After 6 months of living in Cayman Islands I have found few things that have surprised me, made me disappointed and made me change my usual travel ways.
Well, for starters when you imagine Cayman Islands. You imagine beach and sun and people being chilled, maybe some hippies wondering around and beach bars on every corner. Every one being happy and spending times outdoors all the time. Well, that’s not the case at all. Wonder what is the difference…
# Everyone is driving a car.
And because of that traffic its always bad to move around the island. so if you decide to grab lunch from 7mile beach and you are in Georgetown then most likely you will end up 15 minutes sitting in traffic, another 15 waiting for food and last 30 waiting in traffic again as its lunch hour. End result. Eat lunch in the car.
-And about cars. Seems that every car you could by in any other country for nothing, here you might end up spending thousands. Because of all the import fees and taxes.
-Also bicycles and scooters are erarely around and people dont seem to cycle a lot . And everyone tells me repeatedly that cycling here is super dangerous . Well , guess u havent cycled in Asia or Europe .
-Warning . Many , many drunk drivers on the island . I mean i would a guy in the bar having loads of shots and later on sit in his car and rive home. Crazy world.
First day I arrived. Walked in Kirks marked and started shopping. First thing I noticed was fridge section was huge. And Fruit are so expensive. To give u some idea. Dragon fruit (only one fruit) about 11 Euro. I mean that’s a lot to pay for one dragon fruit. Something are cheaper some more expensive.
Then I got to the milk section and there is low fat milk, 2 % milk, Organic milk, slim milk … But where is normal milk?. Just milk. There are about 15 different choices of milk. That made me confused
At the end I got whole milk and got home. Decided to read label and realized that its full of sugar. I still drink milk and enjoy it even with all that sugar in it.
Also most of the shops have carvery section where u can buy food in lunch time and mostly get charged by weight. Mostly chicken wings, salads and pastas.Inshops like Fosters and Hurleys .
Most of the food is full of sugar or salt. SO I have switched to nuts (Quite expensive). Salads, smoothies that I make at home and rice (They say that rice is really good for stomach).
Oh this topic is strange. It seems that islands are somehow created for older generation. All the places close early or are just empty. There are few places where bit younger crowd (20 and 30ties) hang out.
Places, like, Royal palms, Rackham’s, Calicos, Office, Bananas, Wraft and few more. But overall don’t expect full blown mad party. You just go out, get some drinks and hope night will bring you to the best of the best. Just hope. Sometimes you might just end up in the closest subway having random food.
When u imagine beach you think of hot people in Bikinis laying on sunbeds and sipping on Mojitos. This is not the place for it. Some places outside hotels you might see that, but mostly beaches are empty. No one really spends time there. I thought it was strange as most of the people have moved to Cayman to be closer to water and enjoy beach. But somehow they never leave their homes for it.
If you walk by the beach in the early morning or evening, all you will see is dog walkers and tourist from time to time ( As they see beach once a year )
Everyone have one and they spend all time on them. There always a call or message to answer and people don’t find it rude or strange. In the middle of conversation people would just take phone out and start texting. Does not really make sense to me. I mean if you’re out and sit in front of awesome person and there they answering yet another “important “ call.
And also everyone texts. What happened with old fashion talking to person over the phone. I mean you can talk on what’s up for free. Why wouldn’t you?!
Miss talking to people and hearing their voices.
After a while on island, somehow I have met only few. Seems that all are hiding somewhere.
Many of Caymanians seems to have high end jobs where they can afford big cars with toned windows that no one can ever see them.
All the posters and pictures people see before they arrive in Cayman are with clear sky and no clouds, but just to make it clear. It rains in Cayman. And it can rain for days and a lot! So don’t be surprised about that!!
Before you ever thing of moving here please do remember that living cost is really high. Like a 1-bedroom place in George Town will cost u about 600 Euro a month the cheapest. Plus, all the bills. Sometime you can get a place bit cheaper, but most likely it’s a studio apartment with no cooker or something else missing.
Seven-mile beach rentals are even worse. To rent a room u might get away with 800 Euro. If it’s an apartment it would be around 1000 euro or more. Many cases not even including bills. Most of the people come down to Cayman to work and hope that they can find cheap place and save most of the money.
I will crush your dreams now, mostly people end up struggling to find good place and when they do. Rent is very expensive so they end up spending most of the salary on accommodation.
Options are to either rent your own studio or 1-bedroom apartment or just share house with random people. In my case this have not really worked out so well.
But overall apartments are very nice and clean and renovated mostly. Bills in apartments are expensive. CUC ( Air-conditioning ) costs about 100 Euro minimum a month . Internet and TV about 100 or more a month. Also electric and gas.
Look for places at Cayman Trade classifieds website
This island is all about tourist. Even when you meet someone who`s been here for a while. At the end of the day they are still a tourist. Not really knowing anything about island. Only all the tourist points. Sadly. When ask them more about culture or anything Cayman, they simply don’t know.
Also island is a popular destination for celebrities, so if you feel like playing recognition game
# Life in general
I must say that CAYMAN ISLANDS are a great place to visit or move here, but is not as many would expect. Daily life is the same as in any other place and does not feel more relaxed in any way. Sun and sea is like a distant blur around the island that no one really cases as much about, sadly. Everyone is still rushing to work to be on time and spend free time in pubs, the same as any other place.
Most of the people I met have moved here with families and have decided to stay here for long. This is not a place for people with mad backpacker spirit who want to explore. As everything is already explored, advertised and sold.
I am looking forward to meet local Caymanian lady to learn about the past. About the good days, when things were cheap and everyone seen themselves in the same “class “. Not flashing money and measuring friends.
Cayman is the place for visiting first time abroad, for safe family holiday, for people to work in banking jobs, for rich. Not so much for middle class or even poor. For all of the people (including me) I would say. Come, see, stay and decide for yourself.
And if you wanna add you own comment about Cayman Islands : Leave a comment .
Papau New Guinea