5 Adjustments to Life in the Caribbean

With moving to an island in the Caribbean, I’ve had some major adjustments to get used to. It’s definitely not all white sands and sunsets. From monstrous bugs, to holding onto the oh shit handles in the car (excuse my language) , I’ve had some comical relief throughout my ups and downs so far. Living here isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you can manage, you can live the Caribbean dream <3
  1. ISLAND TIME is REAL. Being from the east coast, I’m used to a fast paced lifestyle. In New Jersey, everyone is always in a rush, so I’ve had to learn to take things a little more slowly. Well actually a lot more slowly. Moving to the Caribbean means waiting around for everything. This could mean waiting days for maintenance on a leaky pipe, to sitting in a restaurant waiting for a check. I’ve learned that patience is your best virtue here. When someone says “I’ll be there at 12”, what they meant to say is “I’ll be there at 3”. Living in the Caribbean, you need to learn to take it easy, relax, and stay on island time. p.s our pipe still isn’t fixed. 3 weeks and counting. hows that for complaining about waiting all day for maintenance. 😛
  2. Driving/Traffic. This may not apply to all of the Caribbean, but in my city of Santo Domingo it does. Don’t let island time fool you; everyone is in a rush while driving. Traffic jams here are worse than the Meadowlands during a Bon Jovi concert. Oh, and don’t get me started on the potholes. Forget the term potholes, these are ditches. I live in a place where you can forget about anyone following any traffic laws. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if there even are any. The driving and traffic definitely have been one of my major adjustments living here so far. It’s sure to create an anxiety ridden car ride for a while.
  3. Electricity problems. Being from the United States, we definitely take for granted things that other parts of the world do not have. The electricity here is consistently going out. Unless your lucky enough to have a power inverter, you will deal with power outages at least 5-7 times a week for about 10 minutes at a time. Eh, Electricity is overrated though anyway right.
  4. The BUGS! I hate bugs. I don’t know what I was thinking before coming here but when people say the bugs in Dominican Republic are huge, they aren’t lying. From massive spiders to mosquitos, they have it all here. Remember to stock up on lots and lots of bug spray and when you think thats enough, get some more. And well thats about as much time I’m willing to give to that topic !
  5. Language barrier. If youre thinking of moving abroad I definitely suggest you learn as much of the language as you can before arriving. It is probably one of my biggest adjustments so far considering my Spanish speaking is very minimal. The best advice I can give for this is to just fully immerse yourself as much as you can into the culture and get into the nitty gritty of learning the new language.
So although there is an adjustment period living anywhere, if you’re thinking of moving abroad, I say do it. The lessons learned and the appreciation gained far outweigh any of the challenges you will face. Every weekend feels like a vacation here, and that certainly doesn’t hurt either <3

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