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A Lot Of Thought Is Required If Moving To The Caribbean

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By Author: Ms Denise Jackson
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Moving to the Caribbean is not something that is to be undertaken lightly. Whether your family is relocating to Jamaica, to St. Kitts, to Grenada, St. Lucia, Guyana, Trinidad, or any of the other islands, it is still a long way from home – or at least what may have been your home for many years and you have come to think of as home – and there is a lot of work and thinking involved.

In fact, the more you think about it, the more you might decide that it simply isn't worth the hassle and it is better to remain in good old Blighty rather than go through all the trouble. Then again, when you think about the amazing weather, the white sandy beaches, and the totally laid-back way of life, you will probably consider that it really is worthwhile after all. When it gets to that point, you then need to sit down with a notepad and make a very long list of all the things that you need to take into consideration and the things that you need to do.

First and foremost is to think about what you want to take with you and what you can do without. For instance, for many people a major issue is their car. Do you take it with you or do you sell it and buy another when you get there? Is it worth the cost of shipping it in the first place? Car shipping costs start at around £1,100 for a family saloon, and around £1,200 for a 4 x 4. What is the cost of a new car on the island to which you are going? Can you buy the same model you have, or don't they have those imported there? Already you can begin to see how difficult this can be.

Can you take your dog or cat with you? If so, does it have to be quarantined? If that is the case, how much does that cost? Will the dog or cat adapt to the weather? If you can't take the dog or cat, what are you going to do with them? Send them to a relative? Take them to the RSPCA? It can get very difficult and can also be very distressing.

Then there is the question of finding work, and that is a big question. Many of the islands prefer work to be given to their own inhabitants and won't allow newcomers to take jobs that have not first been advertised to locals. Only if the employer has not been able to fill the vacancy with a local will they be allowed to take you on. (There are a few key exceptions, such as doctors and engineers, but not very many).

Then again, many islands only want people who can look after themselves financially and/or require you to pay a large sum in order to gain citizenship, which you have to do if you want to stay there for more than a certain length of time – usually three months. That's OK if you have a spare £25,000 you don't need, but how many people have?

So despite all this, you decide that you are going to go and you put your home on the market. You knock a little off the value for a quick sale, but for some reason nobody puts in an offer. The date of your departure is getting nearer, so what do you do? You are very shortly going to be several thousand miles away.

Let's say you are going to Grenada. Lovely island, known as the "spice isle" for its' numerous nutmeg plantations. (Great, if you like nutmegs). You will need a shipping company that is familiar with shipping to Grenada and not all shipping companies will be. This is because all the islands in the Caribbean have different rules and regulations regarding imports. Some will allow certain things in while others won't.

You can readily begin to see that moving to the Caribbean is not quite the piece of cake that you might have thought it would be. Yes, it is a great place, and the weather is very different from February in the UK, but you really do need to sit down and think about it carefully before taking the plunge.

W. I. Freight is a shipping company that specialises in helping people who are moving to the Caribbean and has been doing so for over 50 years. Its' friendly staff is familiar with all of the import and customs regulations for each of the different islands.

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