I just did some last minute research today when looking for a link to an Emotional Support Animal Registry, and I discovered that there is no registry. In the same way I got shafted for the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) for my husband who is German. all the websites registering support animals are not necessary.
I paid $140 to some company that I thought was the official provider for the ESTA authorization. AND they didn't even get back to me with a number, in time for my flight (which was 2 days later)! Thank goodness for the amazing American Airlines Employee that told me to bring my laptop to the desk and he showed me how to get the ESTA instantly. I think it was $14!!!
Christina's Story bringing her small dog for a visit from Canada: I showed Immigration Canada his Canadian International Health Certificate that shows all his current shots -- RABIES being the most important.
So be careful, you may be just spending your retirement dollars for nothing?!
When I show this property, everyone falls in love immediately. I wonder why?! LOL.
We ran late after taking a survey of a piece of property. Mother Nature blessed us with a fiery orange sun settling down for the night over the Caribbean Sea, placing gratitude in our hearts for being able to live in a paradise like Utila... and I was working!
#utila #iloveutila #utilaremaxagent
Thanks to all the sponsors and donors who supported the IAU - Instituto Adventista Utila School! We just got back from taking the "Banda de Guerra", or the school Marching Band to Roatan for a competition. All four bands looked and sounded great. The host band did not compete on this day, but eventually won the title for the best marching band in Roatan. A pretty impressive feat! I think if they competed, we still would have won! LOL.
Now, I know this is going to sound arrogant and biased, but you know, this is my blog, and not theirs. But our band is far and above any other marching band I have seen. I think it's due to the very heart and soul of each member of the team. These band players do not just recite their notes, or just strut their moves, they FEEL it and they SHOW it! There is so much energy and pride in their performance that it shows through.
Their timing and their unison is incredible, but it's the energy and pride, and the hours of practice of course, that made these kids winners!
Congratulations to the IA Utila Band! You made me so proud I got goosebumps when you played and I cried when you won!
Arriving home as champions! Next up, Tela at the end of November! The band has proved themselves worthy of competition, so let's show them how it's done!
The entire competition was shown on HQTV when we returned. I will make a Youtube video as soon as I get a chance, and will post it for all to see and enjoy!
Thanks again to all our supporters. We could not have done it without you!
Here are some other methods to prevent yourself from getting bitten. Normally September is mosquito season here in Utila. They seem to have arrived a few weeks early. Let's hope that means they'll leave earlier as well!
I find the best natural repellent for mosquitoes was an Off! product that had eucalyptus and citronella on it. It was called Off! Botanicals and it was amazing. Sadly they don't make it anymore. It's probably too natural.
OFF! products work well if you like DEET, which I don't. I like Avon's Skin So Soft mixed with a couple of drops of citronella oil. That works wonders as a nice smelling repellent. Here is a link that some researchers have advised of for repelling mosquitoes.
I hope you find this post as useful as I did! Happy hunting!
Paula and her family are tired of living up the in the U.S. are planning on moving to Utila. We have been chatting for quite awhile and after seeing the previous post with Chuck's Q&As, she suggested I post all her questions on a blogpost, so here we go:
Q1: How do we get there?
A: Getting to Honduras is easy. Getting to Utila requires a little extra effort. Consider it a test! Like 'how badly do you really want to visit Utila?" Haha. There are a few Travel Agencies that will be happy to help. Just contact any one of them, and they'd be happy to help.
Q2: I just came across some blogs and videos about Utila being a party island. Would you describe it as that?
Q4: What would you change, or something you don't like about the island?
A: The education system. I would love to have a very focused, child-oriented educational facility here. And secondly, I would limit or control the Tuk Tuks (the island version of taxis). There are way too many on the island, and some drivers are just plain idiots. Pardon my french. I am working on something in that regard right now.
Q5: On an island, it must be expensive to build. How much does it cost to build?
A: There are several quotes you may receive starting from about $65/sq. ft to $90/sq. foot. The $90 range will supply you the main appliances, and a key to walk in your door, ready to move in!
There are also a few lumber yards and hardware stores where you can get construction materials. The rates are quite reasonable. More specialized items will require a trip to La Ceiba.
Q6: How bad is the rainy season?
A: What rainy season? LOL. Our rainy season is not often rainy. And if it is, the downpours usually occur at night. In almost two decades of rainy seasons, I have only experienced one where it was icky for about a month. Unfortunately that was when my sister was visiting for that month! If the weather is overcast and rainy, it often doesn't last longer than a week.
However, when it rains, it pours. Some say that an hour of our downpours can significantly fill their water cisterns.
Q7: Will we have to pay cash or is there financing in Utila?
A: Utila is still a cash market. That's good for buyer's as it means prices are still low, because not many people have cash on hand for land purchases. However, some sellers are willing to finance. You just have to ask and offer, and see what the seller's response is.
Q8: We have a dog and a cat. Will they be okay there?
Q9: What are the cat people like?
A: Um... They're nice people?
Q9: LOL. Cracking up. That is so funny. That was a typo. What are the Cays and the Cay people like?
Q10: My 13 year-old asked if there are any english-speaking TV shows?
