#travel · 1 year ago

I want to move to Jamaica. But I am also kind of lost, any sort of advice/support/criticisms would be appreciated, once you have heard a bit of my story.

This is likely going to be a long post, so I appreciate anytime you give to it, thank you. This is a big decision for me and my whole way of life, as I am sure you can imagine. With that, I really want to take the time to get into a few details about who I am and why I am doing this. To give context but also help convey how serious I am. I'm 29, and I do not have a lot of family. I have some decent friends but no sort of support system. I have been doing good on my own since I was 19. But just over this past year things have taken a turn. Being alone for so long, (actually... not even alone. More so just Lonely, If that makes sense.) It has turned me inward, I have done a lot of soul searching. Trying to do my best to be my own family. I have a lot of belief in myself but it is getting harder and harder to keep that up now-a-days. This introspection has gotten me to change, personality wise, in some areas and not in others. I have gotten rid of parts of myself I learned were hateful, angry, and just many other negative emotions. While locking on to things about myself I grew to appreciate, Take pride in, and things I want to keep around despite maybe what other say. I have come to terms with a lot about who I am, and I like myself. The reason I bring all that up is because I want to help convey where I am at in life a bit more. I am learning the people around me are not the best people to help somebody like me blossom. Which sucks, because the friends I have are some of the only "family" I have. But they do not help me to grow. Plus, I can ultimately always send them a post card. If anything they unwarily, but actively restrict me. A bigger example of this is just who I am and what I want to do in my life. I am confident I can run a business, I am confident I can be a good employee at other places of business, I am confident I could come up with many ideas to make a life for myself. Some sort of career. And not just settle on some generic 9 to 5 job. I'd like to make it clear that I am not blaming the people around me or anything. I Just realize it is side-effect from me being who I am in this environment. But this space that I am in... I can't evolve. I am never "seen", if that makes sense. I do not have people around me with the ambition I have, and I don't know where to find that in a place near me that I trust. Which brings me to another side of this, I am an America. If that wasn't obvious already. I don't really like my country. Not in a very negative personal way, It just doesn't fit what I want to be. I can't get a 9 to 5 job for 40 years and just be happy. I can't be in a society that is so one-track minded on what it means to be a functioning member of society. I want to go against the grain and find my own way. And of course, Doing things this way anywhere is bound to make things harder, I understand that. But in America you actively get mocked for being anything different. The political system is so extreme and uncommunicative. It just isn't the country I want to call home, and it isn't a country I have any sort of motivation to do anything like; Be a employee for a company that only see's you as a number, Or to start my own business, Or to do anything motivating on top of everything else I have been talking about. It is just a heavy mix of a ton of things that feel wrong to me. And I know I don't need to feel this way. I just want to find some people who are like minded in some aspects. Which is where you all come into play. Your country and what I hear about it sounds amazing. The people, the people sound PERFECT. Of course, this is a very subjective way to look at a whole country. But based of the way I see people who actually live there, the way they talk and react, I am confident I would be happy there. I am a very equal opportunity type of person, I am on Team Humanity at the end of the day. Your equal view on gender, is so refreshing and makes me happy because I am kind of shy, haha. So honestly, I would think an environment like that would make things more comfortable for somebody shy like me. I have also heard, you all tell people how it is. You don't sugar coat things for the sake of keeping a smile and avoiding conflict. For me, that is EVERYTHING. Meeting people who are petty, hide, and avoid everything are pretty much all the people I meet. (I'd like to make that very clear, to show how much that is lacking here in America. Even if I had no money, no skills or anything. This fact alone, about not sugar coating things, would be enough for me to move their and risk homelessness) Along with many other aspects about your country and culture I am starting to really like. Anymore insight into the type of culture and philosophies you all have, would be VERY appreciated. So in a bit of a summary, From age 19 onward I have been going super fast. (With no family, and some friends far off in the distance, as from age 19 - 27 I traveled a lot. Just trying to figure out life on my