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Lessons learnt from my first Ibiza season

Spotlight intern, Ruby, talks us through her first Ibiza season. Grab your tissues, it's an emotional one

I've been trying to write a summary of my first summer in Ibiza pretty much since the middle of August. Obviously, that marked only half of what was to come, but at the time, I'd already had the best summer of my entire life, so it made sense to start pouring my heart out early. It felt like a duty to share the magic of Ibiza.

I've been back in the UK for about a week now and still I'm trying to put my Ibiza experience into words. Even for a writer, it's incredibly difficult to describe the absolute rollercoaster ride the island takes you on, but now I've stepped off it for a while, I'll give it a go. It's hard to even know where to start - should it be with the people who - hand on heart - made my life better, or should it be with the endless stream of parties; in venues up mountains, on beaches, on boats or in caves?

I've collected memories that give me goosebumps, I've heard some of the most phenomenal sets I could have ever have dreamed of, I've trekked islands, sung on the street with hippies, danced with bongo players as the sun set, had dance offs, gone cliff jumping, interviewed some of my idols, swam with jellyfish, seen LCD Soundsystem live, explored abandoned hotels and nightclubs... the list goes on and on. When you fill an island with people from all around the globe, who all have the same intentions and the majority have a heart of gold, you can end up truly enlightened about how incredible life on la isla can be.

Although in may be hard for me to remember a select few of my nights, one thing that has stuck in my mind are the lessons I've learnt during my time in Ibiza, so now, dear reader, I'll share them with you.

Don't judge if you haven't experienced

It's human nature to judge something before you've tried it out for yourself. I did a little bit of this even before touchdown on the island, as prior to my first season, my heart was set on all things rock 'n' roll. Don't get me wrong, I spent most days listening to the likes of Four Tet and Detroit Swindle, but it wasn't rare to throw in a bit of Motörhead or Oasis.

I've always loved the idea of Ibiza but I never dreamed I'd suit the electronic music world so well. I found out so many things about myself, including how exciting the industry is in Ibiza.

Positive people rock

I could go on for days naming the people out there I met who changed my perspective on so many things - you all know exactly who you are. As you get older you realise there truly are good eggs out there, and bad ones too - you click with some people, but not with others. Some people will try to drag you down, some people will lift you up and make every happy moment better. I made three new best friends this year - three chicas that truly made every day brighter, gave me more of a reason to wake up in the morning and who taught me life lessons no one else could.

In life, you occasionally run into people who try to drag you down, so when you do, walk away. Move on, wish them luck and venture further into your exciting life instead of sticking around in theirs. Sometimes, you can help people as much as you like, but their intentions won't always be the same as yours. When you move to a different country, it becomes very clear who your true friends are - some make an effort to stay in touch, some don't. But as I discovered, it's not the end of the world. Put more time into those who make your days better and you'll reap the rewards!

Pikes is the best place in the entire world, period

We all have some sort of advice that we give to everyone throughout our lives, and my advice to everyone is GO TO PIKES. No person leaves the crazy confines of those gates without a beaming smile on their face. Dancing in Freddie Mercury's old bedroom at six in the morning with 20 new friends is something everyone has to experience at least once.

During my time at Pikes, I laughed dangerous amounts. I jumped in pools with Eats Everything, twirled to the best disco pumped out by Artwork and made memories that will take a heavy amount of alcohol to ever get rid of. One day, I will get married in Pikes, and you're all invited.

It's a marathon, not a sprint

This was a saying that my most amazing boss ever, Stivi, had to remind me of multiple times. There were points (okay, maybe the whole summer) where I was going out near enough every night, but what I now know is that there's no rush to get to the finish line. Your body - believe it or not - cannot physically handle going out and dancing every day of the week.

A lot of my days I spent beachridden, legs aching like never before, yet I still found the energy to power through to Amnesia for the 19th hour straight. Hopefully I'll learn next year and see that actually, staying in can be fun. Especially when you're surrounded by the most adventerous, hilarious people in the world. So if you find yourself in the paradise that is Ibiza, get yourself to The Ship, download a ton of films and every once in a while, stay in. You'll thank yourself the next day when you can make it to that villa party.

Bad days come and go

There are never really bad days in Ibiza. There are bad hours, sure, but they pass. I had days where from start to finish, I'd been at a rave, hitchhiked with hippies, found my way to villa parties and secret beaches, jumped off a cliff to cap the day off and then only managed a 10-minute nap before I was woken up again by my mates to start the adventure all over again. In one week you will experience the absolute best moments of your life.

You'll walk to the shop and meet new friends on the way, you'll bump into some people you met at a nightclub four weeks ago, join them for a drink and then somehow end up in a cave watching Solomun live. Go with the mentality that you're going to say yes to everything, never doubt your gut and explore things you would ordinarily only dream of. I dont have enough fingers to count the amount of times I've welled up on the dancefloor, just thinking about how unbelievably lucky I was to get to spend a summer on the White Isle.

So that's it - some of the many things I've learnt on my inaugural Ibiza journey. Now I'd just like to thank the Spotlight team and my family and friends, who I simply couldn't have done any of this without. Living on the island has sincerely changed my life and without my fellow bunch of crazy Spotlighters putting up with my constant troubles, I wouldn't have the bounce in my step that I do now, so thank you to you all.

Now on to the next chapter. Onwards and upwards!

WORDS | Ruby Munslow

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