From the small park across the street comes a soothing sound from a fountain and a large ficus tree throws a soft shade over the apartment terrace. Between the buildings in front of the house you get a glimpse of the sea and the boats down along the Paseo Maritimo.
On this quiet street in El Terreno Kaveh Kiani lives, just a few steps from the port and biking distance from Palma. Mallorca has been his home since 2011.
– I had never even been to Mallorca before I moved here, Kaveh says. And living here was certainly not the plan. Mallorca for me was a tourist destination, you come here on holiday to get some beach and sun and then you go back to “reality”.
That was the plan also for Kaveh – a short vacation. Mallorca was just a pit stop before he was heading to Barcelona for a job interview.
–I have always seen myself living in a big city, but only after a few days in Palma it just felt right to be here, says Kaveh.
Kaveh still remembers it very well, how he was sitting outside in one of Palma’s many restaurants and felt the vibe and atmosphere of the city.
– I remember so clearly how the feeling came to me, that this was where I wanted to be, Kaveh says. It was a Tuesday, around eleven o’clock at night and there was an entire family sitting in the restaurant terrace. It made a big impression on me. How they go out and spend time together, any day of the week. Grown ups and children all together. It was something completely different from what I was used to, even compared to Barcelona. I felt I wanted that life.
Kaveh has been living in El Terreno since 2013 and loves being a bike ride away from the city vibe.
– There is something charming about this area. There are so many nice little places and bars, he says, and mentions some of his favorites – La Pergola, Art Café and Hostal Corona among others.
– El Terreno is a bit different in a way and yet so close to both the port and the city center.
The apartment has 80 square meters, with two bedrooms, and it has both a small balcony and a private roof top terrace.
– The furniture is not quite what I had chosen myself, but to rent it furnished was the easiest way for me, Kaveh says.
Instead, he has added his personal touch through the decor. Many of the things on shelves and walls are from his travels over the years. A small silver kiwi bird from New Zealand, china from Japan…
– The hookah is a gift from my parents, but it is more of a decoration. I have just used it one time.
Moving from Sweden was something Kaveh had been thinking about for some time. A growing search and longing for something else, as he describes it.
– I had everything I needed in Stockholm. A good job, a car, an apartment… But life was spinning so fast that I did not really feel that I was there mentally.
– The most valuable thing we have is time, you do not have to do anything special with it, as long as you are present. I felt that I was not, he adds.
Today he is working as a business analyst, with business development in tourism and even if the work takes up as much time here as before, life is still something completely different, Kaveh says.
– That ever-present stress … I do not feel it here, he says.
Even though living far away from loved ones can be hard sometimes, Kaveh says time together is even more valuable now. Many of them come to visit and stay for several days, sometimes weeks.
– Of course you miss your family and friends, but on the other hand, when you see each other you spend time together in a different way. You hang out, sit up and talk late at night, go out for dinner, you do things together for days. In the long run, that is even more valuable to me than trying to squeeze in a coffee or lunch in a busy schedule now and then.
Kaveh describes how he found the life he searched for in a place he did not even have in mind, but living in Mallorca makes more and more sense the longer he stays.
–You have everything here. One moment you are having a coffee in the city, the next you are on a boat or hiking in the mountains. It is a mix of sea and beach, nature and mountains and big city and small villages.
For being such a small island the contrasts are big and thanks to the shifting seasons, it keeps on changing.
– During the summer and the peak season there are happenings, events and activities all the time. People come to visit and you get that holiday feeling even if you live here. Then during September and October is still warm and sunny in Mallorca, but it calms down a bit. And now, during the winter you get a little time to recover, he says and smiles.
Although the sun, sea and beautiful beaches makes life on Mallorca something extra, it is the feeling and atmosphere that makes it so special, Kaveh says.
– People here are so open to new social contacts. Palma is very international, and you can really tell. That openness to the world is special, people are curious and open-minded, he says and then continues:
– I came to Mallorca for the sun and the heat, but the warmth of the people is the reason I decided to stay.
Text: Maria Strömqvist
Photo: Ida Carlsson
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