Moving back to the Caribbean in 2023 – Nightmare Mode (I)

November 23, 2023


The family and I have been running around like chickens without heads since July. I was lucky enough to get the OK to go back to the US to help my family move. I’m still working full time, just remote for now.

When we moved to the States 20 some years ago, me and my sisters weren’t really…involved in the whole process lol. So this time around, it’s been mostly just and my sister coordinating everything. My mom couldn’t deal with it and my other sister was busy working. We knew moving internationally would be a huge pain, but we were NOT ready.🫠

tldr: Don’t even bother moving overseas if you have lots of pets

dog in the car on her way back home from the vet
Coming back from the 50th vet visit for health certificate-related stuff

Moving with our furry friends took a lot of work. Since we of course had to bring them, we ended up spending weeks on the phone and researching. Airlines don’t fly bigger dogs anymore, at least internationally. Our dog’s “breed” (which is a whooole other story) turned out to be one of the few types banned (she’s…definitely not a boxer). We eventually found a pet moving service that made it work…with a few scary hiccups along the way. It cost us $3k to send our medium sized dog though a pet mover.

The cats we were able to bring with us on the plane, although many of the airlines wouldn’t take our exotic shorthair cat. That whole process was fun… Poor things had to be in little carriers.

It was unfortunatley impossible to get our bunny situated, and we had to rehome him at the last minute… Believe me when I say that really worked out for the best because he would have been miserable here. The lady he’s with still sends us pictures of him.😊

Three out of four of us got to the island and $1000s later in vet visits and countless hours spent coordinating health certificates and permits, we get in WITHOUT BEING ASKED FOR ANY PAPERS. Some couple weeks later, our dog came a day earlier than we were told, so me and my sister had to rush and catch a boat to the next island to pick her up. FUN. This time we were asked for papers, and we showed them that we did everything they requested but never got a permit. It was almost time to close up and the lady saw our emails and let us go after paying more fees. We got back to our island and they wanted to check papers too, so we showed the people there and they said we could just go after paying more fees. They were confused as to why we weren’t given a yes or no for the permit when we’d been back and forth with them for weeks and paid everything. SMH. Nothing else ever came of that.πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Oh yeah, we ended up missing our chartered boat TWICE. Once because the dog’s flight had to be changed, the other time because my suitcase was the only suitcase that got left behind in NYC (what are the odds). My mom was reassured by the dudes outside that they’d wait for us, but they didn’t lol I won’t be recommending them anytime soon. Turns out the lady that works for the charter most likely has some kind of grudge against my mom for not allowing her to use our road lmao. They told us in person we’d be able to hop on one of their boats as long as it was before a certain cutoff date to make up for the missed trip, but then in emails said it’d be a $40+ fee per person. Like, at that point just DIAFπŸ”₯πŸ€— This is a small island with businesses that don’t exactly run like those in the US, any other charter company here would just let us hop on. Oh well, their captain was recently arrested, so there’s their karma.

We still made it here in one piece!

Anyway, I cannot convey in words how painful this all was. We had to balance our jobs, the pet stuff, and the actual selling of our FL house, the decluttering, getting the right movers, etc. It was an awful experience. 0/10, would NOT recommend.πŸ˜… There was just so much uncertainty and at one point it really seemed like we weren’t going to be able to take our googly eyed 11-year-old dog. But in the end, everything worked out!

We still aren’t in our actual house yet…it had to basically get gutted.πŸ’Έ That’s for part II.


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