A week or perhaps 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’s something to look forward to, as spoken about on the Tenerife Forum
Except it was not. Well, it wasand it wasn’t, because although I love the World Cup and would happily watch every single game (in the unlikely event that deadlines permitted), Spain is one of the few countries in the world that’s not actually airing all the video 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.
Only showing one live game a day and concentrating on Spain performances is actually indicative of a country that exhibits astounding levels of insularity. Hamstrung by outdated monopolies and an autocratic business culture, Spain has a complete aversion to looking outside itself for anything, and best practice’ and benchmarking’ are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 exactly why it’s now facing financial melt down. I could go on
A few days later Jack and I walked the Chinyero Volcano route for a new walking guide we are preparing and within 5 minutes of setting off I had mentally registered some number of things I loved about Tenerife. The smell of the pine forest; the fact that i could see the sea from almost everywhere on the island; the unrestricted power 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 brief piece entitled ten things I hate about living in Tenerife and clearly it rung a bell with lots of individuals who added their own pet hates to the list. So when I got back from my walk, I put together 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 the head of mine and I’m others which are sure will have their own reasons that will be nothing like mine.
For anyone thinking of making a new life for themselves in Tenerife, some of our experiences may be of interest, especially in case you are not coming out for a sunshine retirement but rather in the hope of making a living. This’s 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 meant 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 isn’t only 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 even if they do, at inflated p&p costs. Those postal costs apply both ways. We’d to stop selling printed books of one of the guides of ours when the price 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 tough to credit in this day and age but many businesses still don’t have a site. Some think having a Facebook page is enough, and some don’t have any web presence at all. Trying to get an email answered on this island is similar to waiting for the first snowfall on Teide, it may or even may not happen. Communications here are still primarily undertaken face to face or over the phone, and in case the Spanish of yours (or rather, Canario) isn’t top notch, you’ll have a problem with phone conversations.
Should you persevere and get a company together, you will find the tax and national insurance systems baffling at best and economically crippling at worst and you will spend half your precious productivity time chasing invoices from people who may never pay. The yin and yang of this state of affairs is that you can find lots of opportunities to be able to fill gaps in the market, to leave a much better ruxwsc service than already exists or perhaps to launch new concepts.