Hamilton, Bermuda Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda 06/13/19

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Yes, what an amazing first overseas post!

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Ohio, two flights away. Most flights from Bermuda are short flights to the East Coast (mostly NYC, Boston, ATL).

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3. How long have you lived here?

Two years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Consulate.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

As previously noted, housing is spread out over the island, with most COM personnel living east of Hamilton. Everyone pretty much has a 20 min or fewer commute. Traffic here is nothing, though locals note the roads have become more congested and it's noticeable on such a small island and narrow roads. I live in a townhouse with one parking spot (we're limited to one car per household per Bermuda law), and no garage (rare in Bermuda). Houses are very sturdy to withstand hurricanes.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Most expensive place I have ever been to! Bermuda's prices make even NYC seem reasonable sometimes. COM personnel receive a nice COLA to offset the cost, and we buy a lot of household goods and non-perishables off Amazon Prime to save money. Groceries are ridiculously expensive: US$8 cereal, chicken breasts US$10/lb, milk is US$6 for half gallon. Note that COM personnel are eligible for duty-free alcohol purchases so make sure to ask about this before buying in the store.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Maybe throw some household products in your HHE before getting here (e.g., laundry detergent, toilet paper) and/or buy online. They have all the brands here, you'll just pay a lot for it.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Disappointingly, very little available for delivery (mostly overpriced pizza). Bermuda doesn't have much in the way of "fast casual" like in the U.S., which is annoying when I want to pick up something quick on the way home from work. One KFC, otherwise no chains allowed here. Plenty in terms of fine dining, but you're looking at $35-50 for an entree at a lot of places. Even the casual places are quite expensive ($20 for a burrito, $25 for a cheeseburger). All prices USD :(

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Ants and cockroaches are a constant problem. The cockroaches here can fly! One landed on me at the beach.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Diplomatic pouch. You can use the Bermuda post office, it will just cost more.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

No personal experience, but I've heard nannies charge about US$2500/month and I believe housekeepers are about $30-40/hr.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Gyms here are a little smaller and generally not as nice as what I'm used to in the U.S. They start at about $150/month. Plenty of classes available on island: yoga, pilates, spinning, karate, etc. and classes run about $25 each.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, no issues here. I use the Consulate for cash just to avoid the fee my bank charges; ATMs are safe to use.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Plenty! I think Bermuda has more churches per capita than any place in the world! Pretty much every denomination is represented here.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes, sidewalks are rare outside the city of Hamilton and are often crumbling or just end randomly. Streets are very narrow with no shoulders; instead, there is usually a rock wall. Buses are not equipped for wheelchairs and many crosswalks are not ADA compliant. It would be very difficult to live here with a physical disability.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Buses and taxis are very safe but not reliable; buses rarely come on time and taxis can also be hit or miss. A taxi driver may refuse to take you to a destination that is "too far" (note, on a 21 sq mile island nothing is very far!) or may not show up- this happened to me a couple of times going to the airport, and I almost missed my flight.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

I bought my car from a local dealer before arriving at Post. I was given a list of what vehicles would be arriving on the ship around the same time I was arriving here. As noted, there are strict restrictions on importing vehicles- newer than 6 mos, original owner, size restrictions. I had a Toyota Corolla, considered a compact car in the U.S., and couldn't bring it because it was too large.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Internet (no cable/phones) costs $150/month and is really spotty. My husband works from home and has had frequent issues with our Internet cutting out. I also notice it when trying to stream TV. We've been surprised at the poor quality of the Internet, given the cost and how advanced everything else is here.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We use Google Fi and this has been so easy when traveling back to the U.S. or other countries. Post provides phones for local calls.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Lots- hospital, aquarium, Meals on Wheels, SPCA, similar to what you'd find in the U.S.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business casual at work. A little dressier than most islands. Google Bermuda mens' attire to see a typical Bermuda suit. Back in the day, more restaurants here used to require a jacket for men but that's pretty rare now and dress is overall similar to the U.S.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

This is the safest place I've ever lived. You hear of the occasional break-in, but violent crime is very rare.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care is excellent: I had no hesitations about having a baby at the hospital here. Patients are referred to US specialists for some things due to the small size of Bermuda. Check your insurance coverage, though, as treatment is very expensive.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Excellent air quality. I try to get outside as much as possible and enjoy our beautiful weather.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

Specialty food items/meds are widely available.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

No.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Very pleasant year-round. It gets up to the mid-80s during summer and the coldest it will ever get is mid-50s in the winter. Humid but not as hot as places I've lived in the US including MO and DC. There is the risk of hurricanes in late summer, but Bermuda is well-equipped (sturdy housing, rarely floods, strong infrastructure).

