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Posts Tagged ‘vacations’

It was a tough decision to make and an even tougher one to enforce, but the sad fact was, after five years living in Tenerife we simply could not make ends meet and it didn’t take a genius to figure out why.

Fun at Carnaval with The Largies

We’d had a ball. We’d been blessed with visits from more friends and family than we could ever have imagined when we packed our cases and left the UK. And we’d had real quality time with them, not just a night out or dinner or even a camping weekend, but entire weeks, often a fortnight and sometimes even three weeks at a time. Long days on the beach, picnics in the forest, Carnaval nights, cavorting in the crater – we’d introduced so many people to the delights of the Real Tenerife and naturally, they were hooked and wanted more.
But each time they left, we had to work like demented beings to catch up with our work and we could never get ahead of ourselves.

With nephew, Liam at the Fiesta del Carmen

As we faced Christmas 2008 with just €49 in the bank, money owed from features written which was now almost certainly never going to materialise and savings that were dwindling faster then the snow on the Cumbre, Jack calculated that, out of five years, we’d had 16 months of visitors. That was 16 months of earning less and spending more.
We had to face reality.
If we didn’t knuckle down to building this business, within five months we were going to have to sell up and move on.

When you’re faced with that kind of a scenario, it becomes easier to make the tough decisions.
We declared 2009 ‘The Year of No Visitors’.
Giving out the news was difficult. It felt like we were telling people we didn’t want to know them anymore and we very nearly crumbled and gave in, knowing what the consequences would be. But then we checked ourselves and realised how stupid it would be to lose all of this just because we didn’t want to hurt or offend anyone. How very British of us!

Hiking in Teide National Park with Sarah

So we held fast and apart from the occasional one-night stay by Jo en route to or from her home on La Gomera, we’ve been a visitor-free zone for 12 months.

And has it made a difference? Well, for one thing, we’re still here.
For another, we’re now earning more money than we ever have since we moved to Tenerife and for the first time, this month our bank balance has actually gone up instead of down. That statistic alone is enough to send me into whoop whoops of joy and I’m tempted to pop the cork on a cava!
We’ve got more work than we can comfortably handle, which is great because we both work best when stretched to well beyond comfort levels and for the bonus ball, we’ve started to get a bit of a social life too.
This year we’ve actually made new friends on Tenerife.

The only trouble is, although The Year of No Visitors is over, we can’t go back to where we were before. We’re working flat out to finally get ourselves established here and we’re not willing to put that at risk. Besides, in six years of living here, we’ve never actually had a holiday; we’ve just shared other people’s.
So we’ve declared 2010 The Year of Our Holiday. Of course, I haven’t broken the news to friends and family yet…

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I’ve recently found myself ‘hooked’ on TripAdviser forums, scanning the entries for new questions or new responses to ongoing sagas.

Of late, we’ve had people asking where they can get ‘good English food’ when they’re in Tenerife, whether it’s true that there’s a Marks & Spencer in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and if so, where it is, where they can watch football while they’re here and whether anyone knows if there’s a “nudist swimming pool” anywhere (not a nudist beach you understand, a nudist swimming pool).

And the one that’s really got me resolved to break this newly-formed addiction on the grounds that, like Eastenders, it’s just too depressing to continue watching, is the couple from the USA who are looking for a ‘budget’ holiday in Tenerife.
They began by asking (reasonably) what the quickest route from the south airport to Puerto de la Cruz was. Local ‘experts’ gave them directions and told them the journey would be 50 mins to an hour, less if they wanted to rent a car on Tenerife. The couple responded with apparent horror at “such a long journey”(presumably no-one in Wisconsin would dream of driving that far…yeah, right) and asked if anyone knew of cheap accommodation in the south. They very specifically wanted a room in a family house or a pension with the emphasis on cheap and specified that they wanted culture, not swimming pools and local, not International cuisine.
Patient responses gave advice, an assortment of web addresses and suggestions about keeping away from the main coastal resorts and going instead for more rural accommodation.

Last night the US couple said they’d resolved their problem and had booked an apartment in Costa del Silencio ( a purpose-built tourist resort on the island where Tenerife culture is conspicuous by its absence) where they would be staying for the whole week and incidentally, did anyone know where they could get to see some good Flamenco while they were here!

I despair!
Does nobody whose planning to come here want to see the Real Tenerife??!!!

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