Below are some of the keys that I shared with Tom regarding what it takes to move to Paradise. After you review my suggestions, I welcome any of your experiences.
I told Tom that more people have moved to “Paradise” full time, only to leave disappointed within months, compared to those who have successfully completed the transition. The reasons are many. For a starter, the word “paradise” is misleading: “Paradise” is not a place, it is a frame of mind, and one person’s paradise is anothers “empty lot”.
Here are some of the reasons why a transition to living in Paradise doesn’t work:
- Not doing enough research and being unprepared for all the adjustments you will have to make. There are a lot of them.
- Not realizing that each island is unique and picking the wrong one. Dominica is night and day to Aruba.
- Taking way too many of your current possessions. Unless you plan to move with only what fits in your suitcases you will find moving your personal and household items to the Caribbean to be one of your biggest projects, and an expensive one.
- Not clearly understanding such things as the amenities of a home requires some adjustments – opened windows and doors, all tile flooring, the impact of going in and out of air conditioning, and even dealing with humidity and bugs.
- The setting in of homesickness for your familiar past lifestyle.
- Missing family and friends could also be the culprit, or it could be, and often is, simply that not enough time was given before deciding whether or not it was a move that suited you.
We have made many moves in our lives: from Southern California, to Geneva, Switzerland, to Tornonto, Canada, to San Francisco, and to the Virgin Islands. And, the most difficult one of all these moves was to “Paradise”. It was difficult because of the dramatic change in lifestyle compared to the other amazing places we have lived. AND, we absolutely love it, but we have to instantly go into the “Island mentality” when we get off the plane at Charlotte Amalie.
If you have a list of ten things to get done today, just plan on getting only one or maybe two at the most completed. “Paradise” is just different than any of your world metropolitan centers. The key word in Paradise is “SLOW”! Move slow, sail fast! That is truly the mantra of the Caribbean. It suits us to a tee, but the reality for us is that we are only there part time, because of our other home being in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of our friends who have successfully made the move to the Caribbean take breaks from “island life” several times a year. However, the longer they have lived in the Caribbean the less they leave the islands.
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