Working towards the dream

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I’m not sure of the exact moment that the realisation hit. I don’t think it was so much a bolt out of the blue but at some point in the last two years I began to question where I wanted to be in life. I don’t just mean metaphorically but also literally! I’ve always had a love affair with the UK and felt proud to be British however in many senses I’ve felt as though maybe I was born in the wrong climate and one not so conducive to the good health and wellbeing one gets from a more outdoor lifestyle. I HATE being cold! Now, we Brits love to complain about the weather, in fact It’s become something of a national pastime. We had such a wonderful summer two years ago with the great weather lasting through til October with warm, sunny days and long evenings sitting outside and I noticed how much more positive and healthy this made me feel going into winter. Last summer as usual was a complete wash out and so rather than moaning about it in typical British style I decided to try to find a solution!

As followers of this blog will know, I have a long-standing love affair with the Balearic island of Mallorca. I’ve been visiting since I was a little girl and spent a lot of time there in my late teens. In recent years the hubby has fortunately shared my enthusiasm for the island and it’s culture, its way of life and of course climate. And so it was just over a year ago now that after more than a little persuasion (he’s the sensible one whereas I’m more “jump in, think later”) we decided to start looking for a house on the island. We are lucky in some sense that Brendan’s job is very intense for 8 months of the year but does leave us with 4 months of family time during the summer. While this is wonderful and we’ve had some great summers in the UK with friends, let’s face it, the weather quite often literally puts a dampener on things! Also recent world and personal events left us with the realisation that it really is important to live every day to the fullest and do what makes you happy right now! What makes us happy we’ve realised, is sunny, bohemian Mallorca and it’s laid back lifestyle.

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We started our search looking for a holiday home but as we’ve spent more and more time on the island we’ve begun to think that maybe, eventually this beautiful place could become a more permanent residence for us. We have two years before The Squidge starts school so we have a little time to decide. Having said that, one thing we have realised is that time on this Island goes at a very different pace. We started our search for our dream property last June and here I am today, writing this from our rented villa. You see nothing is straight forward on this island when it comes to property purchasing. Due to incredibly strict planning laws I would predict that up to 80% of properties in our search area have illegal construction! The other issue is that the estate agents have so many properties on their books that they know very little about them. Just some of the scenarios we’ve had in the last year include the agent receiving a call whilst we were viewing a property to say it was sold the previous week. A bank re-possession that we found out couldn’t be bought for 3 years and that no-one knew the asking price of and finally a property that we fell in love with and made an offer on only to find out 3 months later that it didn’t exist on the land registry as anything other than a chicken shed!

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Despite all of this we have persevered, having changed our expectations to something a little more realistic and I do believe it has paid off! I almost daren’t say for fear of jinxing it but we have just had our offer accepted on a truly wonderful property. Ok so it’s not quite the two storey, stone finca (country house) we were looking for but it’s full of old-fashioned charm (with room for an organic “The Good Life” style veggie patch) and we love it! It is (nearly) legal and we now have a lawyer whose grasp of the English language is good enough that we can fully understand each other (muy importante). It’s all progressing at a very exciting rate! There is still a long way to go and I live with the constant fear of discovering some little detail that throws a spanner in the works but all going well we should have our dreamy Mallorcan home by the middle of June!

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In the meantime we are here on the island recovering from a very busy winter and preparing for our future life in Mallorca. We also have a couple of Birthdays coming up this week (including a “big” birthday for someone very special tomorrow…he’s currently crying over in the corner!)

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I’m hoping that our summers in rural Mallorca will provide some great and exciting content for the blog and over the coming days, weeks and months I am hoping to keep you filled in with a regular diary of our life here in this hugely inspiring place as well as the inevitable teething problems that come with life in a different country and culture. You can keep updated with my regular Instagram and Twitter posts and I hope you”ll check back here to see how we are getting on in our search for a more holistic life! A couple of you have asked via Instagram for a travel guide to Mallorca and I promise I will do one as soon as I’ve done a bit more research! In the meantime, to find out more about life on this heavenly island I would thoroughly recommend a novel called “A Lizard In My Luggage” by Anna Nicholas.

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Hasta pronto…

ZoΓ«


21 thoughts on “Working towards the dream

  1. I adore this Zoe! I’m so happy that you’ve finally found somewhere and I have my fingers crossed that everything falls into place for you. I think, for me, I’ve had a similar realisation since being at university – there’s a whole world out there that I want to see and sometimes I need a place that is stress free, sunny and warm.

    It’s been years since I’ve been on holiday so fingers crossed for next summer! All the best and enjoy your birthday’s x

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    1. Thanks Georgia. Hope you’re well and enjoying your time at Uni. Hope all that work isn’t stressing you out too much. I find holidays so important for clearing the mind and increasing productivity if you can manage one. Thanks for taking the time to comment. X

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      1. Thank you πŸ™‚ hope you’re all well too. I would go on holiday every summer at least as a child so I’m trying to adjust to not having any time away – definitely looking for next year for that exact reason. So far my dancing and yoga practice is the only way to get a bit of a break.

