Island Life Diaries: Gaetan Babin

1. Where are you from?

I'm from Western Canada, Vancouver Island.

2. Why did you move from the comfort of your homeland?

I was consulting in the resort Industry helping set up operations, sales and marketing and building the teams within the properties. I got a call that the developer of the Wyndham Reef Resort wanted to see me. When I got here the proposal offered was very attractive and the thought of living in the Caribbean was very appealing. We had never considered such a move as we were so comfortable in Canada. At first we decided to try it for a year, see what it would feel like. Our kids are grown up and after 25 years of marriage a move to a small island was very intriguing. We took a chance really, and this year we celebrate our 5th year living in Grand Cayman.

3. What made you choose Cayman?

The Thompson family has deep roots in the Cayman Islands. I was very impressed after meeting with them and seeing their passion, integrity and desire to help others. At the same time they were very welcoming, willing to give us time to adapt and to learn about the culture and the country.

4. What was the biggest challenge you faced when you arrived?

We didn’t know anybody, we didn’t know where we were going to live, we didn’t know how to find that balance of life that is so important. So I focused on the task, putting all our efforts on the job.

5. What surprised you the most about the island?

The island may be small but every district has its own distinction. East End, North Side, George Town, West Bay, and I could go on and on, they are all very distinct in their own way. At the same time everyone is very respectful of others. There's more than a hundred various cultures living in the Cayman Islands and we all seem to get along just fine. So many places in the world could learn from that. Caymanians are not only very welcoming but also very proud of their heritage and their history. Nothing beats sitting down with an elderly Caymanian and chatting about the past. 

6. What is the single most unique thing about Cayman in your eyes?

Initially the beauty of our waters is so obvious. Snorkeling in 70 feet of water below you and you can see the details at the bottom of the sea. if I had to single out a unique thing about this beautiful nation is the way the country welcomes you. It feels like you belong, like you are at home. I never expected this, I always thought I would feel like I was away from home, but I am home, and feel safe here.

7. What do you love most about living in Cayman?

We feel very fortunate to live on 7 mile beach. Every morning as I wake I see the beautiful beach, the ever-changing water colors, and the people slowly starting to enjoy the most beautiful beach in the world. I love swimming in the early morning as my wife walks alongside the beach. You feel alive here, you don’t have the big city stress and everyone smiles at you as you walk by. 

I love the drive from our home to the East End at the Wyndham Reef Resort. I get to view this entire island every day; through Georgetown, the cruise ships passengers first arriving, the stores opening up, then through South Sound passing joggers and cyclists.  As I make my way to Savannah the road traffic subsides and before I know it I am going through Bodden Town.  Soon I am in East End which is so unique, it feels like you are going back in time. I wave at many residents that I see every morning and they always smile back. This 40 minute drive every day is like a gift and as I arrive to our Resort I feel like I’ve had time to experience the island’s life already. 

So we take time to give back in many ways and by welcoming others that are either visiting or residing here. We LOVE living in Cayman!