Island Life Diaries: Cory Scruggs

HI CORY! TELL OUR READERS WHERE YOU ARE FROM!

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia & grew up in Cape Town, South Africa

ONE CONTINENT TO THE NEXT! WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO THIS ISLAND?

I was working a desk job in Fort Lauderdale and desperately looking for a change. I got a call from a friend of mine living in Grand Cayman and he pitched the idea of bartending on an island in the Caribbean. Within a month I was working behind a bar in the beautiful Cayman Islands.

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THAT’S QUITE A CHANGE! CAN YOU TELL US WHAT ISLAND LIVING IS LIKE?

It’s summer all year long, but that doesn’t take much time to adjust to. The pace of life is a lot more relaxed here compared to big-city living. And let’s not forget, there’s no tax!

WHAT STRUGGLES, IF ANY, DID YOU COME ACROSS WHEN YOU MOVED HERE?

My struggles on island were minimal. It was a bit of a shock realising everything closes on Sundays. The people make it so easy to settle in… #CAYMANKIND

WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON YOUR DAY OFF? DETAILS!

I love to go to the beach! Also, the service industry is a very tight-knit group so it’s always fun to visit friends where they work and catch up. Did I say BEACH?!

WHERE IS A GOOD PLACE TO GO FOR DINNER?

I work for an amazing fine-dining restaurant called Agua. Our menu is a combination of Italian and Peruvian-fusion, and of course the cocktail bar must be mentioned. Alternatively, I really enjoy Bacaro. It’s geared around Sicilian tapas-style dining and it’s right on the water. Kick back with a charcuterie board and a bottle of wine… or 2, and you’re laughing!

WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE YOUR FRIENDS FOR A NICE DRINK… OR 2 BY THE OCEAN? 

Our sister restaurant Catch! It’s right on the water with an incredible view and equally-matched beverage program. 

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT CAYMAN?

The island has an incredible sense of community. It’s a great place to make friends and meet people from all over the world. It’s such a melting pot of cultures, there’s something for everyone here. And don’t forget, we only have 2 seasons: hot summer and less-hot summer!

WHAT ABOUT THE WORST THING? WE GUESS EVERY PLACE MUST HAVE ITS UPS AND DOWNS?

Hurricane season is always an interesting period. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced anything worth noting in the 7 years I’ve lived here. 

BEST TOUR ON ISLAND? WHERE WOULD YOU SEND THE TOURISTS?

Stingray City and Snorkel Tour with Captain Marvin’s Tours

BIG ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO JUST MOVED HERE?

Give the island some time, it will grow on you. Appreciate it for what it is, and don’t get frustrated for what it’s not.  

Island Life Diaries: Angelo Giuzio

HI ANGELO! TELL US WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM?

I am from southern town of Potenza about an hour east of the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE TO THIS LOVELY ISLAND?

When the previous owner of Edoardo's took over in 2002, I was living in England. They called an co-worker of mine and asked him if he wanted to move here and he couldn't so he asked me if I was interested.

WOW, SO YOU'VE BEEN IN CAYMAN FOR A WHILE RIGHT?

I have not left! I have now been in Cayman for almost 17 years.

SO FOR AS LONG AS YOU'VE BEEN HERE, YOU'VE BEEN AT EDOARDO’S? YOU MUST TELL US WHAT YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANT!

Yes I have been here the whole time and, in fact, I ended up buying the business a few years ago with my Business partner Brian. Edoardo's has become my family over the years and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

CONGRATS! SO WHAT'S THE BEST DISH ON THAT MENU, OR SOMETHING THAT IS YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE?

The Filet Cambozola is my absolute favorite! This dish is a filet mignon wrapped in bacon with melted Cambozola cheese on top - it’s to die for!!!

OUR MOUTHS ARE WATERING! WHERE WOULD YOU GO OUTSIDE OF WORK, SAY, TO HAVE A NICE GLASS OF WINE?

A bottle of bubbles anywhere at the beach is my absolute favorite spot.

AND WHAT ABOUT FITNESS? WHERE ARE THE TOP 3 PLACES YOU WOULD GET YOUR WORKOUT AFTER ALL OF THIS INDULGING OF FOOD AND DRINK?

