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My time in Valencia was divided into two parts as a result of an exhausting side trip to the nearby island of Ibiza (Part I, II, III, and IV). The first few days in the city were my general touristy days, but when I returned there was a strange sense familiarity. It wasn’t until I arrived in Valencia that I dawned on me just how unaccustomed I’d become to the feeling, but it was remarkably soothing to be in a city I was already acquainted with. Since leaving the US, every single city I’ve visited so far is completely brand new to me and, while the novelty is exhilarating, I’d forgotten what it's like to have a home base. Many of the things people (including myself) take for granted when they live in one place for a while is the fact that they know where the grocery story, good restaurants, ATMs, bus stations, etc. are all located. For me however, every new place I visit requires I spend a few hours figuring out where everything is - but not this time around. This time I knew exactly where I was and how to get around without a map.
Of all the things to do in Ibiza, the number one item on my agenda was a visit to one of the mega clubs the island is renowned for. Superficial, flashy, and overpriced as they are, at the end of the day it was the reason for my entire trip in the island. By the time I returned to Ibiza Town from my voyage to Cafe del Mar on the other side of the island in St. Antoni, it was pitch black outside. Even though I didn’t have a reservation, I returned to my hostel and quietly stashed my things in a locker for the evening - I had no need for a hostel, my goal was to party the night away until the sunrise.
To any of my close friends and family, it should come as no surprise that I like electronic music. “Like” may be putting it a bit lightly considering the hundreds of dollars I use to spend on concerts (back when I had a job) and the fact 98% of the music on my phone is dedicated to the genre, but nevertheless, I’m a fan. My long-standing love affair with the music began when I was ten years old thanks to a CD my dad left lying around the house – the compilation album Tranceport by Paul Oakenfold.
For years, a trip to Ibiza has remained at the top of my bucket-list. This tiny island located 50 miles off the coast of Spain is for fans of electronic music what Mecca is to Muslims. Ibiza is world renowned as the epicenter of electronic music and, for those even slightly interested in the genre, is a destination that must be visited at least once in your lifetime. For those of you who ever get the opportunity to step foot on this island, do not expect a wholesome, family-friendly experience unless you stay outside of the two main cities: Ibiza Town and St. Antoni de Portmany. In the central areas of these cities, you need to mentally prepare yourself for everything to be overpriced, flashy, and fake. Overall, there is a general hedonistic feeling that permeates the air and makes Vegas seem like Disney World.
Valencia is the first city I’d consider my “home away from home." What was initially planned to be a short, four-day trip quickly became an extended two-week visit within a few days of my arrival. While it gave me plenty of time to see all the usual sights, what I enjoyed the most about the extra days was the chance to actually live in Valencia. So far on my travels, I typically spend three or four days in a given city and, while the breakneck pace was fine when I first started, I am beginning to feel its effects. Moving every few days means I am perpetually figuring out logistics for the next city, determining accommodations, and attempting to squeeze my visit into just a few days - which is next to impossible.