My experience: Sept 20 years later

Airplane window view

9/11/2001 has a strange feeling for me. It was a sad time seeing so many people die or badly affected by terrorism.

I had started working in the university I went to for my undergraduate degree (Ravensbourne). I remember a colleague telling me a plane had hit the twin towers and by the time I got to the TVs in the reception area, the 2nd one had hit. Quite a lot of people watched as the first tower collapsed.

It was completely unreal and sad to see.


There is something which did happen in the weeks later, still in September into early October.

I had finished my degree and 6 years of education, so I really needed a proper break. For a while after 9/11, most of the flights were grounded just in-case. Then in Europe the airspaces opened up again. Needing the break I booked a holiday. I looked around and found some incredible deals, because no one was flying.

The holiday deal I went for was 2 weeks in the hills of San Antonio (Ibiza) self catering complete with flights from either London Heathrow or Gatwick. The total cost was 30 pounds to me, it was 20 pounds per person but I needed to pay a single supplement fee of 10 pounds to my ticket (of course I didn’t grumble). I did ask friends if they wanted to come with me but no one wanted to go (heck I even offered to pay for their ticket holiday), as I said no one was flying anywhere. Partly due to fear, jobs, etc…

My parents tried to convince me not to go but I needed the break so badly and was going regardless.

Ibiza for a total of £30 was incredible and was massively different to when I went in 1998 (thats a story in its self). Yes I needed to walk into the town but it wasn’t too far and it was the first time I started taking my laptop on holiday. I remember working on my new website cubicgarden.com next to the pool and at the outdoor bar, hotel wifi wasn’t really common then but I made do as most of the stuff was local web development.

I did a lot of things including going clubbing a lot but it was all locals which was actually very cool. I had gotten use to clubbing with locals and not speaking the language while in Berlin, so I was fine with everything. It was great without those annoying reps and endless drunken people stumbling around the streets. I hadn’t really got into drinking or cocktails at that point of my life and looking back now a lot happened in the years following including going to America a lot.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.