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The 12 Mallorca Expat Commandments
By: Vicki McLeod
1) Be sure.
You may have visited Mallorca on a family holiday or a weekend bender with your friends. You may have been in Magaluf or Pollensa when the sun was beating down on you and the sand on the beach was too hot to walk on with bare feet. You may have thought you had found paradise but you may not realise that you could be wrong: until you have experienced Mallorca in its dampest of days then you have no idea what you are getting yourself in to.
The island of Mallorca is surrounded by water, it is engulfed in water: this gives us overwhelming humidity in the summer and extreme dampness in the winter. However you will not be able to drink the tap water because it tastes like salty chlorine (it IS salty chlorine: recycled and treated seawater). You will feel wet and cold to your bones in the winter, not the dry, cosy cold that you can bear because there is central heating and carpets when you get into your house. No, this is the damp, stone, draughty cold that only Mallorca can really make you appreciate. You will not believe it until you lived in it so do a recce in the winter (I recommend January for full effect). You won’t believe this now, but the two most essential and loved items in your house will become your electric fan and your electric blanket. My daughter would not exist without my electric blanket because until my husband and I were given one during our first winter in Mallorca neither of us had been warm enough to get into bed with less than three layers of clothing, socks, hats and gloves on.
On the upside the surprising weather conditions in Mallorca always give British expats something to talk about. The Mallorcans and the British share a love of commenting on the weather, you will have an opening gambit for a conversation. practise: “Que Frio” or “Que Calor” depending on the six months of the year that you are in.
2) Prepare yourself.
These days it is very easy to get to know British people who are residents in Mallorca. A great proportion of them are on Facebook and it’s a key method of communication on the island. You can get to know a lot of people and get a lot of good information in preparation for The Great Move. If you are moving to a specific part of the island then seek out local advice and tips from the people already living there. Google, and Facebook, and these days even Twitter, are your friends. Ask for recommendations for “Gestors” (pronounced Hestore for the Brits. Get yourself a good one; you will need one of these people to help you get your paperwork done which is a long winded and frustrating experience. Have very low expectations about how many pieces of paper you can accrue in one day, and don’t underestimate how many different bits you will eventually have). Ask about schools, local services, mobile phone companies, in fact whatever you want to know, ask. The good expat people of Mallorca: via a variety of blogs, and on Facebook, love to help. These people will become your life support system, you will rely on them for your business, your social life, your day to day survival and they will become your extended family, this takes me on neatly to 3).
3) Don’t be fooled.
Birds of a feather flock together. We all feel more comfortable with people that come from an area we are familiar with: we share common speech patterns, terminology, possibly even mannerisms and senses of humour. We’re one of a kind but that can make us vulnerable to unscrupulous people. As much as it is important to make new friends and develop a social circle make sure that you don’t buy into any Ponzi schemes/ give away your house/ sell your children/ enter a cult, just because you’ve met a conman who comes from the same area as you. Don’t laugh, it’s happened, several times. For example: there is currently a British man staying at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in the UK who stole millions of pounds from unwitting British pensioners and expats in Mallorca. But you will make lifelong friends. Expats are cut from the same cloth. There is a touch of the pioneer in every one of us. Every person who has moved from one country to another has that shared experience. You just got free life membership.
4) Don’t fool yourself.
Mallorca is tiny. If you act like a prat, rip someone off, turn out to be unreliable or bad at your job then it won’t take long for the island telegraph to get beating. You arrive on the island with your reputation intact: your actions and how you present yourself will determine whether it remains that way. Behave nicely and with integrity at all times. It gets you a long way.
5) Step into the time machine.
Living in Mallorca is like living in Britain in the Seventies, without the flares, although give it time and fashions come round again apparently. You can still pay a deposit on drinks bottles and get the money back when you return them; depending on where you live on the island you will receive your cooking gas in bottles which are delivered to your door, and shops even close for half days. Sundays are sacred and nothing happens on them except family and leisure activities, fabulous. There’s also a brilliant community spirit, outdoor events and fiestas and the Mallorcan version of Morris Dancers which are Dimonis (locals dressed up as devils who play with fire and fireworks). You must commit yourself wholeheartedly to the new culture that you are moving into: get Spanish telly, listen to Spanish radio, read Spanish newspapers. Take every opportunity you can to integrate. Get over any shyness you may have about making mistakes with the language. Start talking as soon as possible, and don’t stop. Better still, fall in love with a local who speaks no English at all, pillow talk is the best teacher.
6) Forget who you used to be, no one cares.
Whoever you were in the UK, you aren’t that person anymore. When you step off the boat you are starting from scratch. Whatever “Grande Queso” position or status you had in the old country means absolutely nada in Mallorca. So, best get over it: right NOW. In the same breath, don’t reimagine yourself as a plumber or a brain surgeon when you haven’t done the training. People will figure it out, see 4).
7) Don’t live in a property with more bedrooms than you need.
Unless you like being visited by people you barely know who fancy a free holiday. Just saying :-) Also: reverse cycle air conditioning is a con; it won’t heat up your cold house, see 1).
8) Work for yourself.
It’s a scary moment when you step off the contracted ledge of employment into the gaping chasm of self-employment, but working for yourself can mean you have work all year round. Try to get some skills under your belt before you make your move, take advantage of night school classes and cheap education in the UK. Mallorca is a seasonal island which depends on tourism for the majority of its income and employment. The tourists only tend to come from May to October, but unfortunately landlords like to have rent paid all year round, so you have to figure out what you are going to do for money during the other six months of the year. You will work harder 52 weeks round for less money than you earned back from where you came from, but you will get to live in a place where everyone else saves their money for 50 weeks of the year in order to visit for a fortnight.
9) Learn one of the languages.
Yes. That’s in the plural. You need to get your head around Castillano Spanish or Catalan (if your kids go to state school then they will be taught in Catalan first and Castillano Spanish second, and then English third, but that’s a whole other blog post). In some areas of Mallorca it may be better to speak German and English for employment. If you are living in the middle you may even find yourself having to get your head around Mallorquin. Do your homework and work it out. See 2).