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Schools & Children:

1. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

My day care costs US$1200/month and is open from 7:30 am- 6:00 pm. I've been happy with them.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Morale is very high, this is a great place to live! Lots of expats on island from all over the world. Most of them are Americans, Canadians, Brits, Indians, and Filipinos (latter two most commonly working in the food/hospitality sector). Easy to meet other expats in international meet-up groups, golf clubs, etc. Check out the International Women's Association of Bermuda; mostly expats from US/CAN/UK.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

World-class golfing and water activities (lots of shipwrecks to explore by diving), church attendance is high here. Bermudians are very friendly and ready to strike up a conversation.

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3. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Bermudians are overall very warm and welcoming, and I have not heard of personal experiences of overt harassment/discrimination.

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4. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

Again, Bermudians are very friendly!

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not that I have experienced.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Exploring the Railway Trail and taking in the beautiful views along the ocean, Spittle Pond, the quaint town of St. George's. Most of all, spending countless weekends at the beach- favorites include Turtle Beach (where you can spot sea turtles), Warwick Long Bay, and John Smith's.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

If you enjoy water activities and being outdoors, you will love it here. If you don't like the beach, you will probably be bored quickly. Hidden gem- Coconut Rock for the best sushi on island.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

There is a neat hand-blown glass factory in Dockyard. For men, A.S. Cooper or the English Sports Shop for Bermuda shorts.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Beautiful weather, year-round access to golf and other outdoor activities, world-class beaches, friendly people, low crime.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Buy the smallest car you can find; our Veloster is a little bigger than I'd like and can be a pain on the narrow roads and parking. Also wish I'd realize just how expensive everything is, but then again, what can you do?

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely!

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter coat and SUV.

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4. But don't forget your:

Sunscreen, swimsuit, and $$$.

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

nothingtodoinbermuda.com has a weekly list of events and gotobermuda.com has general info

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Hamilton, Bermuda 12/23/18

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, fifth overseas posting, past posts were in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

East coast. Bermuda has non stop flight to many east coast hubs. Many flights are fewer than two hours.

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3. How long have you lived here?

15 wonderful months.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Consulate.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

There really is no typical housing, and it is spread all over the island. There are single-family homes, or condo type places. No one lives in downtown Hamilton. The commute can vary based on where you live, and while locals complain about the traffic, in all honesty, it's a piece of cake. Even at its worst you are "stuck" for 25 minutes at most looking at lovely scenery, so how can you really complain?

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Virtually everything is imported from the US. There is really nothing you can't get here, but it is mind-bogglingly expensive. Bermuda is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive places in the world to live (it rarely makes the list of most expensive cities to live because Hamilton isn't really much of a city). $7 for half a gallon of milk, $6 for a loaf of bread, $5 for a pack of hamburger buns. You get the idea. It's crazy expensive.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

If you are able to do a shipment from the US before you arrive, you would be best to ship as many liquids as possible, to include all of your toiletries, laundry products, liquid cleaning products, basically anything that you can't ship through the pouch, ship. You will thank yourself later for it.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The only chain here is KFC. As far as fast food there are local pizza chains, a few chicken places, etc, and some deliver. Then there are the high-end restaurants which are good for a nice meal but very expensive.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Sure, we have cockroaches and ants and it's a constant battle to keep them out.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Pouch mail comes in about 3 weeks or so. For outgoing mail you can send merchandise returns through the pouch (goes out about once a month) or give your package to someone headed Stateside. The Bermuda mail service is also possible; I used it to send my absentee ballot and cards back home and it works fine, too.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

The standard rate is US$30 an hour, and most cleaners will want to work at least a half or full day minimum to make it worth their while.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are a couple Cross fit places and several gyms; they are not cheap.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes. Pretty much the only thing I routinely need cash for is to tip the grocery baggers at the store. You can use ATMs, or cash a check at the Consulate.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

