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Posts Tagged ‘Moving to Tenerife’

“Sweet dreams are made of this.
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the World and the seven seas;
Everybody’s looking for something.”

If you’re thinking of moving to Tenerife, ask yourself this; “What am I looking for?”

We were invited to a barbeque last weekend, in an exquisite contemporary villa in the south of the island. It was a sumptuous feast and we met lots of new people, some of whom had re-located relatively recently to Tenerife.

During the course of conversations, it was interesting to find out what people were doing; what their expectations were of life on the island and how long they saw themselves living here.

Playa de Las Americas where life can be very good indeed

Playa de Las Americas where life can be very good indeed

Some had grown weary of the demands of life in consumer Britain and had traded long hours in an office for endless days in the surf. Others were investing time and money in setting up new businesses on the island and hoping to combine quality of life with entrepreneurial success.
So far, it seemed like life was living up to expectations for them.

Coincidentally this weekend saw our neighbour Jesús leaving the island and heading back to the Basque Country. It’s doubtful that Jesús will return and it was strange to hear him telling us on Sunday night that he was finally able to see that Tenerife hadn’t been right for him. It was as if he couldn’t see what was in front of his face until he’d made the decision to leave and then the veil was lifted.

We’d often joked to Jesús that he had the money of a pauper and the lifestyle of a rich man, spending all day every day playing golf to the detriment of his wallet, his social life and his health. It was clear to us that Jesús was stagnating in his casita at the bottom of our path but he couldn’t see it until he went back to the Basque Country for a holiday, got some temporary work as a masseur and realised how much happier he was working and socialising.

It got me thinking about what it was that Jack and I had been looking for

Life in the sun, sea and sand in El Medano

Life in the sun, sea and sand in El Medano

when we left Britain and whether we’d found it.
In terms of getting out of the rat race and spending time together in a beautiful environment in which we could spend most of our lives outside, there’s no doubt we’ve achieved that.

We never moved here with the intentions of getting rich – we had enough of that cycle of earning and spending in Britain – but what has been far more difficult than we predicted has been the ability to make a decent living here. To some extent that’s to do with adjusting our expectations; Jack has adapted much better than I have to the vagaries of getting work and the even greater unpredictability of getting paid once you’ve done it. But I’m getting there.

My choice, though clearly not everyones

My choice, though clearly not everyone's

The people I spoke to on Saturday agreed that, having made the initial move from the UK, they wouldn’t hesitate to move again and that’s important to know if you’re scared of leaving everything you’ve ever known; it doesn’t have to be a one way ticket.
For us, when the time is right we’ll simply sell up and move on, but it’s unlikely to be back to the UK if we do. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and you never really know a place until you’ve spent some time living in it.

Of course, the other thing that separates Jack and I from many of the Brits who re-locate to the island is the fact that we have chosen to live in the north, which for some, would just be a step too far but for us is because we’ve chosen to live in the real Tenerife.

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It seems that, despite the economic gloom and the pound’s freefall, 3 million Brits will still be escaping the cold and heading overseas for some sadly missed sunshine this Christmas. As always, according to ABTA, Tenerife will be one of the most popular destinations for them.
Unfortunately, as Secret Tenerife reports, Tenerife has just had its coldest autumn for 15 years and is about to have its coldest winter in years too.

A sun soaked Tenerife beach

A sun soaked Tenerife beach

Of course, it’s all a matter of what you’re used to. When the thermometer drops below 22°C here, all the locals and ex pats don their woolly sweaters, socks and boots and look askance at the visitors in their shorts and T shirts. The visitors in turn, think the locals are ‘loco’. But one thing that makes more of a difference than anything is the appearance, or not, of the sun and for the past month or so, Tenerife has been decidedly low on its usual quota of sunshine.

After the appalling summer in Britain this year, your heart has to go out to people who have recently come to Tenerife in search of R&R with a tan and are finding as many cloudy days as sunny ones.
It’s a perennial worry for holiday makers and one which pre-occupies them in the run up to their one or two hard earned weeks.

But for those of us who live here, short spells of bad weather are never a problem, we know the sun will be back and we’ll still be here to see it when it does, a fact that brought many of us to Tenerife in the first place.

2009 is just around the corner, time to resolve to do things differently or in some way improve your life in the coming year. Well, for all of you who, like us, decide that it’s time to leave the bad weather, the ailing pound and the stress of trying to keep your head above water in rip-off Britain and head to Tenerife’s (normally) sun kissed shores, here are a few pointers that will help you to get the best possible start to your new life:

Firstly, you’ll need a copy of ‘Tenerife Lifeline’. This book tells you all you need to know about creating a home, working, taxes, health, education, the law and government. I only wish it had been available when we were planning our move out here, it would have made life very much easier.
Secondly, you’ll need a reliable Estate Agent, one who can offer advice and information as well as a portfolio of properties. Horizon Property Group is the largest independent estate agent in the Canary Islands and will hand-hold you through the whole process.

Thirdly, you’ll need ‘Going Native in Tenerife’ to give you the full low down on all the main towns and villages on the island, the culture, the fiestas, the food, the shopping and tales from other ex-pats of their Tenerife experiences.
Finally, you’ll need to stay in touch with everyday life on ‘the reef’ by keeping up to date with the island’s best English language websites:
Secret Tenerife – wit and wisdom on everything Tinerfeño
Etenerife – holidays, business and life in the south of the island all wrapped up MyTenerifeinfo – location reports, golf, nightlife, hotel and restaurant reviews
Canary Green – how green is our island?
and of course Real Tenerife Island Drives which takes you away from the usual resorts and shows you the ‘real’ Tenerife.

Here’s to 2009 and your new life in the sun!

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