own. With a few small pit stops and bumps along the way.) I figured it out enough to get stable and finally take time to REALLY think about everything, about mainly who I am and what I want in life. With that, over this past year, things really started to get weird for me. I got depressed and secluded, but I also grew. I realized a lot about myself. I grew to appreciate myself, that I want a better life, and I don't want to be lonely anymore. But then I came to the realization that I can not stay where I am at and continue to grow the way I need/want to grow. I need a healthy more supportive environment. So... I took stock of places in my country and realized I basically hate my country now, too. To which my search continued outside of the country and I have finally landed on Jamaica. After tons of consideration about culture, the people, the climate, and the economics of all the places I looked into, I have landed on you all. None of the other places I looked into spoke to me the way your country is. So I would really like to be apart of it. And now for some of the more practical and/or tangible things about my situation that should effect all this. I'll start with the more bad, and go into the more positive aspects. First, I do not like to drive. But I have already talked about so many things I am not going to get into why. Just know it is serious for me and I have figured it out in every other place I have been without having a car, it does not bother me. (Being a bit more healthy and getting a bicycle and traveling a few miles to work is normal and I like it) Secondly, I do have money saved up to likely be able to stay in Jamaica comfortably for 6-12 months but not much more outside of that. I would like to start/create something within that time frame. Whether it be finding a job for a respectable company or creating my own company with something I can bring to the table, or working with a group of people with the same ambitions as me to come up with a career/business. Thirdly, I have a dog but looking into it, that is going to just be a lot of paperwork, ultimately. So not sure how much that is a problem or not. As for some of the more positive aspects; If I find a company I respect, I am super loyal and ambitious. I just need to know my work is going towards something positive and I will get whatever needs to be done, done. I worked in mobile tech support for over 4 years. I had other, more manual labor type jobs, sprinkled around when I was younger. I am very familiar with computers. So manual labor or a desk job doesn't bother me either way. As I said, Ultimately I want to work for a good company. With that idea still in mind, the best way I would want to solve this would be just making my own sort of income/job/business. So I am very ambitious toward that. If I happen to get lucky, working for some sort of ambitious start-up company would be ideal. I have good leadership skills, and a good leader also knows how to follow/work with a team. I know how to grow weed, and shrooms (if that is important or not?). I am passionate and waiting for a chance to break into something more creative and idea orientated. (I am also a night owl) ((Oh I am also A guy and white. If that matters in anyway)) (((Oh-Oh and I lost my job to Covid, so I am not currently working right now))) All of that was more so a "just in case" kind of thing. Ultimately what I am looking for is more-so just like minded people, rather than some job. I am confident if I just found a good environment with good people, I would be able to figure out the money side of things easily for myself. Too wrap things up, I liked to just express the main purpose of this post. I am looking for any sort of help to help me reach this goal of moving to Jamaica, In any sort of form. Even criticism, as I am sure many people would just consider me crazy. So as long as you can give me a reason or something, I am happy to hear it. Other, more positive things I was considering/hoping for was; Ways I can find people I can vibe with and ultimately lay down some quality roots to have a quality support system. As well as, People for connections. People I could contact and talk to for a possible job, living arrangement, and other quality of life things I would need to learn. Advice on any part of this process, advice on any part of Jamaica specifically, advice on the culture. Reassurance that maybe I am not crazy, and that you all are pretty cool people. Advice on types of jobs I could look into? Jobs I would be qualified for and maybe just jobs in general. I would love if any of you reached out for me to able to contact you more openly. For me to ask questions, for you to ask questions, and whatever else. I will literally be flying blind here in so many ways. I do understand the risks, which is a bit part of this, honestly. I do good under pressure and I want to experience the culture shock. I want to shock my comfort system to force myself to doing things I know I will be proud of. So if you could try to take all this into consideration and come up with anything to help me out, I would appreciate it. Thank you for your time.


