When people relocate to another country, they often struggle with feeling like a foreigner for a period of time. This can stop them from embracing the new country as their home, and hinder the process of making friends and developing a life. All this can make for a difficult period of adjustment. The predicament is perfectly understandable, as moving abroad is a new chapter and it will be drastically different to the lifestyle that you know. |
This feeling of dislocation is particularly true when you move to an island such as St Lucia, which is unlike the UK in many ways. I have spoken to people who have purchased property in St Lucia and moved to the Caribbean who have taken a short while to adjust to living here, but not everyone finds it so easy. I have some top tips which will help you to embrace change and hit the ground running once you arrive.
Research the Country
Much like going on holiday, relocating overseas is much easier and less daunting when you know what to expect. Guidebooks and the internet are excellent resources for learning about the history, culture and customs of St Lucia. There are even forums online where you will be able to interact with residents here and ask any questions you have (this is also a great way to meet locals before stepping off the plane).
I recommend focusing on the local customs, as these will be the most noticeable differences. Manners, eating times, business hours, and national holidays are all important to understand as soon as you arrive. With this, you will be fully prepared and it will also add to your excitement.
As a Caribbean island, you will certainly notice a few differences – and not just the gorgeous climate that you find here. In my opinion, I believe these to be positive changes, but it may take you some time to adjust. During this period, try to embrace the change and find humour in the differences. I find that foreign nationals who relocate here stick out like a sore thumb when they whine and make comparisons to how different things are “back home”. If you constantly compare your new situation to your previous lifestyle, you are denying yourself the opportunity to embrace this wonderful island filled with friendly residents as your home.
I would also recommend decorating your property in St Lucia differently to your previous home. You may be tempted to have the same colour schemes, furniture and items of decoration, but this will interfere with seeing this as a new chapter. You will, of course, want photos and items to remind you of home, but be sure to approach this property with a fresh set of eyes (you can get all kinds of fantastic decorative items for the home here).
If you begin to feel homesick and very much like a foreigner after arriving, it is essential that you stay positive and understand that you will get used to the St Lucian way of life. Instead of shutting yourself away, I urge you to be brave and go out and meet people. Humans crave interaction, so talk to your neighbours or locals you encounter at the beach and consider volunteering or joining societies. You will soon develop a social circle and begin to settle into your new home.
Relocating overseas can be extremely daunting and the change may be a shock at first. If you are considering investing in property in St Lucia and are concerned about making the move, don’t hesitate to get in touch today to discuss living on the island.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His indepth local knowledge and wealth of experience in luxury property in St Lucia are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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