Expat Advice: Culture Shock in
Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia
An expat in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia talks about the challenges of moving to St. Lucia with a 2 year old. She advises others to research in advance, get out and do things and speak to as many people before your move as possible.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
No, I have travelled a fair bit during my life and did some research before we came, so I was confident we could give this experience a try.
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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?
English is spoken here, so lazily my brain doesn't have to train itself!
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
Not to this location, would have been different if the culture had been extremely different to what I know or a new language. I was concerned about my 2 year old girl though, and how she would settle.
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
Minimal, even though I had done some research before arrival, it still initially shocked me at how little there is here in terms of shops and things to do with a toddler and what you can buy for said 2 year old.
Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?
I don't think I really allowed myself to entertain these stages, as I had a young child to focus on and settle her and keep me busy. I also think that moving to a beautiful island helps to make you feel like you are on a permanent holiday....which isn't a bad feeling, although I don't think I could live it forever!
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
I have had some anger, but I think that is to do with the heat and having a 2 year old toddler pushing her limits! Frustration at not being able to buy all the food that I want at the same place in one go -- and sometimes having an island shortage of eggs, tomatoes, etc...but only mild and passing frustration!
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
The friendliness of people and the beach lifestyle in Saint Lucia.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Finding other mum's in the same situation with kids my child's age and activities for her to apart from the beach/pool. Also, cooking meals as I can't always get the ingredients I would like and can spend all day trying to think of new recipes.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
Not so far!...or not that anyone has pointed out to me ;)
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Research in advance and speak to as many people on the ground as possible prior to moving to Saint Lucia. Once there, get out and do things; join a gym or anything you can get involved in that your lifestyle allows to not be lonely.
More Expat Advice about Culture Shock in Saint Lucia