Interviews

12 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica – Jennifer Tickle from the United Kingdom

We are continuing our Expatriate living in Jamaica series with a conversation with Jennifer Tickle an international school teacher who moved there in August 2014 . Jennifer tells us about her experience living in Jamaica, including advice to other expats who may consider moving to the island. What is the funniest thing that happened to Jennifer while living in Jamaica? What are Jennifer’s likes and dislikes about Jamaica? Find out in our conversation with Jennifer Tickle.

Where are you from originally?
Originally I am from the UK, although I was born overseas and have lived out of the UK for the past twenty years.

Why did you end up living in Jamaica?
My family and I moved here because my husband has taken over as Director of Hillel Academy, and I teach there as well.

What do you like the most about Jamaica?
I love the food and the countryside – the hills and coastline are spectacular.  I also like the way people chat to each other, even if they don’t know you. People are extremely friendly and helpful – I fell over and injured myself whilst running at the Mona reservoir and kind strangers picked me up, took care of me and even drove me home!

What you like the least about Jamaica?
I don’t like the way GST gets put onto the bill at the end of shopping – it’s always a nasty surprise!

What is your funniest experiences in Jamaica?
Probably the way I looked when I had chikengunya and couldn’t walk very well.  It wasn’t funny at the time but thinking back on it, I must have looked pretty odd!

What was the biggest adjustment you had to make living Jamaica?
I’ve found it quite easy to settle into Jamaica.  Prior to here I lived in Bangladesh, and Jamaica is far easier to live in. I thought I knew quite a bit about Jamaican culture and history but realise now that I have a lot more to learn.

Your favorite Jamaican food is…
jerk pork, and ackee and salt fish.

Your favorite Jamaican attraction is…
the Blue Mountains, walking up to and around Holywell.

What is the thing you miss the most when you leave Jamaica?
The humming birds in my garden.

What advice would you offer to an expat moving to Jamaica?
Bring plenty of mosquito repellent!

Thanks for your time. Any closing thoughts?
Jamaica and Jamaicans have been very welcoming to my family and I, and we are looking forward to giving back along the way as we get involved in our community.

About the author

Xavier Murphy