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Socio-psychological advice
Having difficulty adjusting to life in the islands?
After the ‘honeymoon’ with living in a new place is over and the endless sunny days cease to allure you as much as they did, the real transition starts.


The  sun, sea and sand are why most people come here, but some are left wondering if there isn’t more to life
The sun, sea and sand are why most people come here, but some are left wondering if there isn’t more to life

line
20.07.2014 - No country or area has it all, and the things that once attracted you to live here can later on be the very ones that drive you crazy.

For example, the fact that life is slower here might also mean that professional services also require more patience.  There is also the fact that things being cheaper here is related to the economic reality of the Canary Islands and that it’s not bustling with job opportunities or an overabundance of wealth.  The word crisis comes from the Greek word for ‘growth’ and, essentially, the transition may force you to grow in a way that good times never will.  

Regardless of any financial concerns, adjusting to another culture is difficult because we may suffer from culture clash, even when initially our new home doesn’t seem so different from our previous one.  Yet, our own culture has taught us that it is the one that does things the best way possible so it is easy to develop a habit of frowning at the defects of another culture and comparing them to the virtues of our own.  When you live abroad this is particularly problematic because it is important to feel at ease with the local inhabitants as this is an intrinsic part of the experience: when we are able to do so, it helps to feel at home here.

Taking Spanish lessons is an essential and practical first step, even though your friends will possibly end up being people that are living a similar life experience or who share your cultural background.  A good idea is to also try to get back to the hobbies you enjoy so as to help you build a solid buffer against bad mood swings and enable to build a social network.

Living on a relatively small island might also make you feel a sense of claustrophobia, and that life is very limited here.  But when you lived back home, how often did you drive more than 100 kilometres away?  Probably not often; it is often the sense that you cannot drive further that feels constraining rather anything else.  Bear in mind there are seven islands with plenty of hidden gems, but we normally only stay on the one we actually live on, so why not go out and explore them when you get the chance.  Plus, with daily flights to the UK and the rest of Europe it is almost like the islands had an air bridge with the continent – the feeling of confinement is just that – simply a feeling.

You may spend the rest of your life here or maybe only a fleeting moment but, whatever the time span, it will not last forever so make the most of what the islands have to offer: since you probably can move out of here if you are determined to do so and more often than not there will be things you will miss.

Build an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for those things that were the ones that made you want to come in the first place.  Feeling fortunate is a great way to help you remain positive, taking the good with the bad, when you find routine and daily problems are making your life gloomy.



Gallery: Having difficulty adjusting to life in the islands?
The  sun, sea and sand are why most people come here, but some are left wondering if there isn’t more to life 
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