From Canada to Jamaica: Kate and Kayla

Published 2012-10-22 11:58:14

kate kaylaWe are Kate and Kayla, two Canadian girls who quit their jobs, sold everything and moved to Jamaica in pursuit of sunshine, adventure and happiness!

1. Why did you move abroad?
We travelled to Jamaica by chance, looking to escape the cold Canadian winter ...little did we know what an impact it would have on our lives!  We fell in love with the country, culture and climate and it just made us realize we wanted something different from what we were doing with our lives back home in Canada ... so we took a chance and moved to Jamaica!

2. How do you make a living?
At the moment, we actually travel back to Canada to work and earn money, as it is difficult to find work as a foreigner in Jamaica.  We do however, have plans in the near future to open our own business in Jamaica to enable us to live and work there permanently.

3. How often do you communicate with home and how?  
We are in regular contact with friends and family back home, thanks to very inexpensive long distance rates if you call from Jamaica, as well as email, facebook and skype.  

4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Jamaica?
That’s a tough questions to answer - there are so many aspects of living in Jamaica that we love!  The tropical climate (so very different from those cold Canadian winters!!) and the laid back, easy going lifestyle that Jamaica is famous for are probably our two favourites though, if we have to narrow it down!

5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Jamaica?
Probably the thing that we consider the worst about being a foreigner in Jamaica is just that - because Jamaica isn’t a country where a lot of people just up and move to, we are often treated like tourists.  In the community we live in, we have worked very hard to meet people and integrate ourselves into the culture, and prove that we’re not just there as tourists but are here to stay!

6. What do you miss most?
Our pets, Oscar, Atticus Finch and Priscilla, sushi, soy chai lattes, ketchup chips, poutine, and of course our amazing families and friends!   

7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?

Luckily for us, Jamaicans are very friendly people!  Anywhere and everywhere we go, whether its the shop down the street, the supermarket, the beach, etc, people always approach us .... it is so easy to meet people!  Jamaicans are always friendly and helpful towards us, so it has been so much fun getting to know people in our new country and letting them show us around and help learn the ropes!

8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?

Canadian and Jamaican cultures are extremely different.  It would be a very long list if we talked about the all!  The biggest difference (that we like the best!) is how friendly everyone is in Jamaica.  Walking down the street in Ottawa (our Canadian hometown) people rarely make eye contact and avoid strangers at all costs.

In Jamaica, however, everyone says hello to everyone as they walk down the street - from family to friends to total strangers!  It gives you a real sense of community to be in a place where on a daily basis total strangers say hello, ask if we’re ok, or just generally want to have a friendly conversation.  It makes every day an adventure because you never know who you’re going to meet, where you’ll end up, what you’ll learn or the adventure you’ll have!

9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
Before our first visit to Jamaica, we were told over and over (and over) again not to leave the resort and that Jamaica was such a dangerous place.  Let us tell you how wrong that advice was!  (There are dangers in any country you travel to, you just have to be smart about staying out of bad situations!)  One of the main things that we promote in our blog, is that if you travel to Jamaica, we encourage you to experience Jamaica the local way ... Jamaica is a beautiful country full of wonderful people and you will miss so much of what Jamaica has to offer if you don’t venture off the resort or tour bus!

10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has
that made a difference in your life?

If you live as a local, the cost of living in Jamaica is definitely less expensive than living in Canada.  (If you’re staying on resorts and villas long term, it is waaay more expensive!)  The biggest difference it has made in our lives is probably the fact that we now work to live in Jamaica.  We are able to go home to Canada, work for a few months and live off of our earnings, without any form of income while we are there.  All the while still being able to indulge in some of our favourite things Canada has to offer, those things mainly being the wide variety of food here!

11. What advice would you give other expats?
In terms of living in Jamaica, our advice would probably be: don’t be afraid to talk to people and ask questions!  You’ll get the answers and help you need, no problem! In terms of any expats anywhere in the world: just be open to all the new experiences that are out there, even if they might seem a little strange or scary, take a chance on adventure!kate kayla jamaica

12. When and why did you start your blog?
We started our blog in January 2012.  Our main goal was to share our travels, adventures, photos and stories with our families and friends back home ... we had no idea how many people our blog would actually reach!  We absolutely love writing our blog and meeting all kinds of people from all over the world who share our love for Jamaica!

Blog LinkKate and Kayla's blog


To find out more about living in Jamaica

Guide to Jamaica


To be considered for an interview (as well as other articles), add your blog to BlogExpat!


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Addthis


Author: texkourgan
Part of the adventure since 2008. Drink, Travel, Write

For other discussions, advice, question, point of view, get together, etc...: please use the forum.

More articles

- My Life Abroad -
A selection of expat stories

"A fun compulsive read!"
J. Matcham, Amazon

"I strongly advise people ready to live abroad to read this book!"
Patrice, Amazon