Category Archives: Expatriate

Spotlight City: Cabo Rojo

Don’t Miss Cabo Rojo!

If you are considering traveling to Puerto Rico, are new to the island, or just need a diversion from your daily routine in the metropolitan area, head to Cabo Rojo! Cabo Rojo, located on the very Southwestern tip of the island, is a small community that offers big time views. Those views, and much more, make Cabo Rojo a must-see despite its distance from San Juan.

Although a trip to Cabo Rojo and back can be completed in a day, it’s a long day of driving so most people make a weekend of it, staying in one of the many small hotels or paradors in the area. Grand Bahía Ocean View Hotel, one of these hotels, is sandwiched between the salt flats and the mangroves, providing a secluded area from which to watch the sun set. The chefs and wait staff at the on-site restaurant, Agua al Cuello, never fail to give you an unforgettable dining experience of fresh seafood and delectable desserts.

From the pool deck of Grand Bahía Ocean View Hotel you can see the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse off to the left. This is an ideal place for photographers and travel enthusiasts. El Faro Los Morillos (as it is called in Spanish) was constructed in 1882 to help sailors through the Mona Passage. Today it is one of Puerto Rico’s most picturesque sights. Set high above the Caribbean waters atop limestone cliffs, the Cabo Rojo lighthouse stands as a beacon summoning visitors and residents alike. Be sure to bring your camera because these are images you won’t want to forget. And keep children near you at all times since there are no guardrails to protect them.

On the other side of the lighthouse is Playa Sucia, a secluded beach for a refreshing dip after climbing the hill to the lighthouse. This inlet in the Caribbean Ocean is a favorite among locals, but can be a challenge to get to if you have kids or lots to carry. Our recommendation would be to pack light because the path is not always accessible via automobile. That way you can truly relax beachfront and enjoy the incredible view and warm sunshine.

For nature enthusiasts, the area also features the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. Those up for a good hike will witness native birds and plants while wandering through the subtropical dry forest. In and around the Interpretive Center (open Thursday through Sunday) you can get more details about the history of the area, including the salt flats, as well as the birds that frequent the area. Guides are also available for a fee. Be sure to bring your sunscreen, bug spray, and water and wear appropriate clothing for hiking! The trails are not long, but the sun is hot!

As you can see, for rest and relaxation, Cabo Rojo is where it’s at! Make sure to include it on your Puerto Rican bucket list!

Watch for other Spotlight City posts from around Puerto Rico courtesy of your Relocation Specialist in Puerto Rico, Global Perceptions!

 

 

 

Three Healthcare Tips for Your Big Move

 

The holidays are upon us and Global Perceptions wants to reward you by givingIMG_0592[1] you 12 DAYS OF FREE GIFTS! Here are our relocation tips for DAY 4!

 

Three Healthcare Tips for Your Big Move

By Jennifer Alvarez and Julie Parenteau

 

Remaining healthy during your relocation process, as well as maintaining your health abroad, is vital. To stay healthy, Global Perceptions recommends taking the following precautions.  

  1. Medical Coverage.  If you are relocating due to your job, make sure to clarify
    Learn about healthcare procedures in your host country before leaving.

    Learn about healthcare procedures in your host country before leaving.

    what will be covered in your host country. If you will need to transfer your medical insurance, make sure you complete this transaction immediately after arrival. This will ensure that you and your family will be covered in case of a medical emergency.

 

  1.    Vaccinations. Most countries share the same series of vaccinations.  In some cases, depending on the country you are relocating to, there may be additional mandatory vaccinations that need to be completed before you travel there. Aside from mandatory vaccinations, check to see what vaccinations may be recommended, but not required.  The main point is to protect yourself against various diseases that some countries have that others do not.

 

  1. Medication Supply.  Make sure you receive at least a one month supply of all
    pills

    Get your prescriptions filled prior to departure.

    medications for all family members before you depart.  It may take some time to finalize your medical insurance paperwork and locate a primary health care physician.  You do not want to run out of your much needed medication before you are able to obtain a refill.

