Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca

The Reality of Living Abroad


So now that the dust has settled just what is the reality of living abroad.  I can, of course, only speak for myself and my own experiences and emotions but I was surprised at the turmoil that you go through.

On the 26th November 2012 we could be found travelling toward Folkestone with our newly acquired left hand drive car packed with the necessities that were essential for our first few months of living and working from a rented apartment in Playa de Muro, Alcudia.  As we drove along we were elated.  The dream that we had been talking about for all those years was coming true.

No more getting up at 5.30 in the morning and commuting to London.  My work from now on would be from my own ‘office’ in my Mallorcan home.

The drive down through France was uneventful save for waking up and feeling rough (a cold virus that had been hiding in the background was about to emerge) and we arrived at Playa de Muro on the 28th November bright and early in the morning.

I suppose the ‘high’ lasted for a few weeks when it was more like being on holiday than living here and then the reality of trying to get everything organised hit home.

Emotions would fluctuate between frustration at not knowing where to go for anything and not being able to speak with enough fluency to make yourself sound like anything more than a child to downright depression when I would wake in the mornings and think ‘take me home’.

The enormity of all the departments you needed to contact and the forms that needed to be filled in while still trying to hold down a job seemed an obstacle that was just too high to get over.

But get over I did.  With the help of the company that I found (as mentioned on my relocation costs page) the pressure was lifted somewhat as I could leave all the documentation and form filling to them.

As the months went by I got used to not being able to pop down to such a such shop and I started to find my Spanish equivalent.  Whether it was a little boutique that I loved in the Port or certain sites online that deliver I managed to continue here almost the same as in the UK.

But one big problem was the isolation I felt and I never expected that.  I often joked that we would only be a couple of hours away and it is true.  However add to that the expense of flights, taxis or car park fees, getting someone to look after any animals and the lack of annual holiday entitlement it is not as easy at it sounded.

For a start I have a grandson that doesn’t know me as he was only a baby when we left and we have all the other grandchildren that we now never see.  My mother is not getting any younger and cannot manage the flight and our children do not have the money for the flights with all their children or are just plain scared of flying.

As far as we are concerned I am governed by my holiday allowance and our finances are basic pension plus one wage.  So we have to be careful too.  Add to that our little rescue dog Freddy who has severe separation anxiety and would need to visit with us which involves ferries, trains, travelling by road etc it means that we cannot visit at the drop of a hat.

But as I take Freddy for his walks I look at the scenery – the lakes, the mountains, the beaches, blue skies and the bars that allow you to bring your dog I think what my options would be.  Grey skies, narrow roads and loads of traffic and I am split.

For a peaceful, safer and warmer place to live then I pick Mallorca.  For family I would pick the UK.

Then I wonder about our health.  I have been having problems with my eye in recent months and I do know that eventually a cataract will need to be removed.  I hope my Spanish has improved enough to converse with doctors and hospitals by that time and of course the eventual outcome that one of us will be left on our own.  I do hope that we will not be entirely alone and that we will have made some friends.

As far as my work is concerned I am still a team member but I am also not.  I am not there to know the day to day goings on and the new accounts that come in.  I am not privy to plans and the future.  I am an employee but an absent one.  As new people are employed they do not know me.  Those that I trained are now advancing into managerial positions and have leapfrogged over me.  I am almost retired but not quite!  It is a strange situation to be in.

So to summarise I would say that there are moments of depression, isolation, not knowing where you are going or what you are doing.  Times of feeling relaxed and times of missing people.  Then there are times of contentment with your surroundings and the laid back easy way of life.

All in all there is no Nirvana or Xanadu, there is just life.  Life is an experience and that is what I am doing at the moment.  Experiencing it!


4 thoughts on “The Reality of Living Abroad

  1. Hi Marion, I have been reading your blog with interest. My name is Veronica Henry I am a single lady I live in Australia and have got it into my head I would like to live in Mallorca for six months! I have been a widow for nearly twelve years, I am a very fit 70 year old, I travel a lot, and would love to spend more time in one place. I am looking at Soller is that near where you live? I am originally from England and used to spend holidays in Mallorca and have fond memories of the country. I would love to hear if you know of a flat or small house that is available for rent? Looking forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards Veronica

    • Hi Veronica,

      I am so pleased you like my blog.

      I live in Alcudia which is north east of Mallorca whereas Soller that you are interested in is in the South East I think so I don’t really know of any properties for rent in that area.

      I don’t know if you have heard of the author Anna Nicholas but she wrote books like Lizard in My Luggage and more and she lives in Soller area. If you do a search for her you will find her website and there may be links on there for recommended agents etc.

      Failing that all the estate agents on Mallorca also have a rental section so search for estate agents in Soller area and you should be able to get an idea of the long term rental prices. Quite often there are properties that are up for sale and if they don’t get a sale quickly then they will rent it out while they are trying to sell it. I am not sure of the prices in Soller but depending on size and location you are probably looking at a rent of about 500 to 900 Euros per month.

      There is also an online version of the Mallorca Euro Weekly newspaper which is in English.

      Good luck with searching and let me know how you get on. Mallorca is a beautiful and relatively safe place to live although a little cold at the moment – but at least it doesn’t stay cold for long!

      Best wishes Marion

  2. Hi Veronica

    I have just found your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. I holiday in Mallorca about three times a year and I think my favourite place so far has been Port de Pollenca.

    I am 67 in October, in full time work until end of October when I go down to three days. Hopefully I will fully retire at the end of next year and would love to rent a property in Port de Pollenca for a month, just to see what it is really like to live there for a while.

    Am not sure what you do for ‘work’ but would be amazed if you did not ‘write’ for a living as your blog is just so interesting .

    Many thanks for entertaining me! Please write more often.

    Jan Fleming

    • Hi Jan,

      Many thanks for your kind words. Port de Pollenca is a lovely place just along the road from me.

      You are the doing the right thing by trying living here for a month first although you may still feel in ‘holiday’ mode.

      After 2 years here I can see the pros and the cons. I know I should really write more often and promise I will do so as soon as I can.

      Unfortunately I do not write for a living but am still employed by my UK employers and am tied to my desk from 9 to 5 (Spanish time). Another 4 years to go before I can retire.

      Thanks again for your interest in my blog.


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