Why We Made the Move to an Island in the Caribbean
In: Family, Island Life, Island Living, Lifestyle
If you’ve been following this blog, you may at some point have wondered what would possess a family (with a young baby no less) to leave almost everything behind and move to an island in the Caribbean? When we told friends and family (and a few curious and nosy strangers) about our impending move, this was almost always the first question they asked.
If you’re one of those inquiring minds, you need not wonder any longer! Today is the day you’ll get your answer to that burning question. And if you’re just not interested, feel free to skip this post. :)
For almost 10 years now, MJ has been coming to our island for a mixture of business and pleasure, and fell in love with it many years ago. My first experience on the island was in 2014, when we spent two weeks here for our wedding and honeymoon and obviously I loved it too. But it wasn’t our intention to move to the island.
Sure, we thought maybe when we were old and retired we would settle here, but not in the foreseeable future. We were happy in Austin and had no plans of leaving.
All that changed one August evening in a hotel room in Chicago. MJ was speaking at a real estate investment education event in Chicago, so naturally Baby Girl and I tagged along with him to the event.
One of the speakers at the event had moved his family from the US to the island over 10 years ago. During his talk he raved about his experience with life on the island and spoke about what an amazing life he and his family have created there.
Though MJ and I had both heard him speak before, this time it struck a chord with MJ. He came back to our hotel room that night (I had been with Baby Girl who had gone to sleep for the night at 6:00) with a renewed excitement about the island and the opportunities there.
At one point, MJ made what he thought was a throw away comment, “I keep thinking… what if we moved there?” to which I responded “Maybe we should”. I think I gave MJ quite the shock with my response! For some reason, as we talked that night something clicked inside my head and it seemed moving to the island just might be the right decision for our family.
Immediately we were excited about the prospect, and the more we talked about moving the more sense it made. We decided to plan a date night solely to discuss the prospect of moving when we returned to Austin.
About a week later, we returned to Austin left Baby Girl in the care of her Godmother for the evening and we got down to business. As we talked it became clear moving to the island was the best thing for our family.
One of the best parts of MJ being a business owner is that we have the ability to live anywhere we want, as long as he has access to internet and a phone. With this in mind, it was hard to find any reason not to move. Within a couple hours we had made the decision to move!
You may well be wondering how in the world we could have made such a huge decision in a matter of hours. I know I would be if I were in your shoes looking in from the outside.
So to answer this question, I’ll give you our top five reasons for making the move and you can judge for yourself.
I’ll start with the most obvious and cliché reason for our move. Daily temperature highs on the island range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s year round. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless you’re living in SoCal. While we loved Austin, the weather could be a bit extreme.
Austin has four seasons – Winter (fairly chilly), Spring (aka allergy season), Summer (excruciatingly hot, we’re talking 90 days straight of over 100 degrees combined with high humidity) and Fall (which boasts nearly perfect weather).
So all in all, we really only had about three months of great weather. Being from Chicago, the weather was a significant upgrade for me, but MJ (having moved to Austin from SoCal) had a hard time with the weather and was hit bad during allergy season.
Both MJ and I have a bit of an adventurous side, and the move appealed to this aspect of our personalities. It was a chance for us as a family to have our first real adventure together, and what better place to do this than on a tropical island?
Both the island and country offer so many opportunities for adventure; snorkeling, diving, boating, visiting Mayan ruins, exploring caves, hiking through the rainforest… to name a few, not to mention being immersed in an entirely new culture.
3. Financial Sense
You wouldn’t expect to hear that making the move to a different country (especially an island) would make much sense financially, but for us it did. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, and along with that comes sky rocketing real estate prices and rental rates.
MJ and I both love boating and being on the water, but if we wanted to make that happen in Austin it was going to cost us a pretty penny. Surprisingly, we could make our dream happen on the island for a lot less. Plus, for the most part the general cost of living on the island is lower and the tax breaks are an extra incentive.
The island is still in the early stages of development and therefore there are a lot of investment and business opportunities here. Moving to the island is allowing us to take part in a great investment opportunity and take steps toward creating financial freedom.
5. Family Friendly
The culture on the island is very family oriented and family friendly. We could easily see Baby Girl growing up here and having a wonderful childhood. We loved the idea of exposing her to new cultures and experiences, and what little girl wouldn’t love having the ocean as her playground?
MJ had the unique opportunity to grow up on three different continents (South America, Europe, and North America) and I believe this contributed to him being a well-rounded person, so we wanted to give Baby Girl the same opportunity.
On top of all this, we knew if for some reason it didn’t work out, it would be easy for us to move back to the states. Our plan is to re-evaluate each year if the island is the best place for our family, and if we decide one day it is not, we have the freedom to move again.
So now you have all the details… whether you wanted them or not!
I can’t imagine a better place for us to be in this stage of life. Life on the island is without a doubt giving us the chance to live a “beauty full” life, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this incredible opportunity.
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