Often seen as a rite of passage, an (debatably) exotic stepping stone on the path to freedom, the first holiday without your parents is always an interesting experience.
Often seen as a rite of passage, an (debatably) exotic stepping stone on the path to freedom, the first holiday without your parents is always an interesting experience. If the mainstream media are to be believed (the same media who would have us believe that the country is going to ruin due to inherent faults of the under-30s), it’s all sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, but this is not always the case. My own experience with friends can be taken as a case in point.
We started by planning a week in the “rah” capital, Newquay, but a quick internet search showed that six days in Ibiza worked out around the same price, with guaranteed sunshine thrown in.
10 years ago, this would have seen us in the hedonistic party capital of Western Europe, but by the time we arrived, the partygoers had moved onto the more current party towns of Magaluf and Malia, leaving us to enjoy a peaceful holiday alongside young families.
Alcohol is widely recognised as a staple of the “freedom holiday”, so you may be shocked to learn that we only had one alcoholic drink each during the six days. One evening down at the beachfront, we stumbled across a rather alluring cocktail bar (large plastic palm trees complete with toy monkeys, straw beach huts, you know the sort). Ordering a cocktail each, we took our first sip and were so overpowered by the strength of the alcohol that it put us off of drinking for the rest of the holiday.
Obviously clubbing is seen as an essential part of the experience, and with big name clubs such as Space, Amnesia and Pacha, it would have been rude not to. Only recently turning 18, we were relatively new to the clubbing scene in England, and absolute virgins to wild party nights elsewhere. Our amateur clubbing status showed, as we optimistically set off at 10pm for our wild night out. We’d plumped for a water party at Es Paradis, and with tickets costing around €30, we knew this would be our only chance for a big night out.
Seduced by the idea of the dancefloor filling up to become a swimming pool (I can’t speak for my friends but I know that at this point I had visions of one of Jay Gatsby’s famous parties), we were disappointed when the transformation didn’t happen until 5am, around an hour before the club closed – we had planned to leave long before this. Partly due to the prices (around €9 for a bottle of water) and partly because we were in the holiday spirit, we managed to avoid buying drinks all night, an experience we would never even consider repeating in an English club of any calibre.
Arriving back to the hotel around 7am and getting the lift up to bed as families with young children were coming downstairs for breakfast, we felt the shame of dirty stopouts, yet I also felt alive (in spirit- my body was in need of a well-earned snooze).
Despite the tame nature of our holiday compared to those aired on “Sun, sex and suspicious parents”, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. No hangovers means more time spent on the beach working on the tan, or exploring the local area, and less money spent on alcohol means more money on souvenirs. Plus, we can remember every detail of the holiday without having to struggle through an alcohol fuelled memory mist. Win win.