10) Don’t buy a bar.
Unless you want to become a penniless alcoholic. Ask yourself, why would someone be selling a business which was making a profit? Don’t buy a fantasy. Don’t assume you have the knowledge to run a bar on the island even if you were born in a pub back in the UK. You won’t get familiar locals coming in every night, the taxes are insane and the police are always looking to lay a fine on you. They say to make a small fortune in Mallorca you have to arrive with a large one. Just don’t do it, and don’t make me say I told you so.
11) Don’t burn your bridges.
Always have an exit plan. Even if you don’t ever plan on using it.
12) Prepare to fall in love.
Mallorca is a bit like a hot Wales: same amount of sheep, lots of incredible mountains, and a passionate race of bilingual people. Even after living on the island for years you will still go “WOW” every time you see a sunset / beach / mountain / village view. You will enjoy telling visitors and newbies about your favourite bar/restaurant/walk/fiesta/ shop. You will love writing a “Guide to Newbies” blog post for a competition. You will wait for your plane at Gatwick and get to proudly correct a fellow traveller: no, you aren’t going on holiday, you’re going home.
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Contest Comments » There are 231 comments
Kay Newton wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicki for packing so much into this post. Having lived in Mallorca myself for the past 27 years I agree with most above. Mallorca can be a transient place too - many expats arrive to leave their past life luggage before moving on again. It pays to have many friends in all cultures.
Kim Byrne wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant , Wish I had realised how cold it gets here! Really good factual information and tells it like it is.
Colin Ricketts wrote 9 years ago:
Very nice piece. I don't know Mallorca of course, but it all rings true to me. Made me smile too.
Annie Verrinder wrote 9 years ago:
Wish someone had written this for me 13 years ago..... although fortunately i never did buy a bar... always knew that was a bad idea!!! Thank you Vicki.... This should be read by every potential ex pat with a dream on a mallorquian beach!
James Rieley wrote 9 years ago:
The best thing about Vicki's writing is that she doesn't mince around. She gives readers what they need to know, in a very readable way. Clear, concise, and fabulously done. Thanks Vicki
Oliver N wrote 9 years ago:
Sage advice, which I had come across it years ago.
Kate Mentink wrote 9 years ago:
Expat guides are a minefield of indecision and doubt for most expat authors, unless they have really immersed themselves in the endless ever changing subject. Trust me Vicki has! Kate Mentink
Kate wrote 9 years ago:
Always a great read Vicky. All of it true and to the point which is why we love you,x
Martina Zender wrote 9 years ago:
Well done. I like the fact that you not only describe the marvellous aspects of living here, but also include the "bitter" parts. For example the cold in the winter (I do have an electric blanket too!) and the hard way to earn money...
Yvonne Hargreaves wrote 9 years ago:
Barry and I are considering a move in early 2014,so this is well timed advice andwill help us a great deal, thanks Vicki!
Kate P wrote 9 years ago:
A very informative piece for any newcomer to the island . This will hopefully help them avoid some potential problems that were unforeseen…. There was nothing like this when I moved here …very nice that someone has now done it….
Chetana Annette Adelskamp wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki, this is another amazing article which is not only reaching out to people, but also very helpful for those who just get to the island and i good reminder for all of us who are here! you are doing a great job, much love and enhorabuena chica! x
Jo Clayton Walsh wrote 9 years ago:
Great job Vicky, I have lived on Mallorca for 20 years, still struggle with my Spanish and the cold winters but wouldn't change it for the world right now, but never say never!! Good luck xx
Edwin Butler wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog with loads of usefull information for those thinking of taking the plunge.
Lexi wrote 9 years ago:
Very good read......an honest and realistic insight plus solid advice to living on this beautiful island, thanks Vicki x
Ian L. Hannaford wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant blog on the island I fell in love with many years ago and so true, winter can be bloody cold and when you get cut off because someone else did not pay their bills...we had 7 days living and heating by candelight 121 of them! But the upside is great ex-pat life, wonderful Restaurants, beautiful countryside and mountains, cannot wait to complete my mission in Barcelona and return to 'my' island!
Victoria Amengual wrote 9 years ago:
Very insightful. Funny and oh so true on so many accounts!
Daniela wrote 9 years ago:
This is a great 'write up' - Vicki is a very talented and experienced writer and I love her style; packed with lots of informative advise and presented with humour… Having lived a life of a 'beach' in Mallorca for 23 years, it's true - it will not work if one decides to live the 'Brit Life' - language and integration are foremost and one will not gain the respect from the locals if this is not achieved… Go Vicki, Go!!!
Gran Canaria Local wrote 9 years ago:
Great stuff from Vicki. We love reading about her adventures in the Balearics. Exploits which often mirror our own in the Canary Islands.
Julie H wrote 9 years ago:
Great article. I'm always amazed at the number of people whose first idea, when talking about moving to Mallorca, is to open a bar :-)
Aimee H wrote 9 years ago:
FANTASTIC article! Great fun and an insight that surely comes from first hand experience. These tips could surely get one's foot beyond the door.
Diane Hughes wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastic article Vicky ..... how do I vote for you ... you are saying what we all think ??
Iris wrote 9 years ago:
I absolutely love the article, i can find myself in every point, and unfortunately while i am writing my comment, i am freezing cold due to an electricity cut , so i cannot use extra heaters. Central heating or an open fire became a dream;-) Mallorca is definitely a 'trampa' and i will probably never use the exit plan. Congrats on your article! this is sofar the best i've been reading since i arrived 8 years ago.
Helen Comben wrote 9 years ago:
If we all knew this before we made the move how better our experience Of spain would be. No nasty surprises, no fantasy bubbles burst , And probably a better inter grated, informed expat community. We are lucky to have Vicki in our midst with her insights and brilliant journalism to raise the awareness of causes and insights to our little island paradise. Thanku Vicki
Jean H wrote 9 years ago:
All so true - should be compulsory reading for every potential expat!