        Thanks for the post! Definitely inspired x

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  2. Such good news for your family wishing you all the best of luck hope your dream home becomes a reality very soon. Enjoy your birthdays in the sunshine especially Brendan’s special one but he’s still a youngster with lots more birthdays to celebrate 😎

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  3. Zoe this is just amazing – Mallorca is on our bookit list after everything you’ve posted about it! We have close friends who go to Puerto Pollensa every year so they may have to be our tour guides for our initial trip! We love visiting he south of France and Italy so I imagine the sunny climes will suit us! Our four year old daughter loves the outdoors (we bought her three sheep last year) as is hubby (from farming stock!) and the moment the sun came out this year (albeit for a day(!!)) we were outside soaking it up pretending we were somewhere Mediterranean (cue olives wine and chillout music through the bifolds)! Ola (my four year old) also decided that she needed a lounger and a chocolate ice cream!

    As someone who takes vitamin d supplements after being told my levels were too low I long for the sunshine on my face and have as I showed you on Instagram, bought myself a new manuka yoga mat ready for on my decking this summer so fingers crossed!

    Would love to hear more about your time in Mallorca! Have an amazing birthday celebration for Brendan tomorrow and buena suerte with your home – I’m hoping piccys of before and after Zoe Cole styling are imminent! :0)

    Lots of love to all
    Hannah xx

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  4. Gather up all your scattered dreams and build the life you love! it may be full time in Mallorca or split between Mallorca and Oxfordshire, it will be just perfect and you can make your dream come true and live the life you always imagined. Enjoy your Birthdays in the sunshine, glass of rose so much nicer than the hailstones here tonight! Oh and one more little quote – give me the sea and a little cottage just to be (well a villa) but same sentiment 😊

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  5. This island looks like paradise Zoe – on your photos you look so relaxed and happy.

    Totally agree how a sunnier climate affects you positively both in mind and in body……I am convinced I am allergic to the cold (I’m even freezing tonight haha).

    My partner is from Perth, Western Australia, based here in the UK for his work….eventually we will move out there……but firstly, a trip to Mallorca is definitely high on my list after following your blog.

    Hope the house you have fallen in love with becomes yours very soon…..what an adventure……and “the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” xx

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  6. We settle where our heart is, and it is tough when that is more than one place. Glad you have found somewhere and hope it works out well. Looking forward to hearing what can be grown in raised beds Mallorca style! Happy birthdays πŸ™‚

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  7. A lovely and interesting blog again Zoe. You are certainly selling Mallorca, it looks wonderful. Like you I much prefer a hot climate. All the best for your property, fingers crossed it will all go through soon. Looking forward to reading more blogs. Happy holiday.Xx

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  8. Hi Zoe, for a few years I have seen your pictures (& Brendan’s) on instragram etc and loved your photos of Mallorca. I love Greece and have never really took to Spain (Benidorm type holidays) but often say to friends the place I really fancy in Spain is where Brendan from strictly goes with his wife Zoe lol. Could I ask which area or areas in Mallorca are your favourites? As I said the pictures you post of the beaches & coves look like some where that I would love but no idea where to start looking.

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  9. I enjoyed hearing about your exciting plans- I think you are totally doing the right thing! We realised our dream 8 years ago and bought a place in Port de Soller and have not regretted it. We go many times during the year (generally off season) and always have a pact that we must discover a new part of the island or walk a new footpath, or find a new beach and we still manage to achieve this every year even after 8 years! There’s so much to the island we reckon Majorca is Europe’s best kept secret!! Oh and can concur with the difficulties with planning/ illegal build / solicitors etc – but I’m sure you will quickly forget the difficulties you’ve had and will quickly get on with living a more healthy family life !! I will be following your ‘journey’ with interest. Best of luck to you and yours, Debbie X

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  10. How exciting Zoe! Love seeing your beautiful pics. You lead such a lovely lifestyle! Wish you all the very best with getting that dream house X

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  11. Great blog Zoe. I’ve just launched my own blog (travel blog) as I am currently in Australia on a 12 month working holiday visa. I’d love to put a link to your blog on mine so anyone who reads mine can find yours too. Can I do this?

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    1. Absolutely Jemma. Please do. Good luck on your blogging journey and I hope you have a wonderful time in Aus. I’ll be sure to take a look at your blog. X

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      1. Hi Zoe, I’ve now got the extra page set up on my blog site where I will be putting all the links to other sites I like. Yours is now up there. I’ve written two short sentences with the link so people know what the link is. Take a look and if there’s anything you’re un-happy about, just let me know and I will change it accordingly!

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      2. Hi Jemma. It doesn’t appear I ever replied to this so please forgive my rudeness. Thanks for linking to my site. I love your blog! Do keep up the good work. X

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  12. Hi Zoe. So glad you have realised your dream. Nothing like it!! So enjoyed reading your blog. I too have a love affair with Mallorca and will be there in 7 weeks time. Cant wait.We base ourselves in Port de Soller (where we we met your lovely hubby and daughter near the marina two years back and they were both delightful and charming!) Last year we stayed in a farmhouse in the mountains near Fornalutx, so beautiful. I too hope one day to purchase a small property on the island which I can escape to frequently to avoid the damp summers here. I love the island so much and feel well and happy whenever I’m there, and being an older lady, this is so important. We need to love our life, its the only one we will ever have. I always say, its not a rehearsal, its the real thing, so we should all go for our dreams if we can. So glad yours came true. Take care x

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