Planning Excitement

One of the best things about going somewhere is the planning stage.  I loved planning out the routes when I have traveled cross country, even though most of the time, I took a different path.  For the past several months I have been perusing property rental websites and the Cayman version of Craigslist for options on vehicles.

The Cayman dollar (KYD or CI) is worth about $1.20 USD.  Rental properties start at around CI$1000 and not every place is pet friendly.  In fact, I find it somewhat amusing that not all places are children friendly either.  On several of the listings it will have the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, central AC or window units, and then clearly states “No children”.  Like every other city, there are also places that should be avoided if possible for various reasons and luckily I’ll be working at the perfect place to figure out where those areas are located.  My biggest problem right now is actually getting a response to the emails I send to different rental companies.  I know it will be easier to look for places in person.  I’m also incredibly fortunate that one of my future co-workers has offered one of her spare bedrooms to me to rent for a period of up to three months.

On another good note, about 90% of the places for rent in Grand Cayman are fully furnished and include linens, dishes and such.  This means I only have to bring a couple of suitcases with clothes (I’m going to need more island friendly attire), my camera and various lenses and my computer.  I’m going to be as minimalistic as possible.  I don’t need things.  Things just cause a headache in the long run.  Except for camera lenses.  I can always make room for more camera accessories.

I will also be able to rent Roberta’s spare vehicle while I am looking for one of my own.  Vehicle shopping is also something that will have to be done in person.  Most of the vehicles I’ve seen listed on the ecaytrade website appear to range between CI $5000-7000 for a decent used vehicle.  Maintenance and general upkeep up vehicles is incredibly important there due to the salty air.  Also, it’s important to make sure that any iguana poop is rinsed off of the vehicle as soon as possible due to its caustic nature.

Speaking of iguanas.  There are two types of iguanas on Grand Cayman.  There are the indigenous blue iguana and the invasive green iguana.  The blue iguana is endangered but efforts to assist in conservation and repopulation have been quite successful and the population numbers are on the ride.  They’re shy creatures that are found in the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Garden as well as the Blue Iguana Nature Reserve.

The green iguana began its takeover of the island in the 1980s when they were brought over as pets.  They are everywhere.  When I went down for my interview, we had 4 run out into traffic in front of us, and there were several others that I spotted all over the place.  They’re a nuisance.  Efforts are being made to prevent them from migrating over to the sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Within my first week of arriving, I’ll have to accomplish several things.  I will need to get my Cayman Drivers License, which is one of the things that I’m most nervous about.  The one time I’ve driven on the opposite side of the road was in Scotland…at night…in the drizzling rain… and it was the longest mile of my life…  I’ll also need to open a banking account, find my way back and forth to work and get a general lay of the land.  A lot of things to do in the very near future.  I’m excited and scared to death all at the same time.  But I know it will be okay.

But Tori, what about your things?

Well, it’s official.  I am moving to Grand Cayman sometime in the beginning of September.  I say some time because I know I’ll be starting my new job on September 14th, but they haven’t given me a date for my departure flight.

A lot of people have asked questions regarding my housing situation and what I plan on doing with all of my things, so I’ll address that here.

My house.  I bought my house back in 2002 when I was 20 years old, engaged and planning on having kids.  Obviously, that plan fell through.  Thankfully… I love my house, but I do not need a house at this point in my life.  The stars pull at my hair too much.  I have a serious case of the wanderlust. So I’m selling because  I don’t want to worry about the hassle of having to rent it out.

Since I do not want to worry about the storage of the multitude of things that I own, I’m getting rid of everything.  Well almost everything.  My parents are going to let me keep two footlockers at their house that I’ll fill with things of sentimental value.  The only things I’m planning on taking with me are my clothes, my computer and my camera.  That’s it.  So I am getting rid of everything.  And I have spent years as a semi-hoarder.  Thankfully, it’s not a painful process to get rid of things, it’s just very time consuming.  I’ve found myself puzzled several times, saying to myself “I’m a single person, why the heck did I ever need 27 coffee mugs?”  I’ve bewildered myself with some of my previous purchases.

Subject two – my dogs.

The best thing about this contract is that I can actually take my dogs.  Well, I can’t take them at first because they’ll have to go through a series of tests to ensure that they are able to come into the country and stay in a quarantine of sorts.  However, they’ll be able to join me in  a few months and my awesome sister is going to take care of them while they’re waiting.  And I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to accompany them on the flight down when they join me.

Hopefully that answers the two main questions that people seem to have for me.

A change is coming…

August 3rd, 2015

I’ve been back in the states for far too long and wanderlust has gotten a serious hold on me. It’s time for a change. I am in need of scenery that isn’t Glynn County. Granted, I have an upcoming vacation to Iceland that I am super excited about, but I also need something that is a bit more long term.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my home town but it is not where my heart is anymore. I’ve seen too much of the world to know that I have seen too little of it.

So, a new adventure is on the horizon. I am currently waiting for clearance and a final job offer to go work another dispatching contract. This time it is a far cry from the harsh cold of Antarctica. Instead of the cry of the skua before an attack or the howling winds during a Con 1, I’ll hopefully be hearing the sound of steal drums and reggae music.

That’s right. The Ice Princess is planning on moving to the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands to be precise. As of right now, I have a conditional contract that is dependent on medical clearance, but I am hoping that I will have that contract in hand by the end of this week.

Sunset from 7 Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Sunset from 7 Mile Beach, Grand Cayman