Bee wrote 9 years ago:
Fun article - I have always been heard saying how I never felt the cold when I spent 8 weeks in Alaska in winter but often feel chilled to the bone here on the island - but those sunny days - the clear bright ones like we have just had this weekend make up for the chill. Anyway a warm blanket and a couple of doggies to snuggle up to make up for lack of central heating and carpet!!
Zoe Austin Yotk wrote 9 years ago:
Great write up on the downsides which should be read by anyone thinking of moving over here but i love the upsides; the closeness after spending so much time on the roads in the uk, the sunshine and the cosmopolitan-ness!!
Vikki Grant wrote 9 years ago:
Mallorca - a secret we would love to keep to ourselves, but are too proud to live here to do so !
Amy Vine wrote 9 years ago:
A hugely talented writer who writes in a witty and pragmatic way about real issues that affect real people.
Caron Stott wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant...saying it how it is! great article written with facts and humour!
Rebecca Fountain wrote 9 years ago:
Excellent post - I'm an ex pat living in France and much of this applies - great preparation for anyone about to make a life move! Keep the advice coming!! :)
Amanda Coleman wrote 9 years ago:
Everyone should read this. Great article Vicki, as always to the point with no bullshit XXXXX
Louise Davis wrote 9 years ago:
Great advice in the blog Vicky. I, and many others, went through what you are now going through, several years ago and it all rings true even today despite changes in society and on the island. I also highly recommend warm sheets (those flanelette ones that in the UK are hard to find because of central heating). I found a great factory in Lancashir who delivered to my door!!! To live here you need to re-adjust in order to make it work and INTEGRATE! First lesson: learn the languages.... at least sufficient to be understood. You have capped it all!!!
Sue Sharpe wrote 9 years ago:
Great Information - Applicable to so many parts of Spain - Vicki always manages to present the facts with an amusing view of life as an Expat.
Karen F wrote 9 years ago:
Vicky just love your blog so realistic in all ways and very funny,and yes Mallorca is a beautiful place with many,many trials,you need to be strong to take them all on. Love and mucha swerte to you xxx
Diane wrote 9 years ago:
Great read and spot on! Can't wait to move back to the island in April.
Christina Brown wrote 9 years ago:
Vicky. So true, it made me giggle. As an expat for 30 years, we all definitely LOVE Mallorca but find it so frustrating at times. Love this article. Spot on.
Phil Allen wrote 9 years ago:
Great advice for anyone thinking about making the move to sunny Spain, specifically Mallorca.
Sally wrote 9 years ago:
A very fun n true read! The winter cold hits home with me, these old Mallorcian houses are tough to keep warm n the complexity of life here! But we all love it!!!! Everyday I see something that takes my breath away. A great read!
Holly wrote 9 years ago:
What I like most about you blog is the tone – HUMOR. This is soooo key to living abroad. If you are moving to Mallorca just for the weather you are in for a big surprise. Open your soul to all the beautiful experiences the island has to offer, explore and watch your step for dog caca.
Keith Moore wrote 9 years ago:
Sound advice Vikki. Mallorca can very quickly turn in to a holiday romance gone badly wrong if you don't have realistic expectations. It can be a struggle coping with the seemingly endless mountains of legal paperwork. However for me, with patience, perseverance, integration and a willingness to learn the language I am now proud to call Mallorca my home....
Charlie F wrote 9 years ago:
Brllliant and very good advice!! Really enjoyed the bar advice
Kevin Mcdonnell wrote 9 years ago:
This has been such a useful blog. Always has great subjects and so much useful and helpful information Thank you kevin
Yucca Stevens wrote 9 years ago:
Very interesting Vicki! I am not british, but do recognize myself as an expat
Angel wrote 9 years ago:
That is all true! Thank you Vicki for the great article. Insightful and fun reading.
Dave Bladon wrote 9 years ago:
Great advice from a writer who really embraces Island life and it's community.
Suzie Jones wrote 9 years ago:
Having lived "The Mallorca Dream" for 10 years, I smiled & recognised every commandment whilst reading them.I have seen most of them broken & experienced by many. Just spot on everyone of them :)
Andrea wrote 9 years ago:
Sound advice indeed Vikki, and very readable and down to earth, with a touch of humour !
Mathilde wrote 9 years ago:
As always, a great write up by Vicky McLeod. How she manages to put down on paper our thoughts will never cease to amaze me. And make me laugh! Mallorca, dear White Africa...
Candice Wilkinson wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastic advice for anyone considering a move to Mallorca, a must read!
Julia Church-Michael wrote 9 years ago:
Absolutely. spot on , love the humour everything you have written is so truer .Well done x
Lindsay wrote 9 years ago:
As someone who used to live in Mallorca I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, brought back old memories and some good advice for anyone headed to the island!
Carole A Brown wrote 9 years ago:
Really enjoyed this article, it rang so many bells. Although its cold here in winter (France) the sky is blue and sun shines brightly.
David Black wrote 9 years ago:
Very refreshing to find good, straight forward, honest advice on the things you really want to know... thank you and well done!
Xeph wrote 9 years ago:
Great article and so very true! I will share this on the Gran Canaria expat page, as its easily adaptable to this island too :)
Zara wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog. Informative, interesting and humorous. Not an easy accomplishment but you have done it. Thank you. Zara
Joanna Young wrote 9 years ago:
Ha,ha ...so true and informative. When will you be writing 'The Beginners Guide to Mallorca'? I've lived here for over 30 years and still get a rush flying back here having been away be it only for a day or two... it is truly a beautiful island and embrace the differences rather than try and change them!
Jo Ryan wrote 9 years ago:
Just brilliant writing ... and so true... I loved it!!! xx
Lisa wrote 9 years ago:
Some sound advice here! I particularly like the way you draw attention to the language ... in so many parts of Spain, simply speaking Castellano is not enough!
