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Relocating in a pandemic

A Sit-Down with a Welcome Stamper
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 | By Laura Rotchell, Real Estate Agent
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A Sit-Down with a Welcome Stamper

How did you first hear about the welcome stamp? 

I think your PM did a fantastic PR job on the WS. We heard through various media outlets constantly over the summer. 


What made you decide to choose Barbados?

We had the intention to leave the States from the first lockdown - NYC was hit very hard and our family although fortunate to have some outside space, we were so restricted - and the thought of winter with no travel, we wanted an adventure and Barbados seemed to tick all the boxes!


Have you ever visited Barbados before moving down on the welcome stamp for 1 year?

I visited Barbados when I was much younger on a cruise, I wasn’t on the island for long, but I remember thinking ‘this really is paradise!’ This would be the first time for the rest of my family visiting though. 


What were you looking forward to most about living on our beautiful island?

Honestly just the change of lifestyle and new experiences. I really want my children to benefit from a different lifestyle and culture to open their minds to other places and people. We absolutely love getting out and exploring the island as a family. 


How did you find the process when applying for the Welcome Stamp?

Excellent from start to finish. I had one contact throughout the process to streamline everything.


Now that you have settled and starting to get to know the island a bit better, how has your experience been?

 We are just so grateful to be here and honestly, the experience has, on the whole, been fantastic. We are just getting out and about again now with the ‘National Pause’ restrictions slowly being lifted. 


How are you finding working remotely on island? 

My husband is working remotely and honestly outside of his working hours, we have never spent so much time together as a family. He no longer is dashing from one appointment to the next, in the busy city. It really has given him for the first time ever, downtime outside of his long working hours, when he actually can relax. We enjoy the beautiful sunsets and time together in an evening which is just unreal. 


I know you have had some time to explore the island a bit more with your family, do you have any favourite locations or things to do with the children?

I absolutely love the East coast - finding a quiet beach and taking in the calmness of that side of the island is just breathtaking. My children love the animal flower cave and checking out the caves, the restaurant there is great too. We would love to have the opportunity to see whales in their natural habitat so that’s on our list now we have heard of a few sightings! 


Have you had the opportunity to try any local dishes – any favourites?

We have had flying fish and cou cou, this was delicious - my son loved it! He really enjoys all the fresh fish on island too.


On that note, do you have any favourite restaurants?

We love to try all the restaurants on island as they each have something new to offer. We absolutely love La Cabane, Lone Star, Sea Shed, and the kids love Chefette!!


We have just experienced our second full lockdown in Barbados, how has this experience been for you and your family?

Truthfully it was difficult to understand fully all of the protocols and keep up with the changes. However, besides getting bored of our own cooking, we just made the most of it. Ultimately this is the best way for a country to handle the spike in cases, and it was relatively short-term in comparison to other countries all over the world. We just made the most of the time together and managed to venture out to the beach most mornings, enjoying the freedom. 


What are your thoughts on how our government has handled this pandemic?

I think your PM is a treasure, it’s not an easy position to be in right now. She has done a great job navigating the island through these unchartered territories. She has handled this pandemic well considering the recent spike, the vaccination process has also been very well executed in a timely manner. 


Would you consider investing in Barbados?

Yes, we would consider investing, maybe not right now but definitely in the future. This is a place we have now called home, so it will always be special to us. 


Do you have any advice for anyone considering the Welcome Stamp and how your family has adapted to island life?

Honestly, you will not regret the chance to experience such a wonderful island. Your family will adjust to more time together outside and enjoying so many exciting new adventures. It’s amazing how many simple pleasures you will appreciate, away from the hustle and bustle. Barbados is very safe and the people are extremely charming. 

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