Don’t we all secretly dream about leaving everything behind and moving to a tropical island to live a life full of sunshine, daily strolls along the beach, smiling people and mild temperatures all year long? The only thing stopping you is probably that you find it hard to leave your family and friends behind. But what if the love of your life is living on a tropical island?
Meet Emma and Laurie. Emma is English, Laurie is Belgian. About eight years ago, both girls fell in love with an Ibicenco. And both girls left their respective homeland to settle in Ibiza. They met each other on the island, and two years ago they started a boutique wedding & events planning agency together, called Ibiza Cloud 9. These girls are really living the dream, and we wanted to know what that feels like. So we paid them a visit!
Girls, you both moved to Ibiza eight years ago. What happened in those eight years?
Laurie: I moved here because the love of my life is Ibicenco and he wanted to start working in the family business. So I came over. We got married a year ago (smiles).
Emma: My boyfriend was from Ibiza. We met in the UK and lived there together for a while. But eventually he wanted to return home. So he asked me to go with him. I was ready for a change of lifestyle and always loved to travel so it was the perfect opportunity. After a while we broke up, but I stayed: I fell in love with the island. So I settled here as well.
What do you find the best part of living in Ibiza?
Laurie: The relaxed way of life: the daily pace is very different here. There is no traffic, no morning rush, you can take a siesta in the afternoon, and it is sunny almost every day. I do sports on the beach in the morning before I start my working day, sunset yoga in Hostal La Torre or after a long day of work I walk to the beach and go for a swim.
Emma: The relaxed outdoor life. Being able to spend most of my life outside is a real gift - sport on the beach, countryside walks with the dog & all that outside socializing: I love it. Especially during the winter months when the island is virtually empty and the beaches are just for you!
What is the hardest part?
Laurie: I miss my family and friends and strangely enough this gets worse with the years. In the beginning it was very difficult to make friends as I entered the Spanish ibicenco community and only spoke little Spanish. Most foreigners have a very different experience as they mingle with other foreigners that also moved to Ibiza. This way they become part of a very big foreign community in Ibiza that don´t even speak the language. But for me, it was different since my husband is Ibicenco.
Emma: The adjustment - making new friends, finding a job and learning the language took time and was frustrating initially. I was lucky as I had a Ibicenco boyfriend so I had the support of his family and friends and this helped me a lot. Also understanding the Spanish systems and way of life was an adjustment - sometimes there is no logic so you simply have to accept it, be patient and go with the flow.
What do you miss most from your home country?
Laurie: Family & friends, snowy winters, the “friture” (where Belgians pick up their fries), Antwerp bars where you can chitchat and drink beer all night long. I’m not that much of a clubber, so I miss these things here.
Emma: My family & friends, vintage shops (hallelujah for online shopping!), really good coffee, the city life & good flight connections!
Would you recommend it to other people to move to another country? Laurie: Laurie: Absolutely! You just have to be prepared that it will be difficult for a while to adapt, and the paperwork is mind-blowing (in the worst way possible) but it is absolutely worth it.
Emma: Absolutely, yes! It may seem like a scary decision to make but if you trust your instincts and do your research well, you will have no regrets. Don't let others put you off from following your dream.
If you could do it again, would you do something different?
Laurie: No regrets, everything happened how it was supposed to happen!
Emma: Probably one thing: learning the language before making the move. It would have made it so much easier to establish myself. My move was a last minute decision so I didn't have the time.