6 Months, 6 Things

Just over a week ago we celebrated 6 months living in Dominica! In honor of this first milestone we figured we would collaborate on lists of the 6 things we really love about living on Dominica and 6 things we miss from the USA. If you are an expat we would love to hear  some things you love about where you moved to and why, along with some things you miss from your home country.
6-months-6-things-1
6-months-6-things-2WE LOVE
-WATER- our proximity to the ocean and rivers can’t be beat, any day we want we can enjoy the rejuvenating waters of rushing rivers, take a calming sea bath or of course, SCUBA DIVE! The Caribbean Sea has so much history, the sunsets over it fantastic and even the rain can be mesmerizing. Clean, clear, surrounded by and full of life, that is water on this island.-growing a garden – I was never able to do this living in cities in the US and it is magical to watch my food grow, plus I didn’t realize how even a small container garden could improve my diet and budget, and satisfaction of eating something I cultivated with my hands.-nature / connecting with nature – we are always surrounded by the beauty of nature, lush greens and vibrant flowers, it makes every day beautiful even when its raining. It gives me lots of time to contemplate mother earth’s beauty and connect with her energy. There is always more of this island to explore and we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to hikes, treks, river tours etc.

– reduced stress – getting used to island time can be tough sometimes coming from big cities, but not having such a strict schedule, and working for ourselves definitely results in overall reduction of stress. The two of us have more time to connect with one another, and dive into our dreams.

– new perspective on life / life is what you make it – dreams become possibilities, and each day we can find new adventures to expand our horizons or look within ourselves to connect with our deepest passions. It’s a freedom Rich hasn’t had working extended hours as a cook or plumber in the US, and the time we get to spend together creating our new life is really great, perfect for making memories! A lot changes when you are removed from your comfort zone and given a new set of tools and raw materials to work with.

– rum – we’ve definitely increased our appreciation of rum local and from all over the caribbean, it’s definitely part of caribbean life! I foresee Rich traveling a bit to explore the flavors and history of rum making in the Caribbean, and me tagging along for the tailored cocktails!

6-months-6-things-3

WE MISS
– family & friends – of course we are loving making new friends and skyping / speaking with family & friends back in the states but It’s not the same as being able to see them after a drive or even a single flight. Having our family and friends  2,000 – 4,000 miles away is something I am much more used to than Rich since the farthest we lived from his friends and family before this was about 300 miles, an easy trip to make. We really hope we can convince all our family and friends to visit us, but I think most are waiting until SALT is up and running! (if you come help us work on it, we will give you a future stay for free!)- specialists & high quality hospitals – there are no neurologists, no headache specialists, or specialists of any kind and the doctors and hospitals aren’t stocked with the medications I am used to for abortive migraine & cluster headache care. I took for granted how often I really need them, and how grateful we are for ‘city medicine’.- food accessibility – 24 hour markets / our favorite foods / restaurants & low priced exotic foods- what can I say, I’ve been spoiled  to the first world. I am working on stocking my pantry so well that I can always make something to feed late night cravings, but it’s taking some time to accumulate, and there is some produce & food stuffs we will never get on this island because no one imports it or import is just too expensive. However this gives rich goals to improve his BBQ skills and experiment on making a substitute for the #1 animal style from in-n-out!

– driving-  I am not as confident on the roads here, I am comfortable driving to the beach, the river and the stores / grocery in Picard but I am limited by how far I am comfortable driving alone. I know it just takes practice but I used to love just going out for a drive, now when I drive out of my comfort zone I feel like I just got my permit all over again! Of course this means Rich drives A LOT, like every ‘big trip’ / adventure / trip to Roseau, he is in the driver’s seat, so I’m sure he could use a break, but what a brave and wonderful driver he is here!

– american sports – Rich can find most of the sports he likes but not necessarily the games he wants, here in the Caribbean even our American channels have extensive blocks of cricket and ‘footie’ so not as much basketball / American football for his taste. It’s a small price to pay to live in paradise.

-quality beer / wine – Rich likes his IPA’s & Ales, and I really love good wine. I can find drinkable wine, but nothing exotic, and it’s all crazy expensive in comparison to the same bottles in the states. Neither of us have seen any beer except lagers, shandies and lambics which aren’t really Rich’s cup-o-tea. I can get by on Carib’s and occasionally Kubulis but they are little beers and not quite enough to keep Rich content.

All in all we have had a spectacular 6 months so far, we can hardly believe we’ve accomplished so much and also had so much ‘free time’ to get to know our new home, this tiny island is a lot bigger than it seems when you live here, but you will see that when you come to visit our beautiful little island we are so happy & grateful to call home!

Stay Salty,
Kayla & Rich

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