitching like some sort of prisoner of war in Burma or some shit, it was awful. There were about 10 lads to every girl, and I do mean LADS!!! I hated the music, the people, I was always tired, I couldn’t get a tan and the all-inclusive booze was so watered down that it’s only effect was to add to the ever present nausea and heartburn. We were forcibly befriended by the sort of people I thought only existed in movies starring Paddy Considine, I’m really talking about the dregs of an evil society here, pure Jeremy Kyle fodder. It was hideous and the worst thing was that I had to pretend to enjoy it, to be part of it. I’d paid for it after all and you just don’t want to feel left out at that age, you want to be in the moment, in the gang, whatever it takes.

Now if Magaluf @ 19 made me feel like a vacuous, depressed shell of a human being then Ibiza @ 30 filled my whole being up with love and hope, exactly as it should do. My girlfriend and I had booked an all-inclusive hotel in Es Cana, right next to the beach and close to the wedding. On the plane there were a couple of stag do’s and a lot of LADS!!! I cannot describe the sweet feeling of relief when we exited the airport and they went one way and we boarded a bus full of people at least twenty years older than us sitting in peaceful tranquillity, thank the absolute lord! Part of the reason for this was that we were joined by my friend Nick, his wife Caroline and their daughter Brooke. Now, taking a two year old to Ibiza might not be at the top of everyone’s dream holiday list but herein lies the beauty of other people’s kids; they’re really funny and at the end of the day, they’re not yours! Brooke is a really funny kid who is totally used to being around lots of people and loves to play with everyone she meets. I’ve often thought that toddlers are just like tiny, drunk people which makes them hilarious and also ideal holiday companions. We spent the first day drinking free Cruz Campo by the pool whilst helping Brooke go up and down the pirate ship slide about 1,978,999 times. Fantastic entertainment and a great day.


Friday was the day of the stag. Most of our mates had arrived on the island and were staying in the immediate vicinity so we’d decided to head over to Bora Bora on the other side of the island. We all found it difficult to tear ourselves away from drinking beer on the beach and helping Brooke fetch water to fill up her inflatable lobster pool, as we all agreed that this was the kind of holiday we all wanted, and in fact needed, being as we are, encumbered by much more taxing occupations than simply fleecing pensioners for windows. However, this was the stag and that needed to be respected so we headed off in to the Ibizan sunset to party it up at Bora Bora. To be fair it’s pretty good, you can look out on the sunset and feel the bass rattling your ribs. As expected it was basically us and the cast of Geordie Shore in attendance. Ripped, mahogany coloured LADS!!! sporting the obligatory Jesus and clouds tattoos down one side of their body and wearing only a pair of Y-fronts which seems to be what the kids are in to these days, compared to us, a bunch of thirty somethings, white, pasty, skinny/chubby and shuffling a bit awkwardly to the thumping beats. We got in to the spirit and got thoroughly fucking mangled although I did notice that we’d gravitated towards a table out the back which was about as far away from the music and the actual people as it was possible to get. We’d gone to a party, but not quite. Still we had a great time and woke up feeling like lukewarm death but glad that we’d experienced a small snippet of the party end of Ibiza.

I think the difference when you’re in your 30’s as opposed to your teens is that you lose that need to be at the heart of a scene. As a teenager going clubbing I wanted to make people very aware of the fact that I did this regularly, this was not new to me, I come here all the time and I know the DJ so don’t talk to me about clubbing cos you don’t really know about it, not like I do, I’m cool you know. Now I know that absolutely no one thinks I’m cool at all so you don’t actually feel self-conscious, you’re able to actually let go and really enjoy things for what they are, no matter how ridiculous, loud or tiring they may be.

So that’s what I learnt from Ibiza, don’t take yourselves seriously and just enjoy things the way you want to. There’s no reason why you can’t have a good time with kids as well, you can have a grown up holiday that will be more fun than any you had in your awkward teens. Best holiday ever in my opinion. The wedding was a beautiful day and night, in a huge villa looking out over the sea, amazing vibes, great speeches, awesome food and wine (also very important once you get past a certain age) and just a great time for everyone involved.

We spent the last day visiting the Hippy Market (highly recommended) in the day and taking Brooke to the kids disco in the evening. I’ll take that over sweating it up like a turking baghead in the hepatitis-ridden hell trap of Magaluf any day.

the author, and girlfriend


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