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Moving to Bermuda

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Our relocation from the UK to Bermuda was a significant turn in our lives, ignited by my wife’s new opportunity as a Mammographer on the island coupled with my decade of experience working remotely in the tech industry, I’ve been able to adapt seamlessly to this change, striking a balance between my professional life and our new island life.

This blog is about our transition from the UK to Bermuda. It’s a candid narrative of navigating the complexities of an international move, adapting to a new culture, and the unique experience of living in Bermuda while remaining connected to my professional roots in the UK.

The Countdown Begins

The journey to Bermuda officially started on August 31, 2022, when my wife received her job offer. Knowing we had until late December 2023 to make the move, we began planning our transition. At that time, we were living in Bournemouth, England, a place that had been our home for around ~2 years.

The decision to move involved more than just packing bags; it meant a complete overhaul of our lives. We sold everything we owned, embracing the minimalist approach required for such a significant relocation. This process wasn’t just about physical belongings but also about preparing mentally and emotionally for the move.

After sorting out our possessions, we decided to spend our final few months in Scotland. This interim period was both bittersweet and sentimental, allowing us to reconnect with our homeland and spend quality time with close family and friends. We spent a final Christmas with my new in-laws, which was lovely, cherishing those moments together.

Amidst these farewells, we indulged in our favorite fast foods, like Domino’s and Greggs, savoring the tastes we knew we’d miss. Additionally, I had some final raves with my mates, making the most of these last moments in Scotland.

As the days in Scotland dwindled, the reality of our impending move to Bermuda became more tangible. It was a bittersweet countdown, filled with anticipation for the new chapter in Bermuda and nostalgia for the life we were leaving behind in the UK.

The Journey Begins

At the airport, the emotional goodbyes to friends and family were heart-wrenching, creating a somber mood as we made our way through security. Yet, the hardest part was leaving our dog Milo behind, knowing we wouldn’t see him for another three months. His absence left a void that was hard to ignore.

Once on the plane, the surreal feeling of this one-way journey to Bermuda truly hit us. To lighten the mood, we couldn’t help but make a sarcastic toast to our extra legroom – a small perk amidst the significant emotional upheaval of the day.

Arriving in Bermuda

As our plane touched down in Bermuda, it was evening, and the sun had already set. Despite the darkness, the island’s winter humidity enveloped us as soon as we stepped off the plane, a tangible reminder that we were in a new world. The air was thick and warm, a stark contrast to the crispness we were used to back in the UK.

The first task at hand was navigating the immigration process. We had to fill out first-time entry forms, which required my wife’s valid work permit. Despite having all the necessary documents, a sense of apprehension hung over us. The thought of something going awry and being sent back was unnerving. It felt like a significant hurdle, the final gatekeeper to our new life in Bermuda. But, with everything in order, we passed through without a hitch.

Once through immigration and customs, a local called Cal kindly picked us up. This first interaction with a Bermudian set a welcoming tone for our arrival. He drove us to our temporary accommodation, chatting amiably along the way and giving us a glimpse into the friendly and laid-back island culture. As we traveled through the night, the island’s lights twinkled like stars, guiding us to our new temporary home.

Cultural Adaptation

Adjusting to life in Bermuda has been a study in cultural contrasts, especially coming from our recent experiences in England where we often encountered a more reserved and sometimes indifferent attitude. Rebecca’s mum and aunt, who have lived in Bermuda before, shared a crucial piece of advice with us: in Bermuda, it’s customary and important to greet everyone. This practice is a stark contrast to what we’d grown accustomed to, where interactions were often more impersonal.

In Bermuda, I’ve found that a vast majority of locals, about 90%, are remarkably friendly and welcoming. This open and communal approach to life is refreshing, but it also presents a challenge for someone like me, who is naturally more reserved. Some days, I find it easy and pleasant to adapt to this outgoing way of life. Other days, it can be a bit draining, but I’m learning to embrace it more each day, shedding the remnants of the more self-contained culture we left behind.

We’ve also been getting used to the tipping culture here, which feels more significant given the already high prices of almost everything. This aspect of Bermudian life is something we’re still navigating, and I expect we’ll feel more at ease with it once we’ve fully settled into our permanent home. It’s a part of the adjustment process, learning to integrate into and respect the local customs and ways of life.

Exploring Our New Home

Our arrival in Bermuda brought immediate changes, starting with our accommodation. Thanks to Rebecca’s employer, we had a temporary, rent-free place near central Hamilton for our first month. This convenient location made our initial transition smoother and allowed us to focus on settling into our new environment.

To get about the island, we hired two scooters from Elbow Beach as long-term rentals to use as soon as we arrived. This decision cost us around $1,250 for six weeks and was a temporary measure until we passed our car driving/bike tests, the freedom they provided has been pure quality.

Additionally, we joined a local gym, @elitefitnessbda, investing in memberships at about $75 per month which was one of the more reasonably priced gyms in the city.

Plant-Based Diet

The availability of plant-based alternative meats has been a saving grace for our home cooking. Options like mince, burgers, faux chicken, and even hot dogs are available, which allows us to continue enjoying many of the recipes we had grown fond of in the UK. This variety has been crucial in helping us maintain our dietary habits, though it does come at a higher cost.

We’ve also been pleased to find a decent selection of vegan cheeses, plant-based milk, and essential ingredients for our daily meals. However, the cost of spices and tinned vegetables can add up quickly, pushing our overall monthly shopping expenses to around the $1,000 mark.

A silver lining to this has been the limited availability of familiar fast food which has inadvertently contributed to my loss of love handles - a welcome change.

On a final note; a small win was finding Irn Bru in a local supermarket, though at a noticeably inflated price of $3.40 per can compared to the mere £0.49 back home!

Reflections and Insights

Since landing in Bermuda, both my wife and I have been riding a wave of constant stimulation, thanks to the stark differences we encounter every day. It’s a mix of excitement and occasional overwhelm. There are moments when we absolutely love the change, fully embracing the newness around us, typically after a few Rum swizzles. Then, there are times when worry creeps in, pushing us into a mode of planning and reassessment. It’s a fluctuating experience, balancing the joy of new discoveries with the natural anxieties of such a big move.

Financially, there’s no denying that moving to Bermuda is an expensive endeavor. However, the benefits are already becoming evident. The friendly atmosphere, coupled with the stunning blue oceans, makes it all worth the effort.

Naturally, we miss our family, friends, and the comforts of our previous home. Yet, there’s an underlying sense of gratitude for the incredible opportunity we’ve been given to live in such a beautiful place. We’re determined to embrace everything about our new life in Bermuda, making the most of this unique experience.

Acknowledging Support

Looking back at our move to Bermuda, we’ve got to give a massive shout-out to everyone who helped us get here. Our friends and family weren’t just there for moral support; they were right in the thick of it, helping us sort and iron out all our logistical plans

And hey, let’s not forget us – my wife and I. Sure, there’s been a bit of luck, but man, we’ve worked our arse off to make this happen. Planning, packing, and getting used to a whole new world – it’s been a wild ride, but we’ve done it together. So here’s a pat on the back for us. We’ve earned it!

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