A week or so ago I was chatting to the brother of mine who lives in the Uk and after my groans about the stagnant feel of the tourist market at the moment and the slowness of work, he said: Oh well, the world Cup starts soon so at least that is something to look forward to, as spoken about on the Tenerife Community
Except that it wasn’t. Well, it wasand it wasn’t, because although I love the World Cup and would gladly watch every single game (in the unlikely event which deadlines permitted), Spain is one of the few countries in the world that’s not actually airing all of the games on free-to-view Tv.
But the World Cup is all about embracing nations in the love of the beautiful game! For God’s sake, Andy, get out of Spain and get back to Britain in which you are able to at least watch the footie! said my bro’. I laughed and clarified that the list of reasons in the for living in Tenerife column far outweighed the ones in the against living in Tenerife column, but a seed had been planted.
Just showing one live game a day and concentrating on Spain performances is indicative of a country that exhibits astounding levels of insularity. Hamstrung by outdated monopolies and an autocratic business culture, Spain has a great aversion to looking outside itself for anything, and best practice’ and benchmarking’ are not just conspicuous by their absence? they are an anathema to Spain. When the majority of the world saw the financial crisis looming and took damage limitation measures, Spain carried on with business as usual which is the reason it is now facing financial melt down. I could go on
A couple of days later Jack and I walked the Chinyero Volcano route for a new walking guide we’re preparing and within five minutes of setting off I’d mentally registered any number of things I loved about Tenerife. The smell of the pine forest; the point that i could see the sea from almost everywhere on the island; the unrestricted ability to walk anywhere I wanted; La Gomera and La Palma on the horizon
Some time ago, when we first set up Tenerife Magazine, Joe Cawley wrote a short piece entitled 10 things I hate about living in Tenerife and clearly it rung a bell with lots of people who added their personal pet hates to the list. So when I got back from the walk of mine, I created a list of 10 things I love about living in Tenerife? mainly to remind myself why it is that I carry on and live in Spanish territory. it’s not an exhaustive list, It’s simply the ones that popped into my head and I’m sure others will have their own reasons that will be nothing like mine.
For anyone thinking of building a new life for themselves in Tenerife, several of our experiences may be of interest, particularly in case you’re not coming out for a sunshine retirement but rather in the hope of making a living. This is a purely personal point of view and one based on being self employed and living in the north of the island. My opinions may not reflect those of others, they’re not intended to, they’re mine??
Later or sooner, the claustrophobia of island that is small living gets to everyone and when that happens, the need to escape to somewhere different is actually hampered by the distance from mainland Europe. Wherever we wish to go, unless it’s one of the other islands or even to the African continent, it’s a 3hr to 4hr flight away. We’re also restricted as to where we are able to fly direct, particularly in summer when the number and range of flights diminishes.
And it is not just travel that makes our remote location challenging. Trying to purchase things online is much more restricted with many places not delivering to the Canary Islands, or in case they do, at inflated p&p costs. Those postal costs apply both ways. We’d to stop selling printed books of one of our guides when the cost of postage doubled overnight, completely wiping out any profit.
When it comes to trying to run a business or perhaps being self-employed, Tenerife would try the patience of a Saint. It is hard to credit in this day and age but many companies still don’t have a website. Some think having a Facebook page is actually enough, and some do not have some web presence at all. Trying to get an email answered on this island is much like waiting for the very first snowfall on Teide, it may or perhaps may not occur. Communications here are still primarily undertaken face to face or over the phone, and in case your Spanish (or perhaps rather, Canario) is not top notch, you’ll struggle with phone conversations.
Should you persevere and get a business together, you will find the tax and national insurance systems baffling at best and economically crippling at worst and you’ll spend half your precious productivity time chasing invoices from folks who may never pay. The yin and yang of this state of affairs is that there are a lot of opportunities to be able to fill gaps in the market, to provide a much better ruxwsc service than already exists or even to launch new concepts.