HI KERI! TELL US YOUR HISTORY! YOU LANDED IN PARADISE AND NEVER LEFT, RIGHT? GIVE US YOUR DEETS!
I landed in Paradise on a job offer to open a brand new Jewellery store called The Mansion, located in Camana Bay. Island Companies had attended my School’s Career Fair at The Gemological Institute of America, where they offered me a job to which I accepted. I do not work for the company anymore, but now have a Lemonade Stand in the Royal Watler Terminal, catering to the Cruise Ship industry.
Over the past 11 years, I’ve acquired a condo, had an amazing baby boy, met great people, enjoyed countless beach walks, and have pretty much planted my feet in the sand to stay.
AMAZING! DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE AND CAYMAN IS THE BESt! WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN CAYMAN?
Obviously the beach! I’ve travelled far and to many places, Cayman has the best beach I’ve been on. But it's not just the pretty sand and turquoise sea. The lifestyle is amazing. You can get from point A to B in 15 minutes or less. Our small community living is close-knit and very family orientated. Locals are very open to expatriates living on the Island which makes it easy to say “Hey, I think I’m gonna call this place home from now on.”
WHAT WERE SOME CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHEN YOU FIRST GOT HERE?
Paperwork is always drag, but hey. If you want to live in Paradise it comes with the territory. Most times the company that hires completes most paperwork for you. Settling into a new Country has its ups and downs, but I believe that to give it a fair chance you must get to know the ropes, follow the flow of the Island, and to take it slow is best.
I think the "soon come” attitude was the most challenging idea to get used to. This phrase could mean an hour, a week, a month or even a year. Getting past the “I need it now” would be the most challenging thing to get used to. Island Time is real people!
Decide on your local Cayman Bank before you arrive. Contact them and find out what requirements are needed in order to open an account on the Island. You may need a reference from your home bank, so making this effort before you arrive makes it easy when you arrive.
Island Fever. This exists. The need to get off the rock will arise and when it does be prepared for your weekend in Miami. Get your fill of shopping, Starbucks and driving on highways out of your system and ready for a reset. Only then will you appreciate why you actually live in Cayman!
GREAT ADVICE, KERI! WE LIVE HERE BECAUSE WE HAVE WATERSPORTS, FOOD & BEAUTIFUL BEACHES. WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR DAYS WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
Get on the water or strut the beach! I always say that if you do anything while living here, make sure you incorporate the sea life into yours. It's part of the history on the Island. I’ve learned to conch dive & scuba dive, I enjoy Flowers Sea Swim, beach walk or just hang on a Sunday at Rum Point.
YOU HAve A BEAUTIFUL BOY! WHERE ARE SOME GREAT SPOTS for CHILDREN?
I couldn't think of a better place to have a baby. Forget snowsuits, boots, jackets and layers of clothing. All you need is bare feet and some sunscreen. We hang out at Ms. Laura’s pool for swim lessons every Tuesday. Motions Gym has an open gym for little people throughout the week which we attend regularly. Camana Bay is always great, free roaming for little ones while you stroll with a glass of wine, who can complain about that?
NO ONE CAN! WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS?
Cayman is so amazing for children. Everyone is so friendly and willing to accommodate no questions asked.
The Kimpton Seafire - Breakfast is a great one! Family friendly and very affordable.
Morgan’s Harbour - Excellent food and great for kids. They have no problem accommodating menu requests or modifications.
Peppers - Very affordable, great seatings and family friendly.
Casa 43 - Best Mexican outside of Mexico. Great for kids - go early though! They don’t take reservations.
WHAT ABOUT THE SEA? BEST BEACHES FOR KIDS?
Rum Point - Wreck Bar - Im not sure if we love it or if Jax loves it more. This is the #1 on my list. You can get snacks, have a mudslide, pull a lounger in the water, nap in a hammock or wade in the shade. Need I say more?
Royal Palms - Excellent parking, service on the beach, white powder sand.
Public Beach - This is always a go to. They have a great park with slides and play structures and you can hit the beach for a swim right after.
All of these places have bathroom facilities for changing and showering as well.
Spotts Beach would be on my list except the lack of bathroom facilities. Apparently they plan to install them this year, if so I will be there as it’s 5 minutes from our house.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WITH A FAMILY LOOKING TO RELOCATE HERE?
Relocating your family isn’t easy, but it can be if you prepare as much as possible ahead of time.
Research schools and know your options. Remember: public schools are not accessible for expatriates, so ensure you know where your child is going to attend school.
Health Insurance - this is a big one. Make sure you know what you're getting and from which insurance agency. You can then contact them before you arrive to give yourself peace of mind knowing you’ve made contact.
Housing - obviously you need a place to live. There are several rental agencies here to help, make sure to utilize them.
Overall the one piece of advice I would give would be to send one family member to check out the island before diving in. Small island living definitely has its perks and benefits, but make sure you know what you're signing up for.