White sandy beaches and glistening turquoise sea? It’s easy to see why the Caribbean appeals to so many people who choose to make the daily grind a thing of the past and island life their home.
Besides the beautiful weather and idyllic scenery, there are many reasons people choose a Caribbean lifestyle, so here’s a few reasons why you might want to make a new life for yourself near the equator.
There are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean Sea – some big, but the majority small – meaning that there is a variety of different cultures you’ll find throughout the region; with 28 islands classed as nations. No two islands are the same, and you’ll find bustling local communities wherever you go; each with their own local lingo, daily rituals and way of life on the go.
There is no denying the natural beauty of the Caribbean, and luckily the lifestyle is just as dreamy. Forget the hustle and bustle you’re previously used to, as your new lifestyle will be full of relaxing moments, whether it’s at the beach, exploring the rainforests or enjoying the glorious weather.
Island life will be vastly different to what you’re used to if you have lived in a small town or village before. It’s likely everyone will know everyone and everything living in such a small community.
While you could argue small-town living has its drawbacks if the rumour mill goes into overdrive, living among such a close-knit community can help you to make friends quickly ensure your neighbours are always close by.
Established Expat Community
The Caribbean is the expat dream so you can expect to find plenty of residents and citizens who weren’t born there, but now call the place home. This is due to the rise in Citizenship by Investment programmes which offer investors the chance to acquire a new citizenship.
“Countries offering Citizenship by Investment programmes, and in particular those of the Caribbean, are constantly improving the vetting of their applicants to remain leaders in the investor immigration market.” Comments Micha-Rose Emmett, Managing Director at CS Global Partners.
A Slower Pace
Island life isn’t like living in a bustling city where everything is available instantly; a much slower pace of life awaits you in the Caribbean. Great if you’re after a dramatic change from what you’re used to, not so great if you don’t like waiting around.
Many islands rely on goods being shipped from other nations or the United States, so you may find that items are often delayed due to poor weather or the right infrastructure not being in place. It’s not uncommon to walk around a supermarket and see empty shelves when deliveries are missed – so stockpiling your food cupboards may be a good idea.
Eating with the Seasons
When shipments don’t arrive you’ll end up relying on the local produce available. Not only is it cheaper to eat locally – as there are no import costs added on to goods – you’ll also enjoy fresher and more delicious local delicacies. Whether it’s fresh fruits and vegetables or fish that’s been freshly caught that day – nothing can compare to fresh, local food.
Lots to Explore
Antigua has 365 beaches so you’ll never have to visit the same beach twice in a year if you don’t want to. Barbados is only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, so you could easily explore the island on foot. The Waitukubuli National Trail is in Dominica which is around 115 miles long and travels through local villages before ending at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We’ve already mentioned how laidback life in the Caribbean is, which leads us on to the next point – island time does exist! Locals aren’t used to the fast pace that many of us have become accustomed to over the years; so, embrace the fact that not everything has to be done on time. You’ll soon realise that the world won’t end if you’re a few minutes late.
The weather isn’t always delightful in the Caribbean, with hurricanes and tropical storms a big threat to local’s businesses and homes. While you may receive a warning if a storm is due to hit, you’re often left at the mercy of the weather. Always take professional advice; if you’re asked to evacuate an area of the island then do so immediately.
Miami is your Shopping Destination
Depending on which island you chose to live on, you’ll probably find clothes shops in short supply. The shops you do find will often largely cater to tourists or have high shipping costs attached to the price tag.
Miami is one of the closest and largest shopping destinations near to the Caribbean. There are several outlet malls in Miami which were built to cater specifically to Caribbean residents. So, you may find yourself hopping over for a day trip to shop until your heart’s content.
The Caribbean is the mecca for those wishing to lead a luxury lifestyle and while you may have to make a few adjustments to get used to your new way of life – you certainly won’t regret it.