Jussi & Jurgen | From 9-5 jobs to Ibiza

By Stephania Karathanasi

Always be on the look-out for your next opportunity.



Jussi: I studied graphic design, photography and Media & Information management. Right after graduation, I started working as a social media manager for a big online retailer but after 1,5 years I made the conscious decision to quit. I have a Mobility Syndrome which means my muscles and joints are constantly stressed and sore. I had to stop working and was eligible for welfare.
Jurgen: I was a high flying beach club floor manager until I got involved in a scooter accident. That changed our lives completely. I had to have multiple surgeries, suffer lasting brain damage and had to stop working. 






Why wait until retirement to move to the place you love?

Jurgen always wanted to move abroad, but his accident had put those dreams on hold.  We got married in 2013, and spent our honeymoon to Ibiza. We fell in love with the island and decided we had to take the plunge. We returned home and started the process of everything we needed to put in place and arrange for the move.  A bit more than a year later we packed our things and moved into our temporary house on Ibiza.


We live efficiently and are both very resourceful.

When we decided to make the move, Jurgen spent a lot of time researching  various websites, Facebook groups, making price comparisons to figure out what our new life would cost us. I started setting up my business as a freelance social media professional, ensuring I would have enough business so we could have a basic income when we decide to move. We found a house in Ibiza that fit our requirements and we managed to negotiate a lower rent by paying in 6-month terms instead of monthly. We buy second hand clothes, produce and making our own furniture – we enjoy it and it means we can make our money go a long way.


I no longer stare at a screen 40 hours a week.

I now work as a freelance media writer and social media manager for various clients through my company Jussi Megens Online Media. I am lucky enough to have a good network through which I get my work. Most of my new clients find me through Instagram, LinkedIn or word of mouth here in Ibiza. I no longer stare at a screen 40 hours a week. Our life here revolves around each other, cooking, living outside and very soon our new baby! Our attitude to life has definitely changed. People in Ibiza are never in a rush, always take the time to chat, to smile at each other. That has rubbed off on us and this lifestyle suits us so much better.

The new Adventure – Casa Volar Ibiza
From next season (2016) our dream is coming true and we will have a big family house (8 bedrooms) in one of our favorite areas of the island. It is a place where we want to live in tranquility surrounded by a big piece of land where we will grow our own veggies and herbs, host long evenings with food, fire and music. Keep a close eye on our Facebook page (link at the end of this article).
One thing we really don’t miss about living in the Netherlands is the culture of fear. Fear of not fitting in, fear of not making enough money, fear of making the wrong decisions. We now live in the moment and see every day as a gift and a new adventure.




The summers in Ibiza can get a little crazy with the amount of tourists. We love the winters, the peace and tranquility. When it’s just the locals - that’s when the true spirit of the island is strongest. Leaving behind family and friends is not easy but an inherent part of emigrating. Unfortunately, there is no other way with this new life(style) we have chosen. We have lost a few friends over the years, but the most important ones will always remain, distance doesn’t play any role in true friendships. Learning Spanish is still something we haven’t mastered yet, but we are trying hard. Our first year here has flown by with settling in, visitors and my pregnancy. With the baby coming soon this is absolutely something mandatory for us to focus on in the next year. 



1. Dive in the deep end. What is the worst that can happen?
2. Live for your own happiness, not for the happiness of friends, family or anyone else. 
3. You can live with less money than you think - creativity will get you a long way.
4. Prepare to make sacrifices to achieve your dream. We take on all sorts of jobs to make money and save.
5. Always be on the look-out for your next opportunity; can you turn your jam making hobby into a small business?




Stephania Karathanasi Guts & Tales

Written By Stephania Karathanasi