Taking these measures will help you and your family stay physically healthy so that you can focus more on staying emotionally healthy during this trying time.

 

For more relocation advice for your move to Puerto Rico or beyond, please contact Global Perceptions. Or visit us on Facebook and Twitter!

social media logoshttps://www.facebook.com/relocation.specialist.puertorico

https://twitter.com/relocationpr

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for Bringing Fall to Life as an Expat

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

5 Tips for Bringing Fall to Life as an Expat

By: Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., Owner/President of Global Perceptions

 

Fall is my favorite time of year. There’s something about the cool, crisp air ushering in the season that makes me feel renewed. Sipping hot chocolate after Friday night high school football games and picking apples from a nearby orchard add to my giddiness. Or at least

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

they did! Since moving to Puerto Rico eight years ago, I have seen precious little of the colorful trees shining in the setting sun. In Puerto Rico, there is only a slight difference from one season to another. So slight in fact, that I forget that seasons even change. That’s a pretty big change for a Midwestern girl accustomed to greeting the seasons with gusto.

Despite my change of venue, I have found ways to bring my favorite season to life, even in the Caribbean! Here are my top 5 ways to keep fall alive for expatriates living in Puerto Rico and other tropical locations.

 

1) Watch American Football

I am a HUGE Green Bay Packers fan! It’s hard to grow up in Wisconsin and not be. If American football is one of your passions, carry it to your new home and watch your team with local fans. Win or lose, cheer or jeer, get together as a family over nachos and chili, just like home. Sometimes even just the consistent schedule of games will help you recreate the fall feeling.

 

2) Bake, Bake, Bake

Get our your mixer and have a bake-a-thon! Fall without recipes made of pumpkin, apple and cranberry just wouldn’t be fall. Let the scents of cakes, breads, cookies, pies and muffins waft through your house, creating a sensation that transports you to the coziness of a fireplace-heated living room. Imagine yourself wearing flannel pajamas as you crack

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

eggs, even though you are likely in shorts and a tank top. If you think ahead, you can even have pumpkin spice and butterscotch shipped right to your door via online shopping! And you’ll have something delicious to eat afterward!

 

3) Buy a new sweater

The feel of a new sweater is such a fall thing. The softness and warmth that it emits even while on the store rack beckons the aimless shopper. Cashmere, knit, wool….they all call out, promising to comfort in the best and worst of times. And somehow you know that whether it’s a cool gray or warm cranberry color, you will be comforted by its thread.

 

4) Pick up scented candles

When you start dreaming of enjoying Saturday afternoon walks in the park, listening to the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath your hiking boots, you know it’s time to find a

Sometimes giving into  your desires is the best thing you can do!

Sometimes giving into your desires is the best thing you can do!

substitute. Candles work wonders! Pick up something that screams FALL to you. I personally like apple-scented candles, but there are lots to pick from. Find one that works for you and light it!

 

5) Get on the plane

For those times when the nostalgia simply takes over and you have to see, feel, hear, taste and touch the fall, get on the plane and reward yourself with a few days in a place that offers just what you need. Consider a trip mid-October to early November in places like Washington, D.C. or Kansas City. The temperatures still aren’t too cold during the day, but they offer crisp nights perfect for trying out that new sweater.

 

For more ideas on making your transition to Puerto Rico a positive experience, consult with the Relocation Specialists at Global Perceptions! We have the local experience, but the global reach. Visit us TODAY at http://global-perceptions.com/

 

“Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com” – See more at: http://www.smallplanetstudio.com/2014/09/26/september-mygloballife-link-up/#sthash.UM54udoA.dpuf

Two hours to the beach

261

Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting

 

I have had an interesting journey through my almost seven years in Puerto Rico. Until recently, I didn’t think that my story was all that special. A dear friend convinced me that we are all meant to tell our stories. With that in mind, I have gone back through my early writings to share some of my adventures with you.

