A warm welcome to Ibiza

June 3, 2024

I’m so glad I had almost two full weeks to experience the Spanish island of Ibiza. I hadn’t realized the island had such a history of Bohemian culture over the decades, and true to that spirit during my time the vibe was welcoming and delightful. I met so many wonderful people: kind, friendly, and generous hearted. Before arriving I received a couple of friendly introductions to locals from friends who’ve spent time here, who all turned out to be lovely folks, and I found it easy to meet unusually friendly people all along the way.

I enjoyed a number of small, short-notice kirtan sessions and evening Hanuman Chalisa circles in different people’s homes–actually mostly in various outdoor living room-type locations with friends under the starlight–and the energy was great. The Mediterranean climate means that most of the places where folks live have various inviting couches, pillows and lounging areas underneath shady groves where outdoor life beckons to be enjoyed. Ubiquitous lemon trees are sprinkled amongst the orange groves, and everywhere one drives through various human-scale fields of olive, almond, orange and fruit trees, happily ensconced and thriving in the stony red soil.

The Balearic Sea—that section of the Mediterranean between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentara—has beautiful beaches and swimming spots, and with few exceptions (though it’s early in the pre-summer season) there haven’t really that many people on them—unless it’s the weekend or the famous Cala Benirrás with its legendary sunset drum jams, and then all bets are off. So exploring random quiet beaches in the north of the island has been joyful and rewarding. One feature here is that many beaches, even tiny out of the way ones, have a little family-run restaurant serving various drinks and refreshments to beachgoers—so it makes for a pretty user-friendly scene overall.

Some highlights of my time here included:

  • Attending the 1st Annual Holomovement conference with my friend Christine Mason, who was a featured speaker, and connecting with a wide swath of inspiring activists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists all committed to embodying and bringing forth the new world so many of us are ready to be living in, building on the ashes of late-stage capitalism’s dysfunction and dis-ease;
  • A great conference dinner and party upcountry at the Juntos regenerative farm, singing and dancing with many locals and enjoying the inspiring music of Elena and Hijas de la Tierra, and Jurgis Didžiulis—super fun night! 
  • Meeting Alok, Meryl and Karuna of the sweet World Family and enjoying their family’s sacred songs at the season’s opening of their weekly Wednesday night party called Namasté—several stages of simultaneous DJs and performances art, food and drinks, and many hundreds of the island’s creative community gathering and connecting; 
  • Enjoying the old architecture, included various funky 17th century homes with ancient wooden beams, stone walls and floors, and centuries of whitewashed (twice a year!) exterior walls–such history!
  • Visiting Crystal Mountain and their array of amazing earth crystals; 
  • Santa Gertrudis’ Chez Bibi and their inspiring selection of proper baked goods; 
  • And of course, discovering remote beaches and swimming in the sea…

 

A couple of days before I left we had a public kirtan gathering with local favorites Kirtan Ibiza: Hector on vocals, acoustic guitar and bansuri, Beatrice and her husband Francisco on guitar/vocals and percussion, respectively. Beatrice and Francisco hosted in their sun-washed backyard a few kilometers outside the charming little town of Santa Gertrudis, under the protective shelter of a large fruit tree, and a sold-out crowd of shiny people sang and danced with us through the glowing sunset and into the darkness. Even before I arrived on the island Beatrice had been very welcoming and helpful with tips and invitations to connect with the local vibe, and we’d been looking forward to this house kirtan for weeks. It felt more like a family reunion than a gig—filled with friendly, happy friends from various communities, gathering and connecting in a sacred way.

It’s funny, many people told me a version of the following: Ibiza either welcomes you warmly, or bumps you off-island and spits you out unceremoniously. If that is true, then it’s clear that Tanit, long considered the goddess of Ibiza, and the island rolled out the crimson carpet and welcomed me warmly. 

Not sure how it took me so long to make it to Ibiza—but given that warm welcome, and now that I’ve tasted it, I’m already plotting my return…

 

    

    

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