Mhm jamjam here and I read a few bits and just came to thr conclusion that you have some insight on the island and culture but not all. It’s not easy living in jamaica tbh, you’ll have to be uber Uber ambitious to get by economically and the dynamics of the social realm are deeper than you think, there are layers to it….but yes we are blunt and your gonna love to hate that at some point too.

Either way, people have moved and still enjoy our brand of life, but I’d definitely recommend staying for a month or 2 befofe committing.


I understand what you mean, just be prepared for hills and vallies. We’re friendly people but at the same time we don’t like having friends lol its weird I know.

Try to find a well wishing friend on the island, one thats not too hung up on you being a foreigner and you should be fine


Well watch how you say they because I’m one of ‘they’ but if you’ve traveled there are scalper types everywhere, people that see you as a potential income and mind you you did take the taxi relationship beyond its usual boundaries. I dont know anything about my childhood driverReal friends in Jamaica are the one that are low budget but care


I don’t need you to believe in me to know what I can do. You assuming who I am and what I am capable of was not in question or asked for. If you have reservation, or if you spend your time being scared of what you are capable of, that is on you. Do not project any of your fears onto me. If you fully read my post and understood it, you would understand this. If you think me not having a lot of money is going to hold me back, you are simply making an assumption about me. On a post that I literally just explained everything….You have no concept of what it means to have depression. You have no concept of what it means to be alone. And if you do, you took a wrong turn somewhere and you should reevaluate your life. (just because maybe you need money to get by, doesn’t mean that is how everybody else works. ) I honestly pity you, if you think money is the key to happiness. I knew I would get some people who think this is stupid, but I didn’t expect such a asinine response.

I get that in some weird twisted way you may be trying to “protect” me because you don’t actually want some random lost stranger to go end up becoming a drug mule. But what you gave me was not what I was asking for nor was it positive or helpful. And it was likely incorrect, I have looked up the crime in Jamaica, as I am not stupid. Although I assume just because I don’t have money or something, you assumed I was. This was just some lame attempt to belittle me or whatever, to make yourself seem superior or whatever else. Maybe you just have lame communication skills. But anybody who actually had any “experience” like you say you have, would be way more cultured and understanding to my plight.

I honestly don’t even know why I decided to type all that out. I am confident you are not going to read this whole message, just like you clearly didn’t read my full post in the first place. Your one comment gave me all I needed to know you aren’t open minded enough to understand me and are likely incapable have having a human to human conversation with a stranger. Personally, I just like arguing, it helps. It is meditative for me. So I take everything I said back, your post did actually help me out. Thank you!

Feel free to continue reading all my previous post, as it is likely the most exciting thing you have read, as of late.


Hun… I see your beef with this guy, and I kinda understand where you’re coming from in your response, but he’s literally right. Not saying you need to be rich to make it here, but the cost of living compared to the wages you are likely to make are very different from the US. Trust me on that. It will also be very easy for people to take advantage of you, and because you are white, they will try.

Its not about money making you happy. Its about surviving, and finding a safe, comfortable place to live. Unless you are coming here with some reasonable savings, I don’t know that you will find a place to buy/ rent in the downtown Kingston/Half Way Tree area (which I saw you asking about) that you can reasonably afford. (I will admit that I have not done any house hunting and cannot give you any figures)

And I have to say… you claimed to be ok with us not sugarcoating things and telling them as they are… and here you are… attacking the guy for not sugarcoating.

I don’t know if moving here will cure your depression or give your life meaning. Jamaicans can be horrible, just like Americans. If you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, you will be killed or become some other statistic. People here can be two faced, they might decide to use you. It has its own problems, so I would suggest that you look internally for self fulfilment…

I hope you don’t take offence to this, I just wanted to show you what this guy’s perspective might be. If you have any specific questions you can pm me.


/u/shortmonkey757 , coming from a place of love and I’ll try and give some good advice that may help. First and to be frank with you, if your reaction to this guy saying this stuff is to write an angsty tumblr paragraph, you’re going to very quickly dislike your time in J. Keep reading though! I’ve moved countries a lot and the key is to control your expectations. Remove the rosy eyed goggles and throw them in the bin and only then can you be objective and have a chance at being productive in your preparations/move.

