Many, many years ago, me and the other half visited the Canaries. Within a few years we had done the major ones – Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura. And I don’t know how you really decide in your twenties where you think a good place would be to retire to, but we settled on Fuerteventura. We loved the sandy beaches, the year-round sun, the laid-back culture, the spirit of the island and the fact Spain (in our minds) was half-way between Greece and England and so it felt like the perfect blend of our histories.
Decision made, we bought a property.
Looking back now, I find it incredible that we even thought like that – I mean we were not long out of uni and had only recently bought our first house.
Anyway, I remember the key thing for us when we were thinking to buy, was of the future when we were old and perhaps a little less mobile. That meant we decided everything had to be easy and convenient, so we bought a place with no stairs, was close to lots of amenities and was low maintenance.
In the future life, we decided we wouldn’t want to be in a remote place. We wouldn’t want a big detached villa that required lots of upkeep. We wanted a complex, a community and to be close to town. Effort and hassle were not part of the equation and so any ideas of big rambling villas and overblown renovation budgets were put to one side for the sake of a) being able to pay down the debt while we were young b) not having to worry unduly about maintenance costs. Lock up and leave was what we were after. And it has to be said, 16 years on, lock up and leave is what we got.
And so today I arrived at my “retirement” home from home. The place where I have been coming for many, many years. And every time, like every time beforehand, I have to pinch myself at how lucky we are.