Jeff Lipton, Barbados Executive, Comments on Expat Culture on the Island
As the world becomes increasingly borderless a growing number of people are traveling overseas for work, school and to just live. This ever changing global diaspora is helping to introduce local residents to foreign customs and traditions, while adding a piece of home to their new surroundings.
Currently the number of expats around the globe surpasses 50.5 million, and is expected to continue to climb and exceed 56.8 million in 2017 if the current levels are sustained.
In December 2014, a survey conducted by careersinaudit.com of 2,000 financial industry professionals found, 77 percent were in favour and keen on the idea of moving abroad for work. When asked why they would be willing to relocate the top reasons given were; “better career progression", "better work-life balance" and "better salary".
Improved quality of life was also a popular answer amongst respondents.
“It was recently reported that 90 percent of Brits living in Canada, having moved there for work, are happier with their new surroundings with a "better standard of living" being the main cause for expats being more contented in Canada,” notes an article by Cadogan Tate, a UK-based moving and logistics firm.
While Canada is a destination of choice by many, those in Canada are also interested in leaving what is familiar and embarking on a life journey.
Canadian expats as a whole often opt for sunny tropical climates, a stark contrast from the bitter and frigid winters of the Great White North. The crystal waters and white sand beaches of the Caribbean have been a top choice for Canadians and other expats from around the world.
In 2000, after experiencing success in the investment management sector, Canadian business executive Jeff Lipton arrived in Barbados ready to begin another exciting chapter of his life.
During his 14 years living in Barbados, Jeff Lipton continued to serve in the financial sector, while also immersing himself in island life.
“I really enjoyed my time in Barbados,” Jeff Lipton said. “It was a welcomed change of pace, and helped to give me a more global perspective.”
Barbados has made it their business to foster an environment that is welcoming to tourists and expats they have even created a website dedicated to the integration of expats into Barbadian society.
“Barbados offers expats a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and there are many activities to keep them busy and active on weekends from fishing, hiking and cycling to cricket (the national sport) and golf,” notes the website.
The island nation is also receptive to the amalgamation of other cultures and traditions into the fabric that makes Barbados unique. In 1999, a group of Canadian expats started the Barbados Hockey League (BHL), to promote the game of ball hockey in Barbados and foster a piece of Canadiana on the tropical island.
17 years later the BHL has grown to also include the Barbados Ball Hockey League, a non-profit organization established in 2006 to further promote and facilitate the sport of hockey.
As we have seen being an expat is a unique experience that allows people to make connections otherwise impossible, while also allowing expats to share traditions and customs they long for with their new countrymen.