Naïm wrote 9 years ago:
Clearly the best and more efficient guide I've ever seen about Mallorca. Plenty of useful details, great job.
Sian Harrison wrote 9 years ago:
A tremendous piece of writing and invaluable advice for anyone thinking of joining the 'expat' life. Your comments are delivered in a light, fun way but cover every essential those moving need to know. This not only refers to Mallorca but is universal and applicable to my recent move to Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE. Well done Vicki!
Maureen Hemingway wrote 9 years ago:
Excellent blogger..! Follow her weekly on her local newspaper column and articles about people living on Mallorca in Mallorca Stories too. This contains so much great advice.. Mallorca may look like paradise on holidays but not many people see the reality of Island life through their sunglasses. Great article.. Thank you Vicki..!
Maria Grimes wrote 9 years ago:
Great article Vicki and so true! Loved the bit about the winters. An article like this would have given us food for thought before we moved to Mallorca 14 years ago. Well done.
Elise W wrote 9 years ago:
Smart, funny, honest... a must-read for anyone one thinking (or dreaming) of making the move.
Simon Rolfe wrote 9 years ago:
Great article and so very true. I look forward to reading Vicki's articles each week, keep up the great work xx
Emm Millar wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant writing Vicki , great advice for those who are lured to this beautiful island in search of greener fields and as always a splash of humour to soften the truth !! Amazing woman ,Mallorca is soo lucky to have you .
Amanda Davis wrote 9 years ago:
A spot on review of the island! Wish that I had taken advice like that 9 years ago and not learned the hard way! Very true about winters here, the first one is always the hardest! But the beauty of the island makes everything worthwhile in the end. Well done Vicky!
Louise Rolfe wrote 9 years ago:
This all sounds so familiar to me as my brother has talked about every single one of those points after moving there to live! Unfortunately he should have read point 7 before buying his property as his spare bedroom is definitely an open invitation!! Looking forward to my next visit as I LOVE that beautiful island. Thanks Vicki - enjoyed that!
Emilia wrote 9 years ago:
Great article n so very true of all our experiences here one way or another! Enjoyed the humour.
Emma Cooper wrote 9 years ago:
How very true! I love the bit about the electric blanket!!!
Dieter wrote 9 years ago:
Great blogger hiting the bull´s eye about a wonderfull island with its very own character. A must to read.
DJ Jon wrote 9 years ago:
Well written & concise, tells it like it is! Good Work Vicki
Rita Mallorca wrote 9 years ago:
Great and very true advices .... It's not always sun & sangria here, but I'd say still often enough for the effort to try and make a living here ....!! ;-))
ChrisH wrote 9 years ago:
Excellent piece. We're looking to retire in Mallorca eventually, far, far away from the tourists. Can't wait.
Anna Arbuckle wrote 9 years ago:
Hindsight is 20/20, hey? Good one, Vicki. Hindsight is 20/20, hey? Good one, Vicki.
Maureen Hemingway wrote 9 years ago:
Very informative, great advice, well written too. I follow Vicki's Mallorca stories which features Mallorcan residents, most of whom are ex pats too, and these give invaluable insights into other people lives who have also chosen to move to that island.
Suanne Nielsen wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicky, so many Thinks it is plain sailing here with sunshine and no worries...
Margit Watson wrote 9 years ago:
Great reading Vicky and all so true and well worded. Mallorca is so wonderful and more so when you blend in and learn the ways. Looking forward to your next story.
Frida Watson wrote 9 years ago:
Very funny to read Vicky. One almost forget all the pitfalls when having lived here for so many years as we have, but great advise for all the newcomers and people who have not integrated. But the cold is still getting the better of us:)) that never changes no matter how street wise we have become.
Patrick James Stephens wrote 9 years ago:
A superb article again from Vicki McLeod. I always enjoy her articles and this one is another fine example of her insightful views of living on Mallorca. Vicki's blogs & posts always offer a different perspective and are consistently a joy to read. Many thanks
Anthony De Souza wrote 9 years ago:
Priceless advice coming from a seasoned resident. I had to laugh at quite a few suggestions for the precise reason of having experienced or lived through many of the issues outlined above myself. Brilliant insights. Keep them coming.
Karl Robinson wrote 9 years ago:
Great article - all who travel to Mallorca should read it.
Melanie Williamson wrote 9 years ago:
Love it! So spot on that it made me laugh. I wish you had written this 4 years ago I'd have packed my thermals ;-) A humorous look at life on our beautiful island
Mhairi Sinclair wrote 9 years ago:
22 years I´ve perched on The Rock - and that just about sums it up Vicki McLeod - I shall point newbies straight to your blog. Eloquently penned insights, thank you x (rather like the idea of Hot Wales...)
Linda Zibala wrote 9 years ago:
Every point is extremely well described and it is so true what you have said. I would highly recommend reading this article to everybody who considers a move to sunny Majorca. I like the style the article was written... it was easy to read and with a touch of a humour!!Thanks a lot!
Allison Hookungs wrote 9 years ago:
Great read, and of cause all so true, made me smile
Fraser Nicoll wrote 9 years ago:
The best article I have read about living in Mallorca, all points covered and essential reading if you ever want to move here.
Angela Pryce Hemmings wrote 9 years ago:
As always Vicki, you show your wisdom, high intelligence, honesty, and I realy wish that everyone who reads this, knew you. Not only do you have style, and a big heart ... you tell the story as it is. In Mallorca we all love you.
Aurelie wrote 9 years ago:
Couldn't be more right!! Lov it, winter is surprinsingly wet, it took my Mum tears to brlieve me haha!! ;-)
Fred wrote 9 years ago:
12 reasons to come back and live again in this awesome island ! 12 commandments that remind me how it was to be there... SO true !
Paul Betts wrote 9 years ago:
Are you selling dehumidifiers? ;) 13. Mallorca loves those who love Mallorca (unlucky for some) All true Vicki - well written!
