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Old 08-15-2008, 11:47 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,631 times
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Hello to all who are reading, I am a native of St. Thomas and I have a strong desire of returning home...relocating from MD. My family consists of 4 kids...ages 17,13,9, 19 months. I am a prenursing student and my husband is an airbrush artist. It has been more than ten years that I have been home, any advice on relocating? I'm not even sure where to begin....I left as a victim of Hurricane Marilyn in 95. My family has never been there and I really would love to introduce them to my culture. I have even considered possibly moving to PR. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,634,723 times
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VImermaid - where to start! Much has changed since the exodus post-Marilyn and not necessarily for the better now that another exodus is underway because of the WAPA debacle combined with rising stateside import prices. Do you still have family here? Are they giving you any advice? Have you kept up with the local news in the last ten years?

A great online source of information is the St Thomas Source which you can access at:

http://sts.onepaper.com/

The Virgin Islands Daily News is also online at Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Newspaper, A Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper, Virgin Islands Guide, Virgin Islands Info with the daily issue usually online by about 4PM.

With four children, it's not going to be easy unless you have a very tight family circle here. The educational system leaves much to be desired and private schooling is very expensive. Rents are very high but will probably drop in the next year as will housing in general. The US recession is finally filtering down here (we're usually 12-18 months behind the mainland) and that, combined with horrendously escalating WAPA bills - WAPA is right now basically bankrupt and the latest 22% increase is only a harbinger of what's ahead - doesn't bode well for anyone, let alone someone in your particular position.

We finally have a governor, John deJongh, who has real business acumen and is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant fish-fry political morass which has been such a detriment to the islands for so many years. But John can only do so much and the mess he inherited is going to take a long time to clean up.

As I said, your particular position is difficult. As a pre-nursing student you can probably continue your education at UVI which apparently has an excellent program. But most of the graduates end up going stateside where they can make a much better living there than here. Traveling nurses pretty much dominate the hospital nursing care here and make a lot of money with a lot of perks - which leads to resentment from local nurses who are paid much less and without the perks. The RLS hospital (formerly the

Where your hubbie is concerned, an airbrush artist is going to have a hard time making a living here, particularly in these rapidly-encroaching hard times. Frequent visitors and even potential first-time visitors are having a hard time finding reasonable air fares to get here and when the tourist well decreases, everybody suffers since our main income is from tourism.

Last edited by STT Resident; 08-17-2008 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: pushed a wrong button!
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,634,723 times
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No idea what just happened, but to continue - guess my old fingers are flying and flipped!

The RLS hospital (formerly the St Thomas Hospital and it's renaming for a governor who was almost the worst of the worst but was then topped by Turnbull was simply mind-boggling!) has recently been the topic of tremendous media attention with salary and funding mismanagement out the ying yang and patient care compromised as the fat cats got fatter via under-the-table deals. Oh, it's been a big melee for true!

Anyway, and forgive me for being a total naysayer, I really wouldn't advocate a come-home venture right now unless you have lots and lots of money. The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. Do a lot of research. If you were just a young couple with no children I wouldn't be so judgmental but at this particular time I don't think it's a good idea for you. Cheers, and sorry for that transmission glitch!
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,703,675 times
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We love the St Thomas and the islands, but at the same time, very familiar with trying to get by in high cost of living areas having lived in both Japan and Honolulu. I would not recommend trying to live in the VI without VERY good income. Visit often, but living there on a working guys income is not going to be very easy. Great place to visit, but not worth the hassles/expense if you have income concerns.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,650,085 times
Reputation: 7618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paka View Post
We love the St Thomas and the islands, but at the same time, very familiar with trying to get by in high cost of living areas having lived in both Japan and Honolulu. I would not recommend trying to live in the VI without VERY good income. Visit often, but living there on a working guys income is not going to be very easy. Great place to visit, but not worth the hassles/expense if you have income concerns.
I have to second that - we found the cost of goods prohibitive in the VI and returned stateside. We have above average incomes, both from corporate employment, but still...it's just expensive.

