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The Tide Has Turned

tenerifeThe Rise of the Expat

When I first visited Tenerife, all the way back in the early 70’s, it was definitely Spain. The people spoke Spanish, the food was very different from the stuff served up back at home and most people living there were- well they were Spanish. Roll on a couple of decades and what do we have?
Certain small urbanisations have a decidedly cosmopolitan feel to them, with no real dominance achieved – a Dane living next to a German, who has an Englishman on the other side, is a common type of situation. Some, normally older, longer settled areas are still Spanish, but some villages are very obviously English and I mean very English indeed. English shops, English run bars (including the occasional full English pub with horse brasses and carpet), English speaking restaurants often showing signs with ‘English breakfast served all day’ chalked up for their non-native customers.
They started coming in small numbers in the 70’s increasing each year till this wave of English speaking immigration finally started to retreat with the economic chaos of the last few years. Many factors combined to create this invasion (for the most part bloodless); cheap wine, high pensions, year round sun, high house prices back home and a feeling among many Brits that things back home weren’t as they used to be. This feeling of a country changing for the worse is a Europe wide phenomenon but nowhere felt as keenly as in Britain.

The Sunny Side of the Street

Urbanisation after urbanisation full of Brits and living as only us Brits can do – without regard to the lifestyle or climate around us. But how things have changed now, the once unheard sound of Spanish is returning, the fried breakfast and pint of lager are now rare, a strange thing is occurring. The Brits are disappearing; not totally but some coastal towns, formally full to the brim with Brits, are either empty of rather more Spanish then they were even a couple of years back.
Rather like a combination of factors causing their appearance a strange combination has caused their disappearance. The cost of living has rocketed, the Euro has made things much more expensive and the fall in house prices back home has made the thought of owning a Spanish home, once within the reach of many, a cause for dreams rather than a real aspiration.
Nonetheless there is a cause for the return of these, not so homesick expats; a cause beyond that of just finance. Simply put many people through countless years of living abroad have come to realise that things can be far from perfect over here, and they have simply returned home to be with the things they know best.



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