Take this quick quiz to see whether you would fare well living on a Caribbean island.
For many, living on a remote Caribbean island is equivalent to living the good life: the sandy beaches, the pleasant weather, friendly neighbors, etc. For others, it sounds like a great place to retire after years of living and working in the city.
If you’re wondering whether Caribbean island living could be for you, take this short test and find out!
Here’s how the quiz works: For each statement that you believe is completely true for you, give yourself 2 points. For each statement that is somewhat true for you, give yourself 1 point. For each statement that you don’t agree with at all, do not add any points to your score. Then, add up your score to find out whether Caribbean island living is for you!
1. You won’t “melt” in hot weather.
2. You don’t mind picking up a few phrases of a foreign language.
Unless you decide to live in a Caribbean country where the primary language is English, you’ll definitely need to at least learn the basics of another language. On some islands, the official language is Spanish, on others, it’s French. In addition, you’ll hear Papiamento, Dutch, and many forms of Creole. While it’s true that English is the language of tourism in the Caribbean, it has been estimated that only 16% of Caribbean natives speak it as their first language.
We’re not saying that you have to become perfectly bilingual. But when you live in such a melting pot of cultures like the Caribbean, it’s best to keep an open mind about the languages you’ll come into contact with.
3. It’s ok for bug spray to become a household item.
Some Caribbean countries tend to have more bugs than others–but they all got ’em. You’ll need to use bug spray at night and when traipsing through wooded areas. At certain times of the year it’s important to be extra careful due to mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya.
4. You would love to turn your bathing suit into everyday wear.
Yes, since Caribbean weather doesn’t vary too much year round, you could feasibly go to the beach every single day. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can waltz into stores and restaurants sporting nothing but your itty-bitty bikini. That faux pas is one of the worst on our list of things NOT to do in the Caribbean.
5. You don’t mind a little noise during Spring Break
Two to three weeks out of the year in April, things get much busier in the Caribbean. That’s all thanks to Spring Break, a time when college kids and families head to the Caribbean islands to take advantage of time off school. During the low season, you may see nary a tourist pass on your street– but during Spring Break and the Caribbean high season, you’ll spot plenty of them on your block.
Anyone who has ever moved to a “touristy” area has had to deal with a sudden influx of visitors now and then. However, this nuisance is well made up for by the fact that during the majority of the year, you may have most of the island to yourself.
6. You love animals– especially dogs and cats.
It’s no secret that the Caribbean is replete with many interesting species of animals that you probably won’t see in your hometown. Surprisingly, some islands are even home to monkeys, although they were imported during the colonial era. Nevertheless, the animals that you’ll see the most by far on Caribbean streets and byways are dogs and cats. Some islands have a serious problem with strays.
Luckily, adoption programs have helped diminish stray animal populations over the years, but many more are still waiting for a home. Could you be the proud future owner of a Caribbean potcake puppy?
7. You enjoy living a small town life.
Most Caribbean islands are small– meaning you can drive from one end to the other in a matter of hours. In small Caribbean towns, everyone knows everyone, and Caribbean island living generally tends to move at a slower pace. If these things sound like your ideal lifestyle, than the Caribbean is definitely for you!
8. Island time adjusts perfectly to your schedule.
Although saying that everyone in the Caribbean adheres to “island time” is an overstatement, life in the West Indies does tend to move at a slower pace. Sometimes people are more relaxed about exactly when events begin, or about what time they arrive at your house for a dinner date. However, this does NOT mean that Caribbean folks are late all the time, everywhere.
9. You’re prepared for occasional stormy weather.
Every year, the Caribbean region experiences what is known as “hurricane season”. During certain months, there are more tropical storms, rainstorms, and sometimes even hurricanes. However, powerful storms only appear once in a blue moon. In addition, some islands are completely out of the “hurricane hot zone”.
10. A little isolation doesn’t bother you.
Moving to a Caribbean island might mean leaving friends and family behind. If that’s perfectly ok with you, than it might be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made! The Caribbean can offer you a fresh start in a completely new environment. You’ll make new friends with locals, and live completely different experiences than what you’re used to.
We do have to warn you, however, that island isolation can also mean that certain goods may be pricier because they must arrive by sea or air. Or, they may not be available on the island you choose at all. Plus, things like movies may be released later in the Caribbean than in the US or Canada.
Doing some research before you go, or visiting the island on vacation will help you see exactly what living there could be like.
Is Caribbean Island Living for YOU?
15-20 points: YES! You would fit right in. Read more about the Caribbean islands and see which one would suit you best here.
9- 14 points: MAYBE. You would need to do thorough research first and make sure the island you choose really suits you before moving.
0-8 points: NO. Caribbean island living is probably NOT for you. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with that! Even if you don’t call it home, the Caribbean is a wonderful place to vacation.
Don’t forget to share your score in the comment section below!
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