Moving Abroad - How I made my Ibiza Dream a Reality & Moved to Ibiza, Spain



So, why did I move to Ibiza, Spain?!

Well this has to be the million dollar question, and probably the one I get asked the most… My love affair with Ibiza began 20 years ago when I came here on a spontaneous holiday to party… and to cut short a a long story, let’s just say I wasn’t on the flight home... ;-)

Checking off the first Ibiza cliché, I did eventually leave the island, complete with a DJ/musician boyfriend, and Ibiza had worked her magical way into my heart.

I went on to date the DJ/Musician for several years and during this time got to experience a wonderful side to the island and see it’s many magical sides... from letting ourselves into Ku (now Privilege) with the special key we had to the back door, to visiting friends who lived in magical caves lit only by candlelight. I tried my first (and last) gazpacho, hung out in the countryside home of the godfather of Ibiza chillout music, visited magical little villages all over the island, danced at illegal parties on clifftops with epic views as the sun rose, played in pools in hot sunshine and partied at Pacha with little dresses and big hair.

My love affair with Ibiza lasted longer than my love affair with the DJ...

…and after a couple of years we parted company on good terms.

Ibiza very much still in my affections, I continued to visit this magical island over the years, developing my own relationship with the island, and bringing many friends here, for some very fun and memorable times.

As I lay in the sunshine I fantasized about a life here, almost not daring to believe it could actually be my new reality.

7 years after I first visited Ibiza, I took my first and only sick day off work (you know, the kind, when you are not really sick, but just don’t feel like going into work… very naughty but quite a thrill!). That day I sat in my micro flat in Clerkenwell in London, and mapped out my dream life. It would be in the sunshine, on an island… I could almost feel what it would be like, but I had no idea how I would get there…

Slowly a plan formed…..

I left my job in advertising, went back to uni and studied to become a photographer. Then I started my own business, and chose an area of photography that wouldn’t require me to be based in a major city.

Then I met a new man, and shared my dream with him. We started going to Ibiza together. With my gentle persuasion, he also fell under the spell of the island. We started looking in estate agent windows. We created a dream box of properties we would love to live in.

However, the market was booming and estate agents weren’t interested in our minuscule budget. We only found one house for sale on the island in our budget, by a noisy main road, and I was determined my home would be a house with a tropical garden by the sea, not a holiday apartment. I held tight to my dream.

The man suggested we look in Italy instead, or rural Spain, where the entire purchase price of a charming rustic finca could be put on one of our credit cards.

But Ibiza had won a place in my heart, and it was the only option for me.

I was determined to own my own home in Ibiza. As a long term homeowner, frankly it didn’t even occur to me to rent first (oh the benefit of hindsight!). My vision of my dream was so clear and it was me owning my own home. Nothing else was even entertained.

The man agreed to give it a go, with the caveat that if we didn’t find something, we would direct our search to the much more affordable Italy. Even Tuscany was looking like good value compared to Ibiza.

My financial advisor point blank told me we didn’t earn enough. I wouldn’t take No for an answer. He agreed to go away and rethink.

And then the Universe stepped in. It was 2009. The financial markets crashed. Buyers pulled out of purchasing second homes. People needed to sell their second homes. All the buyers disappeared. And there were more properties than ever on the market. It was a buyers market as they say.The financial advisor, my hero, came up with a new plan. There was a glimmer of hope this could actually happen.

We secured a mortgage offer in principle, valid only for 30 days.

In April 2009 we jumped on a flight to Ibiza, to view a property we had seen online, just the 6th we had seen. We arrived, and the agent casually mentioned a similar property 2 doors down had just come into the market.

We viewed it, saw it’s potential and fell just a little bit in love… It was even better than the one we had expected to buy… with a garden big enough for a pool, a path that led from the bottom of the garden to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It even had that elusive sea view! In fact it ticked all but one of my wishlist, which I knew from the outset was unrealistic.

Sometimes you just have to hold the faith and keep the vision.

The house was for sale for a special price, within budget and less than we were expecting to pay, and they even included a boat, and the entire contents of the house. A small yet perfectly formed house with an amazing garden on the side of the pine covered hill below, overlooking the beautiful bay of Cala Vadella in South West Ibiza.

7 weeks later in June 2009 Casa Lolo was ours.

This was truly one of the most magical and amazing moments of my life… the thrill that I had made this seemingly impossible dream a reality filled my heart and spirit with joy.

Against all odds, and an outside reality that suggested otherwise, I had created my dream of owning a home on the magical island of Ibiza, the place where my heart sings and my soul feels at home.

And so the Ibiza dream started… and well, let's just say this was just the BEGINNING of a life changing journey... to be continued!

Do you dream of moving abroad? If so, where? Comment below!