As one of the most sought-after and enchanting destinations in the Caribbean, you won’t be faulted for wanting to move to Antigua for your retirement.
This country is home to some of the most magnificent beaches in the region. It is peaceful and also has that laid back vibe that makes it the perfect place for retirement.
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is also one of the most attractive reasons to move and enjoy your golden years here. You will have the opportunity to own a residential property in the country and get a second passport legally — one that will grant you visa-free entry or visa-upon-arrival privilege to more than 140 countries.
Additionally, this second passport won’t require you to renounce your nationality. As such, you will be a legal citizen of Antigua and Barbuda while still having access to the benefits provided by your home country.
Although Antigua is the nearest thing to a paradise, you will still face various challenges as you start a new life in this country.
If you want to get accustomed to a new lifestyle as fast as possible to start enjoying your retirement, follow these tips for transitioning in Antigua:
Researching your destination is one of the top tips you have to follow when moving to a different country. By having an idea of the geography and weather conditions of your new home, you will know what clothes and other items you need to pack.
Learning about the norms and cultural expectations in Antigua beforehand is essential for acclimatizing faster as well. Knowing the accepted habits and etiquettes in your soon-to-be home will help you make the transition smoothly and quickly.
Getting to know more about your new home, though, shouldn’t stop upon your arrival in Antigua. Continue learning about the country: its culture, history, customs, and way of living. You can do this by reading various materials online.
You can also broaden your knowledge by visiting museums and joining tours or activities that provide learning experiences to tourists and newcomers.
Additionally, learn more about the country by talking to the locals. Strike up conversations with your neighbors, the sellers at the market, and other people you encounter regularly. Aside from broadening your knowledge of your new home, you will make new friends, too.
If you live in a country with four seasons, start changing your mindset and get ready to stay in a country with only two weather changes: dry and wet.
July to November is the rainy and wet period of the year. December to June, on the other, is considered the summer season.
Since it is hot and dry most of the year, you have to be vigilant against the harsh effects of the sun. Always keep a stock of sunscreen and apply it all over your body and face before going out. Use a wide-brimmed hat or an umbrella for additional protection against the harmful UV rays.
It would be best if you started making changes in your lifestyle and habits, too, once you start living in Antigua. If you were not fond of drinking plenty of water before, you have to change this since you need to say hydrated all the time, especially if you stay long outdoors.
If you don’t drink the right amount of water daily, you will feel tired and get sick frequently – things you don’t want to happen during your retirement.
Whether you bought a house, villa, or apartment, you can overcome your homesickness (which is one of the biggest obstacles for acclimatization) by making your private space as familiar and comfortable as possible.
Add your personality to the décor of the home. Create an accent wall using your favorite color or buy rugs and other features that highlight your interests and preferences.
If you need to buy new furniture pieces, get ones that are similar to the ones you have in your old home. You can also arrange them in a way that is reminiscent of the arrangement in your previous abode.
Lastly, display pictures of your family and friends and other decorative items they gave you. Do the same for anything you brought from your old home. Whenever you see these pieces, you will feel warmth and comfort, which will help you overcome your homesickness.
Eating your favorite food is an excellent way to forget your worries and feelings of homesickness. However, don’t stick to fare that you have been eating all your life. Sample Antigua’s culinary delights as well.
Try fungie, Antigua and Barbuda’s national dish. Ducana, seasoned rice, pepperpot, and rotti are also other must-try local offerings.
The country is also known for its variety of fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Sample the different ways they are cooked when you go to a restaurant that serves local cuisines.
If you want to prepare your meals, use the local ingredients. Try to cook some local dishes as well; you can get the recipes from the Internet.
Remember that food is part of the local culture. When you explore the country’s gastronomic scene, you will broaden your mind and adapt faster to your new home.
That said, Antigua is home to some of the best international restaurants in the region with an abundance of award-winning fusion, French and Italian cuisine.
Lastly, discovering what the country has to offer is a wonderful way to enjoy your retirement, feel more comfortable, and learn more about your new home.
Start by exploring your neighborhood and nearby communities. Next, visit popular sites and attractions and find out what makes them special. These include Dickenson Bay, St. John’s, Shirley Heights Lookout, and Devil’s Bridge National Park.
As much as possible, explore the areas by foot so that you can see more and learn the lay of the land at the same time.
Having everything you require for living in Antigua will also give you peace of mind, the most important thing you need to enjoy your retirement and acclimate to your new home. These include your funds, insurance, medicines, and other items you value.
When you have everything you need at your reach and have an adventurous spirit, you will never regret your decision to choose the best citizenship by investment program and finally move to Antigua.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.