Why did we move to the Cayman Islands? It is a question that I still get asked many times (followed by LOTs of others!), even though after ten years of expat living across two continents, we are now back in Blighty. I hasten to add, that I come from a close family who were understandably surprised, yet incredibly supportive across the decade that we were out of the UK.
To be honest, as young twenty-somethings, my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) and I did not really have to think about too many factors. The obvious was the place and the job prospects; having to worry about kids and houses was four years in front of us. I admire those who emigrate with a family, we were in that situation when we moved to Spain, and boy do those priorities change (cue trying to negotiate a nursery space in extremely Spanish) !
My husband works in finance and I am a secondary school teacher, so we used a process of elimination in order to determine places that suited our relatively meagre requirements. We wanted good weather, widely spoken English and a higher standard of living that the one that we had living in a small flat in East London. I really only knew about the Cayman Islands on two counts: a documentary called ‘No Going Back’ where a couple got to experience life in Grand Cayman, and John Grisham’s ‘The Firm.’ It was as shallow as that. How simple life was back then.
So obviously we started to do our research about cost of living, work opportunities, visas etc. We managed to get in contact with a lovely company called Stepping Stones who basically sorted everything out for us. Rhodri was almost guaranteed a job within weeks of our arrival, and my secretarial skills (thank you GCSE Office Studies!) meant that I had a good chance of getting some temping work until a teaching role came up. They also arranged for us to stay with an English expat couple until we could find accommodation of our own.
Essentially though, we left two good jobs, packed two suitcases apiece and moved 4500 miles across the world. If I could turn back the clock and do it all over again, would I? You betcha!