My connection to Ibiza
I first came to Ibiza when I was very young, maybe around six years old, with my parents on a family holiday. They weren’t hippies or anything – they were very far from it – but they had heard of the island from one of our neighbours in Paris. It was a family who lived in the same street as us, the parents of one of my school friends. The grandmother lived in Ibiza, and they told my parents all about it and suggested we come here together on a summer holiday.
So we came in 1984, and stayed in Santa Eulalia. We went to the beach a lot, went to payesa barbeques and drove around the island in a Mahari – everyone had them back then, they weren’t ‘cool’ like they are now, they were just normal! We came to Ibiza every summer for the next few years, until I was around 10, at the time my parents bought a house and after that we stayed in Paris during the summers.
But I never forgot about Ibiza. When I was 16, I entered a radio competition to win a trip to the island… and I won! But because I was too young, my mum wouldn’t let me go – I was so disappointed. Finally, in 2004, I came back as an adult. I’d been working in the clubs in Paris and was looking for a change. Some people I knew were working in Ibiza and they said to me, “What have you got to lose? Just buy the ticket, if it doesn’t work out, you go back to Paris.” I figured it would be easy for me to find a job here, since I was already working in clubs, so I bought the ticket.
I was so shocked when I came back! It wasn’t the island I remembered, there were so many buildings, everywhere! When you’re a child you don’t realise a lot of things, but the impression on my memory was not of this built-up place – I couldn’t even recognise the house where we stayed on our family vacations. But I was still happy to be here.
I spent a summer living in the old town and I got a job in a restaurant but didn’t love it straight away. There were too many parties going on right outside my doorstep, and I was very unhappy working in the restaurant. But I loved being able to go to the beach, be around nature, see the horizon, the clear skies and the sunshine. When I went back to Paris in the winter, it was like… Oh. My. God. The culture shock! I couldn’t stand it anymore, the people everywhere, the grey skies, the subway, the stress, the rain – it was too much for me.
So I decided to come back to Ibiza. I knew quite a few people here and it was a nice place to live. I spent a couple of years doing different things, living in different places in the old town, but I realised quite quickly I wanted to be near the sea, and to have my own little garden. I started practicing yoga two years later, and that’s when my life changed a lot. I opened my own studio in 2009, and this was like officially putting down my roots in Ibiza.
My lifestyle in Ibiza is very simple today. Many people are often surprised to know that I don’t go to the clubs – I’ve never really been to the clubs, even though I used to work in that industry in Paris. I’ve been to Pacha four times in my life, three times to Space and once to Amnesia – and that’s it! That part of the island life is not my Ibiza. I don’t think being a VIP makes you a better person and I think it is very important to respect your environment, of the place we live in. At night, I prefer to sleep!
I read a lot, I study at home, I teach and take care of the studio. I wake up early to teach, I practice when I am at the studio (at home there are too many distractions, like my cat!) and I teach again at night so I get home quite late so I don’t have a lot of time to socialise, but I am happy. I need to reserve my energy, as I give so much when I am teaching.
For me, the spirit of the island is felt in places like Es Vedra and Atlantis. I have a special secret place in Salinas where I can go to the beach and still be alone – even though there are thousands of people on the beach just nearby. I think the village of Santa Gertrudis is really beautiful and that the north of the island still has a magical feeling. I love to walk, in nature. I love to be near the sea. And once a year, I try to get away to Formentera.
One of the things I really love in Ibiza, is that everyone is so different. One minute you are speaking English, then Spanish, then German, Italian and French. I love that people come here from all over the world – we all feel connected to Ibiza somehow. I still feel a very strong connection with the island today, even though it has changed a lot in the last few years. I love Ibiza – it is in my heart. It’s been in my heart since I was a little boy and it will always stay there.