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A dream summer as an Ibiza Spotlight intern

Clubbing intern Holly looks back at her first special summer spent on the White Isle.

Many people thought I was crazy fitting my entire wardrobe into a couple of suitcases and moving on my own to a place I had never been before. Looking back, I still can't believe I actually did it. I was an Ibiza virgin filled with stereotypical preconceptions and naivety, eager and unaware of the magic that was about to happen.

I had read previous interns' final review pieces before starting the job so knew that writing this piece was a challenge I would eventually face. Before long, I'd made incredible friendships and danced more hours than I had in a lifetime.

I soon realised that this was the best summer of my entire life and could hardly wait to share it with you all. Trying to find the words to do it justice has proved more difficult than I had imagined.

Lessons learnt, feelings felt and memories made - the truth is that nobody can prepare you for what's ahead. Of course, I will give it my best shot, so here goes.


watch EVERY PARTY become YOUR FAVOURITE PARTY

Let's start with the obvious: the music. You would think that one's favourite party would rely solely on the preferred taste of music, but don't restrict yourself to that because Ibiza has it all.

I shimmered to timeless disco classics at Glitterbox, rollerbladed to techno tunes at The Zoo Project, witnessed the spell-binding production at Eric Prydz, knocked back patron with Denis Sulta at Pikes, experienced my first toilet rave under the strobe-lit bathroom of Hï Ibiza, took full advantage of the bottomless champagne in the VIP suite of Ibiza Rocks Hotel and I found myself at an afters with Papa Sven (say no more).

Guilty of repeating “that was the best night of my life” a ridiculous number of times, I can safely say that picking a favourite becomes near impossible. In short, hold no judgements and try as many parties as you can.


witness STRANGERS BECOMing FAMILY

The hardest thing about coming home is going from spending every day with a bunch of incredible, crazy, like-minded people to being once again so very far apart.

I came to Ibiza to challenge myself, improve as a journalist and obviously party hard. Little did I know that I would not only be coming home with a huge portfolio and banging Spotify playlists but also have gained an extended family and made so many amazing friendships.

Bad days and mini-meltdowns are inevitable. Nonetheless, when you're surrounded by positive people, bad days quickly turn to hours and before you know it you are back on the dancefloor smiling from ear to ear, remembering how lucky you are.

Thanks to all the awesome people I have met. The large hole in my pocket will be from the expense of travelling to all corners of the UK to come and see you all.


stay PROFESSIONAL AND HOLD BACK BEING A FAN-GIRL (ALMOST)

There are so many wonderful perks that come with the job as well as exciting surprises along the way. If you have a terrible poker face like myself, then you will struggle to contain your excitement when you undoubtedly find yourself in the company of some dance music legends.

Much to the team's embarrassment, I didn't hold back on any potential selfie opportunities with some of my favourite DJs.

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself doing shots with MK and Skream at Café Mambo, being backstage at Ushuaïa with Jamie Jones, Black Coffee and Art Department, dancing at a pool party with Darius Syrossian or interviewing Hot Since 82 on the rooftop terrace of Pacha.

Despite standing inches away from Carl Cox at the DJ Awards, I was far too star-struck to ask for a picture. But there's always next year - I'm coming for you Coxy!


DITCH THE STEREOTYPES

As much as I am partial to the occasional night of reckless behaviour down the streets of the wild West End, Ibiza is SO much more than just a boozy holiday.

Some of the best memories came from glorious days out on the Mediterranean Sea, paddle-boarding into hidden caves and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. With so many stunning beaches to visit, you'll be lucky to tick them all off your bucket list. Rent a car or a quad with your friends and just drive!

Once you know where the best places are, you'll want to go everywhere! Be it hiking in the mountains exploring abandoned clubs or visiting Ibiza Town, the list of adventures is endless.

I won't let you in on all my favourite hidden gems, so if you stumble across something fantastic on a spontaneous Sunday afternoon venture with your new-found friends, you can be as blown away as I was.


EMBRACE EVERY MOMENT

It feels like only yesterday I was as overjoyed as Will Smith was in The Pursuit of Happyness when I found out that I had got the job. With little confidence and post-graduation despair, I was lucky enough to find myself not only as a writer but also as a person.

Not a time went by without my welling well up whilst watching the sunset, perched on the rocks at Café Mambo, dreaming of a summer that never ends.

Embrace every moment and go to things you wouldn't usually go to, such as raving at a trance festival or laughing uncontrollably at the water party at Es Paradis. Say yes to the slingshot, say yes to the after party and the after-after-party and most importantly, stay until the bitter end because the best really is saved until last.

I know it seems like a long run, but don't give in and you will thank me later.


REMEMBER WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR

It's always nice having friends from home visit, but make sure you don't lose yourself or forget what you came here to do. This isn't your holiday; this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a huge platform if you want to do well in the industry. Enjoy every minute, but stay focused.

Take advantage of office days. It's never boring exchanging Shazams and highlights from the night before with the rest of the team. You'll be surrounded by the most friendly, helpful and encouraging bunch of nutters whose wisdom both on and off work will do wonders.

If you are out until sunrise and you've still managed to get to the office on time, your legs may be working but your brain will probably resemble something of a mushed scrambled egg.

Peeling yourself away from the dance floor early to ensure enough beauty sleep before work can be essential. Although Sunday nights - read Monday mornings - are an exception, as leaving Solomun and his ridiculously talented +1's set early it just too criminal.


Realise that LOVE FOR IBIZA IS TIMELESS

My favourite thing about Ibiza is that it has no boundaries. It's about everyone coming together through a love of music and freedom.

It's the old-school ravers and the ones who have been coming to Ibiza for years and years who are the ones you end up in after-hours conversations with where you understand that the love for Ibiza is timeless. I anticipate the butterflies of excitement on the flight over to the White Isle will remain for years to come.

As emotional as it is taking my final shot of Hierbas and rounding my experience off, I look back only with overwhelming happiness to have had the best group of people to welcome me to the island. I cannot imagine anybody I would rather have smashed twelve clubs in twelve hours with!

In one word - EPIC!

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