Move to Bermuda – Lalita Vaswani’s Tips on Relocating
By Andrea Milam on 26th January, 2020
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in Bermuda—and really, who hasn’t?—it’s important to consider all the ins and outs before you make the move. Lalita Vaswani, a native of Barbados who moved to Bermuda in 2017, shares her journey and offers tips to others looking to follow in her footsteps.
When and why did you decide to move to Bermuda?
I wanted to go on an adventure, both personally and professionally, and this desire led me to Bermuda. I’ve been fortunate to have an international upbringing. I am of Indian heritage although I was born and raised in Barbados. My mother is from Hong Kong and my father from Jamaica. I studied in England. Quite the mix. Most of my holidays involved traveling and I spent a considerable amount of time in the Far East. It was perhaps for these reasons that I’ve always had a fairly open mindset and developed a love for exploring and learning about new places and cultures.
I returned to the Caribbean after completing my education. My tenure there was exciting, but at some level, I felt as though I mastered my bearings throughout the region. The islands are very beautiful and so are the people, but I considered that my routine became too familiar and I wanted to embark upon a journey of some sort and discover a new place and perhaps subconsciously, I also wanted to learn more about myself. On a professional level, I wanted a more diverse experience. I cast a wide net and an opportunity arose to work in Bermuda immediately after. I had never visited the island before and I knew no one here at the time. With a leap of faith and a sense of adventure, I accepted the job offer and moved here in November 2017. Looking back, it was quite a bold move, but it felt right, and sometimes you just have to trust your instinct.
How long did the planning process take?
Not long at all. My work opportunity arose in July 2017 and less than four months later, I moved to Bermuda.
How did you navigate the immigration process, and what pointers can you give to others looking to make the move?
My employer handled my immigration application process on my behalf and it was very smooth. I think that it took no more than three weeks to apply for and obtain my work permit. The application was easy to fill out and the supporting documentation was easy to obtain.
How long have you lived in Bermuda now, and are you happy with your decision to move there? Why or why not?
I have been in Bermuda for approximately 16 months and I’ve truly enjoyed every moment of the experience—except for
that one week of the year where it is cold, by Caribbean standards. No really, living in Bermuda is simply wonderful. The island is rustic in many respects, but at the same time, it is an extremely progressive island. The economy has a highly developed infrastructure which allows for a meaningful work experience in the corporate/ commercial arena. People are kind, welcoming, educated, and traveled, and come from diverse backgrounds. The island is clean, well-maintained, and picturesque. I particularly love how the island comes alive with the long summer days and I was beyond thrilled when I discovered that I could wear shorts to work.
I’ve made a wonderful set of friends who have become like family and I also drive fulfilment from my professional experiences. I am an avid runner and a fitness enthusiast and there seems to be many people who share similar hobbies. Every once in awhile I feel the need to “get off the rock” and it isn’t a long flight to get to London where I frequent most these days.
What about the moving process itself? Did you ship a container, or pack up your life into a few suitcases?
The moving process was simple. I packed my belongings in six suitcases which accompanied me on my flight over. I received a relocation allowance for my first six months here so I was not required to pay any import duties. Everything I needed for my apartment was available here, so I became a very familiar face at A.S. Cooper shortly after my arrival.
What methods do you use to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and what pointers can you offer?
I frequently talk to my parents and close friends by video call. Some time zones are a little tricky, so I would communicate with my friends in those zones by text message. I enjoy photography so I often find myself communicating with my friends by sending them photos of where I am.
What was challenging about getting settled once you were there? What was fun when it came to this process? And again, any pointers for those looking to make the move?
I lived with my family for most of my life and thoroughly enjoyed their company and of course, the amenities that came with being at home! It took some adjustment time to live on my own and to understand independent living. My parents were supportive as were the friends I’ve made on island and this made the transition really comfortable. There is a great deal of camaraderie here and people are gregarious. DiscoveringBermuda has been thoroughly enjoyable; it’s an ongoing and exciting process. There is always something happening, be it a performing arts festival, visiting chefs, or sports competitions, so there is little scope for boredom on the island.
If you are considering to move to Bermuda, it is really important that you want to embrace new experiences. Without that mindset, I would imagine that moving here, or to any unfamiliar place for that matter, would be difficult. Not everyone is cut out for island life. Bermuda is relatively small, but through its progressive mindset, diversity of people, and the vast career opportunities presented, it has all the ingredients to
create meaningful experiences—but one must be willing to embrace the welcome here.
Read more: 10 reasons to move to the Cayman Islands