Lesley Licoppe wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastic piece, very intetesting and helpful for both people who live on the Island and those who don,t! Well done Vicki .
Jay Hirons wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicky, so true! There is so much to comment on, grumble about, be inspired by and love about this stunning island; you have captured the essence of this medium sized rock, its community and reminded us expats why we live here.
Martin Hemingway wrote 9 years ago:
Great article Vicki..! Such good advice to everyone thinking of moving to any foreign country, not just Majorca..!
Britt Rohde wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant Vicky!! Mallorca has a magnetic attraction to many of us, I have lived here for 25 years and it’s still my favourite place in the word even though it can also be difficult. It’s a very transient island, you make good friends but after a while they leave because it’s not as easy here as they thought. There is also a limited future for our children here, I have now two out of three sons abroad and that is hard.
Cindy Fry wrote 9 years ago:
A true insight into life here ...... Wouldn't change it for the world, well done.
Martyn Staley wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki, What a great read! Your articles are always special and you deserve all the positive comments that are published above. Keep them coming in 2014.
Emma Baker wrote 9 years ago:
A positive and informative blog which is enjoyable for expanse and those following from the UK.
Jackie wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastically original and wonderful advice for anyone wanting to start their own "love affair" with this beautiful Island we call home! Well done Vicki!
Alison Coplen wrote 9 years ago:
Good article, funny but true and informative, Viva Majorca , well done Vicki.
Nicki Nicoll wrote 9 years ago:
What a great read and so true! I wish I'd read a blog like this before we made the move. Beautiful island all year round but we were never prepared for the cold and damp apartments in winter.
Jon Seymour wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastic Blog, I hope this helps anyone or any family considering a move to the "ROCK". Very educational, with a hint of humour so it catches the readers eye and leads them to read on, Brilliant work!!
Stephanie Mason wrote 9 years ago:
I love this post for having the integrity to tell it how it is, while still managing to convey the deep love expats have for our slightly awkward paradise.
Brad Robertson wrote 9 years ago:
Sensational article from the amazing Vicki McLoed! Love ya work Vickstar!
Selena wrote 9 years ago:
Wonderfully written, funny and very true! Love this article and the great advice!
Nikki D Jones wrote 9 years ago:
Fabulous darling ! And so true ! This should be handed to every new arrival on the island ! Well done x
Penny Kay wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant as usual Vicki and great words of wisdom. You've only missed out on the possibility of having a low cost log fire in the winter or a fan in summer, given the ever increasing cost of electricity.
Eric Murray wrote 9 years ago:
Realistic advice that should cause the dreamers to pause and think rather than simply keep their fingers crossed
Al wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant article Vicki! And yes: you have to at least learn Spanish in case you want to live in Mallorca! Good job!!
Anamarija wrote 9 years ago:
Sound advice Vicki, wish I had received it when I moved here years ago!
Rhea Rouw wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki is very informative and such a creative person. I enjoy reading her articles immensely!
Rachael Prior wrote 9 years ago:
So true and should be used as a "check list" before moving to our beautiful island. Perfectly written Vicki , Well Done.
Andy Marshall wrote 9 years ago:
Great tips for visiting the wonderful island of Mallorca. Keep them coming !!
Richard Liggins wrote 9 years ago:
Can I write brill ten times? Because that´s what I´m thinking. Well done Vicky :0)
James Murray wrote 9 years ago:
Great writing on a most interesting subject which will help potential immigrants
Victoria Cooper-Evans wrote 9 years ago:
Once again you hit the nail on the head Vicki! Another brilliant blog...love it. Tor x
Adam wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki is an amazing person with time for everybody. She is highly creative and a truly beautiful person.
CLAIRE JEFFERY wrote 9 years ago:
What a superb and informative article... with hint of Vicki's wicked sense of humour! Such a beautiful island.
Jan Edwards wrote 9 years ago:
Mallorca is a wonderful island on which to live, but being prepared for what you'll encounter here is essential if you want your move to be a happy experience. Sage advice from Vicki,presented with humour and candour.
Lucie Goldman wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki hits the nail ont he head here completely, especially when she talks about the freezing cold winters and wearing woolies in bed! She gives here great advice to anyone thinking of moving here and as always is spot on.
Angela wrote 9 years ago:
So very true Vicki, wish I had read this before I came 30 years ago xx
Nicky Brown wrote 9 years ago:
All true! There is certainly more to Mallorca than Sun, sea and sangria.
Max wrote 9 years ago:
A very enjoyable read and great tips for potential expats
Heidrun Bierkämper wrote 9 years ago:
Nice one! Brilliant tips for people to see Mallorca.... well done! Heidrun
Honora wrote 9 years ago:
These points are so very true! An excellent glossary on things to bear in mind when hoping to move to Mallorca. Life here is different, and Vicky's descriptions will help readers understand that many factors are at play and all must be assessed prior to 'landing'. Fantastic advice.
Diane Hughes wrote 9 years ago:
So true .... As an ex pat I concur with everything in this article. Forewarned is forearmed!!
Albertina wrote 9 years ago:
Wow Vicky, What a good blog. The way you describe the life of us, the expats, you realy make me smile...! Even though I am Dutch, i recognize everything and already learned some lessons the hard way. Could have used your Blogg three years ago! Thanks for letting everybody enjoy the creations of your brilliant writing! XX Albertina
Jean Foster wrote 9 years ago:
Good read, lost a few friends, gained a lot of true friends, have an exit plan but don´t think we would ever use it - don´t mind the "quiet winters"
Julie Staley wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicki As ever your writing is excellent and well thought through.It is an enjoyable and interesting article.
Suzanne Slater wrote 9 years ago:
All so true Vicky,spot on - as well as reading this before moving to Mallorca,I might also recommend some valium before visits to the town hall, alcohol for anything involving school plays ,concerts etc and a big fire pit for your money if you want to start your own business.Great place though, no regrets
Jessica Wray wrote 9 years ago:
I haven´t been to Mallorca yet, but I really want to go! These are good tips for any one deciding to move there. You really need to know the truth before a big move!
