Living on a island has its pros and cons, and it’s definitely not for everyone. That said, us city folk have been here for two years and we’ve decided to stay for a couple more, so I guess island living is for us! If you’re thinking about moving to a tropical island, I thought I would share the pros and cons!
T H E C O N S
There are a lot of bugs… and more. Mosquitoes, sand flies, ants, geckos, snakes, jellyfish… I stumbled upon a nest of baby scorpions yesterday and killed 6 of them (though I’ve only seen 4 other scorpions in my two years here). I’m not a squeamish person so creepy critters don’t really bother me. But mosquitoes are definitely bad news bears because they carry many dangerous diseases, and things like dengue fever do worry me.
It is hot and humid. It takes a long time for your body to adjust to the heat, up to a year I’ve read. You see locals wearing long sleeves and jeans and not break a sweat, while I’m sweating buckets in a tank top and cut offs! It is hot and humid most of the year, when it’s not raining, and there’s a lot of that too. You still get plenty of sunshine in rainy season though and showers for the most part only last a short time. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the heat and humidity, but my skin is!
Everything happens on island time. Which is fine for our personal lives. Everyone always makes plans at the last minute because none of us are ever doing anything, there is no difference between weekdays and weekends, and in general the concept of time is very lax. But it’s frustrating when it comes to getting things done — waiting for a repairman, delayed construction projects (since you have to build most things yourself), locals always showing up late. But it’s just a part of island life that you learn to accept. It certainly teaches you patience and just going with the flow.
There is a lack of infrastructure. This can be frustrating coming from the Western world where most things are very efficient and there are rules and laws for everything. Regular brownouts, slow internet, poor cell phone service, lack of government services, lots of red tape, no roads… the list is too long to go on. But it shows you how it isn’t that hard to live without things that many consider necessities because we do all the time!