Emigrate to a tropical paradise?

Emigrate to a tropical paradise?
We have all thought about it. Who wouldn’t want to leave behind the grey skies of Britain and the misery of the commuter rush hour to live on a tropical island far from the crowds? It all sounds very appealing when you are struggling through the rain, desperately running for the bus, or have your nose pressed up to someone’s armpit whilst traveling on the tube. No one can have missed the story about Ben Southall who landed the best job in the world. The post came with a salary of £75,000 per annum and as the caretaker of Hamilton Island off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Ben will be living on a stunning tropical island. As if that was not enough the job comes with a three-bedroom villa with a pool and beautiful views and only requires Ben to work for 12 hours a month. Not surprisingly Ben has discovered that he has a larger circle of friends than he knew, all of whom can’t wait to visit Ben on his tropical island.

Of course Ben’s job is not permanent; he is on a 6 month contract. So for the rest of us what would it really be like to live on a tropical island and in today’s crowded world is there still anywhere that is really remote?

One of the problems with immigrating to a tropical island is that global warming is threatening many idyllic areas of the world. The Maldives are renowned the world over for their beautiful beaches and gently swaying palm trees. These islands are the epitome of what a tropical paradise should be. However, the Maldives are low-lying islands and if global warming continues the sea level could rise eventually flooding this tropical paradise. The elected president of the Maldives has already indicated that the country would have to set aside some of its billion dollar annual tourist revenue to in order to buy a new homeland as the rising seas are threatening to turn the 300,000 inhabitants into environmental refugees. Rising sea levels are not the only threat that beautiful parts of the world are facing. Montserrat was also once an island paradise in the Caribbean, but the eruption of the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano in July, 1995 left much of it under a mountain of ash. Two-thirds of the island’s population were forced to flee and although some people have remained in their homes large parts of the island are uninhabitable and these areas are certainly not picturesque. A beach-front property may be everyone’s idea of the ideal home. After all what could be better than having the sea lapping at your front porch? When the weather is fine it would indeed be ideal, but tropical regions are often lashed by typhoons or even tsunamis which means that your once idyllic property can be swamped beneath the waves.

Many people have moved to areas that they considered a paradise, only to have things go wrong either due to lack of money or lack of research, or to find that it was not as idyllic as they had expected. However, if you do your research first then you may well find your paradise.

One of the first things that you need to consider is whether you really would be suited to life on a tropical paradise. You may have beautiful skies and blue oceans, but can you really leave behind your family and friends? You may find that there is limited contact with the outside world through television or mobile phones.

Picking the right place is also important. Some people love the hustle and bustle of city life whilst others long for the peace and tranquility of a remote island. If you have always wanted an ocean view then now is the time to do something about it. Researching the right place before you go will help you settle into your new home.

Before leaving you need to simplify your life. Get rid of all the things that you don’t really need. Give away or sell your items. You need to be realistic about how you live when you get there. Can you survive on your savings or will you need to take a job to make ends meet? If you need to work you must carefully research what you could do and make sure that you take your original educational qualifications. If you are dreaming of starting a business in your destination country you will need to think carefully about what you are going to do. For example if you are an experienced diver taking qualifications that would allow you to open your own diving school would be a good idea. You also need to check what qualifications or experience your new country requires you to have.

Maintaining your health when you move to your tropical paradise is also important. Many people have found that they were forced to return to the UK through ill health. In the UK we have the NHS, but in many countries people must buy their own medicines and pay for visits to the doctor. Also if you need special medication, can you buy it online?

The internet can be a valuable resource for finding land or houses for sale. You need to be careful to ensure that the property you buy really belongs to you. Different cultures have different ways of doing things and if you are not careful you may find that you do not have the legal title to the land or property despite the money that you have paid. If you can read the local newspaper online it will enable you to get a feeling for the place and culture. If English is not commonly spoken where you are going to then taking language lessons will help you to fit into the local community more easily.

The final step is to break emotional ties with your old home. The first six months in a foreign country are the hardest, but if you get beyond that you will probably stay.