Becky Roberts. | Humphrey Carter

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Becky Roberts speaks no Spanish and only vaguely knew Mallorca, having come to Palma on a few city breaks and short holidays to other parts of the island. But she moved to the island just over a month ago and says she has absolutely no regrets - well one, that she did not make the move earlier.

Becky could have chosen anywhere in the world. Having been born in Northern Ireland, where her father was serving with the Parachute Regiment, she then went on to travel the world following her father’s postings.

“I must have gone to 13 different schools in as many countries by the age of nine. I eventually went to boarding school in Bath and then when I left aged 17, I headed to London and decided to start work as opposed to going to university. I managed to find a job with a PR company and over the next 14 years worked my way up to an executive position.

“But having not gone to university and with the opportunity of a gap year to travel, I went off for a while when I was 21 and then again a few years later. When I returned from my last trip, the company said that one of my clients had missed me and suggested that I set up on my own and take the client with me, so I did. I have to be honest, at first the world of public relations is not as glamorous as some people think.

“It’s not easy to get excited about writing press releases about DIY, the latest stationery or office furniture, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and I threw all of my energy into my new venture. I did as much as I could on my own and that is how I continue to work today.

“If a client comes to me, they meet me and will work directly with me. I offer a very personal and one-to-one service. Unlike some of the large PR companies where clients can end up being passed from one partner to another, with me it’s very much a case of ‘what you see, is what you get’.

“The business grew and I ventured out into events-organising. For 18 years, I was on the organising committee of the Pride of Britain Awards for the Daily Mirror, which was one of my clients. That was extremely hard work but very gratifying and great fun and, I guess because of my military background, I also take care of the media relations for The Not Forgotten Association and the Veteran Games, which is between UK and Israeli veterans. They both involve the families of the veterans, which I think is extremely important. Sometimes the wives, husbands and children of war veterans get forgotten and that is a great shame because they also suffer a great deal. So, the next event is in Israel and I hope to get over.

“In the meantime, I have to get settled in Palma. For years I had the idea of moving abroad at the back of the mind, but with all the business I just kept putting it off. But this year I had a big birthday and decided that I was going to make the move, and there was one thing I had to find and that was a city near the sea.

“Palma popped back into my mind, so I came over on a few short visits to have a look around and find an apartment. On my second visit I discovered a great real estate agency which found me a lovely little apartment in the old part of Palma, with the advice that I would be better off with a small place for the short term to start with while getting established and looking for a larger property. I have to say that I don’t miss London at all. Only my friends and my car, but I’ve already had one friend over for a visit and the rest are all queuing up to come over this summer.

“I just love Palma. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. They’ve all said how brave I’ve been and pleased that I’ve chosen to pack up and close down everything I had in London and move to Mallorca.

“The past four weeks have been a wonderful adventure and I’m looking forward to seeing how Palma and the island changes as we enter the tourist season. It’s nice to see it now when it’s quiet, but it’s got to be great fun when the city is buzzing with tourists during the summer. Plus, I’m only ten minutes walk away from the beach; not many cities in the world can offer you that.

“Even though I don’t speak Spanish or know my way around Palma, I kind of like the idea of really starting afresh. I like getting lost in Palma. I know I said I missed my car but living in Palma, I don’t desperately need one. You can walk everywhere. Some of the many people I have met begrudge having to walk 15 minutes across town, but I point out that I used to have to walk that to the tube station and then spend up to an hour on the tube every day in London. So it’s great to be able to wander around Palma, explore all the beautiful and enchanting little streets which are full of interesting bars, restaurants and shops. And I have to say, the food is excellent. I’ve made a point of getting out and about as much as possible and the range of food is amazing, whatever you pay.

“Plus, the architecture is overwhelming, and then you look up and you’ve got the lovely blue Mediterranean sky. That said, I was here last November and it was pretty wet, but I was assured that it was very unusual. Mind you, coming from London a few weeks of rain a year is not going to put me off. I just can’t wait to be able to start getting out of Palma and exploring all of the island’s lovely coves and beaches because I love the water. It relaxes me. It can be the sea or lakes, but I need to be close to the water to be really happy and here in Mallorca I’ve got it all.

“And another very important factor is that I am only a two-hour flight away from London. What became very evident to me during the pandemic was that I could operate my business from anywhere in the world. So I will continue running my business from Palma. It’s easier and quicker to get from Palma to London than it is from London to Manchester for a meeting, for example. So that is another major plus point for Palma - its location with regard to the UK and also other major cities in Europe.

“Right now, my client portfolio is pretty full but over the coming months some projects will come to an end. Then I would like to set about trying to help companies here in Mallorca which would like some exposure in the UK market or the Middle East, where I also have a large client base.

“One of my clients is PADI: the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, which is global. It has nine members here in Mallorca and through them, ever since they set up PADI Travel, I have become very involved in the leisure and travel industry. That is something I intend to continue here in Mallorca and eventually across the Balearics because the islands have so much quality to offer the top end of the leisure market in a range of fields.

“It’s all so exciting. I just wish that I had moved to Mallorca ten years ago. For anyone in the UK or anywhere else in the world who is thinking about relocating to Mallorca, my advice would be get on with it, don’t put it off.

“It’s been a real baptism of fire but I’ve already changed my Facebook page to ‘Becky in the Balearics’."