Although we’re a tourism website, we’re often asked for help and advice by people planning on moving to Lanzarote. You’ll find good information here. Relocating to Lanzarote.
But what are some of the pitfalls? What mistakes should you avoid? This isn’t about putting anyone off moving to Lanzarote, but it’s intended to open your eyes to some of the realities those of us who have made the move, have faced.
Not having enough money
Although the cost of living here is lower than in Northern Europe, it can take some time to find work, you’ll need to budget for a deposit if you’re renting, and you’ll probably have to buy a lot of “one-off” stuff, which isn’t worth bringing with you from your home country. Our advice is to arrive here with at least six months “living” money saved up.
Not realising what it means to have no support structure
At home, you will have had friends and family a reasonable distance away – people you can bounce ideas off, have a laugh with, and with whom you can share any problems. It can take a couple of years to build up those kind of relationships in your new community, so those early years can feel lonely.
Not setting visiting friend’s expectations
As you’re saying good bye to your friends and family “back home,” you’ll tell everyone to “come and visit us soon.” And they will! But the problem is, they will be on holiday, and they will want to eat out and party every night. If they’re staying with you, there will obviously be some disruption in your routine. It can be a real pain. Set their expectations early by telling them you’re “living” now and not on a permanent holiday.
Not speaking any spanish
You can manage without Spanish when moving to Lanzarote, assuming you live in one of the resort areas. But trust us on this – life will be 100 times easier for you, and so much richer, if you can at least speak a little of the language. Make learning some basic Spanish part of your planning, and read local websites in Spanish every day to start to pick up vocabulary.
Not Knowing The News
In a similar vein, if you watch television from your home country and read your home country’s newspapers and websites, don’t be surprised if you “don’t know what’s going on” in your new country. Make the effort to be in touch with what’s relevant here in Lanzarote, rather than constantly focusing on the issues of the day in your old one.
Thinking living here is the same as being on holiday
Life in Lanzarote is a very different proposition from being on holiday here. For a start, everyone we know who is successful, works very hard. Day in, day out, in the heat. Striding down The Strip in 40 degree heat to get to a meeting is a very different proposition to sitting in a bar, watching the world go by, as you sink a cold beer and plan your next dip in the ocean to cool off.
Understanding that borrowing money isn’t that easy here
For a start, we have less of a credit culture in Spain than many northern European countries. But you also need to remember that your credit rating effectively starts over when you move. So if you do cock up on the budgeting front, it can be hard to get a quick loan or overdraft to help.
Thinking moving to Lanzarote will solve existing problems
Some people move here to reignite a failing relationship. Some do so because they are simply unhappy with their lives. It almost never works. Adding the stress of an international move just compounds the problems and almost always ends up making things worse.
Not knowing that you will “hit the wall”
It’s happened to every single person we’ve known who has moved here, and yes, it happened to us. At some point after your move, usually somewhere between 3 and 6 months in, you’ll hit a wall and ask yourself if you’ve made a huge mistake. It happens when the novelty and excitement of living here starts to wear off, and the irritations of not being able to speak the language, of not understanding some of the bureaucratic processes here, start to outweigh the joy of waking up to sunshine every day. And this is before you’ve had a chance to build your new network of friends.
One of two things happen – you’ll either give up and head home, and we’ve seen that happen to quite a few, or you’ll break through the wall and come out the other side much stronger and ready to really start your new life in Lanzarote.
But for many people…
Moving to Lanzarote is the start to a very exciting new phase in their lives. We’ve been for more than 20 years, the kids grew up here, and we have never regretted making the decision to make Lanzarote our home, because that’s what it is. Home.
Also read: 8 tips for getting a job in Lanzarote.
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