Linda Wainwright

I'd never been to the Canary Islands and didn't speak a word of Spanish, but I'd always wanted to live abroad

When the idea of immigrating to Tenerife was mooted in early 1987 I jumped at the chance. I'd never been to the Canary Islands and didn't speak a word of Spanish, but I'd always wanted to live abroad and time was running out. As mother of two young sons I also felt that their quality of life could well be better in Tenerife, especially because my younger son had asthma, and it proved to be true.

My son's asthma almost disappeared for years and the boys grew up living outdoors at every opportunity, and there was plenty of opportunity. When they were small they were always happier in the pool, roaming the "desert" near our home or, of course, on the beach, than glued to the television. I feel they grew up in much more freedom on several levels than they would have in the UK, and both turned out to be competitive sportsmen. They are passionate surfers and these days their enthusiasms run to triathlons or marathons. I also think that they grew up to be more tolerant and have a much wider world view because of being brought up in a multi-cultural/Canarian society.

I became involved in volunteer work which revealed a whole other side of life on the island to me

When my nest emptied I became involved in volunteer work which revealed a whole other side of life on the island to me and, as is always the case, brought me so much more than I gave. I would highly recommend volunteer work as a way of giving back to and becoming involved with a local community. The project in which I was working is wound down now but I'm still involved, to a lesser extent, in other projects.

Another way of integrating in the local community is to sign up for courses. Local authorities, as well as private companies, offer a huge variety in almost every town on the island. Of course you need to speak some Spanish, but it isn't always necessary to be totally fluent, something which, to my constant embarrassment, even after 23+ years of living in Tenerife, I'm not, but it is a really great way to expand ones fluency.

I like to move around a bit ... at the moment I'm enjoying the quirky little resort town of El Médano

So it was that, the volunteer project having wound down, and having been made redundant at the beginning of 2010 I turned to blogging. I'd begun the blog a couple of years before, after getting frustrated at writing repetitive emails to friends and family. So before I could regret it I invested some of my severance pay in a good camera and took a course in how to use it. Then with more time available I decided to explore, write about and photograph the island much more. Even after years of living here I found events, places and traditions I didn't know, and I expect to find more. My blog is www.islandmomma.wordpress.com it's my personal way of looking at life on the island and elsewhere. I like to move around a bit, even from one town to another there are different life styles, but at the moment I'm enjoying the quirky little resort town of El Médano.

 
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