When I first moved to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, I was excited for all the new adventures that would accompany living in a new country. While I'd never been to Mallorca, I'd seen enough pictures to predict that I would spend many of my evenings after work at the beach or, perhaps even, on a boat. I'd heard that finding a place to live would be easy. I talked to a few people on Facebook pages that had lived in Mallorca, and they told me to just wait until I arrived to the island - that I'd find a place within a few days. I had the impression that I would really be living the simple "island life" but my first week in Mallorca wasn't as smooth sailing as I'd expected.
Luckily I wasn't totally alone when I first came to Mallorca - my mom came with me. We thought we'd spend the first few days looking at different flats and then have the rest of the week to checkout the beaches. We made a list of places we wanted to go from all the pictures we'd seen. But, as we all know, life doesn't go as planned.
Within the first two days, we visited 11 flats. They all had problems. One of the first flats we looked at was in a sketchy neighborhood. I knew even if the flat was perfect, the neighborhood was a no-go. Another flat we looked at was a nice two-bedroom, but the bathroom was in one of the bedrooms. I tried to imagine myself living in the room with a flatmate living in the other room. What if my flatmate needed to shower really early while I was sleeping? Or use the bathroom in the middle of the night? "That won't work," I thought to myself.
I really liked a four-bedroom flat in the middle of the city. I met two of the flatmates, and they seemed nice. There was just one red flag - they said I'd only get the key to the flat after I did a €500 bank transfer to the landlord. When I asked to at least FaceTime the landlord, they said she lived outside of Spain (no one could tell me where) and was unreachable. It was a scam.
There was a cute little two-bedroom flat in the city center that I loved. It had a small balcony with a view of the city. Directly in front of the building was a charming café with flowers and a terrace for outdoor setting. I could definitely see myself living in this part of town, in this lovely flat. Unfortunately for me, the owner was looking to rent to someone with a different job description.
I was surprised when more than half of the flats I looked at allowed indoor smoking. I didn't want my clothes to smell like cigarettes, so that significantly decreased my options. On top of that, the majority of the flats had a musty smell that lingered from room to room. I really didn't want to live with mold, but at the time it felt like that was just part of the deal of living in Palma. Someone even said to us, "Don't worry about the mold. If it grows back on the wall, we can just paint over it again."
I felt defeated, and slightly foolish for thinking that I'd find a flat in a few days and spend the rest of the week beach-hopping with my mom!
On the sixth day of looking for a flat, we went for a walk along the port. It was evening time, and the sun was beginning to set. I remember telling my mom, "I feel like I'll never find a place to live. What will I do?"
And she replied, "You will find a place to live. It just might not be what you expect. And, hey, lots of people live on boats. Maybe you can live in one of these!"
We laughed, and she took this picture of the boats. Luckily, I did find a cozy flat in the city center. But... maybe living on a boat wouldn't have been the worst outcome. I mean, after all, I was excited for the new adventures that would accompany living in a new country. And I think living on a boat would qualify as a new adventure, wouldn't you?