Do you want to report "What advice would you give an American who is considering moving to Jamaica?"
This is something that has been a topic of discussion between my spouse and I. I am interested in what difficulties I might expect. Thanks.
Good luck :)
OK. I was getting at if you really saw the country, went around and actually got anything done, took transport, or if you just hung out at a resort. Closer to the latter.
I see you’re about to retire. So past that stage in life where you have the vigor for the rigor of getting certain things done, eg standing in line at the bank for long lengths of time to be told that you don’t have such and such document and letters from references. This is the real life stuff that comes up when moving to a whole new nation. Learning to drive in a completely new and more aggressive, freeform environment that you’re not familiar with.
However if you have the money to have all those things smoothed over for you so you can just get a place to live and relax, it’s definitely a nice place to be. Plenty of people come and call it home. It will help his mental health, yes. But honestly thinking it’s a place you want to call home after one visit is for sure jumping the gun. Especially when it’s just one person’s dream, that doesn’t make for the most harmonious resentment-free marriage when the other person finds certain things they don’t like and misses home.
Take more trips. Longer trips. Varied trips. Stay in the city. Stay in the mountains. Get guided through a street market. Get consulted about real estate availability. Don’t break the bank to do this, but it’s needed. Then my actual advice is you don’t need to up and move, just buy a property and get someone to run it as an AirBnB (to pay for its existence and keep it safe and maintained) then gradually spend more and more of your year there until you’re up to months at a time. It’s enough relaxation to make a difference and you can scale up until it feels like your real home and you give up the American mortgage.
My 2nd advice is move to Florida. We don’t have hills or moutains and the beaches aren’t anywhere near the same quality but you’re not going swimming anyway, you want the view. And there’s no state income tax and you can find Jamaican friends.
Thank you. Pretty much every thing you said has been my words to my husband. Lol… I did, just the other day, suggest us eventually getting something there like you said to visit more often without the huge commitment.Neither of us are that old though, as you may think retirement age is. I’m 50 and he’s 56.Anyway, thank you so much for this well thought out, thorough post. It is helpful and appreciated. :)
I travel to the USA on vacations, stayin at one of my friends house in New York, Miami (nice suburbs) or California vs a Marriot hotel are two very different things. So staying at a sandals or Rio resort vs living in a Jamaican neighbourhood, suburb or gated community will differ. We would love to have you hear just don’t do business in Spanish Town until you know what you need to know, be careful in Montego Bay since you’ll be not only in a hotel but all over the real jamdown.
> Poverty and inequity creates desperation. This is true in any nation. Inequity can breed animosity, which can lead to crime. So try to blend in with the local population. Wear clothing similar to the clothing worn in Jamaica and try to avoid calling attention to yourself. Again, this advice can be applied to anywhere in the world.
This is such a valuable point.
I think u/ mysticmermaiddreams has basically addressed everything so all I can really add is that politically correct cultured essentially doesn’t exist so if that’s something you might want to be aware of depending on your sensibilities.
The wife and I have thought about it too… we have been several dozen time (25+) and stayed in all manner of places. Life is far tougher there. Getting permits, and licenses for housing and construction or driving, insurance, car repairs, etc. is a huge chore if you don’t know whose palm to grease. You need a tough skin. Jamaicans are a tough bunch and you need to be ready for many confrontations until you earn their respect and/or friendship. Even then, as an American, you need to be on your toes. Things happen at a much slower pace than the USA, and Jamaicans are used to it, therefore, sometimes you have to almost be “mean” to them. Something That isn’t in my nature and why, we felt, living there would not be the best decision.
American and white Jamaicans have a “support” network there. Especially the wealthier and more successful ones. They all know each other and help each other navigate pitfalls and log jams. If, in your travels, you meet one, sit and chat with them for a while. Get their take on life there.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
I’d say be very wary as others have mentioned, keep in mind that although some may say it’s not racist it can get there more often than you think so if you are a black family it is alot easier to maneuver overall. If you are white be aware that you are going to be judged immediately as having more money, or even being told that you think you are better. If you are Asian it’s a mix between the two it can sway one way or the other quite drastically. Remember not to show people what you have be conscious of how “rich” you appear these are my experiences living there. But it is racist and classist without a doubt. It’s also a very great island and a treasure of a place to live when all is said and done.
Thanks for your insight. I am curious though, how those things you mention differ from different locations throughout America. I see these same types of things happening here, and have my entire life. Just wondering. Thanks.
It’s the reverse of what you see in America as in white is the more persecuted and black is the better but keep in mind foreigners are all the same honorary whites until you get to settle yourself. It’s also much more aggressive than America and can become much more dangerous if you are not aware depending on which ethnicity you are.
Don’t do it. The crime is high, the economy is terrible, taxes are high and there is massive corruption. Jamaica is a cool place when you can go back to a real country after the vacation, but it’s an awful place to live.
Because I’m a Jamaican stoner. I have a Jamaican passport, I pay Jamaican taxes and I live in Jamaica. It’s my opinion on the place. I’m not happy living here.
By a real country, I mean a place where it’s not wild like Jamaica. Can you honestly say you’re happy with the crime and government corruption?
It’s my way of saying as a citizen, nobody is looking out for me. The government steals my taxes, the police shake me down and take bribes, I have to hire private security to keep my house safe. A real country has a government that looks out for its citizens. As a Jamaican citizen, I feel like I exist to pay for some mayor’s Porsche.
I’m working on it. I work in tech, so it’s pretty easy for me to get a job elsewhere. There are good things about Jamaica but with the way the place is getting, I couldn’t encourage someone to move here
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