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.