John Kramer wrote 9 years ago:
Great article Vicky!! haven't been to Majorca yet, but its high on the list. Definitely going to bookmark this one....some brilliant tips and advice.
Elaine Gill wrote 9 years ago:
A must need for anyone relocaing to the Island and another great article by Vicki, well done.
Jayne Cleveley wrote 9 years ago:
So very true as one who has lived in Madrid for 30 years you don,t know how cold Spain can get in winter and yes you do have to learn Castellano spanish
Chelsea Alventosa wrote 9 years ago:
Great article Vicki! I haven't been to mallorca yet, but I've heard many great things. Your list makes me want to hop on the next plane! Good luck :)
Gina wrote 9 years ago:
Great post Vicky, you've said it all so well. Love the good and the bad...we've gotten used to living with hardly any heating in winter. Most of the winter it is warmer outside than inside even on a warm winter day! On the bright side, we hardly get sick...too cold for the germs to survive, I guess! You'll get used to it.
Claire wrote 9 years ago:
Great article! As always!! Couldn't agree with you more,you've got it down to a "T" xx
Jacqueline Duncan wrote 9 years ago:
Fabulous, couldn't have said this better. I still love it here though :-). A fabulous article.
Wendy Morrison wrote 9 years ago:
Goodness you write it like it is. ....and really made me laugh, a great honest read with your great sense of humour. .
Anne Mawson wrote 9 years ago:
Well said, Vicky, even though,I moved back to the uk and found greener pastures, still miss sunny Mallorca and lots of lovely people xxx
Eleanor Wyper wrote 9 years ago:
Excellent Blog Vicki… well written and great information. So many pitfalls and people are wooed by the beauty of the place and the glorious sunshine in summer… ahaa!! It's not all plain sailing as you so beautifully point out. You should write a book! It would be a best seller!
Jan B wrote 9 years ago:
A great read - smart, funny and a real insight into expat life!
Suzann Finnie wrote 9 years ago:
This is all so true Vicky! A great read and a necessary one for other adventurers coming to live on the rock. ! But it is still one of the most beautiful islands in the world :-)
Karin Gray wrote 9 years ago:
Love your writing. Yes, the thought of living in the heat is alluring, but the winter is a reality check. Useful article for lots of people.
Diane Franklin wrote 9 years ago:
Very true, it's a wonderful island to bring up children, but not an easy place to make a living. Sadly seen too many people who had no real understanding of what life is like here before they sold up and came out. This will help any others still thinking of doing just that.
Richard Wilkinson wrote 9 years ago:
Fantastic information, Ex pats, must read also, good information, well presented.
Sally wrote 9 years ago:
As always Vicki, the most interesting, insightful and amusing piece!!! Loved it, As one of the many Brits that burnt their bridges many years ago, found it very entertaining, thankyou hun for an entertaining piece!! Always enjoy your blogs x
Sarah Livesey wrote 9 years ago:
This has got hidden jems in it , information all in one place and we'll written
Sheridan Conisbee wrote 9 years ago:
Wise Commandments! And all summed up neatly for me in the final few words of pride, "GOING HOME".
Peter Franklin wrote 9 years ago:
This is a very well written, and realistically balanced view on the vagaries of ex pat life on an island that many, many people dream of living on. As such it is a piece with a meaning and a message, which enables the 'dreamer' to make an objective assessment as to whether it could actually be for them in reality. I would commend it to anyone considering moving to Malliorca for whatever reason.
Claire Martin wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog about real life in Mallorca, it's not all sun, sea and sangria but it is a beautiful island and that's why we live here!
Eli Whillock wrote 9 years ago:
Great true advice! Through and through. Especially about the weather! So cold and I hail from Scotland!
Europeos Por España wrote 9 years ago:
Listen to the words of wisdom from Vicki and you will have navigated yourself into a position to a least have a chance of staying on Mallorca long enough to regard it as home.
Claire wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki, amazing as always and truly shows the real Mallorca, good and bad. Well done yet again. Look forward to reading the next installment of your fantastic work! X
Julie wrote 9 years ago:
Very good advice for anyone going to work and live abroad, not just words from Vicky but based on experience and living and working on a fabulous island.
Heidi Wagoner wrote 9 years ago:
I just had to laugh at the "don't buy a bar". I bet that is tempting to some with a dream. Great list.
Jenny Whiffen wrote 9 years ago:
" Hot Wales" is a great way to describe Mallorca...I have always thought of my bit of the island as "Exotic Cumbria". "Hot Wales' is better.... 12 is my favourite Commandment - hard to beat the simple glory of sunset on the mountains. Well Done Vicki.
Gwyneth Smith wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog Vicky, and such good advice I particularly like number six, forget who you used to be, so true!
Lisa Keenan wrote 9 years ago:
Great read Vicki! All so true but I know where I would rather be living when times are tough. Love reading your articles about our wonderful island.
Sandy De Lucas wrote 9 years ago:
Absolute and sheer brilliance. Vicki you have such a way with words that makes us listen and laugh at the same time. This article is not only informative, it rings true to us all in so many ways - For me especially point number 5 (pillow talk). Plus I admit that last sentence is so true of me - At the airport I love to make it clear I am NO tourist :-) Good Luck Girlie, you deserve to be crowned the winner x
Shirley Roberts wrote 9 years ago:
Great advice, well written and should help the minefield that we all enter when changing places into the land of the Ex Pats in Mallorca. I say 'should' because its human nature that everyone wants to do it their way' - Well done Vicki ...
Nikki wrote 9 years ago:
Amazing article and soo true . Its not always Paradise Island in the Damp Winter and nothing open , but the bad certainly outweighs the goid days ! We have never experienced such kindness until we came to live here in Mallorca !
