Ben is a social media star, creator manager and influencer who has lived on the island for the past five years. He moved here when he was just 17, and his latest TikTok post promoting the delights and wonders of Mallorca attracted 1.2 million views and it is still trending.
“I had been in the UK for a few weeks and was due to fly back from Manchester, so I decided to think of some content and produce a TikTok. And with everyone struggling under the weight of the cost-of-living crisis and trying to pay the bills while hunting for cheap holiday deals, I decided to think out of the box and highlight a day trip to Mallorca. Google has just produced a report claiming that the average cost of a good full English breakfast is 12.50 pounds, which I have my doubts about, so I thought right - can I beat that by flying to Mallorca for breakfast? Ok, I slightly went over budget. I spent £4 for the train from Preston to Manchester Airport and £12 for a return flight on the same day. So the total came in at £30.45, which still beats the price of breakfast in some fine-dining establishments - plus I got the added joy of an adventure.
“The total cost is still cheaper than some breakfasts in the UK and it shows people they can save money if they’re more creative. Even if that means your local store is a Waitrose and you get a bus and go further afield to Aldi, it can save you £30 - that sort of thing.
“I’m not encouraging everyone to come to Mallorca for breakfast but to think more.
“And before I knew it, I received a call from a press agency in the UK. We had a chat and all of a sudden it was picked up by all of the national and regional newspapers in the UK, a few TV stations and also a number of foreign publications. Yes, there were a few negative comments about how much my taxi cost from the airport to Palmanova, but little do people know that public transport in the Balearics is free at the moment; a few even pointed out that chips don’t come with an English breakfast! But on the whole it was well received, over a million people have watched it and it’s still trending and I think, I hope, it’s opened people’s eyes. Not only to what good value Mallorca has to offer, but also by thinking out of the box a bit. There are some great adventures and experiences which can be enjoyed on a budget.
“I love Mallorca, that’s why I moved here and it’s now my base and I’ve produced a whole series of TikTok videos over the years about the joys of living in Mallorca. Another recent post was about my life and experience and how much it costs me to live on the island compared to the UK and all the wonderful benefits that come with it, such as being 10 minutes from the beach or the mountains and the city buzz of Palma.
“For me, Mallorca is the hub of Europe. I grew up in Fleet and both of my parents worked for British Airways, so all of our holidays were long haul to the States, Canada or Barbados. But we had some friends who lived on the island and we came down for a holiday and I couldn’t believe that just a few hours flight from the UK was this wonderful and amazing island called Mallorca. I fell in love with the place and decided it was where I wanted to live.
“It was a real eye-opener for me. Having come from a rather small town, I didn’t really appreciate that Britons actually lived abroad, or at least I had never met people who did. I came to Mallorca and saw a great mixture of a deep and fascinating place, a beautiful island and such an international community with great infrastructure. I was immediately hooked and despite having spent just a week on the island I was so sad to go home to the UK; I decided that I wanted to return.
“At the time I was still a teenager and I met people my age who would walk home from school on the beach. How crazy is that? And there were so many mixed nationalities with all different stories about where they came from and why they were in Mallorca. Talking to their parents broadened my mind towards what the island had to offer - English schools, great health service, a first class quality of life and lifestyle. To be honest, when I started thinking about my friends from school in the UK I realised how boring they and their lives were; it certainly was not what I wanted.
“So, I sold everything I had in the UK, my car - I was learning to drive - everything, and moved out to Mallorca with just a couple of grand in my pocket. My parents didn’t stop me because they thought I would get over it in a few months and return home. Well five years later I’m still here and setting up my own TikTok branding and production agency.
“While I guess the foundations for my TikToks are about Mallorca and therefore promoting Mallorca - be it city life in Palma, the party scene in Magalluf, the cool vibes of Puerto Andratx, the wonders of Soller, the mountains, the great views from Formentor and all the wonderful coves, bays and beaches in the east and south of the island, it’s never ending - it’s about how I enjoy the island, it’s my personal experiences and I have a solid audience of 600,000 on TikTok, with 13.5 million likes, and over 15,000 on Instagram and it’s constantly rising.
“Then I go off centre and produced the ‘Man spent less than £15 on flying to Mallorca and paying for full English breakfast’, as one of the British tabloids headlined it and attracted well over a million views.
“I have a rising number of brands as my clients and have been travelling to various parts of the world producing content for my TikToks. I’ve also been called in to help Visit Coventry, Visit Dubai and Saudi Arabia and the variety of brands which want to feature in my TikTok posts is not only growing but also becoming more varied.
“As a creator I think I’ve found my passion and having worked as an actor with small parts in TV and film productions such as The Crown, Downton Abbey the movie, the live-action version of Dumbo and the latest edition of the Kingsman series, I’m confident in front of a camera and know how to communicate with people.
“Another thing I’ve discovered about Mallorca is that while some people enjoy living here because it is like a home-from-home with great shopping malls and all the trappings of living in the UK without the dreadful weather and having to spend hours stuck in traffic on a daily basis, you can create and develop a new existence in the more rural parts of the island and really get integrated in the culture and the way of life.
“My main aim, I suppose, is to open people’s eyes and get people to think out of the box more, especially in the UK. One thing I’ve realised since I’ve been living here is that back in Britain too many people have so many reasons why not to do things.
“They may have desires, grand plans and dreams but they never come off because they’re too concerned about the negative side of things, so they don’t do it. What I want to show and prove is that it can be done. I’ve done it and I did it at an early age, while helping people navigate round potential hurdles and challenges. I remember getting my resident permit and paperwork in order, it was all so easy.
“All this I put on my TikTok posts - the challenges I had faced in leaving home and moving to Mallorca as a teenager, sorting out all the paperwork and the various loopholes which can help to make life easier. Before I knew it, I had received three million views and this changed my path.
“I not only continued to document my life’s experiences but also explore Mallorca. For example, with my friends we filmed short videos of an empty Magalluf and then began to venture out round the island, to the markets, local villages, to highlight the great beauty of the island, its attractions, hidden gems and its culture. And being a resident proved vital during the pandemic. I was in the UK for a short period during the lockdowns, but I got to the point that I couldn’t take any more, I had to get back to Mallorca and, fortunately, being a resident I was able to eventually fly back to the island,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of taking a chance, taking the jump.”
To watch Ben on TikTok, visit @beninternet
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