After exploring St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau (posts to come), my partner and I envisioned ourselves living in the Caribbean. When we returned to Canada, my partner stumbled upon a job opportunity in Grand Cayman that suited his qualifications. He applied and received a call less than an hour later. A month later, we found ourselves planning a trip to scope out the island and see if we could make our dreams a reality.
The weekend was wonderful. We were fortunate enough to be able to see Stingray City – Grand Cayman’s most popular attraction and explore the entire island.
Soon, we found ourselves scoping out apartments, renting out our house, and then on the flight to our new home.
The first couple of weeks were a blur. We had shipped a container with our belongings and things hadn’t exactly gone smoothly. Setting up a bank account and our utility bills proved to be more complicated than it is in Canada. The cost of living was incredibly high and converting what remained of our savings into Cayman dollars with our unfavourable dollar was unpleasant to say the least. Somehow we managed to unpack our bags and found some time to get to the beach and relax.
Working 6 days a week is no easy feat, let alone when you’re trying to get your bearings in a new environment. The extra few hours on a Saturday morning is not ideal, but we can swim on a paradisiac beach and enjoy an authentic mudslide under a palm-thatched hut.
After about three weeks, I found myself longing for home and wondering how I was crazy enough to leave Canada. I had never felt so homesick before. Daily Skype calls with family and friends got me through this crazy week.
Through the frustration, we learned to go with the flow. Island time is a real thing in the Caribbean. There is no sense of urgency and customer service seems to be nonexistent in many places, but the people are friendly and generally welcoming.
We met some friends through a co-worker who have significantly helped our transition into the Cayman lifestyle. Having social support has proven its importance when living as an expat in paradise.
So far, our experience hasn’t been the sunshine and rainbows we were hoping for, but we are finding a way to have a blast.
No, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side but it’s always greener where you water it.