I love to be involved in Crossfit with my Crossfit 7Mile family as well as long walks on the beach. 

WHAT ABOUT SOME GOOD ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO JUST MOVED HERE?

Make the most of the island’s beauty, enjoy the beach and some water sports as much as you can!

TOP 3 PLACES TO GO ON A TOUR ON THE ISLAND?

Kittiwake, the Sand Bar and any remote beaches on the East End/North Side of the island.

Island Life Diaries: Jessica Turnbull

SO, WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM?

I’m originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO CAYMAN?

Have you been to Winnipeg in the winter?! It is bitter cold and I love the sunshine!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBIES ON ISLAND?

Working out is something that is very important to me and by far the hobby I am most passionate about. It is a form of meditation where I am only focused on the workout, whether it be a run, lifting weights, or beach walks!
Baking is also a fun hobby that I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember! I am an accountant by trade and work as a compliance manager in Hedge Funds, so my daily life is ensuring everyone is following laws and regulations and that leaves very little room for creativity and experimenting. Baking allows me to use my imagination and make something beautiful and that people will enjoy! Being able to give someone something sweet treat provides me with great joy!!

SO WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO WORK OUT?

I love a mixture of the gym and the beach. I used to spend hours on the treadmill back in Winnipeg but when you have one of the world’s greatest beaches at your front door, that is where I want to run or take a long beach walk!  I have been a member at World Gym since my first day on island, 12 years ago, and it is my second home. I have met a lot of great people there and enjoy nothing more than a good lifting session at World Gym!

AND WHAT ABOUT A SWEET TREAT?

Chocolate chip cookies, who doesn’t love these!

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE ON ISLAND TO GO ON A DINNER DATE?

We are so lucky in Cayman to have so many options of amazing restaurants! I would have to say Morgan’s for the food, the wine, the view and the atmosphere!

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BEST BEACH IN CAYMAN?

Hard to choose, but I would have to say Governors Beach.

BEST PLACE TO GO FOR BREAKFAST?

Brussels Sprouts! The Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding is unreal and the breakfast hot buffet is delicious! Cutest little spot where you can dine in or grab and go if you’re in a hurry!

TELL US ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO MOVE HERE.

Don’t think about, just do it! But honestly, the one piece of advice I would give is to appreciate the beauty of this island; both the people and the place. Talk to locals who grew up here and they will tell you where the hidden gems are! I am 12 years in, and still have so much to discover!

Island Life Diaries: Christina Ravdas

CHRISTINA, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Tampa, FL USA

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CAYMAN?

Nine years

WHAT DO YOU DO HERE?

Bartend

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK TO MAKE?

Margarita (also my favorite to drink :)

BEST PLACE TO GO FOR A SUNSET DRINK?

Calico’s!

BEST THING TO DO ON ISLAND?

Boat day to Stingray City and Starfish Point

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING IN CAYMAN?

The people I’ve met and friendships I’ve made.

IF YOU COULD SEND SOMEONE VISITING TO ANY RESTAURANT FOR DINNER, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Morgan’s.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO MOVE HERE?

Keep an open mind and open heart, there’s a lot to learn on our little island.

Island Life Diaries: Devon "DJ Billy Corduroy" Clark

TELL US WHEN YOU MOVED TO CAYMAN?

I moved to Cayman in November 2004.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

I was finishing up with High School and contemplating a gap year. Right before I booked my ticket I was at a party and met two guys that had been chased back by Hurricane Ivan. We chatted for a while and they sold me on life in the Caribbean so I took a chance. The next day I booked a ticket, told my family and 2 days later was on my way.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON ISLAND?

I work at Calico Jacks and also moonlight as a DJ.

SO YOU’RE A DJ? WHERE'S A GOOD SPOT TO GO TO LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC?

I usually follow the jam night circuit. Each bar hosts a jam night on a different day of the week. Lonestar, The Lodge, and Rackams to name a few.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO ON THE WEEKENDS?

It changes all the time but mostly something involving the ocean. Beach, Diving, Fishing etc. We are so spoiled here that sometimes we forget how lucky we are.

