You’ve probably seen the Cosmopolitan story about the Yale graduate who left her nearly six-figure job and moved to St. John to scoop ice cream.
Or if not, maybe you’ve seen the Huffington Post article from one of my favorite bloggers, Budget Blonde, on how she paid off her debt by moving to a Caribbean island (the same one where I am, to be exact).
Something about living in this part of the world grants you revelations on how you should spend your time and money. When my husband got accepted to medical school in Grenada and I made the decision to enter grad school, we tried to ignore the fact that we would be drowning in debt while living in the Caribbean. We got our loan disbursements on time, and didn’t pay much attention to our budget even though many of our perceived necessities, like imported food from America or really cold air conditioning, cost so much more than they do at home. We were used to a certain standard of living that just wasn’t sustainable here.
As months progressed and we realized that we would run out of money if we kept shopping online or buying frozen pizzas, we were forced to reconsider the concepts of value and necessity. We joke about “when we’re rich” with multiple graduate degrees under our belts, but the reality is that we perceive wealth so much differently than we used to. Here are a few lessons we’ve learned in a year and a half of living here: