Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Having moved to Antigua in Dec. 2005 from San Francisco, I can tell you the biggest question you have to confront is "How much are you willing to go without?" If you can't bear to be without your Starbucks, or love to order gadgets and stuff from U.S. catalogs, or have special gourmet foods you love, you really have to look at living somewhere where you are dependent on what's available. Even in Antigua, which is fairly cosmopolitan, you have times when the boats are delayed and containers of food, cosmetics and beverages are delayed. This could mean your favorite brand of cereal or soda doesn't show up for a few weeks. I agree with everyone who recommends that you live in a place for a while, doing the day-to-day errands and activities that residents do. It's the only way to see how your life is going to be. Having said all that, we love Antigua, and had no problem fitting in and getting used to the differences. We're building a house, and that is maddening because of the shortages--sometimes there is no cement, or no steel, or no sand. But you roll with it, and things get done.
On the topic of living as an official resident, in Antigua every time you come into the airport, Immigration checks that you have an outbound ticket. As a non-resident you must show this. So if you aren't planning to hop on and off island, you need to look at getting temporary residency or something akin to that.
Have fun making a decision.
kcinantigua is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
kc - I've read several books detailing the chore of trying to build a house &/or business in the islands. I don't know that I'll ever be able to make it (an Island) a permanent residence. Good luck to you though, it must be quite frustrating.
SAnParis is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 20
Sunnyboy...perhaps I came across wrong..By "under the radar" I was referring to the fact that I intend to have a "low key" and relaxed lifestyle, something that I personally find very appealing and look forward to with great anticipation. I respect your "chastisement" as I would have felt the same way...I have no intention on circumventing any of the laws of any country I happen to visit. However, at this point, I really plan on staying for whatever time spans exist short of residency requirements and/or buying property etc.. My goal is to most likely rent as I dont relish the obligations or headaches associated with owning property or a home, prefer the 'no strings attached" approach pursuing this endeavour. Having no children and being a widower (cancer) for the last 15 years, I really have the option for extensive travel and in addition to the "Caribbean" also plan on living part time in Europe and perhaps the New England States in the fall..guess you gotta "crawl before you learn how to walk" at least as far as travel is concerned. To the other posters,again thank you, this is good stuff!!
SEASLIFE is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 995
I have lived in both the USVI and the Turks and Caicos. I am building a home in Nevis where I will retire, however, I am thinking maybe just 1/2 year in Nevis and 1/2 year somewhere else (Europe maybe) if I can swing it, LOL.
Anyway, if you are not a picky person, in that you have to have certain things to survive like someone mentioned starbucks, then island living is not for you. However, you seem more laid back and it might be a great experience for you.
I would visit a few places and get a feel for what type of island you like. There are so many and they all have a different vibe. You have to see where you feel you fit in. One of the reasons I love Nevis is because it is really laid back, more so than many other islands. The ex-pats living there for the most part were very successful in their lives in the US however, they needed and wanted something different. The people of Nevis are some of the kindest most genuine people you could ever meet.
I would travel for a bit, figure out what feels right and then stay somewhere for a while. However, if you are not planning on staying forever, then you will have a lot of flexibility, if you dont have a major investment there then you can leave and do something else.
Good luck wherever you decide to go. I hope it is a great experience for you.
MIM04 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,575
It sounds like you're ripe for the challenge and the change. And you'll most probably change into another person once you're on island -- who, what you need, what you can deal with and what you can shrug off you never know til you go. Shortlist your choices
in terms of language and culture, travel distance, expat community or not, Americanized or non. Double your projected annual cost of living estimate. And then go -- sample each for a minimum of 3 up to 6 months, the max timeframe generally of a tourist visa. If you're splitting time between
Europe, States and somewhere tropical,
you have plenty nuff time to look before you leap...
tivertonhouse is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 20
Hello again everyone. Just finished watching my home Baseball team the "Detroit Tigers" finish off the "New York Yankees" and proceed to the next championship round. Being a "Detroiter' I think is all the more reason to want to relocate to warmer waters and weather climates. Anyone have any particular advice or personal experience in dealing with some of the health issues such as "HIV", Internal Parasites and anything else that comes to mind.I am not "AIDS" Phobic, just wonder if it is a severe problem on a few of the caribbean Island chains.
SEASLIFE is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,575
Using condoms and avoiding pork (or brining it and cooking it at high temps) are rules for all in islands.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,575
Also:wearing shoes since schistosimisus/spelling probably wrong on that one/is also endemic to islands.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
Aids is everywhere in the world. I've never avoided pork down here.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
Many of the islands I've visited seem to have an active campaign to fight AIDS and other STDs. Past few years on St. Vincent a number of billboards were dedicated to stressing the importance of using a condem. I've not heard anything regarding parasites. Mosquitoes are an ever present problem but during the summer months here in SW Pa they are also a problem, especially if we've had much rain.

General health care maintenance should not be a problem BUT if you have cardiac dz, or any other major condition treatment could be. Check with your insurance company to see if the reimburse outside the country. If not you could have expenses you never gave a thought to. I know for a fact payment may be required prior treatment, and this was for someone who was born and raised in the islands.

Sealife I think about moving down island often, not as a permanent residence but so many months out of the yr. I may still follow thru on this, dependent on how my circumstances play out as I come closer to retirement age. Will have to wait and see. I wish you continued good luck in your research and ultimate decision.
vinceygirl is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,575
Many/most US healthcare/insurance policies do not cover travel/stints
overseas. Temporary medical/airlift insurance
(Travel Guard, Travelex, CampbellIrvine)
does. For strokes, heart attacks and other serious medical conditions, it's mandatory. Technology is sorely lacking in many island hospitals ( the
countryside) although there are good docs. Access to private hospitals on island yields fairly top-notch care.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Oct 12th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 20
Hello everyone...your replies to my earlier query were informative and greatly appreciated. The weather here in Detroit is terrible today (10/12) TEMPS IN 30'S and SNOW SHOWERS!!. Would love to have the warm waters of the Carribean coursing between my toes.. Tell ya, the more I research St. Vincent and the Grenadines makes it sure look appealing..perhaps a trip in the winter months of '07 will help in my search..In the meantime , hope all you folks out there root for the Detroit Tigers...not those nasty A's......
SEASLIFE is offline  

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