There is nowhere I’ve felt happier than in Ibiza, and there is nowhere I’ve felt worse than in Ibiza. These two statements may seem contradictory, but in fact, they’re closely connected. Ibiza is my favorite place on the planet. For the past two decades, it’s been the only destination I’ve visited every year — except one. When the pandemic grounded me in London for 18 months, I missed my friends in New York City and my family in Paris. But what I really missed — missed with a physical ache — were evenings in Ibiza, when the light turns rose-pink and gold, the air fills with the chirp of cicadas, and you can actually feel your skin prickle with anticipation as you wonder what adventures the night will bring.
Like a lot of British people of my generation, I first went to Ibiza looking for fun — and boy, did I find it. It was the early 2000s, the era of the super-club and the superstar DJ. Carl Cox, Judgement, Pete Tong, Manumission: these were the gods of the island, talked about with the solemnity other cultures reserve for philosophers and heads of state. On one of my first summers in Ibiza, I went with a friend who was just starting his career as a DJ. The nights always seemed to end with him playing at someone’s private party in an over-the-top villa, or on the kind of yacht, I thought only existed in 1980s TV shows. Once I danced on a beach as the sun came up while my friend played Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long” and I thought, Life does not get better than this.