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St. Michael, Barbados

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 09, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in St. Michael, Barbados. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to St. Michael?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to St. Michael, they said:

"Before moving to St. Michael, expats should know that the official language is English, but Bajan, a local dialect, is also widely spoken. The cost of living is relatively high compared to other Caribbean islands, especially for housing and imported goods. The currency used is the Barbadian dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar. Expats should be aware that the climate is tropical, with a wet season from June to November and a dry season from December to May. The healthcare system in Barbados is of a high standard, with both public and private facilities available. However, it is recommended to have comprehensive health insurance. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in Barbados, and an international driving permit is required to drive. Public transportation is reliable and affordable, with buses, minibuses, and route taxis available. Barbados has a relatively low crime rate, but petty crime like theft can occur, so it's important to take standard precautions. The island is also prone to hurricanes, so expats should familiarize themselves with local emergency procedures. The Barbadian culture is a blend of African, Indian, Irish, Creole, and British influences, and locals are known for their friendliness and hospitality. The island has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, restaurants, and clubs, particularly in the St. Lawrence Gap area. Expats should also be aware that Barbados has strict laws against drug use and possession, and penalties can be severe. Lastly, it's important to note that Barbados has a slower pace of life compared to many Western countries, and the concept of 'island time' is very much a reality," explained one expat living in St. Michael, Barbados.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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