Ten Tips for Relocating to Puerto Rico
Legally Puerto Ricans are Americans, but culturally the country and people are quite different from the mainland. People who come to Puerto Rico thinking that their experience will mirror living at home just because they see Walgreen’s on every corner and can shop at JCPenney, Kmart or Home Depot soon discover that they are mistaken. Puerto Rico is a different country and those relocating to Puerto Rico should recognize that. Spanish is the dominant language, rice and beans are the main dishes, and radio stations play everything from salsa to reggaeton to ballads. The differences don’t end there. Want to be better prepared for your cultural transition to Puerto Rican life? Start with these 10 tips!
- Be open-minded and flexible.
- Do your research. Read about the history and political situation on the island.
- Read between the lines. Learn to recognize when yes means yes and when it really means no.
- Learn to be patient because you will wait in line.
- Don’t expect to accomplish as much in a day as you would in the States. It will only frustrate you.
- Don’t bring valuable furniture, artwork, or photos. The humidity can ruin them.
- Learn to expect the unexpected while driving.
- Explore beyond the shore.Puerto Rico offers much more than beaches.
- Don’t procrastinate. Pay bills, buy groceries, and take care of household items ahead of time.
- Start taking Spanish classes shortly after arrival. Even if you speak some Spanish, you will likely struggle simply because the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is challenging even for native Spanish-speakers.
These tips will prepare you for the everyday situations that you will encounter while relocating to Puerto Rico; however, keep in mind that each person has his or her own experience upon arrival. Tips like these can make your relocation experience smoother, but they do not take the place of actually relocating to Puerto Rico. Talk with locals and non-Puerto Ricans about their experiences living in Puerto Rico. Find out what suggestions they have. Listen and learn from them. There will likely be moments of frustration, but if you keep focusing on the positive and take good care of yourself, you will enjoy all that Puerto Rico has to offer.
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