Barbados: Six Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Here

Barbados: Six Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Here

Are you cold, wet, miserable? Do you feel as though winter will never, ever end? Please don't despair, my cold friends. I took this photo yesterday from the Barbados apartment Greg and I own and rent out to visitors to our island. It's just a flight away from wherever you are right now!

Are you cold, wet, miserable? Do you feel as though winter will never end? Please don’t despair, my chilly friends.  What you see here – my Barbados holiday rental apartment – is just a flight away! (I took this photo yesterday … January 5, one of the coldest winters our friends up north have ever seen.)

When Greg and I were in New York over Christmas and New Year’s I was reminded of what a Yank I am and how much I love efficient service, movie openings, sales, Starbucks, and great hamburgers. We gathered How To Pull Off A Stress-Free House Move tips and started packing stuff!

This month marks my second anniversary of having moved from San Francisco to Barbados …. where I don’t get any of those things very often.  But you can’t move to a place and complain that the new place isn’t the old place, can you? I can’t think of a quicker route to misery than wanting Barbados to be San Francisco. Really now, life could be worse than waking to the view you see in the photo above.

Fortunately, the fantasy of Barbados as a tropical island is very much its reality as well. Perfect aqua Caribbean Sea. Sugar-white beaches. Gorgeous blue sky. Varied landscape. Ideal climate.

However.  I wish I’d known a few things about some aspects of life and people on the island of Barbados.  Things I wish someone had told me before I moved here. Such as:

1. “Service is usually slow – get over your Type A self and give into the pace island-time.” Relax already. Enjoy the fact that even though service is slow, no one is rushing you to finish your meal, either.

2. “Service is usually friendly except when it’s not. And when it’s not it’s not about you.” I used to think the rudeness was personal to me. It’s not.  Then again, maybe it is. I don’t know. I just know it took me a long time to know how to deal with it.

Two years ago, when a young male clerk at a fabric store ignored me and wouldn’t ring up my purchase, frustration and sense of powerlessness defeated me (i.e., I cried).  Today I don’t take it personally and I feel empowered to say, “Excuse me, young man, perhaps I can call Mr Abed (store owner) over here to ring me up since you are not interested in doing so.”

3. “This is how you learn to drive on the left-hand side of the street: As you drive, keep your body in the center of the road.” Once I was told, I never again turned off a street right or left into the wrong lane.

4. “When you pay for anything, remember that almost everything on the island is brought in from elsewhere.” Look at a map; Barbados is far, far away from everywhere (of course, in other respects this is a good thing). It’s expensive to ship cars, tomatoes, ink cartridges, and everything else here — and on top of shipment is duty, one of the few ways the government has to bring money into an economy that has nothing to export. So forgive how expensive life is in Barbados.

Dumb me. Took me 2 years to finally break down and buy a car.  My righteous indignation over the 100% to 300% duty held me back from the freedom that driving myself brings.

By the way, with respect to grocery store prices: Everyone pays the same price. Guests to the island ask me if residents receive a discount. No, they do not … the housekeepers who keep our holiday rental accommodations immaculate pay the same price for a loaf of bread as our far more affluent guests who come to stay in them.

5. “Bringing goods to Barbados in your suitcase doesn’t save you a cent in the long run.” I used to raid my San Francisco home to bring in sheets, towels, lamps, Splenda, etc, etc, etc.  Then I’d have to go out and buy replacements for the things I took out of the place in San Francisco. I created a nightmare routine of leaving Barbados with two empty suitcases and returning with two I couldn’t even lift. Make that four suitcases when Greg and I traveled together. I justified it by telling myself (and Greg) that I was “saving money.”

I paid overweight charges on airlines, threw my back out, and took advantage of my kind husband’s patience far too often before I finally learned to accept that even though selection is small and prices are high, life is much sweeter when I don’t try to beat the system. I now buy what I need here in Barbados. Plus, by buying goods on the island I’m contributing to Barbados’ economy. And I can travel with a small, light bag.

6. “When you throw away anything, remember that Barbados is a 14- by 21-mile island.” Consider how difficult a problem trash is in a small place like Barbados.

I was ridiculously cavalier about replacing very slightly used items (furniture mostly). The truth is, I’m only slightly less so now.  I’m afraid that living in a disposable goods culture is still a lesson this American needs to unlearn.

161 Responses to “Barbados: Six Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Here”

  1. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded
    up as fast as yours lol

  2. Hi there, I want to subscribe for this blog to get most recent updates, so where can i do it please assist.

  3. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful
    post. Thank you for supplying this information.

  4. I do believe all the ideas you have offered on your post.
    They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick
    for starters. May just you please lengthen them a bit from
    subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  5. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of
    plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has
    a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help
    prevent content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

  6. Dee Syphard says:

    Got ahead of myselfShould have said minor Quarter finalWinner to play Mayo.Looking like Mayo v Cork at the minute.