Marije Nieuwenhuis wrote 9 years ago:
Your advice is a breath of fresh air. Especially item number 10. There are so many other ways to work with the internet blessing of our age.
Louise Brace wrote 9 years ago:
Great article Vicky. Lots of realistic information if you are considering to make a move abroad.
Simone wrote 9 years ago:
Very interesting and useful information, I will definitely not open a bar now.
James Flood wrote 9 years ago:
It´s pretty funny that even on a small island, social media makes up a lot of the communication! Times are changing aren´t they! Mallorca sounds like a fabulous place to settle down. I´ll make sure not to buy a bar!
Leona wrote 9 years ago:
Very well written artical light hearted but also to the point. very informative.
Allison @ A Foodie In Europe wrote 9 years ago:
This is a great list! Your blog is super funny too! I am definitely going to start following it.
Andy Dixon wrote 9 years ago:
after living here for 14 years on a full time basis IE I don't go to the UK as I hate the place I have to say that Vicky is spot on with every point she makes here .
Karen wrote 9 years ago:
Nicely written. Keep on with the good work. O and happy Christmas
Dilip wrote 9 years ago:
A super read (as always) well worth following your blog! All the best for 2014.
Marisa Tent wrote 9 years ago:
As I am Spanish it made me laugh because it is true and can be extended to the Costa Blanca area, where I live. Most of my UK friends cannot believe how cold can be a winter here until they have experienced it! LOL
NATHALIE LAPPING wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicky! You have totally nailed it...All you have said about Mallorca is so true and made me smile....
Michael Walsh wrote 9 years ago:
I think it is best digested if you have experienced something like it. There are occasions when you think to yourself; 'did I really do the right thing?'
DIANE wrote 9 years ago:
My friend Karen prompted me to read this blog, and I actually agreed with almost of all it. We live the dream, but in winter, that´s another story! Roll on el verano.
Claus Sorensen wrote 9 years ago:
Love your articles and style Vicky, I read many of them. Mallorca seems like a nice place to visit. Will do some day, and by the looks of it you could be a fun guide :-)
David Klein (The Dogman) wrote 9 years ago:
As a Journalist and a member of the Press Club I must congratulate Vicky the way she writes and express herself. Well done.
Judy Shrimpton wrote 9 years ago:
Well thought through, and I love living here, but your get out clause, people don't think about until it's to late.
Laura Brunton wrote 9 years ago:
Well you have only gone and done it again! I love to read your thoughts, your ideas, your feelings, your view, opinion and vision of the rock through your eyes...truthful, honest, with clarity and pizazz...You've got some talent missy! Keep it up! xxx
[email protected] wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant information and all very useful,factual and usable info.
Riccardo wrote 9 years ago:
As an expat I have been most of my life, I thoroughly enjoy living on this island and country trying to contribute in a positive way both socially and economically. Great place to grow your children, where they can learn social skills and live a healthy child hood. Congratulations on the script.
Philip Rogan wrote 9 years ago:
I was doing a sort of self check after reading point 4 and was happy to find that I think I passed it but had met quite a few who had not even come close. Great article!
Dion wrote 9 years ago:
This is all so true really made me laugh how true it is Well done !!!
Glynis German wrote 9 years ago:
If you follow Vicki's advice a great new homeland is guaranteed! Maybe just one more commandment would sum up Vicki's approach to life in Mallorca - "embrace the changes with an open mind!"
Margaret Whittaker wrote 9 years ago:
Everything accurate, apart from the reverse cycle air con. It should work V, so get someone to look at it!! Always enjoy reading your no nonsense and ever useful blogs. Good luck!
Elle Draper wrote 9 years ago:
Good luck love - I always enjoy reading your articles! Elle xx
Ellen Jacover wrote 9 years ago:
Love the story Vicki and indeed....I never have been as cold..as here in the winter on Mallorca...tank God for the fleece blankets :-)
Melinda Lynam wrote 9 years ago:
Fab writing as always she captures the essence of this fantastic island ,in summer and the winter months, as its not always hot, hot well done Vicky a fabous read, xx
Irma wrote 9 years ago:
It's really great article , wished you would have wrote it before I moved over to Mallorca ;-) You doing great job Vicky. Well done and good job xxx
Jennie Summerfield wrote 9 years ago:
Excellent Blog Vicki. Most informative with your special touch of humour. X
Marion Denisse Doñaque Lopéz wrote 9 years ago:
It is very nice! I enjoyed it and it is very interesting
Annmarie Millen wrote 9 years ago:
Really excellent piece vicki. I can relate to so many things you have written here as new to the island this year the one thing I wished I done before I came here was learn the language but as a family we are enjoying our new challenge. Fabulous read x
Dolina Reynolds wrote 9 years ago:
Couldn't agree more, Vicki. Written in your usual informative yet amusing style. Congratulations, yet again! 5wmhb
Elaine Bridge wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki what an hilarious and amazing article, you are Mallorca's number 1 writer, blogger and the island wouldn't be the same without you!!!
Wendy Hobbs wrote 9 years ago:
A brilliant and informative article.A must read for anyone considering moving to Mallorca and for those who already live here. Well done Vicki.!!!
Barbara Henderson wrote 9 years ago:
24 years on the island and everything that Vicky says is so very true. Wonderful place to live but just be sensible.
Natasha Hodkinson wrote 9 years ago:
Brilliant! Honest,amusing and informative. What people REALLY need to know about the island. Or maybe find out the hard way - more fun⁉
Carla Collenette wrote 9 years ago:
I've been here for 2 weeks so your blog is very timely to stop me making ALL the mistakes on the list. good news is, we came flat hunting during one of the worst periods of weather for apparently 40 years (November just gone) and we still decided to move AND we made sure we found a flat with central heating - I know, small miracle :)
Mel wrote 9 years ago:
Bang on as per normal Vicki - there´s a reason you such a leading community voice ! If only it we could be circulated to people BEFORE they make the move !
