Retiring to Tenerife

Tenerife bus

There are as many reasons for moving to Tenerife and stories behind doing so, as there are expat residents on the island. This is my story about how we came to live in Tenerife.

I am a widowed pensioner with two offspring, a son, with three sons of his own and a very adventurous daughter. Personally, I have always felt the pull of foreign lands. But till my daughter reached the age of 15 years they were just pipe dreams.


My daughter was born two days before Christmas 1963. In my eyes she was perfect. She was a pretty uncomplicated child until she turned 15 years then except for a few glitches her adventurous spirit began to show itself. By the time she was 18 she was living in Hong Kong. I sat back amazed that I had given birth to her. Not only is she beautiful but also she is clever beyond her years. In her time abroad she has taken on many varied jobs of work and made successes of them all.

I have followed her career with interest. While she was in Hong Kong I went over at least once a year for my holidays. I found the pace of life there very fast and I was usually in need of a holiday by the time I got home to Scotland. In 1997 she moved to Thailand, I had a couple of wonderful holidays there. I loved dirty old Bangkok, the island of Ko Samed and the smiling people. Thailand truly is the land of smiles (sadly, less so today) and it was there I first seriously entertained the notion of retiring abroad.

Getting Itchy Feet

In the meantime, my partner and I came to Tenerife for a niece’s wedding.  My niece is Belgian (but that is another story) and her husband is Canarian or to be more exact Tenerfeño. They now have a lovely little girl called Ornella.

Not long afterward another niece got hitched in Tenerife.

My partner and I came over for both weddings and we thought what a beautiful place Tenerife was. We wondered what like it would be to retire here. In August 1999, we finally took the plunge, selling our assets in Scotland and moving permanently to Tenerife.

I put the blame for us even thinking of pulling up sticks firmly at the door of my adventurous daughter. For if she had not shown us just what could be done with some determination we would not be here.

We immediately fell in love with the island and all its microclimates. The plan to come here to retire took quite a time to develop. We came back over every opportunity we had. We came for Christmases, New Years and Easters.

We asked my niece Connie to help us find a small apartment in a nice complex. This she duly did and we went ahead and bought a studio in Costa del Silencio in the south of the island. We bought the studio in 1997 in preparation for our retirement in 1999.

Don and I have been here for a few years now and don’t regret the decision to come here to stay. We love the weather here for although the seasons change, a winter’s day here can be as warm as a summer’s day in Scotland. The sun and heat suits us. Our life is quite laid back; nothing is done in a rush. We seem to have gotten to know more people in a few months than we did in a lifetime in Scotland. Perhaps it’s the tropical climate that puts people in a friendlier frame of mind.

In the year before we moved here I was very nearly in Tenerife more than I was in Scotland. Since moving into the studio, Don has made considerable changes and we now have a bedroom – all be it a small one. When the opportunity arose, we also bought a second apartment for letting to holiday makers or family when they visit.

My wandering daughter also surprised us all by showing up for a holiday in Tenerife in 2000. While here to everyone’s astonishment, she fell pregnant. After twenty years in Asia, where it seems she had given up hope of ever hearing the patter of timy feet (and I had long stopped thinking of her presenting me with any grandkids), she ended up expecting a baby in Tenerife after being on the island less than three months. Perhaps there is something in the water, because eighteen years and two babies later she is still here.

While I miss my son and his family, I do travel to see them once a year. He also comes out to Tenerife regularly. We are after all, on 4 hours away from the UK here. The fact that my daughter settled here to raise her children is a delightful bonus.