We could have taken FABULOUS, long vacations for many years on what it took us to get there, establish residency, and survive. I know others do it, but I have to wonder at what cost.

Do your research - our income in the middle of the U.S. goes a TON further than it did down there. What you're used to versus what you may find for everday items could be your reality check. The WAPA increases alone would scare me silly right now.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,031 posts, read 27,544,102 times
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Similar question...Was considering a move to St. Croix, would have six figure job in oil industry....Is it worh it? Any suggestion on things to look for or be aware of? I'm single, late 30s no kids.

Thought it might be nice to relax by a beach after a long day at work. How is health care?
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:51 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,650,085 times
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Six figures and single...your lack of social life may be your biggest obstacle to overcome!

Suggestion to you...find a place on a month to month lease or short term - if you will send me a direct message, I will put you in contact with someone who can help. He has a couple of short term apartments and also works for a realtor there and manages their properties. You may have to pay a little more short term, but it's probably worth it...then beat the bushes for something more reasonably priced. There's a bulletin board at the little grocery store in Gallows Bay where you can find some good offerings, but a lot of stuff that is rented is word of mouth and just driving the roads and looking for signs. Those will probably be your best bargains anyway and a good way to get to know the island and the various estates. I'm assuming Hovensa for the oil industry, which is dead center island. There are some pocket neighborhoodss around that area that are nice, and some not so nice. Don't lock yourself into anything long term until you've had a chance to explore the island. It is widely diverse with regard to whether you want to be on the drier east end or the rain forest. For a small island, it can take a while to maneuver from one end to the other. Fortunately Hovensa is mid island, but some of the roads are atrocious. Not sure where you're coming from - be prepared for acclimation time to the temperature as well. My best advice is get as high as you can for the sea breezes and to get away from the no-see-ums and other bugs. The two places we rented - one was east end and one was in St. George. The mosquitos and no-see-ums made life almost unbearable on the east end, but up high center island was lovely and so much cooler. Hovensa gives a huge stipend for living expenses if you are on contract. Lots of landlords love that part; lots of landlords will not rent to Hovensa workers because they are so transient; like everyone else, they'd rather have steady, long-term renters.

Health care left much to be desired when we were there, particularly for chronic illness. For your average sniffle I think it's fine. If you have anything go really wrong, though, you'd best not spend a lot of time at the hospital there. Look into the air ambulance insurance. There are two kinds. One will take you as far as San Juan in case of serious emergency. The other is more expensive but will get you to Miami. Opt for the latter.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:00 AM
 
345 posts, read 1,155,019 times
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Stick to north side. Stay with your own people until youre localized. Then you can lime it with the Santos and a cold green one.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:03 AM
 
345 posts, read 1,155,019 times
Reputation: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paka View Post
We love the St Thomas and the islands, but at the same time, very familiar with trying to get by in high cost of living areas having lived in both Japan and Honolulu. I would not recommend trying to live in the VI without VERY good income. Visit often, but living there on a working guys income is not going to be very easy. Great place to visit, but not worth the hassles/expense if you have income concerns.

Depends on what kind of person you are. If you can break even and still afford a six pack of heiniken to take to the beach you'll be safe like me.

I sling a machette in the bush doing land surveying. Its a living
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:36 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,194 times
Reputation: 11
Default College Student

Hi, I am currently a college student (19 years old) and have always wanted to live on an island, at least for a little while. My family has always been fortunate enough to afford vacations in other countries, mainly Europe, but we have been to island resorts a few times and I loved it. In high school I went on a trip to Costa Rica and fell in love with the whole atmosphere. I have lived on a beach my whole life in a small town but that is obviously very different than moving to an island. I have a friend my age who lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John) and she absolutely loves it. she describes her days to me and it sounds like a fantasy. I plan on finishing college with a degree in engineering but I want to live my life. We only get one life and I want to spend my early twenties really enjoying the world. I want to live on one of the Virgin Islands for at least a year or two after college. I know jobs are scarce but I have read that its relatively easy to become a bartender there or a waiter, which I have no problem doing. Please tell me why I should or shouldn't do this. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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