V Macdonald wrote 9 years ago:
Very good suggestions if you're planning on making a full time move to the beautiful island of Mallorca.
Dave Thomas wrote 9 years ago:
Wadya mean "a hot Wales"? The last time Wales was hot was in 1976. And there's no way you've got more sheep than us.
Wendy Peters wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki tells it like it is. Excellent points and good advice. Well done that girl!
Linds Norris wrote 9 years ago:
Bravo Vicky....always very interesting and colourful writing,whatever or whoever you are writing about...very informative piece,and straight to the point...keep it up!!!!
Cati wrote 9 years ago:
It's great that somebody finally says out loud that... yes, it's sunny in the summertime, but it's also a humid place. Not so paradise-y. But we love it anyway :)
Sharon wrote 9 years ago:
As always very honest and true advice and def well worth a read if ur planning on moving abroad x
Lisa Simpson wrote 9 years ago:
Good article Vicki! Fully agree on all your points, especially the cold, people don't believe how cold it gets, hot baths are a must in Winter. Good luck with this competition!
Mandy Racine wrote 9 years ago:
A must-read for those planning to up sticks and come and live in Mallorca - great advice in a nutshell!
Zack Horne wrote 9 years ago:
Glad to see someone who tells it how it is... Some people don't know how hard it is to live n work here. Great blog
Anna Nicholas wrote 9 years ago:
Vicki's twelve expat commandments are a fun alternative to the twelve days of Christmas this year! Lots of sensible advice & haven't we all felt the winter's chill & waved goodbye to yet another hapless would-be bar owner? Molt sort, Vicki. Let's keep Mallorca on top for another year! :-)x
Luise Wagner wrote 9 years ago:
Whoever has a bar in England should sell it and move to Mallorca and not buy another one. Changing countries is a new opportunity to start it all over. Cheers.
Jess Romero wrote 9 years ago:
Very insightful! and funny to read! I think I could handle the big move after reading this article.
Samantha Fraser wrote 9 years ago:
Funny and so true! Huddled in front of the woodburner right now! Well done Vicky xx
Fathima Shifara wrote 9 years ago:
Great article by Vicki MacLeod, very interesting and useful information for everyone
Corinna Boughton wrote 9 years ago:
Extremely helpful and as an expat mostly living in Mallorca I wish I had the opportunity to read this twelve years ago!
Gráinne wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicki , I couldn't have put it better myself , keep up the good work!
Maureen Oneill wrote 9 years ago:
so very true vicky well written and always tells it how it is
Ben wrote 9 years ago:
Nice article. One more tip. In the Chinese store there are fleece blankets for 20€ (2,2*2,4m). No more cold in the night. Have it under me and above and I am sweating.....
Carly Wilkinson wrote 9 years ago:
this article completely sums up mallorca, especially the part about how hot it is in summer and the dampness of the winter . also how much we sllstill love the place and can always see past the difficulties of the long, winters when it seems not so long ago we could work more or less all year round.
Tracey Harrod wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog and all of it so true! Mallorca is such a great place to live and love!!
Suzy Meiklejohn wrote 9 years ago:
Well said Vicki! Having lived on the island I can testify that this is a 'must read' for anyone thinking of making the move. So many arrive with their rose-tinted glasses firmly on, only to be disappointed. However with honest information like this highlighting both the ups and downs perhaps a more considered decision can be made.This was also an amusing reminder of my years there - I certainly have more appreciation for carpets and central heating in the UK now!
Francesca Chianello wrote 9 years ago:
All true. Simply true. Terribly true. I live in Mallorca since 2007, I am Italian and I find that this article is the best and most truthful descriptions of what does it really mean "to live in Mallorca", how to survive, sometimes... the best I've ever read!!! No lies, no travel agencies tales, no tour guide fiction, no clichés ... just the raw reality, the pure essence of Mallorca, for better or for worse. Really hilarious. As I read, I have thousands of events, a thousand memories, so many pictures in my mind ... from 2007 to the present, in this amazing island, everyday full of surprises ... and I smile, because I feel I am not alone. Great job, Vicky, really... well done!
Richard Handscombe wrote 9 years ago:
Thanks Vicky. A useful and humorous reminder of the expat pitfalls even on a small island
Alison Tonge wrote 9 years ago:
Another gr8 at read by Vicki, written so well it's a pleasure to read and interesting too!
Jason Wilkinson wrote 9 years ago:
A good read, a definite must for anyone wanting to make the move to Mallorca
Mike Norton wrote 9 years ago:
Now I know why the mother in law had an eletric blanket in the apartment. And we have proper central heating!!
Evelyn wrote 9 years ago:
With so much around in articles and blogs and the like on living abroad this one really captures the bitter-sweet jest of living the dream in Mallorca. Love the bit about the entrepreneurial spirit - the intention of making it here (yes, I'm not a tourist :) ) can push you farther and higher than what you ever thought was possible. AND in the most beautiful ways. :)
L & C Bloom wrote 9 years ago:
We are expats, living in this little jewel of an island. This blog is so accurate, beautifully written and full of great tips and advice. Good work Vicky, it will certainly give anyone on the fence of moving to Mallorca a push in the right direction!
Andy Charlton wrote 9 years ago:
excellent piece. Lived here 10 years and wouldn't disagree with any of it.
Saloua Sfar wrote 9 years ago:
Well done Vicki You have done a fantastic blog and i really hope that a lot of people will read it and follow it!!! And yes We all love Mallorca until the "frio"come and then we like what its going on!!!
Michaela Bowyer wrote 9 years ago:
Would share the same advice, great piece well done from a fellow pioneer who says wow everyday, who has perfected her Spanish and Catalan with lovely Spanish boyfriends, and shares small talk everyday about the weather!
Joanna Walton wrote 9 years ago:
Great blog - love point 4 and this works two ways, if you do something well, the exciting aspect of living on this small island is that people get to hear about it quickly too and the networking is great!