Moving to Jamaica? 6 Things you should know
I am writing this post mostly for people who are from England, Canada, America who may be considering moving to Jamaica. I just want to give you a heads up on certain things.
- Renting an apt – I thought when I moved to Jamaica that finding an apartment for rent would be easy. Um, it was not easy. Apartments for rent are few and far between in most areas. If you plan to live in Kingston, Jamaica you can find a place to rent with ease. But other areas not so easy. I’m mostly referring to the country which is my preferred place to live due to the crime rate in Urban areas. The easiest place to find and rent an apartment is in Montego Bay. They have a newspaper called the mirror. In it you can find apartments for $200-$300 US/month. People will tell you to avoid st James. I say if you mind your own business, don’t take a loan from anybody…you can live in st. James. No body will bother you.
- Good areas and not so good areas – What makes an area good or not good? Cleanliness, accessibility, pleasant neighbors, affordability, comfortable affordable dwellings. What makes an area not so good? The same things. Jamaica is a place constantly under political scrutiny by its residents. They say the politicians don’t do much to help the people. I would have to agree, based on the random garbage, and lack of social service to help the people. the best area for me to live as a foreigner is…Montego Bay or in the country but not Westmoreland (too much violence and killing). The second thing to note concerning safety is many Jamaicans have their home “grilled” its like bars all over your windows and doorways. That’s how they prevent possible break ins.
- Business – The best business to set up in Jamaica is residential. Small apartments that people can afford. You will have to buy a piece of land and build the building yourself. Jamaica lacks this type of housing, so it is in demand. Other than that I am told earth vegetables sell really well in Jamaica, cause the people eat a lot of them. Dashine, Yam, Pumpkin, etc.
- cars and driving – Jamaicans drive different to say the least. Most of their driving is intuitive and they are very good at handling the road. For this reason, a lot of people drive while they are drunk and high. Most do make it home. But when you combine that with not sleeping for days…So just know that this does exist. Try to drive during the day only, and get a Jamaican who is not high drunk or tired to drive you around at night. Renting a car is cheap about $40.00/day. I am told the cost of gas is even cheaper. So that’s good news right?
- The Jamaican people – This is the one I have a hard time talking about. There are Jamaicans who are great, unfortunately a lot of them are not particularly when you are a foreigner. It is not enough for me to tell you to be careful. I will say, it’s when you know the person well that you have to worry. Watch their behavior, take time getting to know them, don’t assume everybody is your friend and wants the best for you. There are many factors at play. I will write about those factors in a future post.
- Citizenship – If you are not a Jamaican, and neither of your parents come from Jamaica, the only option for citizenship is marriage. So, find someone you love and get married, or pay someone and get married. Lots of foreigners do it.