The Bahamas Through The Eyes Of A Transplanted American

Posted on 01/05/2014 ~ Categorized as Live
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dhalbert@escapeartist.com

As the lead inbound marketing consultant and web designer, Don Halbert practices what he preaches and enjoys living, working, playing and investing abroad in Costa Rica.

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I have compiled the following pages for your enjoyment, with the help from my wife Andria. She is a native born Bahamian, who spent 25 years living in the United States, while I am an American.

I wrote this E-Book to assist people who might desire to move to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and to better understand the people and lifestyle. The Bahamas consists of over 700 islands of which approximately 34 are inhabited.

Besides the processes of relocating there, I’ve added chapters to familiarize you to this glorious island called “New Providence, as I am experiencing it.

I have also added a map of New Providence within the book. I found that while editing this piece, that over a period of time, one changes the style of writing of the American/English literature. It has changed so that you might experience a little of the Bahamian style of writing and spelling.

If you have ? a million dollars, you won’t need to read any further, just fly or boat over and deposit your cash into a business or purchase property and you SHOULD be “Good to Go”.  (I was told this in 1993, but doubt it is as easy today).

Actually, the Bahamian government has passed some strict banking laws during the month of December 2001. This was a major banking act to check on all major deposits to discourage money laundering or drug money entering the country.  One better have documentation as to where your funds came from. If you have the proper documentation, you’re “Good to Go”. We traveled between Florida and New Providence, Bahamas from November of 2001 through February of 2002 four times to reach our point of debarkation from the United States to permanently live in the Bahamas.

These trips attribute to a lot of the experiences mentioned.

I started taking notes during this time and waited until I had lived here a full year before completing this book. Daily, I experienced something that needed to be added in the various chapters.

For informational purposes, Nassau is the capital of the island New Providence. The island is made up of many communities all with specific names. People here are referred to as from ”the specific community”, like towns. We finally ended up living in a Beach House in Adelaide Village after almost two years in Coral Harbour.

Hurricane Michele visited us while we were in New Providence in November of 2001. It was quite the experience. I share this experience with you further on in this book.

Please note that the Bahamians are professionals when it comes to mentally dealing with the weather, unlike us Americans.

As I mentioned, I am married to a Bahamian and it has been essential for speed through the immigration process.  Otherwise it takes CASH, which will also aid in speed, to be here legally. If you are just here looking for work, and the easy life, you better have plenty of cash to survive here.

Many Bahamian companies will not call you for an interview. They are far too many restrictions, along with fines, when it comes to hiring a Non-Bahamian. Many people, such as the Haitians, are turned back daily for not having the proper papers to move here.

Americans are also denied the right to work when their passport is stamped at Immigration. Check it out. “Not Eligible To Seek Gainful Employment” After I had received my “Spousal Permit”, I noticed the immigration stamp entering the country had changed. It no longer included the words “Not Eligible To Seek Gainful Employment”. I also look back and believe I used the wrong word “speed” as you will come to understand.

The Bahamian people have their own Lingo, far from the American slang I was used to. The first several months, I found myself constantly asking my wife, “What did he say, or what does that mean”? I have compiled a list of the common phrases or lingo to assist you while conversing with a Bahamian.

Shopping for groceries in the Bahamas is also a unique experience. The prices are high and quite often the item you thought would be simple to acquire may take several different stores to find.

Excerpted from “So, You Want To Move To The Bahamas: Through The Eyes Of A Transplanted American” in Escape From America Magazine, Issue 59.


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