  7. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just great
    and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  8. Hi to every one, it’s genuinely a nice for me to visit
    this site, it contains priceless Information.

  9. Remarkable things here. I am very satisfied to look your
    post. Thanks a lot and I am having a look ahead to touch you.

    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  10. Great site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious.

    And obviously, thank you for your sweat!

  11. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?

    I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  12. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your website? My blog is in the very same niche as
    yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

  13. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS.

    I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  14. I read this paragraph completely about the comparison of
    most recent and earlier technologies, it’s awesome article.

  15. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital
    to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  16. Excellent blog post. I definitely love this website. Keep it up!

  17. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.

    I believe that you ought to publish more on this subject,
    it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not speak about these issues.
    To the next! All the best!!

  18. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they
    plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the
    whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  19. I got this website from my buddy who shared with me regarding this
    web page and at the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative articles at this place.

  20. I used to be recommended this website by way of my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether this submit
    is written via him as nobody else realize such designated about
    my problem. You are wonderful! Thank you!

  21. It’s an amazing post in support of all the online viewers; they will obtain advantage from it I
    am sure.

  22. Every weekend i used to visit this website, because i
    wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this
    web page conations genuinely nice funny stuff too.

  23. May I simply say what a relief to find somebody that genuinely understands what they are
    discussing on the web. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    More and more people should read this and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised that you are not more popular since you certainly have the gift.

  24. 윈 토토 says:

    I get pleasure from, result in I discovered exactly what I used to be having a look for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  25. One with tthe occasions in everyday life that individuals would surely require aid of floower bouquet delivery is
    definitelly an anniversary. There are no particular flowers
    which may be uused limited to presenting on birthdays.
    Some people will be sending new baby gift baskets andd no appear you send;
    it’s the love that counts.

    my site Kripik Kentang

  26. Louisa says:

    I discovered your website accidentally nevertheless i’m pleased i’m here.
    Good stuff i’m reading.

  27. Jacquie says:

    you are really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing.
    It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick.

    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a
    wonderful activity in this matter!

  28. priscilla richardson says:

    hi…trying to connect with the san Francisco woman running the blog…I am also from san Francisco and live here now…would love to meet up coffee? albeit not dunkin donuts etc…also am a gardner and currently designing one.

  29. Marvin says:

    I was suggested this website by way of my cousin. I am not certain whether this submit is written via him as no one
    else know such specific about my problem. You are
    incredible! Thanks!

  30. Hypnotherapy says:

    It’s an amazing article in favor of all the web people; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

  31. Jaxon says:

    Cong ty LADIGI co dich vu SEO tot, chat luong, nhan vien nhiet tinh vui ve, cam on cac ban LADIGI nhe.

  32. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for barbados

  33. apk store says:

    I visit every day a few sites and blogs to read articles,
    however this web site presents feature based

  34. I have read so many articles concerning the blogger lovers
    however this paragraph is truly a nice paragraph, keep it up.

  35. Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a
    community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  36. It’s an awesome paragraph in favor of all the web people; they will get benefit from
    it I am sure.

  37. apk store says:

    Hi to every one, it’s genuinely a fastidious
    for me to visit this website, it contains helpful Information.

  38. foxy bingo says:

    Asking questions are really fastidious thing if you are
    not understanding something fully, but this post offers fastidious understanding even.

  39. heart bingo says:

    I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever
    run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A handful
    of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks
    great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this

  40. Thao says:

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this subject for a while
    and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. However, what about the
    conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

  41. bet fred says:

    Hi there, all the time i used to check weblog posts here early in the morning, because i love to find out
    more and more.

  42. nipples says:

    Excellent site. Lots of useful info here.
    I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thank you in your sweat!

  43. gambling says:

    For hottest information you have to go to see world wide web
    and on internet I found this web page as a best site for newest updates.

  44. De même, un régime alimentaire écartant la consommation de poissons et de fruits de
    mer ne permettra pas de couvrir les besoins en EPA et DHA (acides gras polyinsaturés à
    longue chaîne).

  45. excellent points altogether, you simply gained a
    new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your submit that you just made a few days in the past?
    Any sure?

  46. I left Barbados over 40 years ago and my wife who’s German would like us to relocate there. We vacationed there in March 2020 and she fell in love with the island. I myself have returned several times before we got married but never thought I would live there again. We’re now in the process of researching what it would be like to live there again, vacationing is different than living there day to day. Your posts offer a lot of useful information, thank you for putting it out there.

  47. pinterest says:

    I read this article fully about the comparison of latest and
    previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

  48. says:

    Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the
    same out of date rehashed material. Wonderful
    read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  49. I was more than happy to uncover this page. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!!
    I definitely really liked every part of it and i
    also have you bookmarked to see new stuff on your website.

Leave a Reply