7 things you should know when you move to Ibiza
Are you dreaming of living in Ibiza? Then this post is just for you. A few years ago we were in the same position that you are in right now. We had a dream to improve our quality of life. We were fed up with cold Holland and we were ready to move to Ibiza, the island that we both love so much.
We’d like to share our Ibiza story with you in the hope that we can inspire you to take action and make your dream become a reality. We are two ordinary people just like you and if we can do it, we know that you can too.
This is what we want you to do next. Take a nice glass of wine and turn off your phone. Because your life-changing journey will start right now.
I (Virgil) was about to move to Hong Kong when I met Marisa. Can you imagine worse timing? Well, I went to Hong Kong to set up a business with a friend, and back then we decided that we would have a relationship from a distance.
After 6 months Marisa said, “this is not going to work. If we want a life with each other we need to live at least in the same country.” And she was right. But under one condition, that we would not stay in Holland.
Can you imagine cold weather and 300 days of grey skies? Don’t get us wrong we love Amsterdam, our hometown, but we wanted so much more out of life than getting out of bed, going to work, having dinner, watching television and going back to bed. Does this sounds familiar?
So we had some decisions to make. Which country should we move to? At the time we were juggling between Bali and Ibiza. Marisa took action by convincing me that Ibiza was the best place to live. I had visited Ibiza once for work; I loved it but i had not seen enough to truly say, “yes! Ibiza is the place.”
We went on a small holiday to visit 5 of Marisa’s best friends who had been living on the island for a couple of years. Of course, we were now both looking at Ibiza through a different lens. We were not tourists any more; this small island would soon be our home.
The moment we set foot on Ibiza soil, it felt like home. If you have made it this far in our story, we are convinced that you have the same feeling. We explored each corner of the island, we made new friends quickly, and with pain in our hearts but with a fire awakened in us, we left to go back home to cold Holland.
It took us 3 years to prepare for our move. Back then there was no information about moving to Ibiza. We needed to find out everything ourselves. But the day came that we made the move and the first time our little green car drove off the ferry in Ibiza town, we had the exact same feeling that we had with all our holidays to Ibiza. Except this time we were not going back to the cold.
If you would like to make the move to Ibiza, you need to know a bit more then the clubs and fantastic beaches. You need to know more about the culture, the social activities and regulations that are completely different than in your country of origin. Let’s dive into some Ibiza facts
Ibiza is a small island located about 60 miles off the coast of the mainland of Spain. It is part of a group of four islands called the Balearic Islands in English, (or “Islas Baleares” in Spanish), which includes Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca & the tiny island of Formentera.
It is just a little less than two hours flying time from the UK and is now served by direct flights from Stansted and Amsterdam Schiphol all year round, as well as by multiple UK airports in the summer during tourist season. Therefore, it’s easy now to get to and from the island even during the winter months.
300 days of sun
Yes you read it right! Ibiza has approximately 300 days of sun a year. That is hard to believe if you are from a country which has 300 days of grey skies. In summer it can be up to 35 degrees.
Winter brings cooler weather but it rarely drops below 10 degrees, even on the worst days, and when the sun comes out in December and January it’s still not unusual to get burnt if you’re not used to it. Winter days of more than 20 degrees are not rare.
The first thing you truly have to get used to is the siesta during the day. Can you imagine week one in Ibiza and you forgot to go to hardware store to get some stuff for your brand new home.
You rush out the house in the car and drive to the nearest store. You arrive and the store is completely abandoned.
Your confusion turns to anger. What’s going on?
Then you realise that it is siesta. It took us weeks to get used to it, but now we are more relaxed and plan our day completely differently.
Ibiza in winter
The winter time is fantastic. More and more places stay open during this time of year. The island goes completely into relaxed mode. Most businesses operate only in the summer season. And although the season seems to get longer every year, winter is the time to recharge and relax.
There are so many social events where you can meet people, get together with the kids, and enjoy your day. This is a great time of the year to actually explore the island, and create some you time.
There are countless activities you can participate in. From beach fitness classes to sunset yoga sessions, dance classes and cookery workshops, to name just a few.
When we moved here, someone told me that Ibiza forces you to let go of the big city mentality, and as hard as it is at times, we’re really enjoying doing that. So, don’t get frustrated with things, enjoy the change of pace!
Lots of people are discovering the joys of working remotely via the internet whilst living here, and some even travel to and from often. The Times Online recently coined the phrase, “The LonZa” (London-Ibiza).
If, like us, you work from behind a laptop and would like to move around, you will be happy to know that there are free WiFi spots in nearly every town and village.
Although most places have WiFi, it’s still good to have your own connection for use in your Ibizan home.
In order to work for a Spanish company you will need an NIE Number which basically is a tax identification number for foreigners in Spain. You need it if you are going to work for a Spanish company or if you are going to buy a house or a car. The NIE number starts with ‘Y’ and is followed by seven numbers and a letter.
When you move to Spain, you must speak the language. To give you an idea, there are 20% expats in Ibiza and the rest are Spanish or Spanish speaking. Can you imagine how you limit yourself when you only work and talk with only 20 % of the island’s population?
So you must learn Spanish, but where do you start? Every Monday we had a Spanish teacher at our house. We had a friend who joined us and the 3 of us were learning the basic grammar and conversation skills.
But that was not enough. The thing with learning a language is that you need to practice every day. And the best way to practice is to speak it. Our golden tip to you is:
Join a Spanish conversation group. Meet up with Spanish people who would like to learn English or any other language. Just go to a cafe and talk away. Make mistakes and learn from each other.
It is way more fun to learn in a social way than stuck in a class. You can find Spanish conversation groups on Facebook or any other social media platform. Or go set up or find your own group at meetup.com. Be creative finding a group on social media and you are well on your way.
Great tools that helped us become better at Spanish are:
- Duolingo Download this app and you will learn in a simple way.
- Babbel.com An online platform that will help you with your Spanish lessons and conversation classes. 🙂
There are loads of apps and programs out there, but we’d like to keep it simple for you. These are the ones that really stood out for us.
The People in Ibiza
The one thing that we love the most about Ibiza is that people here do not judge. They take you as you are. You can make friends very easily.
The island is so small that you bump into each other at opening parties, the schoolyard, social events and birthdays. So even if you are shy, no worries at all, Ibiza will take care of you.
Facebook is the most popular social network on the island, and there are a lot of Facebook groups that you can be a part of to ask questions or to build relationships. Here are some of the most popular Facebook groups for you to start with.
Ibiza is a great place to live, and an even better place to let your kids grow up. The quality of life is so much better than what you are used to right now. The sun will lift you up and will enable you to do great things in life.
Is it easy to move to and live in Ibiza? The answer is no.
There are people coming over without a plan or any preparation and they believe that the island’s good energy and spirit will help them with their Ibiza live. Their adventure sadly ends way too soon.
If you want to succeed with your move to Ibiza, or anywhere else in the world, you need to come prepared. You will need to know your financial situation. You need systems and check lists to make sure that you covered every angle of your new Ibiza life.
Before you get totally overwhelmed, we’ve got your back. We have documented every stage of our move. We will prevent you from making all the expensive mistakes we made when we moved over.
We would like to say goodbye for now with the reminder that everything in life is possible. Take action, be passionate and let us guide you every step of the way.
We’ve created a cheat sheet for you, “ How to find your Ibiza dream house”. Accept this free gift from us to get you started, and we’ll take it from there. All you need to do is take the first step and that is claiming your free cheat sheet in the box below.
We believe that you can do it, only now you need to believe in yourself.
P.S. When you are truly serious about your Ibiza move we invite you to click right here so we can get you started!