Remote work on a remote island

Living on Gran Canaria as a digital worker.

Ferdinand Vogler
Aug 3, 2017 · 3 min read

Maybe you’re thinking about trying that Digital Nomad lifestyle you’ve heard about. Tired of the cold winter months? You see pictures of people sunken into comfy chairs at the beach, laptop on their knees and a cocktail to the right. And you’re still in Europe!

Here’s my summary of a month in the beautiful city of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. These are my impressions and tips for you if you’re planning something similar. Of course you don’t want to fry in the sun all day but really use this change of environment to create.

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View with a desk.

Connect with locals and expats

I think it’s easiest to connect with people through sports. On Meetup you can find a lot of groups for all kinds of interests. During my stay there were weekly volleyball and football teams playing at Las Alcaravaneras beach. If you’re into Crossfit I recommend you check out CrossFit Las Canteras. All coaches explained the workouts for me in English. After totally exhausting yourself you can jump right into the Atlantic which is more or less at the gyms doorstep.

Thursdays are usually reserved for Tapas night in Vegueta, the old town of Las Palmas. A bunch of bars are opened, the narrow streets are packed with people. Tapas are small snacks from which you can choose right at the bar. For a few euros you can try different things in combination with a drink. I very much enjoyed La Azotea de Benito, a rooftop bar with a stunning view over the historic buildings of Vegueta.

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Giving my “Busyness ≠ Business” speech at TheRoof.

Organize events yourself

To become better at something, start teaching others. You might think that you have to become an expert first to “be allowed” to share your knowledge. In contrast to the worlds best you probably consider yourself a bloody beginner — but what kind of unrealistic standard is that? Compared to people who want to learn your skill you’re already an expert. You can already make an impact. Go out there and start your own tribe.

Since I’ve been doing speaking workshops in Switzerland, I started Las Palmas Public Speaking which quickly grew to 50 members. Over the course of a month I moderated four events at Las Canteras Beach. Participants would try out games and methods to improve their public speaking skills. At the end everyone had to deliver a spontaneous two-minute-speech about a topic I assigned them.

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Public Speaking Workshop at Las Canteras Beach.

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