Living in Tenerife – 8 years and counting

Well it is 8 years past May since we made our big move to live in Tenerife. It has not all been plain sailing, we have had our ups and downs, but survived to tell the story.

When we first arrived we took a few months to get to know where everything is, where to shop etc.Then we started looking for work, the work here is casual and seasonal usually, very hard to get a proper job ( like you would have in the UK ) but we knew this before we moved, and to be honest we only wanted to work part time doing something we enjoyed,we were not looking for a career we did that in the UK.
About 7 months after we arrived I got a job as a waitress bar person in an Irish bar, having said that I had a couple of jobs before that, one selling sun lotion, but it was only commission so not good.Another in a restaurant where you were expected to do everything including cleaning toilets, mopping floors as well as serving customers for below the average wage, so did not last there, the overall atmosphere was tense.
I worked 30 to 36 hours in the Irish bar, really enjoyed it ,at end of day you could walk away, with no worries. Great atmosphere very happy environment to work in.
After easter my husband also started at the Irish bar, he too enjoyed the work. Although I worked the day shift and my husband worked the nights, we managed, because he only worked 3 nights, I worked 6 days, but because it was in the same bar we saw a lot of each other.
We worked in this bar for the next 4 years, during that time we were even able to save a little.
But sadly it came to an end when the owners had to give up the bar,they returned to the UK and we were unemployed.
We were in the recession like everywhere else. not many bars surviving, no jobs available, we were unemployed for 18 months.
My husband became unwell, he had a few TIA’S, so unable to work anyway, a difficult time for us.
We could not get unemployment benefit because the owners of the bar left without giving me the appropriate forms for to claim. You only get what you pay into the system here. However my husband was able to get his private pension from the UK through ill health, so although it was a small pension, we were able to pay the bills. Before he got his pension we were thinking we might have to sell up and go back to the UK but neither of us wanted that.
I had a few casual jobs but nothing on a regular basis.Last year I covered from my friend in a bar,she was going back because her daughters were both having babies.I worked 4 nights a week, and we again had enough money to have a day out a week. When my friend came back I thought I would be out of work again but the owner decided to split the hours between us, so I have a job for the next 8 months.
Despite all that has happened I still love it here, everyday I get up, walk on to the balcony look at the view and think how lucky I am to be here.
We are not materialistic I like things because I like them or they mean something to me or somebody gave them to me not because everybody else likes them or they are fashionable, or expensive. My apartment has very few ornaments as they just collect a lot of dust here, but what I do have is the things that have meaning around me, a picture my granddaughter did for me when she was 5, some art work of my eldest daughter, a gravy boat that belonged to my gran, to name but a few.


  1. What an interesting story, bravo for your bravery! I moved to Egypt from America after meeting my new Egyptian husband online, so I definitely understand the ups and downs you go through, and the happiness you feel every morning when you wake up and find yourself in a place you love!

    • Glad you enjoyed it I love to read other peoples stories.You also were very brave, glad you are enjoying your new life.

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