There is a little bit of everything here.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes, especially the consulate, as half our offices are upstairs in a building with no elevator.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

There is a bus system, but it is not very reliable. Sometimes the bus just doesn't show up. Taxis are very expensive. Buses and taxis, like everything in Bermuda, are very safe.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

The rules for importing a car to Bermuda are very strict. It must be brand new, fewer than 6 months old, you must be the first owner, and it must meet Bermuda's size restrictions. Make sure to check with post before you ship or commit to anything. They drive on the left here, and I imported a left hand drive car, but I find it to be an advantage, since the roads here are very very narrow, I always know how close to the wall I am when I am driving. It's also possible to buy a car on arrival here (but like everything else, very expensive).

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

The internet is fine and I pay about US$150 a month for it. Installation is fast (within a couple days)

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Phone provided by post. If need a phone for a spouse or partner, bring an unlocked phone with you.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

There are strict pet import rules, but read the rules and follow them and you will be fine. There is no quarantine. There are excellent vets here. Boarding is very expensive here, better to find someone who can pet sit for you. Dogs are only allowed on the beaches in the winter and there are no dog parks on the island, but people walk their dogs on leashes everywhere and there are plenty of places to go with dogs.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

It is possible to work on the economy here but I don't really have any details about that. This is a good question for the Community Liaison Office (CLO).

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Plenty. You can help at the SPCA, Meals on Wheels, and other places.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business attire is fine. No Marines here means no Marine ball, no need for super fancy attire.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No. From time to time there are break-ins, but Bermuda is far safer than pretty much anywhere in the US. I walk my dog alone in the dark every morning and have never had the slightest concern.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care here is fine, but again, very very expensive. The hospital here is excellent; I spent several hours there for a sinus infection and it cost $1900. There are US trained doctors here and most medication is available as well.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

There are no air quality issues here whatsoever.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

There are gluten-free and vegan options sold in stores here.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

Absolutely not.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

The weather here is heavenly. It gets down to the 60s and low 70s in the winter, and the water becomes a bit too cold to swim in, but for the rest of the year it is lovely here.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There is no DOS supported school here, so families use several local private schools. Do your research to find the one that fits your family best. There are excellent schools here.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I can only speak for Warwick Academy, but they have worked well with my son and I have been very pleased with the support he receives here. Bermuda also has excellent OT, Speech, and child development resources here too.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, they are available but I don't have any experience with them. The school my son goes to offers before school care starting at 7:30am and after school running to 5:30 which I use every day.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes there are plenty of activities for kids: swimming, sailing, rowing, soccer, cricket, you name it.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

We are the only Consulate on the island but there are plenty of expats living here. Morale is great: we are in Bermuda!

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

There is a women's group, but I don't know much about it. This island is so small I would think it would not be hard to meet others.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes, great for all. This is an amazing place to live, and when it gets too small for you, just fly back to the US.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Although Bermuda recently made the news for allowing and then repealing same sex marriage, don't let that fool you. Bermudians are warm and welcoming people and there is no hostility towards the LGBT community.

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5. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

Yes, again, Bermudians are wonderful people.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

No.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

The beaches are wonderful and this is a paradise for anyone who likes any kind of water sports or outdoor activities.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

This is a small place so there isn't much that is hidden. Bermuda is an amazing island with a fascinating history.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Not really. Maybe sherry pepper sauce? Gosling's black seal rum?

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Well, first of all, Hamilton isn't really much of a city, and no one from post lives inside Hamilton. We are all spread out around the island, but living in Bermuda is wonderful. The weather is lovely, my neighbors are locals who are very nice, there are plenty of places to walk my dog and/or go jogging from here, and I am not far from work.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

I lived here ages ago on the military base and I had been wanting to move back ever since. I had never had to shop on the local economy before and was not really grasping how insanely expensive it is here until I arrived. Ship as much as you can.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

YES!

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes (well, you will need them if you go back to the US in the winter).

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4. But don't forget your:

I brought an Oru Kayak with me to post; we can't ship watercraft in our HHE but this item is foldable and no one knew what it was when I shipped it. I am so glad I have that kayak here, it has been fantastic to explore the beautiful water here with it.

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

There are plenty of travel books about Bermuda.

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6. Do you have any other comments?