I would suggest trying to find some sort of penpal or friend that lives in Jamaica and talk to them. Talk with native Jamaicans, talk with expat/immigrants to Jamaica (there will definitely be expat in Jamaica facebook groups), all of these people will have valuable knowledge and info on what it is to move to J. Make that a quarantine goal for now in addition to finding a short term money source because Jamaica like any island nation has high living costs but low wages if you work on the island due to middle class/rich North Americans and Europeans visiting and owning houses (This is common among non-Spanish Caribbean nations). I don’t know what your skills are but you can either try and find work on the island or try and find a remote position. If you want to find work on the island, more specifically if you want to start a business you will need to work your ass off so if you’re up for that go for it, otherwise check for positions at the US embassy, tourist stuff, etc…, maybe even look into learning a skill like programming whilst the world is asleep with covid.

Like anywhere else with people, there are going to be good people and bad people and Jamaica is no different so make connections whilst you are relatively comfortable now before you jump into the snake pit because you, as a white man, will be a target for some people. You said you looked into crime into Jamaica and that is good but most articles and stuff on it focus on crime against tourists which is relatively low compared to the crazy crime rate in some areas against Jamaicans and people living there which you will need to get used to dealing with responsibly. Something that is specific to African countries, including Jamaica and some other island nations is that respect is very valued in society (there will also be a difference in definition of respect from yours as a foreigner) and there is a balance of respect and humour that you will need to learn/not be offended by, disrespecting someone can also be a big deal. Writing a big paragraph like that may be normal in the US but in Jamaica people (and I mean, non-reddit people) are gonna be like ‘why did this guy take it so personally’ or just not read it haha, this is very ironic seeing as I’m writing a big paragraph, i’ve been abroad too long i guess.

Like /u/Jcan_Princess said, its cool to have dreams of moving somewhere and it can feel very liberating to finally decide that you want to move to somewhere else. You may feel like it will solve everything but the sobering reality is that more often than not, and I’m not saying this to put you down, the baggage you think you’ll leave in your home country will actually follow you. It’s good to do all you can to confront this sort of stuff, which is easier said than done. It may cost a lot but seeing a therapist even if you think you don’t need it can help a huge amount.

I wish you the best of luck in the future, if you need to talk to someone about moving from your home in general I’m open to dm’s. If you want to talk more specifically about Jamaica I’m no longer the best person to ask but I’m sure others in this thread would be willing to help!


You are amazing. I appreciate your perspective in everything you have said. Thank you for taking the time, really. I understand everything you are saying and I am going to take a deeper look into everything you said. The bit about it being too hot, If I lived in downtown Kingston for example, would I be able to get most places I need just by foot then?


Actually yes, if u live in the corporate area you can mostly like foot it to most places. I lived kinda close to Half Way Tree before and I everything was within walking distance for me docs office, food, bank, gym, etc. So you could do something like that if you want.


I feel like you paint a realistic picture, and I appreciate the respect of not thinking I’m crazy. All the possible negative aspects of what you said do sound like they will be an issue. But honestly, the more you talk about your culture and the people, the more I wanted to go. I know of course I could just still end up running into some shitty people, you find shitty people everywhere. But I do think I would be happy with being apart of such a culture. I will have to really think about if I want to loose a lot of the conveniences like you said. But I am confident that I don’t hold that much value in such things. Thanks again.


Yea no probs, I guess I got possessed to reply to you bcuz I’d prbly move to America for a slightly similar reason. I’ve been there a couple times and I enjoy the conveniences of everything. I saw a Samsung 72” uhd TV on sale for $300 and I couldn’t believe it lol thats like ~$40,000JMD. Meanwhile in ja they’d sell it for like 10x that price. I was just overall shocked on how convenient life is over there really. Imma head to sleep now but feel free to ask me questions if you want to.