Yes there are several english speaking TV stations. We like Netflix at just $8/month. There are no irritating commercials, and the amount of shows are endless. The TV shows are about one season behind, but you'll probably fall behind on your shows when living in Utila!
Q11: Does the internet go out after a bad storm?
A: Often it can go out during a storm due to lightning striking the towers and ruining the equipment. This also happens with electrical equipment. UPSs and surge protectors are highly recommended for your electronics.
Q12: How are the medical services in Utila?
Anything more serious requires a trip to the mainland. However, medical services are so inexpensive when compared with the U.S. My husband had a slew of tests, two MRIs on each knee, orthoscopic surgery and spent a night in the hospital cared for by about 10 attendants and two doctors. That cost about $3500!
There are two clinics here on the island that, like the vet clinic, can take care of general practice issues.
And now the first U.S. medical facility which takes U.S. medical insurance has opened in Roatan.
Q14: Is it better to buy a golf cart or an ATV here or there?
We bought our Yamaha ATV in La Ceiba. We bought our golf cart used on the island. Many people bring in a brand new golf cart, but the customs fees are unknown and can be very hefty. It's not knowing how much it will cost to get the vehicle delivered to your door that makes people very wary of purchasing a new one for import.
I hope you find Paula's Q & A's useful. If there is anything else you'd like answering, feel free to comment below, or send me an email. Take care and happy Thursday!
I just got off the phone with a wonderful couple who are purchasing a home here in Utila. As they are frantically packing up their belongings in the U.S. to make the move to their 'better life' in the Caribbean, they realized they have lots of questions about the move! And I realized I have lots of tips, so I decided to make a post about them. I hope you find them useful. These are only the things we talked about, but as more questions are asked, I'll post more answers and tips.
Some Q&A's about your move:
Obviously there are tons of questions that need to be answered when moving to an island, especially after having a lifetime elsewhere. These are just a few of the questions Chuck and I discussed today. More Q&A's are coming! Leave a comment or email me if you have any Q's that need A's! Take care and I hope your day is bright, even if it can't be sunny!
1. Don't you get bored?
2. Do you get Island Fever?
That is similar to the first question, but different. Being on a small island has it's ups and downs. Being an expat gives me the great opportunity to visit friends and family in other countries, or to visit other places if I do get "Island Fever". And it happens. However, I can tell you that coming back to the island is one of the best feelings about going away! It's a bit like the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.
When I visit Toronto, for example, it's friends, family and food that is the lure. It's the craziness of traffic, the speediness of every day life and the chaos of so many people trying to keep up with the frenetic pace that allows me to happily return to "The Rock".
And sure, I miss yummy cheeses, good wine and great food. Well, I'm also lucky because I think my husband is the best chef on the island!
Is the trade-off worth it? Definitely.
3. What is there to do besides scuba diving?
4. Isn't Utila a Party Island?
Definitely. But most of us looking to semi-retire or retire are fast asleep when it happens! There are a few quiet times on the roads in Utila. Before 7am, and between about 6-8pm. All us older folk are heading into town in the morning, or heading home between 6-8 pm. The partiers seem to come out after 8pm to dine, and after 10pm to party. I'll admit, arriving to the island at age 30, I was one of those that was up late working at the bars (getting paid to socialize and have fun... if you call $1.50/hour getting paid), to be home at 4-5am, and up again at 7am to go scuba diving.
I cannot imagine staying up past 11pm anymore, and New Year's Eve has been non-existent until 2013 when the kids begged us to stay up until midnight!
That's the wonderful thing about Utila and her layers. They all live happily together, and you might not see a whole layer until you venture out to cross the timeline!
5. Is it Safe?
6. How's the Education System?
7. Can A Foreigner Buy Property?
Yes. Foreigners may purchase property outright if it's less than 3/4 of an acre (about 180 ft x 180 ft). More than that and you'll need to create a corporation.
8. How did you get the courage to move down here?
Haha. My answer always makes people laugh. I wish I had the courage to move here like so many have had. My story is that I started travelling in September 1999 and arrived to Utila at the end of 1999. My ticket to fly back home was from Chile in March 2000 (yes I know, very ambitious). I came to Utila as a certified diver, and planned on doing a few dives and moving on... Like the video says, "If you come to Utila, you'll never want to leave". So I didn't. I'm sure meeting the love of my life in Utila had something to do with it.
9. Don't You Miss the Four Seasons?
Nope. Not at all! I haven't experienced winter in about 18 years, and I'm very happy about that. Although fall is beautiful, bringing with it the excitement of donning your leather jacket or cool boots, I always say, "If I was meant to live in the cold, I would be covered with hair. I'm Asian. No hair. No winter." - insert smiley emoticon!
10. Are You Going to Stay in Utila Forever?
Imagine this scenario...
How It Works
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart (like chest compressions) and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart can also help it to regain a normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can have time to call for help or get to a hospital.
To better serve retirees & those seeking a slower pace of life in the Caribbean, I became the First and Only Accredited Buyer's Representative in the country of Honduras. This means you can be assured of the best representation of your real estate needs, like no one else can.