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Expat Exchange - 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Dominica
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Scotts Head, Dominica

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Dominica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: If you're planning a move to Dominica, here are 10 things expats living there wish they had known before moving to Dominica.

Are you considering a move to the beautiful island of Dominica? This Caribbean paradise is a popular destination for expats from around the world, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and a relaxed lifestyle. However, like any country, there are certain things you should know before packing your bags. Here are the top 10 things to know before moving to Dominica.

1. Understanding the Dominica Climate

Dominica boasts a tropical rainforest climate, which means it's warm and humid throughout the year. The island experiences heavy rainfall, especially between June and November, which is the hurricane season. However, the lush greenery and vibrant flora and fauna that the rain nurtures are a sight to behold. So, if you're moving from a country with a temperate climate, you might need some time to adjust to the tropical weather.

2. Embracing the Slow Pace of Life

Life in Dominica moves at a slower pace compared to many Western countries. This laid-back lifestyle is part of the island's charm. It's a place where people take time to enjoy life and value relationships over rushing around. This can be a significant change if you're used to a fast-paced city life, but many expats find this change refreshing and conducive to a healthier, stress-free life.

3. The Importance of Creole Culture

Dominica's rich Creole culture is a blend of African, French, and Carib influences. This is reflected in the island's music, dance, cuisine, and language. The official language is English, but many locals also speak Creole, a French-based patois. Understanding and respecting this unique culture will help you integrate into the local community and enrich your experience living in Dominica.

4. Dominica's Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Dominica is often referred to as the "Nature Island" of the Caribbean due to its stunning natural landscapes. From the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the Boiling Lake, the second-largest hot spring in the world, the island is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, bird watching, diving, and whale watching are popular activities among residents.

5. The Cost of Living in Dominica

The cost of living in Dominica is relatively low compared to many other Caribbean islands. Housing, groceries, and services are generally affordable. However, imported goods can be expensive due to import duties and transportation costs. It's also worth noting that while the local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the US dollar is widely accepted.

6. The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program

Dominica offers a Citizenship by Investment Program, which allows foreign nationals to acquire citizenship through a donation to the country's government or investment in real estate. This can be an attractive option for expats looking for a second passport or planning to make a long-term move to the island.

7. Healthcare Facilities in Dominica

While Dominica has a number of public and private healthcare facilities, the services may not be up to the standards you're used to in your home country. Serious medical conditions may require evacuation to a nearby island or back home. Therefore, it's essential to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation.

8. The Island's Resilience to Natural Disasters

Dominica is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, particularly between June and November. The island has shown remarkable resilience in the face of such natural disasters, with communities coming together to rebuild and recover. As an expat, it's important to be prepared and have a plan in place for hurricane season.

9. The Delicious Dominican Cuisine

Dominican cuisine is a delightful blend of Creole, African, and Indian influences. Fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and local vegetables are staples. Popular dishes include "mountain chicken" (actually a frog), callaloo soup, and saltfish. Trying and enjoying the local cuisine is a great way to immerse yourself in Dominican culture.

10. The Friendly and Welcoming Dominican People

One of the best things about living in Dominica is the people. Dominicans are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They are welcoming to foreigners and are always ready to help. As an expat, you'll have plenty of opportunities to make local friends and become part of the community.

Moving to a new country is always a big step, but knowing what to expect can make the transition smoother. By understanding these aspects of life in Dominica, you'll be well-prepared for your Caribbean adventure.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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AGS Worldwide Movers

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AGS Worldwide Movers

Scotts Head, Dominica


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