WHERE WOULD YOU SEND TOURISTS FOR SOMETHING FUN TO DO?

Island Drive - the layers only really get peeled back when you head out to the other districts. I always tell people to head out to "the other side" for good fish fry and a maybe a Mudslide with a few stops in between.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?

Almost too hard to choose. I don't have a favourite restaurant, but, favourite dishes at different restaurants depending on what mood I'm in. If I have to pick one, I'd say Copper Falls, they have been around for years, are consistent, and reasonably priced.

WHERE'S A GOOD PLACE FOR HAPPY HOUR BEERS WITH FRIENDS?

Calico Jacks without a doubt.

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO JUST MOVED HERE?

Join a club, sports league and or a society!

Island Life Diaries: Agata Kalicki

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I was born in Poland, then lived in Germany for 18 months at 7, and finally moved to Canada at 9. You can decide which part of that was the growing up bit!

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO CAYMAN?

It was November in Canada, and my then boyfriend had got a job here. I shouldn’t have bothered with him so much, but Cayman sounded amazing in the face of a Canadian winter. I didn’t actually move here until July of the next year, but just knowing the move was coming made it bearable. 

WHAT DO YOU DO HERE?

I’m a co-owner at a Vegan restaurant called Bread and Chocolate in George Town, but have become pretty hands off as I’m in the second year of homeschooling my son, Xero. 

WHAT THE BEST THING TO ORDER ON YOUR MENU?

BBQ Jackfruit sliders. No, the Island Bowl. Or the beet burger. And now we have the Impossible Burger too. It’s like choosing a favourite child, except it’s food, so it’s even more difficult!

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY OTHER RESTAURANTS IN CAYMAN FOR VISITORS LOOKING FOR VEGAN MEALS?

Bandido’s, Yoshi’s, and Southern Spice should cover the basic food groups. For an occasion: Gilbert at Cracked Conch does absolutely amazing tasting menus with a bit of notice. Plus he’s vegan himself, so there’s some extra love involved. 

WHERE'S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO FOR COFFEE?

Bay Market has nice coffee, and the offspring can run around while I actually get to enjoy it. There isn’t a whole lot of opportunity to meet friends in the daytime. 

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BEST BEACH IN CAYMAN?

There’s really nothing that compares to Seven Mile Beach early in the morning, although now that I’m a West Bayer, I like the dock at sunset. Still not Seven Mile though.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING TO MOVE TO THE ISLAND?

Go for it! I mean, worst case, you’ll end up back home after a short, unsuccessful vacation. More likely, you’ll come and find a new home, discover fun new ways to spend your weekends, teach your liver some serious endurance, and find awesome friends from all over the globe. And then you’ll turn around and it’ll be 15 years after you came for just 1. 

FAVOURITE PLACE TO SHOP FOR CLOTHES? WHAT ABOUT SOUVENIRS?

I like Carey’s Karma Closet because recycling!, and they have the kid’s closet too. To be honest, I don’t shop for clothes much on island.  My mom shops for the kids like it’s her full time job, and they have older cousins for hand-me-downs, so I’ve bought them nearly nothing clothes-wise. I’m not buying me anything until the fat goes away, and considering I’m a food hog, that’s not happening any time soon!

Island Life Diaries: Gerry Armstrong

GERRY, TELL US WHERE YOU'RE FROM? 

Barbados!

ISLAND GUY ALREADY! WHAT MADE YOU MOVE TO A DIFFERENT ISLAND?

Was looking for a change and got a job offer so I decided to give it a try.

HOW DO YOU FIND CAYMAN DIFFERENT FROM YOUR ISLAND?

Lifestyle is similar to what I am used to so there was very little culture shock for me. The cost of living is reasonable for an island lifestyle and I get some uncrowded surf as well!

SO YOU SURF! WHERE WOULD YOU TELL SURFERS TO GO WHEN VISITING THE ISLAND?

Surf is VERY inconsistent so I would not advise anyone to come here on a surf trip unless they can be sure there is a swell coming. We wait for storms sometimes to get the bigger stuff.

FAVOURITE DRINK AT THE END OF A WORK DAY?

