Although Gran Canaria is nothing more than a destination to many people, somewhere to spend a sunny week or two, it has become home to other tourist-turned-residents like myself.
People who simply visit the island for a week of good weather once a year think they know how it must be to live there but life in Gran Canaria is very different to what a lot of them assume.
When I used to work in the harbour I would get endless families coming up to me sitting at the fishing sales desk to say, “oh you live here do you?” (after establishing that no, I didn’t fly home to England and back every day) “how lovely, it must be like being on holiday all the time.”
In one way you can forgive them for this ill thought-out plan. After all, good weather and the sun are very much part of the Canarian lifestyle, which is why you can plan an outdoor event without having to put those dreaded words “weather permitting” at the end of your invitation.
You can choose pretty much any day of the year to lie on the beach or swim in the sea (or at least stroll along the beach without getting frozen). But life in Gran Canaria is very different to taking a long holiday and there is more to becoming a local in Gran Canaria than simply buying a one-way ticket instead of a return trip.
Matthew Hirtes was kind enough to allow me to read his new book ‘Going Local in Gran Canaria’ and I read this with relish, eager to find out how his experiences compared with my own. I also read the book in one sitting – not because it’s especially short (it isn’t!) but because it was very entertaining.
What to Expect
Matthew gets the mixture of useful factual information and personal anecdotes just right, balancing what you really need to know before you move across to what life is really like as an expat, answering with good humour and accuracy all those questions you have in your mind about whether to make the move and what to expect once you’re there.
The book talks about how to enroll your kids in a Canarian school, how to set up your own business, how to get to grips with the language, and much, much more.
So whether you are considering a move to Gran Canaria or you simply enjoy reading travel books which are well-written and full of fascinating facts and stories, ‘Going Local in Gran Canaria’ is sure to capture your interest and give you plenty of food for thought. It’s a must for anyone who loves the island of Gran Canaria and dreams of moving over there for good.