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How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

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Old Apr 14th 2015, 2:03 pm
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Default How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Hello there,

I am considering a complete change to my life and relocating to St Lucia. It's just me and my dog, I'm 40 and single, and I'm wondering whether or not life in paradise would be a valid choice over, say, a nice break.

Because you never know unless you go, I am travelling to the island for the week of May11th. What I already know is that property prices are cheap and it seems like the rental market (with the right property) could be strong.

What worries me is the social aspect. In the UK I have a disparate group of friends scattered all over the place, but I am grounded. If I uproot myself, my worry is that life will be extremely lonely and I will feel like I am trapped in a gilded cage.

So I would like to try two things. The first is to canvass opinions from people here about how they have found the social side of life in St Lucia and then I would like to go further and see if I can meet any of you for a beer in mid-May and talk this over?

I can think of no better way to address this very real concern than by being honest about my fears and seeing what kind of response I can get.

One final practical note. My account here is brand new (this is my first post) so I might not be able to swap private messages yet (some forum systems don't allow it right off the bat). If any mods are reading could you let me know the score? Thanks.
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Old Apr 16th 2015, 7:44 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Originally Posted by munificent View Post
Hello there,

I am considering a complete change to my life and relocating to St Lucia. It's just me and my dog, I'm 40 and single, and I'm wondering whether or not life in paradise would be a valid choice over, say, a nice break.

Because you never know unless you go, I am travelling to the island for the week of May11th. What I already know is that property prices are cheap and it seems like the rental market (with the right property) could be strong.

What worries me is the social aspect. In the UK I have a disparate group of friends scattered all over the place, but I am grounded. If I uproot myself, my worry is that life will be extremely lonely and I will feel like I am trapped in a gilded cage.

So I would like to try two things. The first is to canvass opinions from people here about how they have found the social side of life in St Lucia and then I would like to go further and see if I can meet any of you for a beer in mid-May and talk this over?

I can think of no better way to address this very real concern than by being honest about my fears and seeing what kind of response I can get.

One final practical note. My account here is brand new (this is my first post) so I might not be able to swap private messages yet (some forum systems don't allow it right off the bat). If any mods are reading could you let me know the score? Thanks.
My two cents worth on this:

Indeed property prices are cheap in St Lucia but certain brackets of property are steadily going down in value so that though the entry point can be low, owning property can be expensive if you ultimately have to liquidate and move on, particularly if you then needed a broker to sell for you (5%) and have to pay property sales taxes (10%).

It was my understanding that both buying and renting is a buyer's market though buying and then renting to tourists could be much more lucrative but one would have to consider taxes, and property insurance is very expensive relative to the UK.

Socially, it is very hard to say. St Lucians are wonderfully open to the idea of socialising with all and sundry but making some sort of connection can be somewhat difficult, in my opinion, because the St Lucian way of life is so very different, most certainly from mine as an expat (up to now) of over 38 years. In addition, whites are treated differently until they properly assimilate into a community. There is a general perception that whites have it all sown up - which of course they often/mostly do relative to what St Lucians have to deal with - so there is a certain deference there which one would need to break through. One needs to park one's comparison mechanism at the door when in St Lucia. St Lucians don't take kindly to being told that things are in some way better in the UK or wherever, particularly from fellow St Lucians, who have had an opportunity to 'better' themselves by being able to get out of St Lucia, and therefore by implication have not had to face the humdrum of everyday life there from the cradle. Of course, many expats hang with other expats to 'connect' but this in itself could get rather boring as there are few expats around outside Rodney Bay and they would come from very different walks of life themselves.

Living in Rodney Bay is a very different kettle of fish to living south of Castries (aside from parts of the Marigot Bay area) BUT south of Castries is more community-oriented.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Apr 16th 2015 at 7:47 am.
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Old Apr 16th 2015, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Great post from Pete, and I agree with everything he said.

We've lived here for 4 months now (yes, in Rodney Bay) and are loving life. My wife doesn't work and she's made a few friends, but mainly parents from the school or neighbours. It was easier in London and Africa for us to assimilate - St Lucians are always ready for a party and a drink but it takes time to gain trust and they seem to be more reserved when letting people into their circles.

Buying houses is extremely expensive in Rodney Bay (I can't comment for anywhere else) - we rent and pay around $2,500US a month for a 4 bedroom house with a pool. Electricity and food is also expensive, and cars are crazy. A 5 year old Subaru Forrester cost me $25,000US and I had to bargain like crazy to get that.

There are lots of social spots in Rodney Bay which are great for nights out. One word of caution is that despite being relatively safe in terms of crime, we've had 4 murders in a week in downtown Castries (the capital - which is no more than a small town). Mostly gang-related, but worth mentioning none the less.

I travel quite a bit, but if I'm around in mid-May I'll gladly have a beer with you and give you the lowdown.

By the way - you need a minimum of 3 posts before the PM option is available.