 

Two hours to the beach

trafficIt’s now been two weeks since I arrived on the island. Determined not to let another day go by without a trip to the beach, I pack my sunscreen, towel, and a fashion magazine. Sliding my sunglasses over my ears, I give myself a pep talk and get into the red Honda that I am borrowing for the day. I slowly back out of the driveway and make my way onto the Expreso. Driving amidst the other cars on the highway is still my biggest fear. Not only do I have no idea where I’m going, but people constantly cut me off under the assumption that a turn-signal is an unnecessary form of communication. That really ticks me off. Back home someone who forgets to use their turn signal is considered rude. It’s only polite to indicate your desire to turn in a certain direction, allowing the surrounding traffic ample time to get out of the way. Knowing that it’s likely someone is going to cut me off, I pay extra attention to the surrounding traffic, often missing the sign for my exit.

 

But today, I am determined to find the one beach that I know how to access. There is no entrance fee and there is usually ample parking, so going to Isla Verde sounds ideal. Approaching the tunnel, several cars zoom from lane to lane in front of

minillas tunnelme. It’s dark in the tunnel and the lack of turn signals frightens me. I have no idea which way to go and am afraid to move from my position for fear of hitting someone. In the process of thinking through all of this, I veer to the left, heading toward San Juan. After a mile, I realize that I have made a mistake. I should have gone to the right as I exited the tunnel. Trying to correct my error, I pull off the highway and find myself in Condado. I recognize a few familiar sights. The water is several blocks away, but I can make out the crystal blue color in the distance.

“Well, I could go to this beach instead,” I say out loud. Changing my original plan, I look around for a parking space. After several blocks there is no space to be found—at least not any that I am willing to pull into in a borrowed car. I travel down a cross street trying to find a way back to the highway. The road seems to go East so I keep following it, hoping that it will eventually get me to Isla Verde. Feeling more confident, I travel on. Ten more minutes go by and then it appears on the horizon—El Morro. “How could this be? I was sure I was going toward Isla Verde.” Not knowing whether to laugh or cry at this point, I keep driving. “Eventually I am going to reach Isla Verde,” I state hesitantly.

261

I manage to get out of Old San Juan without too much trouble since I stayed in a hotel there on a previous trip. Passing by an area of hotels and restaurants that I recognize, I begin to get comfortable again. This time I am definitely going toward Isla Verde. I can see the highway and carefully merge with the traffic again. I go South, assuming that I’ll be able to get off near the tunnel and turn around.

 

“This looks like a promising exit. Let me take this one.” I pull off and immediately realize that this is not the exit that I should have taken. Again I am forced to search through the streets for an entrance back to the highway. Block after block passes, but I have no idea where I am. Eventually I realize that I have been driving the wrong way in a bus-only lane when a not-so-kind sizzlertaxi driver scolds me from his own vehicle. Feeling exasperated and frustrated, I finally find something that looks familiar. To my chagrin it looks familiar because I was just at this same spot twenty minutes earlier. For the third time in the last hour I pass by the Sizzler.

 

“Maybe I’m not supposed to go to the beach today,” I confess. Ready to give up, I get back on the highway and decide to go back home. Along the way, my determination rears its head again. By the time that I reach the exit for my neighborhood, I decide to try one more time. Now I know that I have to go to the right in the tunnel so maybe I will actually get there if I just start over. With a sense of renewed confidence, I turn the car around.

 

Half an hour later, I finally park the car in front of the beautiful blue waters. “I did it!” I find a space under a large palm tree and spread my towel over the fine grains of sand. Settling into an article in my magazine, I congratulate myself on overcoming the challenge of getting to this beach. It took me two hours, but I finally did it, and I did it all by myself. “See Julie, you just need some practice. You’ll get the hang of this,” I tell myself. Ten blissful minutes pass by and then they come—big, wet raindrops. “Just my luck, I guess I really wasn’t meant to be on the beach today.” I toss my wet towel and beach bag in the back seat and decide that a mid-afternoon nap could offer a bit of reprieve from what has happened over the last few hours. Fortunately by now, I know the way home.100_0117

 

For more information on Global Perceptions or its President, Dr. Julie Parenteau, please visit http://globalperceptions.net/ or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico

5 Relocation Tips for Kids: Post-departure

The big day has come and gone. Now you are safely in your new home and starting classes at your new school. Now your major concerns are: 1) will the other kids like me?2) where will I sit at lunchtime? and 3) what will the teachers be like? These are normal questions for any new kid to ask. When making an international move however, these questions become even more stressful due to differences in culture and language. Let me offer the following tips to help guide you comfortably through these changes.

