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Moving to Jamaica > Ocho Rios >

An Expat Talks about Moving to Ocho Rios, Jamaica

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Ocho Rios

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

BRING

A Generator (Seriously), power cuts are rife and expect to be without power, internet or water for 2-3 days at a time.

Toiletries, I should have stocked up on things like shaving foam and toothpaste etc as it is far to expensive here.

An umbrella, it rains almost every day here (all year - dont believe the hype on net)

LEAVE AT HOME

Jumpers, coats etc - It is hot and humid

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Jamaica is dangerous, it is dangerous to drive in, walk in or just hang around in.

Get a good vehicle (They don't do second hand well here so I would get new if possible). Get a 4X4 as roads are crap!!

The only place to live are holiday apartments behind a security barrier, this said, always get an apartment beside the security barrier as you will get broken into if out of the way!

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

I live in a 2 bedroom apartment near Island village in Jamaica. I don't know of any expats locally. Work pays for this, it is basic accommodation and costs US1200 per month.

Beware of living close to too much hustle and bustle such as night clubs / late bars, you will be kept up with booming reggae music all night

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Work chose it for me. A word to the wise, if work is choosing your place to stay make sure you travel to Jamaica and see it for yourself. If work expect to send you to Jamaica they should pay for a 1 week trip to the country staying in a compounded hotel with a driver available to you. Do not move to Jamaica without being there before!!!

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Home costs are ridiculous, I don't pay for rent, electricity etc, however these are on average 3 times the cost.

Food is far far far too overpriced. I am still paid as if living in Europe and food on average is about 3-4 times more expensive here than home. Frozen stuff is extremely expensive

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Write a Comment about this Expat Report

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Comments about this Report

guest
Jan 16, 2012 10:05

If one wants to live in Jamaica, one must live like a Jamaican or pay the price!

guest
Jan 17, 2012 09:43

i agree with alot of this, but i have to say, it's not for everyone...having said that, it's a beautiful country, with many beautiful people, good food, great beaches and swimming, fresh fruits galore...it's hard to adjust to, if you are immediately thrown into it, yes, i suggest you visit and see what you think first..i did live in westmoreland, for a couple years, and i loved it, but again, not for everyone...

guest
Jan 25, 2012 09:29

Jamaica is not a cheap island.Local food and fresh fruits can be more reasonable than imported given that you can cook it yourself. Be aware that vendors will "jack-up" the price on foreigners. Anyone going to live in Jamaica needs to be educated on the culture and the tricks and tactics embedded in the culture and how to circumvent those hurdles.

guest
Jan 25, 2012 09:35

Jamaica is not a cheap island.Local food and fresh fruits can be more reasonable than imported given that you can cook it yourself. Be aware that vendors will "jack-up" the price on foreigners. Anyone going to live in Jamaica needs to be educated on the culture and the tricks and tactics embedded in the culture and how to circumvent those hurdles.

guest
Mar 20, 2012 23:46

Some things that was mentioned about Jamaica was true, on the other hand some things that were mentioned we're just not true. Yes, I agree crime is high and one needs to be cautious as to which areas are unsafe and which places are. Driving in Jamaica is very frightening at time. But so is driving in naples italy, no one obeys trafffic lights. Roads in Jamaica narrow and winding with huge potholes. But Jamaica also has new highways and currently building new highways. I was in Jamaica for two weeks and it rain once or twice, but I find it rains a whole lot in the south of Spain too. For a tourist yes Jamaica will be expensive, but for someone living there, they will learn where to find bargains and to stretch a dollar. Electricity and gas is high. But I find food to be cheaper than in the US. Go to the market. Find a local butcher, or grow your own vegetable! This is a beautiful island that have some wonderful people. Just don't go off of one person's opinion.

guest
Mar 21, 2012 06:49

This post is greatly exagerated, it's not that bad! I have been there 8 or 9 times for work and lesuire, never had any problems. As with any country you use your common sense, don't go to dodgy areas on your own at night (same as for London/New York). Don't wonder around with lots of cash and possesions (same as LOndon/New York). The Island is beautiful, there's lots to do and if you intergrate with the locals you will have a great time, if you keep yourself locked away behaind a compound like a prosioner obviously you'll hate it.

guest
Apr 17, 2012 07:14

You can get broken into regardless of the country you live in,so please don't let this seem as if it only happens in Jamaica.Jamaica is a beautiful island and you should try to enjoy it without being so harshly judgemental.

guest
Jan 27, 2013 07:53

wow you make it sound so hard and expensive my dream is to one day live in jamaica which seems like paradise to me my dad is from portland but he is now in newyork. i have relatives that think i am joking about moving to jamaica but i am serious i felt at home there but i was in a resort and i now its not the real life in jamaica but i will return and i can experience real life in jamaican so i can see how rough it really is

Gardis
Feb 15, 2013 22:03

Wow, I found that response quite negative, bordering on exaggerated. I worked in Kingston Jamaica in the 1990's for 10 years. I was the GM of an apparel assembly plant in one of the free zones that were popular at the time. I first stayed in hotels, then had a house with caretaker near Hope Road. It does not rain every day, I have no idea where that came from. The weather is glorious most of the time, far less humid than Florida, even in summer, and yes, there is rain occasionally, usually a quick shower, after all you are in the tropics. I had a 2nd hand car, there are many auto dealers all over, you will have no trouble finding a car. Stick with Japanese autos, it's what they know and understand. Do not go exotic in Jamaica. They dont' have the training or experience to handle it, unless you have a ton of money with you. I have not been back in some years, but I have friends down there, and keep in touch, read the Gleaner every day on line. I would love to think I could buy a condo in Ocho Rios or thereabouts, near the Caribbean one day, but I have an aging parent right now, so that is out of the question. I mixed in very well with the Jamaica,s my workers loved me, and I miss the expat life. Jamaica is dangerous if you are a big businessman, with a flashy car, and attract the wrong kind of attention. if you mix in, don't "go native", stay away from the ganja, you will be just fine. Kingston has great restaurants, is very cosmopolitan for a 3rd world country, I enjoyed it. Miss it terribly! Feel free to write me, Gardis in CT, USA Feb. 15, 2013

kristycarr
Mar 28, 2013 23:01

what experience have you had , ive had nothing but fun enjoyment and safety in the 6 years i have been here ,I live with the local people in the hills of trelawny ,with no threat of fear or danger .I walk freely and have nothing but respect from the people who are the most friendly .I feel more safe here then i did back in the UK.My home has no security bars that's how comfortable i feel here . I travel alone shop go to the beach the markets without fear . It hasn't been an easy ride but i have a home here now and have no regrets

guest
Sep 18, 2013 18:21

What about moving to Oracabessa in St.Mary Jamaica

JamLiving
May 9, 2015 15:42

The roads especially the off roads are rough, buy a good car although you CAN easily get a used car just by browsing the Ad sections. There are so many, many safe neighborhoods which are not gated, it's more expensive to live there..just like a good school "district" in the States, so there's the parallel. You will naturally pay more rent -not for good school districts in Jamaica, since the school system is not based primarily on location- but for the safer neighborhoods like in most countries, most definitely!

Expatriate Health Insurance

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Expats move to Jamaica for a variety of reasons. Some go for work, while others want to retire there or live an island lifestyle. Moving to Jamaica requires thorough research and a recognition that island life is can be quite different than one might expect.

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Expats in Jamaica discuss the best schools for expat children - from very expat-oriented schools like AISK and Hillel to more local private schools like St. Andrews and Montego Bay Christian Academy.

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