When I was in university it was my dream to do a study abroad program in Spain, particularly Barcelona.
It was feasible at first, when was wasn’t sure what major I would choose. But once I got into the last 2 years of uni, and solidified that I had wanted to do journalism, it all but shot that dream down. Sure they had study abroad programs in Barcelona, but they weren’t in my field of study. (And it makes sense because I would have had to write articles in Spanish.)
In the end, as some of you may already know, the choice was between England and Australia and I picked the latter.
No regrets. I had a great experience in Oz and I don’t know when else I would have made it so far. Plus I got to cross 2 bucket list items off and I think it is what really started my desire to live overseas. I don’t think the weather in England would have given me the same feels. (And I suspect the work environment wouldn’t have been nearly as nice.)
Still, my dream of going to Spain never died. Yet somehow in all these years of travelling, even doing my Europe trip in 2015, I never managed to make it. I never put my finger down on the map and said — it’s time.
Tired as I might be from moving around with all my belongings, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. And I’m glad I didn’t.
I’m writing to you from Ibiza island, which is one of the Spanish islands that sits in the Balearic Sea. If you’ve heard of it, it’s probably not for the right reasons. But there’s more to this island paradise than night life and EDM.
We managed to get a stay at a lovely villa on the far side of the island, nestled between hills and following an extremely winding road that will surely give you motion sickness if you dare look down. The house is built as most of them are, with rounded edges, flat roofs and painted bright white with wooden accents. It boasts the Mediterranean style of architecture that is eerily similar to the adobe houses built by the Native Americans who settled in the Western United States. This building style has long been a favourite of mine, so needless to say I am enamoured.
But I knew I liked it here from the moment I stepped out of the airport.
That’s usually how it goes for me. I always know if I will like a place once I exit the airport. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for it to grow on me (like Phuket), but most of the time it doesn’t. Most of the time I’m correct. But I always try to give places a chance. Of course, there are some that are neutral. Sometimes I neither like or dislike a place. But if I ever feel like I could live there, that’s not neutral. And that’s how I felt about Ibiza. I realised it when I started looking up Montessori schools. And to my surprise, there’s not a single one on the whole island. That could either mean opportunity, or it wouldn’t work out.
Regardless, I’ve been enjoying my time. We have slow mornings, home-cooked meals, and space for yoga. It’s just us out there in the wide open space, and that is a welcome change from staying in small flats above busy roads in a bustling city, or staying in a camper with little access to food and water. I felt at ease almost immediately, and took comfort in knowing that there haven’t been tens of thousands of other people staying in the villa before us.
The more of these experiences and exposure I have, the closer and closer I get to solidifying and identifying all the things I need in a place where I will choose to settle.
Now, I can only hope such a place exists.