11 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica – Kara Stevenson from Canada

11 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica Kara Stevenson from Canada
Kara Stevenson has lived in Jamaica for 1.5 years and is Public Relations Advisor for Cuso International (an International Development Canadian NGO)  who placed her at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, to conduct consultancy work. Kara is also the co-owner of FitRev, a fitness club located in Kingston.  She manages the fitness club’s administration, communications, and marketing.  In addition to her job and business, Kara is a single mother with a 4-year-old daughter. She has a blog where she speaks to the concerns of any single-parent expat.
Kara tells us about her experience as an Expat in Jamaica, including advice to others who may consider moving to the island. What are her likes and dislikes about Jamaica? Find out in our conversation with Kara.
11 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica Kara Stevenson from Canada

Kara Stevenson

Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Toronto, Canada. However, my father is from Trinidad & Tobago and my mother is from Hong Kong, but I was born and raised in Toronto…. Just in case you were thinking, “she looks Jamaican”.
Why did you end up living in Jamaica?
I have always had a passion for International Development, and I was always looking for ways where I could combine my career in Journalism with International Development. I just so happen to come across an International Development position in Public Relations, which required me to relocate to Jamaica. I jumped on that opportunity as soon as I saw it.
What do you like the most about Jamaica?
I love how scenic Jamaica is! Jamaica has the most beautiful waterfalls!
What you like the least about Jamaica?
The economy is very bad – the cost of living is very high, and the average Jamaican earns between $6,500 to $15,000 a week. While the cost of living is practically on par with Toronto! Many Jamaicans are not able to afford some of the most basic necessities. I find myself always having to budget, and I consciously make an effort to avoid purchasing imported items.
What are your funniest experiences in Jamaica?
My daughter speaks Jamaican PATOIS! She has the accent and everything! I think it’s so amazing how easily she has adapted to the Jamaican culture! People ask me all the time “your daughter is Jamaican, but what are you?” Hahaha, I think it’s so funny!
What was the biggest adjustment you had to make living Jamaica?
The biggest adjustment for me was building a new network of friends (who I now call family). I think (as a parent especially) it’s important to have trustworthy friends, who you can call on for any emergency.
Your favorite Jamaican food is…
Curry goat, pear (avocado), ginup, jackfruit, breadfruit, ackee, jerk chicken
Your favorite Jamaican attraction is…
Negril for their 7 mile beach and the Blue hole in Ocho Rios, which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls that I’ve ever seen!
What is the thing you miss the most when you leave Jamaica?
The sun! The beaches! The adventures and the road trips!
What advice would you offer to an expat moving to Jamaica?
Buy all your essentials before coming to Jamaica (if you can ship a barrel of stuff, that would be wise), or be prepared to pay double for it in Jamaica!
Any closing thoughts?
The culture, the people, the environment is definitely one of a kind. Just be prepared to come to Jamaica with an open mind!
Learn more about Kara and FitRev at these websites.
Social Media: @fitrevja
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 335-0782 / 581-2161

About the author

Xavier Murphy