There’s no doubt about it, living in the tropics is amazing and the island country of Grenada is no exception. The heat, the sand and the sea are all definite perks, but even though there are so many pros to living in a warm, humid climate, there are definitely some cons!
1. The Mould & Musty Smell
Because the climate is somewhat damp (for part of the year anyways), items in the home can become mouldy. Sheets and pillows on the bed start giving off a musty smell if not changed frequently enough, and mould starts to creep up the walls in the bathroom – even though we’re only having cold showers! The worst part is that our clothes have even become mouldy. We’ve tried hanging them up, and folding them away, but nothing seems to work. It feels like we’re doing laundry just to get musky smell out of our clothes. I even found fungi growing on our laptop covers. We constantly have our windows open to let in the fresh air, but it seems like during the wet season, there’s no stopping it.
2. The Creepy Crawlies
If you’re going to live in the tropics, creepy creatures are totally unavoidable! However, I have to admit, Grenada is pretty good when it comes to bugs and creepy crawlies. We don’t see spiders, scorpions or snakes, but we do have massive centipedes. Being from North America, we’re used to seeing the occasional centipede, which average about an inch in length. The ones we’ve been seeing here can be up to 12 inches long and they eat rodents! Their bite is filled with toxic venom, and although not fatal to humans, it can cause swelling, nausea, chills and fever. In total we’ve seen 6 inside our house, with one being about 10 inches long (I know this because it spanned the diameter of the cooking pot we found it in!) Just thinking about these huge centipedes makes me shiver.
3. The Salt
Having the option of swimming in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea each day is a highlight of living here in Grenada. However, living near salt water wreaks havoc on electronic items. Since we work online, you can imagine how careful we are with our computers. Nick’s charging cord has completely deteriorated from the salty moisture in the air, plus we’ve gone through a couple of power bar cords, two toasters and two standing fans. We constantly clean our computers to get the salt off and do our best to take care of all the electronics in our house.
4. The Risk of Disease
The main concern with living in most tropical countries is the risk of Dengue Fever and Malaria – both of which are mosquito borne illnesses. Here in Grenada, dengue fever is present, but malaria is not. There’s no vaccine for dengue, so the best we can do is wear mosquito repellent, sleep under a net and wear long clothes at dawn and dusk.
5. The Chance of Natural Disasters
Mother Nature can strike anywhere and at anytime. No matter where you go in the tropics, there’s always going to be the chance of a typhoon, earthquake, volcano eruption, tornado, hurricane, monsoon, tsunami or flood. Here in Grenada, the hurricane season runs from June to November and although there’s little chance of one happening here, there was a major category 5 hurricane (Ivan) back in 2004. We always check the hurricane and storm websites to stay up to date.
I struggled to come up with these 5 downsides of living in the tropics. And honestly, the chances of disease or natural disaster are small, we’re mostly concerned about the salt ruining our electronics! The upsides of living in a tropical paradise far outweigh these downsides…stay tuned for that list.