You will find expat communities all over the world, either built of the same foreign nationality or multiple nationalities. Either way, it is a community built up of people who are not native to the location they have chosen to live. British expats are on the rise with more people choosing to live abroad. Some people move to more exotic locations like Thailand whereas others stay closer to home, Spain for example. The eight months I have lived in Tenerife have made me realise how perfect and easy the island is for British expats to come and make their life here.
With a huge British tourism industry on the island, it’s easy to come by a job… and you don’t even need to speak the local language! I am here working for a tour operator but there’s also plenty of opportunities advertised in clubs and bars out on the strip, British restaurants lining the resorts and even working in various different areas of the excursion industry from commercials, bar staff, guides and even performing. The variety of jobs here on the island are huge and (for the moment at least) with our EU passports, they’re easy to obtain.
With some jobs, you will strike gold and get accommodation provided for you. If not, you will find plenty of other expats looking for roommates to share the rent. If you live right on the coast, this will be more expensive for you to live but still roughly the same prices as cheaper locations back in the UK. The further away from the coast you live, the cheaper rent gets.
No need to worry about the language barrier as here it is not as severe as other expat destinations because a lot of the locals speak fluent English. In general day to day, you will pick up enough Spanish to get by and be polite, plus, if you want to become fluent, it’s the perfect place to learn and practice as you’re living amongst the locals. Let’s not lie though, sometimes it is just nice to hear a familiar language which in Tenerife, you’ll hear all the time.
If you want to experience the true Canarian culture and live like a local, you can do this. Exploring the island, going to local restaurants etc and perfect ways to experience Canarian life. If you obtain your residencies, you’ll also get island wide discount at a lot of attractions. However, if you find you fancy a taste of Britian, there are plenty of British bars, shops and restaurants where you can pop into for a pint and a Sunday roast.
As well as the more local shops you’ll find, you’ll also find familiar shops like H&M and in the capital, you’ll even find a Primark. In terms of grocery shopping, you can pop into Mercadona to get some cheap essentials but fancy a sausage roll or some Cravendale milk, you’ll find Iceland’s in the South of the island to grab some imported British goods.
We all know Britain in terms of weather. Dull, gloomy and rainy are a rarity here in Tenerife with the majority of the year being constant sunshine with very little rainfall and perfect tanning temperatures even during the Winter months.
COMMUNITY AND THINGS TO DO
A lot of British expats here know each other through work and various other connections. They love to socialise and are a friendly bunch. There are also events that happen throughout the year which bring people together. A particularly good event venue is Showtime. Usually, Showtime hosts an entertainment show called The Sound Of Musicals which is geared towards and sold to holidaymakers. However, every so often, you find Tenerife Comedy Club is held there with acts brought over from the UK, the occasional British band performing and this year, they even had The Dreamboys. You can spend your day off at the water park and the beach or you can even pop to the cinema to watch an English movie with a different option on offer every week.
Tenerife is a location where you can experience both local life whilst still having the familiar taste of home life too. You’ll interact with a vast mix of people from fellow Brits to local Canarians and even other nationalities who make this island their home. You can often try the lastest Canarian trend while the next day enjoying some home comforts. It’s a great place to set up your life abroad if you fancy a nice, easy middle-ground rather than diving head first into a brand new life and culture.
All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.
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