13 September 2016

Lindsay de Feliz - Expat in the Dominican Republic

Lindsay de Feliz - Expat in the Dominican Republic

We’ve had the chance to talk to Lindsay de Feliz, 62, a British expat who has moved to the Dominican Republic with her husband. Mrs de Feliz, who has been living there for seventeen years, now works as a writer, translator and Marketing Consultant. Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?
A: England


Q: What made you move out of England?
A: Fed up with work, lifestyle, husband and the rat race


Q: Where are you living now?How did you come to choose this new country of residence?
A: Dominican Republic. I was travelling the world as a diving instructor and came here on a 6-month contract. I got stuck and never left


Q: How long have you been living in the Dominican Republic?
A: 17 years


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?
A: With my Dominican husband, 5 dogs, 2 cats, 6 goats and numerous chickens.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?
A: Not really. I skype with them. I miss the food.


Q: What do you think about the locals?
A: Well I am one now really. Most of my friends are Dominican. Very friendly and share everything


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in the Dominican Republic? How did you manage to find a social circle there?
A: Yes at the beginning most of my friends were expats. I still talk to expats a lot on line, and many visit me. Now my day to day friends are Dominican as I live in the mountains and there are no expats here.


Q: How does the cost of living in the Dominican Republic compare to your home?
A: Much cheaper if you stick to Dominican products.

Q: How much is a cup of coffee? About US$0.25

Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?
A: US$5 a head

Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?
A: US$50 a head

Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?
A: US$ 5 and cigarettes are US$4 for 20


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Dominican Republic?
A: Bring letters from your home back, copies of statements, proof of income. Go with someone well known to t he bank. It is all about relationships here.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?
A: Pain in the backside any dealings with the government here. They keep changing the rules and check all the paperwork minutely and will send it back for any reason. That is why I became a citizen as no need for all that hassle and expense of residency.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Dominican Republic is reliable?Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?
A: Yes in the main cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo. Hit and miss elsewhere.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in the UK or Dominican Republic? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?
A: Yes. It is essential to have health insurance, and the most important is to check the maximum amount you can have paid out in a year.


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Dominican Republic? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?
A: Only came with one bag and a bag of dive gear


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?
A: Being shot at point blank range some 11 years ago


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Dominican Republic?
A: Positive are the weather, the cost of living, the friendliness, the lack of focus on “things”. Negatives can be the weather, the lack of nice food like mushrooms, cheese, etc. but you can buy these in the tourist areas – just not where I live.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?
A: Hiking, farming, the mountains are beautiful. The country is vast, with beaches, mountains, eco tourism, so there is something for everyone.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?
A: no


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?
A: Learn Spanish


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Dominican Republic?
A: website for expats in English is DR1.com. My blog is yoursaucepans.blogspot.com.