As Operations Executive for Menzies Aviation, Sylvia Trost knows a thing or two about travel. Logistically, she has facilitated thousands of flights over the past 20 years, ensuring everything on the ground runs like clockwork. However, in March 2020 when the pandemic struck Sylvia’s outlook changed. The question of being able to travel became a personal one. She was based in Cancún and her elderly parents were in Mallorca, 5287 miles away and susceptible to illness. There was no question of relocating, only the uncertainty of establishing a new life on the ground.
Slowing down in Santa Cat
Like many romance stories, Sylvia was born out of a love between Germany and Spain. Her Mallorcan mother fell for a German artist and followed him to his home country where Sylvia spent her childhood. In her youth, she backpacked extensively and eventually landed a high-up position in aviation. Today, Sylvia lives a slower life in Santa Catalina with her husband Angel in an apartment just minutes from her parents’ house. “At 86 years old and during Covid times, you can imagine I was really worried about my parents,” she says. Sylvia and Angel own several properties in South America and before moving to Mallorca knew there would be a difference in price, but nothing like the numbers in Santa Catalina. “It was a real shock at first coming from South America and seeing the prices. For 400,000 euros you can get a palace there,” she says, showing us around her apartment. Her love for Latin culture is everywhere in her cosy two-bedroom property which overlooks Palma Tennis Club. Colombian coffee with hints of orange is on the boil and bright Mexican prints fill the space.
Some personal insight
Sylvia’s apartment was relatively straight-forward to purchase thanks to the professionalism of real estate agency, Cinco Islas. Some renovation had to be done, but Sylvia comfortably oversaw this via Whatsapp. “A lot of my friends thought I was crazy organising a renovation without being here, but I would never do something without a personal recommendation,” she explains. This prompts her to offer some of her own advice. “I wouldn’t recommend buying anywhere without central heating,” she says, recalling from personal experience. “Location as well is crucial. It’s noisy in Spain. Consider your neighbours and think about where the nearest bar is,” she says laughing. “It’s like a bunker here, but head two streets in that direction and it’s rowdy.” Sylvia is happy in Santa Catalina but reflects on the local property market and how the island has changed over the years. “I love Mallorca, but as a jet-set destination I do see properties getting more expensive,” she says. Having bought properties in Ecuador, the cost of difference in Mallorca might be great, but Sylvia maintains that quality of life and being close to her parents matters most. “There is a luxury in looking after the ones you love,” she concludes, pleased to have flown 5287 miles to have, for the first time, her feet firmly on the ground.
Text by Rosie Foot
Photos by Sara Savage