Vodka soda with lime... or if I am really thirsty I would go for the Red Stripe.

WHERE CAN YOU FIND THIS DRINK? 

Everywhere!

WHERE'S A GOOD PLACE TO GO ON SATURDAYS?

Beach... always the beach!

BEST THING ABOUT CAYMAN?

The lifestyle, it can’t get any better than these surroundings.

WORST THING ABOUT CAYMAN?

The size of the island can make it boring at times, especially for people who are used to living in larger cities, etc.

ADVICE FOR THOSE LOOKING TO MOVE HERE?

Do your research and ask questions of others already living here. I used this website https://caymanresident.com/ for a lot of info as well as EcayTrade to get cost of rentals/car etc. Remember you are moving to an island so things will move a bit slower than you are used to.

Island Life Diaries: Kristin Burak

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVE IN CAYMAN? 

18 years (with one year away.. long enough to know I wanted to come back.)

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LIVE ON AN ISLAND? 

A friend helped me get a “3 month working vacation”

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED WHEN YOU MOVED HERE? 

Missing my family back home in Canada. They now visit several times a year..

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON ISLAND? 

Try out new restaurants in our vibrant culinary scene.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN CAYMAN FOR WORK?

Incentive Travel Sales & Destination Management

WHAT ARE SOME ACTIVITIES YOU DO HERE? 

Scuba Diving, snorkeling, caving, waverunners, beach for days!

PICK YOUR FAVOURITE: PLACE FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER, DRINKS

Icoa for breakfast, Ragazzi for lunch, Grand Old House for a fancy dinner and Peppers for a more Casual one. Royal Palms for drinks!

ADVICE FOR ANYONE WHO IS MOVING HERE? 

Don’t be afraid to go out by yourself and explore the island on your own. The people in Cayman are extremely friendly and welcoming. You certainly will make friends who before long become your family! Also take advantage of the amazing food scene and try something new. We have over 200 restaurants with chefs from all over the world. No matter what type of food you choose, the recipes are authentic and the food is amazing. It’s hard to have a bad meal in the Cayman Islands.


Island Life Diaries: Adam Slobodian

HI ADAM, TELL THE READERS WHERE YOU ARE FROM?

Born in Toronto, but moved around a bunch. Since I graduated college in Barrie, Whistler was home until I moved to Cayman.

YOU MOVED HERE A LONG TIME AGO, DIDN'T YOU? AND YOU HAD LEFT AND CAME BACK! WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK?

The reason I left was burnout. Too much drinking, partying, fomo of the new place. But everytime I left, I kept in contact because people here are like really close family. When opportunities arose, I was excited to come back and see my friends, and wake up wearing board shorts everyday!  Also, everytime I came back I took a new job and moved up the hospitality ladder. Kind of like a promotion each time I returned.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT MOVING HERE?

Getting used to the slow moving process.  Bank cards can take months to arrive, the hoops you have to jump through to get bills in your name.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CAYMAN?

Palm trees! Also, walking down the beach is just as busy as the bar. You can see all your friends at 3 in the afternoon being active and enjoying the sun and sand.

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FAVOURITE PLACE TO MEET FRIENDS FOR DRINKS?

Calicos, hands down. If you don't know why, you've never visited calicos.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE COCKTAIL AND WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE?

These days, my favourite cocktail would be an Aperol Spritz.  Westin beach bar has the best view for a spritz, but Bácaro makes a mean one too!

BEST BEACH TO RELAX ON?

Finding that quiet spot on Seven Mile Beach.

HOW ABOUT THE BEST TOUR ON ISLAND?

Self guided walk up Seven Mile Beach stopping at as many bars as you can. Or taking the water taxi from Camana Bay to Kaibo. You get a nice boat ride, plus you get to see a different side of the island.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DISH ON ISLAND AND WHERE DO YOU GET IT?

Trini doubles from Singh’s Roti in George Town.

WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU MOVED TO CAYMAN?

Not to waste money on a car or the best accommodation at the start. Live with some roommates, take the local bus, learn the way of the island. Also, come for vacation first and check out where you will be working. Meet your bosses and coworkers. Maybe it's not the right spot for you. With visas it's not as easy to switch jobs if you get stuck at one you don’t like.

