You’re probably quite excited about exploring how beautiful island living could be if you and your family are among the many foreigners who have decided to take advantage of the attractive Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program. Moving to this country imminently, or giving yourself the option to move in the future, can seem quite an adventure, especially if you have been living in a densely populated city for a long time.
And, when it comes to the best citizenship by investment program in the Caribbean, wonderful possibilities await you and your family, particularly if you have young children. These possibilities are not limited to the countless pros of island life. The island is also one of the most tax-friendly places in the world to be residents.
Besides the tax benefits, living in Antigua and Barbuda will provide you with one of the most powerful passports in the world. An Antiguan passport will allow you to travel visa-free to over 140 jurisdictions. Therefore, if your family loves to spend time abroad for leisure, you can do so in a hassle-free way as a citizen of this twin-island nation.
However, if you are leaning more toward an authentic island life for your family, settling in should be your priority. To make it easier, especially for the kids, here are seven helpful tips:
1. Develop a taste for local delicacies
One of the top tips shared by expats on settling in Antigua is trying out and getting used to the local food. It’s good to train your palate for the local flavors of the islands. After all, immersing yourself in the country’s culture is not complete without developing a taste for traditional dishes and the local produce.
At the same time, this is a fun activity with the family. It’s nice to discover dining establishments where your family can regularly have brunch over the weekends or take visiting family and friends, and maybe even celebrate special occasions.
2. Continue living with a sense of wonderment
Most of the time, only tourists display this sense of wonder, but to cultivate a strong appreciation for your new or second home in this world, continue exploring what the country has to offer. How to get started?
Go on a 365-beach challenge. Antigua and Barbuda boast one beach to explore for every day of the year. Of course, you can’t spend an entire year just checking out one beach after another, but how about making sure that you get to do so with your family?
It’s an easy enough goal to accomplish and keep your family busy yet excited for your first year here.
3. Learn local-speak
Although English is the official language of the country, it’s a worthwhile effort to learn the other vernaculars. This will help you and your family develop friendships with locals better, especially if you intend to launch a business in Antigua and Barbuda.
Most people in the middle and upper class avoid speaking Antiguan Creole, but you may want to learn it if you are all about making friends with people from different walks of life. It’s also a good spot to practice your Spanish, which is spoken by about one-tenth of the country’s population.
4. Support the country’s green initiatives
Antigua and Barbuda are one of the few countries taking environmental protection quite seriously. Among its world-renowned green initiatives is banning single-use plastic. It’s the first country in the Caribbean region to do so.
In addition, it takes the fight against marine pollution to the next level by continuously educating locals and visitors about the best practices in protecting the country’s gorgeous waters and aquatic wildlife, such as the sea turtles and stingrays.
Demonstrate your family’s community spirit by supporting these initiatives and perhaps even actively participating in the movement, especially when you launch a business venture.
5. Make outdoor exploration a regular family activity
Antigua and Barbuda islands are not only blessed with stunning seascapes and underwater marvels; they are abundantly blessed with lush forests, as well. Go on a hiking trip to see these forests with the little ones. There are eco-tours your family can join whenever it’s convenient.
Hike up Mount Obama — a lot of expats consider this a top hobby because even kids won’t have trouble with the incline. Plus, hiking is a wonderful form of workout, and getting the kids acquainted with the country. And once you get to the summit, you’re treated to the gorgeous landscape of the island.
Another activity worth considering is a kayaking adventure around the mangroves, which are found on both Antigua and Barbuda. This trendy activity is for the young and young at heart. Join a kayaking class, so you and the kids can develop more confidence about living close to the water.
6. Join in the festivals
Antigua has seven crucial holidays, and festivals scattered throughout the year. Do be in the country for these if you want to understand your new home’s culture and traditions fully. Being present and taking part in these special events can reinforce your decision to settle here with your family.
Another advantage to joining the festivals, if you’re an entrepreneur, is that this can present various business opportunities. So, if you are looking to grow your wealth here, you’d best be here in time for all these essential occasions.
7. Create the home of your dreams.
If you have a home where your dreams and joy thrive, you’ll settle in it much faster. So, create the home of your dreams here. Make it not just a thing of beauty, but a place where you and your family can truly feel at ease and safe, and pursue your interests.
For a big property, why not grow your own vegetable garden? Maybe landscape your outdoor space to make entertaining guests as enjoyable as possible? Install a pool, a fire pit, and even a playground for the kids. By doing these, you can achieve that standard of life that you have always wanted and genuinely feel like Antigua is your home.
There’s no denying that moving to Antigua and Barbuda can take some adjusting, but it’s the same everywhere else. For some, the change can prove too overwhelming, so they end up going back to their country of origin. But, with the tips discussed above, settling in can be a marvelously unforgettable experience and the complete realization of the life transformation you’ve always desired.
Kal Kennard is the Managing 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.