In my experience as a new kid, getting involved in a school-sponsored club or sport was critical to helping me become a part of the new school. Whether you like drama, art, fencing, robotics, or community-service, try to find a group that supports your interests. By attending their meetings, more people will see you and will get used to you being a part of the group.

Getting involved also gives you access to people with similar interests so you can make friends. Because you already have something in common, it should be easier to start a conversation even if you don’t know the person. Also, the small group setting makes it easier to have one-on-one conversations than being in a large classroom full of people. Take advantage of these opportunities to get to know other people.

Living in a new culture often means that there are new foods and drinks to try. Be open to tasting the new foods even if they do not look “normal” to you. People in the new culture probably think that much of what you are used to eating is weird or strange too. Be adventurous and try new things!

Listening to local music can help you become familiar with local styles, but can also help you learn the language. Tune your radio to a local station and listen in. Watching local television shows offers the same benefits. You may not understand anything in the beginning, but if you keep watching, you will start to pick up quite a bit. Being current with TV shows and music also gives you something to talk about with your new friends.

See the sights! Encourage your family members to visit museums, sporting events, libraries, parks, theaters, and more to get out of the house and explore. While visiting these places you will be surrounded by people of the local culture. Learn from those experiences. Discover what is important to people in the new culture by looking at museum artifacts or attending theatrical performances. You will be amazed how much you can learn from these adventures!

With these tips in mind, you should feel more secure and confident in your new home away from home. The transition is never easy, but you can get through it. Remember to stay positive and enjoy the experience of living in new place. Many kids never get such an opportunity so take advantage of all there is to learn. Maybe someday, you’ll have the chance to share your experiences with other kids making the same transition.

For your FREE Puerto Rico Welcome Kit, contact your relocation authority, Global Perceptions, today!

5 Relocation Tips for Kids: Pre-departure

I remember sitting at the dining room table in our family home outside Minneapolis when I was about 7 years old. The dinner conversation somehow turned to moving and my parents said that they did not think we would ever move. Boy, were they wrong! By the time I finished high school, I had attended six different schools in four different communities in two different states. All of that change was hard. Leaving old friends behind and having to make new friends every few years was challenging, but when I look back on it all now, I realize that all that change has made me the person that I am today.

Today I use those skills to help prepare other people for the challenges of learning to live in a new community. That includes working with children. Since I know what it’s like to be the new kid on the block (several times over), I want to share some insights with kids going through this process. The following are a few helpful tips for preparing kids for moving day.

  1. Research your new town. Ask your parents to help you find information on the internet about where you will live. Check the population. Look at the weather. Discover what kinds of museums, theaters, or other attractions they have.
  2. Take a virtual tour of the school on their website. Find out what the classrooms look like. Look at pictures of other students. Read about the lunch program or after school activities. Learn which books you will use and whether or not uniforms are required.
  3. Learn some basic phrases in the new language. Even simple things like “Hi, my name is_______” or “What’s your name?” can give you the confidence to interact with your peers.
  4. Talk to your parents about how you feel and ask questions. Discuss your feelings of excitement and anxiety about the move with your parents. Ask them to explain why this move is so important and how it will affect you. Whenever a doubt arises, ask them.
  5. Pack some of your favorite toys, books, and pictures. Being away from everything that is familiar is tough. That’s why I recommend bringing some of your favorite items with you. They can provide a sense of familiarity in a place that is so different from what you’re used to.

These are just a few ideas to help you get ready for the big move. I hope they help you feel more comfortable about moving. Overall, the key is to stay positive. It is okay to have some fears because everything is so uncertain during this time, but look on the bright side through it all. An incredible new adventure is waiting for you on the other side!

 

Global Perceptions, your relocation authority, offers communication and relocation consulting services to people of all ages. Contact us today for more information!