Insider Guides: Javiera Aguayo

Hi JAVIERA! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

My name is Javiera Aguayo. Born in the beautiful city of Santiago, Chile but island girl at heart. Most of my days are spent with family and friends, working out or at the beach. I LOVE to eat, and by eat, I mean pretty much everything and anything (lol). My favorite types of foods would be seafood (crab and lobster are my favorite) and sushi. 

WHAT WAS CAYMAN LIKE, DID YOU GROW UP HERE? DETAILS!

I moved to Grand Cayman with my mother and two sisters when I was 6 years old. We were first introduced to the islands by our grandma (Tita) who had been living here for a few years.  We came for our first visit in 1995 and immediately fell in love with the relaxed island life. I just remember it being very hot and humid when we landed but the people were so friendly.

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Coming from a big city to such a small island you immediately are embraced by the quietness of the rock. We lived in a farm with a lot of land. I have fond memories of my sisters and I riding our bikes all over the place with our dogs chasing behind us. We were always outdoors. I always felt safe here!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CAYMAN?

It would definitely have to be the food. Not saying this just because I live here but Cayman is top quality when it comes to cuisine. From their small local spots to their 5-Star restaurants, they truly cater to all taste buds.

WHAT ABOUT THE WORST THING? DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE?

How small the island is. Everyone knows everyone’s business.  There’s many times I would just love to go somewhere and not know anyone there. 

NAME 4 OF YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS AND WHY?

That’s such a tough one! Calypso Grill - I love this spot for lunch or dinner because it overlooks the water and their food never disappoints. They always have amazing dishes on special and you have to try their sticky toffee pudding! 

Casa 43 - My fiancé and I probably go here at least once a week (I am not kidding.) Their street corn is a must and all their tacos are unique and delicious. You also must try their churros. Ragazzi - Their pizzas are the best on island. They also have a great selection of pastas; try their mushroom ravioli. Copper Falls - Best steaks on island in my opinion. This place never disappoints and their staff is always so friendly. 

MOST ROMANTIC THING TO DO HERE?

Order take out, grab a bottle of wine and have a picnic out on the beach on full moon. 

WHAT ABOUT THOSE HIDDEN GEMS? TELL US ABOUT SOME COOL PLACES!

Spotts Beach is a nice quiet beach good for snorkeling and if you are lucky you may spot a turtle or two. 

This one is not much of a hidden gem but Starfish Point is always a nice weekend spot on the more quieter side of the island. A lot of the boat parties are held here. 

FAVOURITE LOCAL DISH AND WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT?

Fried snapper from the Grape Tree Cafe in Bodden Town. 

WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO GO FOR SUNSET DRINKS??

The Westin Hotel. Love to go to their pool bar for happy hour. The ambience of the place combined with their drinks and the views of the ocean will always guarantee a good time. 

Island Life Diaries: Jim Gates

Island Life Diaries: Jim Gates

In 2004 my brother was working for DiveTech as a scuba instructor. I had spent a year as a journalist at a small town paper in Alberta before heading to Whistler to work as a photographer for the ski season. At the end of the season I was wondering what my next move would be, whether to look for another journalism job or not, when my brother called me up and asked if I wanted to work as an underwater videographer making videos for tourists on snorkelling!

How to get around in Cayman

How to get around in Cayman

Grand Cayman is a small island, but its geographical features and the nature of its infrastructure dictates having some mode of transport to better navigate and explore the tropical paradise. Fortunately, the island offers a wide variety of options when it comes to transportation, including an abundance of rental car companies, scooter hiring companies, public bus service and taxis. For those who would prefer a greener mode of transport, bicycles are readily available and many resorts offer guests free use of their bikes as part of the deal.

Exotic Caribbean Destinations to Easily Travel to From Grand Cayman

Exotic Caribbean Destinations to Easily Travel to From Grand Cayman

With direct (and a few not-so direct) and affordable flights to some of the most exotic and exquisite travel destinations in the Caribbean - and the world for that matter - it's no wonder that so many travelers who visit Cayman journey on from here to other popular Caribbean destinations.