Pete the Pool Man who changed everything for me

Apr 01, 2022
ONE LIFE Swimming Pool

Just a shade after the millennium on a baking June afternoon, I’ve got my feet up, cold beer in hand, watching a yacht anchored in the azure waters of Cala en Porter.

I’m listening to the pool man gently whistling the chords to Chan Chan . . . and my back to work blues are kicking in big style.

Two weeks in the clifftop villa have flown by.

You know what it’s like, the first week on holiday is dreamy, you unwind as everything slows down and moves at half speed. The beer tastes better, the food is sublime, the evenings go on forever to the sounds of the cicadas…

But reach day 8 and time starts disappearing quicker than those Cervezas…

What I would give to stay right here, forever. To not have to fly home tomorrow, back to work the next day, making small talk about how good my holiday was...


Pete the Pool Man has moved on to ‘Dos gardenias’ and he’s sounding way too happy. It’s time for a chat…

As I wander up poolside, the man who’s browner than a berry greets me with a big grin.

I hadn’t really spoken with Pete, we’d just nodded and said hello, so it was time to find out his story.

After the pleasantries, I asked him; “How the hell did you end up living out here?”.

“Not much too it. Came out here on holiday, loved it, went back home, sold up and came back.”

Along with his missus of 15 years, they ran a small Pool and Villa Maintenance biz. They rented a cracking little apartment about two streets away overlooking the Cala - and right next door to my favourite bar/restaurant.

“Been out here for 10 years now and it’s the best thing we ever did” he told me.

Back ‘home’ he’d had a big job at the council and his wife had worked as a nurse. Mortgaged up the hilt, everything on tick, they were fed up with the long hours, crappy weather and as he put it; ‘shite politics’.

So they sold every thing they had, moved to Menorca and burned the boat.

“Weren’t you scared about giving it all up?” I asked him.

“What’s the worse that could happen? We don’t need much so we’ll never go hungry or want for a roof over our head - cheap as chips out here lad.”

Didn’t I know it.

With a sly wink, he packed up his gear and stepped back into his flip flops.

“See you next year Andy?”

Boy that stung. Next year?

He was right though, that’s how long I’d be waiting to the next summer holiday.

Last night of the holiday can be bitter sweet. You know the gig, you either party your brains out and fall onto the flight the next day like a zombie. Or you find yourself a nice spot with some chilled vibes, grab a cold one and contemplate your next move.

Option 2 it was.

Pete the Pool Man has a lot (of good) to answer for.

After that last conversation with him, I decided that come hell or high water I was jacking in the day job and moving out to the sun.

I didn’t know what it looked like or how I would do it. After all I was going back to my shiny shoes, boring suit and naff BMW which needed paying off.

But Pete had done it, he’d made it happen and was happier than a pig in the mucky stuff.

That man inspired me to make a huge change in my life. I hope I did him some justice by emulating him.

Granted I went to live in Australia first which hadn’t been part of the plan. But eventually I ended up where I wanted to be, living by the Med.

Okay, so I’m not a pool man, I run a different type of business or two, but I reckon I’m as happy as Pete. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll get a chance to see him again, shake his hand and buy him one or two of those ice cold beers.

I’m a great believer that opportunities happen at intersections.

Had I not met Pete, not taken the initiative to have a chat with him (most people wouldn’t), maybe I’d still be in my crappy job.

Certain people come along in our lives to inspire us, our job is to recognise it and do something with it.

When I met the pool man he had the simplest yet most rewarding life. Yet at the time it seemed impossible to achieve for myself.

But all it needs is committing to the vision and taking the first step towards it.

The thing is today, it’s never been easier to create a mobile lifestyle. Back then, things weren’t really online yet, whereas today it’s an open market for those who want to turn their idea or passion into a thriving online business.

The barrier to disrupting your ordinary, busting out the day job and living life on your terms has never been lower.

Who or what is your inspiration, and what are you going to do about it?

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