Global Perceptions Celebrates Multicultural Communication Month

April is here and that means it’s time for Multicultural Communication Month. What is multicultural communication? Why should we celebrate it? In our instant access world, we are constantly in contact with people from other cultures. Taking time to celebrate that interconnectedness is worthwhile because it reminds us how far we have come, but also points to how far we still have to go. This month’s posts by Global Perceptions relate to this unique, yet timely topic.

To begin, let’s take a step back in time. If we look way back to the Ancient Greeks, we discover the first formal studies of oratory and persuasion, which have become the foundation of today’s communication courses. As time goes on, communication grows to include written formats due to increased literacy rates. This is largely a result of the growth of religion during the Medieval times and the interest in transferring religious knowledge to non-literate groups.

Speeding ahead to the 1900s, politicians implement communication not only to win elections, but to garner support for war efforts. By the middle of the 1950s, the Foreign Service Institute begins working with the U.S. military and Peace Corps volunteers to look for ways to make U.S. ambassadors, military personnel, and community service workers more effective within their host countries. It is here that intercultural communication or multicultural communication is born.

Today, multicultural communication includes the study of verbal and nonverbal actions, the impact of religion on culture, how to conduct business across cultures, ethnic influences on our identity, prejudices, perception, context, challenges within education for multicultural people, health care, technology, ethics, listening, and so much more. This field of study has grown steadily with support from business, government, educational institutions, and non-profit groups alike. Now intercultural researchers and individuals have the ability to talk and write about their experiences and have those experiences listened to by others.

As we look forward, we will continue to see the importance of multicultural communication and its influence on our everyday lives. The ability to instantaneously impact hundreds of thousands of people with a single tweet, for instance, has already begun to change the way we live. We can now support causes thousands of miles away from the privacy of our own homes and affect change more permanently than we could if we stood in the middle of the town square crying out for change. This is just one of the reasons why celebrating Multicultural Communication Month is crucial for all of us.

Throughout April, Global Perceptions staff will post about intercultural communication topics to celebrate Multicultural Communication Month. We encourage comments about your experiences with these themes. To join the conversation, simply post your comments here or join us on Facebook or Twitter!

Importance of cultural adaptation training in Puerto Rico


window in old san juanThe day has come! Your big move to Puerto Rico is before you! Your entire family, including the family pet have landed on the Island of Enchantment with visions of days spent on the beach in your heads. Just beyond those wishful thoughts, it’s likely that there’s also some uncertainty, confusion, or even disbelief swimming around. Even though Puerto Rico falls under the government policies of the United States, it is not the United States. Things work differently here and if you want to understand how they work, one of the best ways is to participate in a cultural adaptation training program. Cultural trainers, like those at Global Perceptions, offer insight and experience that only those who have been through the adaptation process can really understand.

Take it from me, Dr. Julie Parenteau, President of Global Perceptions, living in Puerto Rico without any cultural or linguistic knowledge makes life very difficult. When I moved here in 2006 communicating with native Puerto Ricans was extremely challenging both because I had trouble understanding them, and because they didn’t understand the words I learned during 10 years of Spanish instruction. Not having a corporate sponsor also forced me to do everything on my own. If I had had a Global Perceptions cultural training program, I would have understood more and had fewer problems during my cultural transition.

Without such a program, I spent the first three years perpetually lost. It didn’t matter where I went, I would get turned around all because I didn’t understand where anything was in relation to anything else. I got in the wrong lines, wound up in areas where a single woman shouldn’t have been, spent much more than necessary for everyday services, and generally felt frustrated.

playa sucia

This doesn’t have to be your experience! Don’t allow yourself to agonize and lose sleep over your relocation to Puerto Rico. Make the decision today to invest in yourself with our cultural adaptation training programs! Puerto Rico is an amazing country with so much to offer, so let us help you navigate your trip.

 

For more information about cultural adaptation training programs offered by Global Perceptions, your relocation authority in Puerto Rico, contact us at 787.455.7764 or visit our webpage: www.globalperceptions.net. We will happily prepare a proposal free of charge!

« Older Entries