Cheers

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Old Apr 20th 2015, 7:23 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Originally Posted by ededed View Post
Great post from Pete, and I agree with everything he said.

We've lived here for 4 months now (yes, in Rodney Bay) and are loving life. My wife doesn't work and she's made a few friends, but mainly parents from the school or neighbours. It was easier in London and Africa for us to assimilate - St Lucians are always ready for a party and a drink but it takes time to gain trust and they seem to be more reserved when letting people into their circles.

Buying houses is extremely expensive in Rodney Bay (I can't comment for anywhere else) - we rent and pay around $2,500US a month for a 4 bedroom house with a pool. Electricity and food is also expensive, and cars are crazy. A 5 year old Subaru Forrester cost me $25,000US and I had to bargain like crazy to get that.

There are lots of social spots in Rodney Bay which are great for nights out. One word of caution is that despite being relatively safe in terms of crime, we've had 4 murders in a week in downtown Castries (the capital - which is no more than a small town). Mostly gang-related, but worth mentioning none the less.

I travel quite a bit, but if I'm around in mid-May I'll gladly have a beer with you and give you the lowdown.

By the way - you need a minimum of 3 posts before the PM option is available.

Cheers

Ed
Your caution reference crime in Castries opens up a whole new can of worms relating to the ugly underbelly of crime and serious violent crime that pervades much of Caribbean life, in some islands, where serious crime per capita is far far higher than here in the UK, in London or New York City.

It's a very difficult one and one most St Lucians don't want to talk about and therefore often might not have a good understanding of what is at its roots. Best left there and those who are considering a move need to do their own proper research to gain a good understanding of the nature of crime in the Islands and whether that could hurt their 'perspective' on things overall to the negative. It kind of did/does that for me.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Apr 20th 2015 at 7:25 am. Reason: in some islands,
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Old Jul 8th 2015, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

I am not currently on the island but have a home in the Rodney Bay area. Rodney Bay has a totally different feel to Castries. I have stayed extensively in both areas as my grandfathers house is still there in Castries and sometimes it feels like two totally different islands. Pete are you still in St Lucia ?
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Old Jul 14th 2015, 8:51 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Just my 2 ec cents worth, the assimilating stuff is about the same in Grenada, but there are loads of JCB's (just come backs) from the UK, grenadians who have found the means to return after a working life in the UK, and they plus the more cosmopolitan locals are often the more likely initial friends or bridge to locals rather than many who have never been off the island.

Wow, crime isn't like that here. There is an occasional killing but it's the mix of rum shops, weed, and cutlasses that seem to be at the root of much. People don't mess with the police here...
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Old Jul 16th 2015, 7:25 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
I am not currently on the island but have a home in the Rodney Bay area. Rodney Bay has a totally different feel to Castries. I have stayed extensively in both areas as my grandfathers house is still there in Castries and sometimes it feels like two totally different islands. Pete are you still in St Lucia ?
Sorry pg, haven't been monitoring the Caribbean/St Lucia section much recently.

We put our St Lucia home on rent last August 1st and headed to the UK to settle. It is likely that we will now only spend a few months down there from time to time but probably not starting again until late next year.

We have been renting in the UK (in Dorset) and are looking for something more permanent for about this time next year. In the meantime, right now we live in France as that is the only place we have a footprint until we head back at the end of the month.

I couldn't 'hack' the social, or lack thereof, in St Lucia, not being interested in hanging around expats, so had hoped that we just might find something better in the UK and with more balance in life.

Not so far - the social bit, but we might have found a better community atmosphere up in parts of Somerset and that is in the current plan.

If I were back in St Lucia now I would gravitate more towards Capella at Marigot Bay, on a budget of course. When we return, we will also spend a fair bit of time at Auberge Seraphine, as we always do, particularly at lunch time and not just to rub shoulders with the Castries movers and shakers.
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Old Jul 24th 2015, 10:28 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Dating ? Have you been to St. Lucia ?
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Old Jul 24th 2015, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Originally Posted by anuny View Post
Dating ? Have you been to St. Lucia ?
You haven't quoted - Who is you?

If one is talking dating, the list could possibly include: the Pizza place in the Marina, Bay Gardens Inn, Auberge Seraphine, Delirious, Dennery Seafood Fiesta - Saturdays, ..... All depends what age.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 24th 2015 at 2:15 pm. Reason: If one is talking dating, the list could possibly include
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Old Jul 26th 2015, 10:52 am
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Sorry it is not my intention to kidnapp this thread.... but... it is relevant We will spend a month in Castries in December, heading to other islands as well, hoping to found our favourite. Will some of you be around? Would love to hear real life expat reports + beer :-)
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Old Jul 28th 2015, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: How hard is it to meet and mingle in St Lucia?

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
You haven't quoted - Who is you?

If one is talking dating, the list could possibly include: the Pizza place in the Marina, Bay Gardens Inn, Auberge Seraphine, Delirious, Dennery Seafood Fiesta - Saturdays, ..... All depends what age.
Sorry, I meant the OP
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