These are the tales we don’t want to read because they make us think. An epidemic of ‘moving on’ stories have come my way and they have an effect on the lives we have grown to love in Mallorca.
In the European world the ‘baby boomers’ have enjoyed free passage all over the place and extended travel became the norm. From holidays to work related conferences and relocations, we enjoyed it all. There are many stories of those who arrived here on holiday, married a local and stayed. Others came here in the tourism world as reps and enjoyed it so much they made their home and future careers here.
‘Young at Heart’ was a programme which kept hotels open all winter with older people from the UK. Full board and entertainment kept them here for three months at a time while they avoided the winter back home. This went on for years until there was a drift away from cheap winter holidays and a concentration on more lucrative deals in high end hotel in the main season.
Mallorca changes with the fiscal winds which blow. It was also subject to the enormity of world events such as the financial crash around 2008 and the last two years of Covid. Covid has had a collective, plus a deeply personal, effect. This is what we are seeing, right here and right now.
Social media is full of people selling their furniture and things they will not be taking with them. I met a couple this week who had largely furnished their very empty flat from the ‘give aways’ from a returnee to the UK this week. Lots of kindness and lots of tears going on.
This local lady, after 25 years here, is returning to a UK she no longer knows. All the reasons she came to Mallorca for are gone. Her husband has died and her family have not been able to visit with their own complications of Covid. She has a grandson she hasn’t seen and she has missed her two granddaughters desperately.
For her there is no contest and nothing to keep her here. She will miss her friends but the clubs she was part of have not been able to meet for the past 18 months and she has experienced great loneliness. She feels she will be starting again socially, so she might as well do that near her family in the UK.
Another ‘Moving On’ story is from a young man whose family have owned a house here for years. He is selling on behalf of the family because the price he can get for this right now is the best it’s been for years. So many want to get here on the ‘Golden Ticket’ which means they have to spend around 500,000 euros on a house or business to get the benefits. He loved his life here but has great plans for his share of the house purchase price. He can see a future with his money back in Scotland.
‘Moving On’ story number three is of friends who rushed their papers and their house purchase through before the Brexit deadline. Quick decisions made have not proved to be at all successful. They haven’t unpacked half their boxes as the reality of what they have done became apparent.
They had lived under the radar here for years and decided to legalise their paperwork before 31 December 2020. They are only now understanding the financial and tax implications of all this. They are moving back, attempting to cancel their residency in Mallorca and relocate back to the UK.
The in-box of chatter gives more stories which more or less fall into these three categories. It is Bill Webb and his team of removers who could tell us more of this phenomena. What it actually means for Mallorca is that a day is coming when we will count the cost of who has arrived and who has left.
The knock on effect for businesses as experienced staff leave is already being felt. For Churches, clubs and organisations they are definitely feeling the pinch as people are not financially supporting them at this time and they provide little in the way of a social life at present. The loneliness for many is a big part of the decision making process.
The flip side of course, is that new house purchasers, and those currently moving here bring with them excitement, money and change. The future is not bleak, it is just different and we will miss some of our old friends…