Hello there! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted one of these, and with my two year Guamiversary having passed, I think now is the perfect time for another. You can read part one Here.
I can understand how moving anywhere new might be scary, especially somewhere in the middle of nowhere. To be successful in Guam (or anywhere) it’s all about your mindset and how you CHOOSE to view the differences. I was too overwhelmed by the beauty, the sun, the clear ocean water to notice anything else. Yes, Guam has its frustrating moments where I’m like, “I just want to leave!” I’m pretty sure I felt the same way when I was living in Oregon. Maybe you’ve heard a lot of negative things about the island, don’t let those opinions become yours.
1. Depending on where you live, Kmart may be the closest option for you to buy essential things like toilet paper or soap. With it being the only super store on Guam, and for some reason a very popular tourist attraction, it’s busy 24/7. When I lived in Oregon I went to Kmart (if I could find one) to get away from the crowds because the place was usually desolate. Not on Guam. Kmart on a Saturday night is THE place to be haha! There are busloads of tourists who are dropped off at the store everyday.
2. There are so many stray dogs and cats throughout Guam. I think there are more dogs though, a few times we’ve run into a pack of dogs that chased us down the street. They are called boonie dogs/cats. Most of the time they are scared and run off. It’s really sad to see them hungry and to know that the older animals are feral and will never be tamed.
3. If you will be receiving checks from off-island banks and depositing them into a Guam bank account, you will have to wait at least 7 business days for the check to clear. Even if it has cleared on the other side, Guamanian banks hold it. It’s so annoying!
4. I’m not sure how often these unexplained power outages happen in other villages, but in Tumon they happen often (I’ve had three this week alone). They can last anywhere from 5 minutes to a whole day. I’ve heard that the power supply isn’t enough for the demand in Tumon. Our lights usually flicker a bit and our air conditioner has had to be fixed a handful of times because of the sudden outages. Most businesses have generators that kick on once the power is out.
5. When deciding on what clothes I would need in Guam, I never thought I’d be cold. But being as it is hot everywhere on island, about 99% of places will have their air conditioner blasting on the coldest temperature. I definitely wish I had brought a light sweater so that I wouldn’t freeze to death!
6. Before I moved to Guam, I researched which vaccinations I’d need on the Center for Disease Control website. At the time, it recommended Hep A & B, flu, tetanus, and typhoid vaccinations. I found a travel clinic that could provide most of these and since I had done all the research on my own, I received a discount. The doctor advised me to be careful of the water and food that I eat. Most people don’t drink tap water here, and I wouldn’t risk it.
7. Though I’ve never been to one, cockfights are legal and commonly take place.
8. Guam is NOT a third world country!!! In some ways it does seem to show third world tendencies (some people live in tin houses, unpaved roads, corruption…). Much of the population live at or below the poverty line, it’s very rare to actually see anything that would suggest that Guam is a poor country/territory. There are government agencies that help those in need.
9. Even though Guam is served by the United States Postal Service, many companies consider Guam a foreign country and won’t ship here or will charge international shipping rates.
10. Anytime the temperature dips below 85 degrees Fahrenheit you will hear people say, “It’s cold!” Ahh the struggles of living on an island
Questions about life on Guam? Check out my FAQ.