Interviews

12 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica – Australian Rosanna Swarts talks about living in Jamaica

Written by Xavier Murphy

We recently had a conversation with Australian Rosanna Swarts, about living as an expatriate in Jamaica. Rosanna tells us about her experience in Jamaica, including advice to other expats who may consider moving to the island.  What are Rosanna’s likes and dislikes about Jamaica? Find out in our conversation with Rosanna Swarts.

Your name, title, how long you have lived in Jamaica and what you do?
Ms Rosanna Swarts. Have lived in Jamaica for just 3 months. What do I do? I travel, I explore, I volunteer my time and my energy where I can. And most importantly, I learn.
I’m an artisan so I sell and barter my art to support myself. I also write a blog about how to travel without money.

Where are you from originally?
Originally from Australia but I haven’t lived there for a long time now.

Why did you end up living in Jamaica?
Hmmm…it’s a long story. Let’s just say life and love threw me around and I landed here. 🙂

What do you like the most about Jamaica?
The music and the people. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some beautiful, talented and conscious individuals here in Jamaica and had some very enlightening conversations.

What you like the least about Jamaica?
The lack of respect for women that unfortunately exists in Jamaica. Jamaican men are in serious need of an education on how to respect their wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and women in general. Women are the bearers of life and love. We’re all brothers and sisters, regardless of skin or eye colour, and it’s about time Jamaican men started treating women with the respect they deserve.

What is your funniest experiences in Jamaica?
Hmmm…I’ve had a lot of those. Every route taxi journey is an experience in itself and I’m always laughing and joking with people on the street here. Jamaicans love it when foreigners try and speak patois so whenever I learn something new I’m always making people laugh with it 🙂

What was the biggest adjustment you had to make living Jamaica?
Having to catch buses and route taxis instead of hitchhiking. I hitchhike all other countries I’ve lived in or traveled to but the culture doesn’t really exist in Jamaica, everyone wants $$ for the smallest favor. It’s a shame.

Your favorite Jamaican food is…
Roasted breadfruit on a bonfire at the beach! Perfect….

Your favorite Jamaican attraction is…
Dub Club on Jack’s Hill… if that counts as an attraction.

What is the thing you miss the most when you leave Jamaica?
I haven’t left since I got here so I don’t know. But I think it’ll be getting called “empress” .. I think it’s adorable! haha

What advice would you offer to an expat moving to Jamaica?
I’d say come with an open mind, an open soul and an open heart and you’ll be fine. It’ll be an adventure of ups and downs. Jamaicans have a lot to learn but they also have so much to teach…just like all of us.

Thanks for your time.
You’re welcome.

If you are an expat in Jamaica and would like to be featured in this series, please email us today!!!

About the author

Xavier Murphy