I am cherishing every day here. I love this place and am so glad to be here!!!

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Hamilton, Bermuda 10/24/09

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No - St. Petersburg, RU.

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2. How long have you lived here?

3+ years 2006-2009.

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3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

About 2 hours from the East Coast of the US via Philly, Newark, Atlanta, Miami or Boston. Surprisingly only summer flights from DC (USA3000).

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Consulate posting.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Smallish (and expensive) but with very short commutes. Our family of four lived in the top half of a duplex. (The whole island is chain is 22 miles long and ~1 mile tall. You're never more than 45 minutes from anywhere.)

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Everything is available -- but it's definitely the most expensive place I've ever lived. I'd say it's about 150% as expensive as a DC-area Giant.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

I was very happy I brought my treadmill. There are very few sidewalks on the island and weather was sometimes exercise-prohibitive.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Only one fast food chain on the whole island - a single KFC downtown. There are definitely restaurants all over the island. It does have some mediocre "Ethnic" cuisine restaurants -- House of India was probably the best. Upscale restaurants it has in abundance. I recommend the Specialty Inn for pizza (carry-out). Delivery was prohibitively expensive.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Ants attack the kitchen.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

We got it through diplomatic pouch mail. But there is a normal post service.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Expensive, expensive, expensive - not highly available.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are - but they're dreadfully expensive - like most things on the island.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Never had a problem.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

In droves.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Yes and yes. The paper we got through the consulate, but TV had three primary options, Bermuda Cablevision, WOW and Dish satellite. We lived with Cablevision for ~$100 a month

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

English is primary. Portuguese is the secondary language on the island

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

It really isn't very handicap-friendly. (But I wasn't looking for that.)

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Buses, ferries and taxis here (no trains) are very safe. (Unless the ferry operator is drunk* :) ) They're relatively affordable - but nothing here is cheap. *There was one incident in Bermuda while I lived there - no one was hurt

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Small and new. There are severe import restrictions and you drive on the left side of the road (ala Great Britain) We bought here. The roads are cramped and tiny. Expect bumps and scratches.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

It ain't cheap. A high-speed DSL connection went for ~$200 a month. (There were cheaper options, but I need it for work)

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

I didn't bother. Coverage is spotty.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Job market is geared toward Bermudians first, but there are definitely jobs available.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Slightly more formal than you'd expect for an island - but still an island.

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Good.

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2. What immunizations are required each year?

None that are special.

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3. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Not really. Crime is on the upswing, but I never felt in any danger during my entire stay there.

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4. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Yes.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Paradisical - except from January to March where you'd have your coldish rainy patches. But there would always be your 72 degrees and sunny day interspersed.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

From second hand, I understand that they are acceptable, but not overwhelming.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I'm not sure, but the island is not very handicapped friendly in general.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes. We had an excellent experience with "Once upon a Time" on Church St. in Hamilton. There are a lot of options.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Our children were too young, but there's definitely dance, soccer, cricket and swimming programs.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Large and plentiful.

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2. Morale among expats:

Laid-back.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Bermudians a very friendly, but they also already have their own social circles. They are used to living around large numbers of ex-pat cyclical dwellers and it may be difficult to break into their entertaining club.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

It's good for families and most people would enjoy it.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

I would highly doubt it. It's a very conservative society and I didn't notice any vestige of a scene.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Interpersonally -- no. Politically, there's still a large historical racial problem. Religiously, everything is swimming as long as you're a Christian. (You're a Christian, right?) But this doesn't come up too frequently in day-to-day life.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Beaches and beaches, golf, tennis, decent bridge club, tourist at the Dockyard and St. George's, boat trips around the island, walks on the railroad trail and Spittal Pond, visit the plethora of old forts, but it does get boring - especially when the weather is bad. I do recommend the Bastille Day dinner and the international Rugby tournament.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Not too much in the way of unique local crafts.

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9. Can you save money?

This is very hard. The island is very expensive and "Rock Fever" dictates several trips a year off the island.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

snow shoes (it never gets below 50),

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3. But don't forget your:

sun screen (pretty much everything is available there)

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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7. Do you have any other comments?

Be careful with the scooters - that's where the road fatalities come from. Pros: Beautiful weather, friendly locals, English-speaking. Cons: Expensive, small roads and a trifle boring.

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