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Some Things You Need To Know Before Moving To Jamaica
If you are thinking about moving to Jamaica you are not alone, but there are some things that you should know before you decide to take the plunge. Some people go there for the island lifestyle on their retirement which is very laid back. If you call an electrician and he says he will be there tomorrow it will probably be this time next week. Nobody rushes about in Jamaica, which is one of the reasons that many people like it.
This is similar to the occasion at the beginning of the 1980's when I moved from Bromley, in Kent, to the village of Biddenden in the Weald in the same county. The distance was only 45 miles, but the pace of life was just so much slower. On the first Saturday morning I went to the village greengrocers (there were only three shops in the village) and there was a queue of people waiting to be served. The greengrocer, Harold, and his two staff were serving, but as they served each customer they stopped and had a chat about this and that, even though there was a queue! When it was my turn to be served, Harold served me and then had a chat.
It took a month to get used to the idea that this was the country, and this was how it was. And it is so relaxing! Six months later my wife went back to Bromley to visit a friend and when she came back at the end of the day, she said there was no way she could ever live there again. "They're all running about like ants!" she said. That's the difference, and it's the same in Jamaica.
Some other things you need to know about relocating to Jamaica include the fact that if you are going to live there you need a Jamaican passport, or a Visa, a work permit, or a letter confirming that you have employment there. If you arrive as a visitor you can apply for an Extension for up to 60 days, but you have to supply a letter stating why you are seeking an Extension. If you are married to, or getting married to, a Jamaican National you can apply for an Exemption, as you can if you are a direct descendant of a Jamaican National.
Something that you should consider if moving to the island is the cost of furniture. You are probably going to be better off shipping your own furniture to Jamaica rather than buying it there. It is extremely expensive and there is not a very great deal of choice. For instance, the cheapest bed that you can buy there is about £650 or so which is a lot more than in the UK, so shipping to Jamaica may be the best choice.
Another thing to think about is bringing things with you that you don't need and leaving things at home that you do. If you talk to expats there, you will find that this is quite a common subject. One said that he wished he had brought more household items because the cost is high in Jamaica. Another recommended buying a generator and shipping it because power cuts are rife. It is quite usual to be without power for two or three days (which means no internet), and a shortage of water can be another problem. Things to leave at home? Coats. And sweaters. It is hot and humid here in Jamaica. Yet another expat said she wished she'd left behind several pairs of shoes, jewellery, and electronic gadgets that she doesn't need.
Where to live in Jamaica? One expat who moved to Ocho Rios lives in a 2-bedroom flat near Island Village. He said that it is basic accommodation and costs £900 a month. He also advised to steer well clear of any night clubs or late-night bars because "you will be kept up all night with booming reggae music".
Of course, if you are going to move to Jamaica and take much of your own personal possessions and furniture with you, you will need to find a suitable shipping company. There are several in the UK who specialise in shipping to Jamaica and will also be able to give you further advice.
W. I. Freight is an international shipping company that specialises in shipping to the Caribbean and has over 50 years of experience in helping people moving to Jamaica.
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