It was love at first sight, such an immediate feeling of "ah.. I'm home"
I know I'm far from the only one to have felt that way about this island. It IS SPECIAL, very very special. It is stunningly beautiful, parts of it in biblical ways, other parts in paradisiacal ways. Parts of Ibiza look like the garden of Eden, and others like the picture perfect beach. Her landscapes are beautiful, pure, crystalline and raw. Natural, with fruits and vegetables growing freely in nature.
The first winter I spent in my house in Ibiza was like Christmas every day, picking huge, juicy oranges off the trees, chili from the bushes below, and pomegranates to sprinkle in my salads. In September the figs were so abundant and almost erotic, and the grapes had this golden color that mesmerized me, thinking of the significance it had for centuries of wine making, not to mention wine drinking.
I kind of ignored the bad sides of the island, which I'll also now ignore, not really wanting to go into any details. I have plenty to say, but am afraid I might get stoned or shot to death by Ibiza fanatics who'll hate me much for criticizing their beautiful paradise.
The thing is with these people, that it seems they are convincing themselves and others about how wonderful this place is. Everyone goes on and on about how stunning it is, how lucky we are to live here. And this happens especially in the winter, when the island goes to sleep, the tourists have gone back home, and it's just what it is: a tiny island with about 120,000 inhabitants. It's a village- a graveyard village. It's dead and dull and flat out boring. There's no culture, no art, no events, no libraries or book cafes to hide out in when it rains, the houses are cold and humid and dark and... There, I said it. A few bad things.
But the expat population here go crazy in the off season, convincing themselves and especially others, especially in Facebook, what a perfect paradise it is that they live in. Numerous pictures of empty beaches- yes, they're sunny and it's probably 18 degrees Celsius, but they're empty. But the facebooking Ibiza- expat claims it is paradise and that they're soooo happy to be alone on that beautiful beach, which in summer is frequented by tens of thousands of tourists.
Yeah right, I say. Whatever you have to keep putting on Facebook is usually the one thing you have an issue with. You're seeking confirmation and likes to approve of your insecurity.
Don't they realise that this place is a village with a village mentality? That the local people are farmers, that speak a dialect version of Catalan? That they live in a bubble totally disconnected from the rest of the world? That this bubble island is like a satellite circling around the planet, out of space and out of time?
Yes, it's a heaven for those who do not function in "real life", who does not want to be part of a system, who wants to be able to do recreational drugs once a week without being judged as a drug addict, those who want to hustle their way through life and not pay any taxes, those who have different addictions or problems that are in normal societies judged as handicaps or problems. All of those people earn a perfect place here in this expat community and are not only welcomed, but actually celebrated.
It's a house of fun- pure fun. Living for the day, drugs, party, no tomorrow. Make money black, don't pay any government, hide in an old finca in the campo and not be registered anywhere.
But what a life is this, really? To hide, to disconnect?
To be part of an expat bubble that celebrates each other's ways of living, admiring each other's ways of surviving outside of the grid; yes!! It does sound great. And I think it really works for some.
BUT NOT ME.
The Ibiza-bubble has burst for me. The rose colored glasses came off this summer, around the he time that I came back from India in April. In May it's 4 years for me on this island, and I've been captivated by not only the place, by also two pregnancies and two little beautiful children and running a business for the first time in my life.
Now my youngest one is walking, starting to talk, and I'm waking up from this bubble-life.
I feel the disconnection so deeply. I never connected much with the people here, and I feel it now. I've been absorbed with family life.
But something happened, and I'm awake now. I miss real life, the real world.
I only know this: I don't want to stay here much longer. I'll always want to come back and spend time in this bubble, because a disconnected bubble does have its benefits on the mind and body.
But I don't want to live here. I don't want my children to grow up on a tiny island.
I don't know where I want to go. Not at all.
I'm in limbo.
Exciting and scary. Not just for me; for the whole family.