On a quiet street, on a hill next to the Sóller bay, there is a yellow house surrounded by trees and climbing green ivy. Ida Edström waves from the steps outside and leads the way into the home which she shares with her boyfriend, Jorge Garcia.
It is a light and welcoming apartment with three bedrooms, a terrace with sea view and a quiet patio at the back.
It is starting to get really warm in Mallorca, and some rays of sun find their way through the tree branches next to the large terrace.
– It’s getting a bit too warm now, but during the spring I was sitting here on the terrace, working, Ida says, and describes the surreal feeling of replacing her work in Sweden with an outdoor office with sea view, palm trees and the sound of birds chirping.
Ida and Jorge, who is originally from Mexico, met in Sweden in 2014 when Jorge was working in an architects’ office in Malmö.
– When we moved in together, we were working full-time and living in a studio of 25 sqm, and we both felt we wanted something different, Ida says.
– We were dreaming of living somewhere else, Jorge adds, and Ida nods in agreement.
The thoughts of change were constantly present, but it was when they went away on a long trip that things actually started to happen.
– We went to a wedding in Mexico, and when we got back to Sweden we quit our jobs, Ida says with a smile.
Their vacation had given them a new perspective, and they finally had the time and the possibility to really think things through. It made them see what they wanted most in life – to live in a beautiful place with better weather and a warmer climate.
– We came back home determined to design our life according to those criteria, Jorge says.
Mountain biking has been a big part of Jorge’s life, and he loves being outside, something that he did not feel he had enough time to, in the life he was living.
– I was so tired of the office life. Every day, I was dreaming of being back on my bike, Jorge says.
The dream was to be able to work with his passion, so when he found a mountain bike instructor course in Whistler, Canada, he knew exactly what he wanted to do, and Ida was on board. And so they took the first step towards their new life.
During that same period of time, Ida had started her own recruitment firm, 6Degrees, with two of her old colleagues, specializing in headhunting within IT and technology. And thanks to the arrangement between the three of them, Ida was more or less location independent.
During the five weeks of Jorge’s course, they enjoyed their new life and the fact that they were finally on their way, without really knowing where they were headed next. Where would they live?
– I wanted mountains and Ida wanted sea, Jorge says and laughs.
They were thinking of Italy, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Mallorca, just to mention a few. Jorge was applying for jobs as a mountain bike instructor all over Europe, and the first one to say yes, that was where they would go. And one day he got a positive response – from a company in Mallorca.
– I was so, so happy! Mallorca was my first choice, Ida says.
The reason they set their sights on Sóller and Port de Sóller was mainly because it was convenient for Jorge to be close to his work, which is located only three minutes away by bike. But both Ida and Jorge were completely taken by the beauty of the little village that was about to become their home.
– It was such an amazing feeling, seeing Sóller for the first time. The valley, all the orange trees…it was so incredibly beautiful, Ida says.
The feeling of seeing the apartment for the first time, on the other hand, was not as intriguing, and it was a bit of a shock when they stepped over the threshold.
– We are pretty spoiled when it comes to the standard of apartments in Sweden. We set the bar quite high, Ida says with a smile, and adds that it was a bit hard to feel at home in the beginning among the old Mallorquin furniture and cold tile floors.
– The first week we went to buy new furniture and new things to decorate it with. I wanted it to feel like our home as quickly as possible, she says.
And with time and love, it became both beautiful and homely.
Although the apartment itself did not really impress, both Ida and Jorge were completely taken by the beautiful nature and green surroundings in Puerto de Sóller. As for Jorge, who had never been to Mallorca before, their new home was more than he could have wished for.
– When it comes to mountain biking, Mallorca is really special, he says. The terrain is rocky and the surface is loose. It’s more technical and challenging than people are used to, and that’s what makes mountain biking in Mallorca so great.
Ida and Jorge moved to Mallorca in the spring and got to see how the shifting seasons can turn a quiet island into a vibrant summer paradise.
– During springtime it’s so calm here. I remember how I went for a run on the beach when we first moved here, and I didn’t meet one single person, Ida says.
During the summer, activity increases and a lot of tourists come to relax on the beach, eat in one of the many restaurants on the promenade, walk along the waterfront or take the ancient wooden train to Sóller and the tram to the port.
– There’s no party at all, just more people. During the summer they come here to sunbathe, and during the quieter season there are more outdoorsy people who come here to hike or go cycling, Ida says. And we are really good at finding our own little hideaways.
They have been out and about, exploring the area and going on excursions, and have found a little hiding place that is even prettier than the rest of them: a viewpoint in the mountains overlooking the beautiful bay.
– It’s breathtaking. Every time I go there and see all the different coloured flowers, the beautiful old houses and the verdant nature, I just can’t believe I live here, Ida says, and puts her hand on her chest in a grateful gesture.
– So many people think Mallorca is just a tourist destination, but it’s a nature paradise! It’s truly an oasis of outdoor experiences.
Text: Maria Strömqvist
Photo: Ida Carlsson