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Old 11-27-2006, 08:49 AM
 
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Hi,

Since this is US territory, I thought this might be the spot to ask. Has anyone had any experience of living in the Virgin Islands? St. Thomas in particular as that's where the college is located.

Could you go through any pros and cons? Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 24,399,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer's best View Post
Hi,

Since this is US territory, I thought this might be the spot to ask. Has anyone had any experience of living in the Virgin Islands? St. Thomas in particular as that's where the college is located.

Could you go through any pros and cons? Thanks!
No, but I've been there for an afternoon. It was great.

In these islands, every sun exposed part has a kind of hot and dry-semi to dry microclimate with some organ-pipe shaped cactus mixed in. In the shady areas (they have hills, mountains and some valleys) they have a cooler and damper almost rainforest-like microclimate with orchids, bananas and other lush tropical plants.

They also have pretty good coral reefs and fairly clear water which in January when I visited the water was just above 80 F.

Pros and Cons that I know of: :rolleyes

Pros:

-Hot, strong sun practically every day
-No extreme urban congestion
-Far away from the mainland

Cons:

-Hot, strong sun practically every day (pretty easy to burn)
-No "big cities" (English-speaking) near by
-Far away from the mainland

Last edited by ColdCanadian; 11-27-2006 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:39 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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What language is spoken in the Virgin Islands? CC, you seem to know a lot about it even though you were there a short time. Your description of them sounds so nice. Isn't it extremely expensive to live there or even to visit?
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Originally Posted by Jammie View Post
What language is spoken in the Virgin Islands? CC, you seem to know a lot about it even though you were there a short time. Your description of them sounds so nice. Isn't it extremely expensive to live there or even to visit?
Definitely English. Their closest neighbours are the British Virgin Islands.

I didn't even hear much in the way of an accent there, but more than half the islands's pop. is black I think. I think most black been there longer, (compared to most white residents) so they probably do have some kind of Carribbean accent, though it would probably be subtle compared to a Jamaican accent. (which can be so thick, casual observers can't tell it's even derrived from English )

I wouldn't say it's extremely expensive for visiting. Not like Bermuda or the Cayman islands, but it would definitely not be cheap to vacation there. It's probably simliar to most of the smaller Carribbean islands like Grenada, St. Lucia etc. as far as cost goes. Basically, I doubt you'd find bargain vacations or packages there versus heavily visited destinations like Jamaica, Mexico, Dominican Republic.

I have no idea what it costs to live there, but I expect it's more expensive than mainland living, generally. However, depending on your personal preferences you might be able to do without heating or air-conditioning, heavy clothing and since they're small islands you might not need a car.

The closest big city nearby is probably San Juan in Puerto Rico which is definitly Spanish. It's probably at least a half day by boat. I was on a cruise ship and that's how long they took. It was moving at about 25 mph or more when it was at sea. I hear between the islands there's boat service, kinda like a long distance taxi service. They might also have an airport and it would be a very short flight.

Also when I say hot sun, I'm not using that term casually. Even though it was maybe only 90 F, the sun felt way hotter than it feels around the Great Lakes when it's 95 F. It kind of felt like I was standing under a week magnifying glass where the sun was hitting my shoulders, even though I was wearing a white t-shirt. It was strange (but nice feeling) to me how much cooler the parts of my body not in direct sun were, compared to direct sun.

The sun in south Florida is also much stronger than here, yet the sun in the Virgin Islands feels about another 5 F hotter (for a given air temp) than it might in Miami.

Last edited by ColdCanadian; 11-27-2006 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:20 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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CC, thank you so much for the info. When I was reading your post, I was thinking about how the sun feels hot in Fla. I agree that 90 in Fl. feels more like 95 here. It feels like the sun is closer or something. You're lucky cause it sounds like you had a very nice vacation. Last winter we had actually talked about going to an island for a few days. We'd have gone to Fl. and joined family there, but we quickly changed our minds. Even from Fla. the cost of the vacation was quite high. It wasn't one of the Virgin Islands, but can't remember where it was. My husband and I have never had a passport. Since the Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory, would a person need to get a passport?
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammie View Post
CC, thank you so much for the info. When I was reading your post, I was thinking about how the sun feels hot in Fla. I agree that 90 in Fl. feels more like 95 here. It feels like the sun is closer or something.

Since the Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory, would a person need to get a passport?
Your welcome!

I used to think it was only the angle of sun that made the U.V. higher, but recently I noticed it's stronger at all angles. I also noticed that by looking at the sun briefly (maybe not the smartest idea) the sun seems to have a smaller "halo" around it (on a clear day) in places like Florida and the tropics. I also heard that the middle latitudes tend to have a lot more high altitude cloud, like maybe at 50,000 feet. This could be the reason.

I don't remember. One of the islands, either Puerto Rico or USVI you wouldn't need one, but it would at least be preferable to bring a passport if you can. The British Virgin Islands are less than 10 miles from the USVI.
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:56 AM
 
Location: on an island
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We spent about two weeks at the British Virgin Islands and visited St John in the American Virgin Islands. Beautiful, beautiful place, friendly people. The clearest ocean I've ever seen.
We had friends of friends who moved to the BVI and left after about 18 months.
The lack of change of seasons drove them crazy!
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Originally Posted by cil View Post
We spent about two weeks at the British Virgin Islands and visited St John in the American Virgin Islands. Beautiful, beautiful place, friendly people. The clearest ocean I've ever seen.
We had friends of friends who moved to the BVI and left after about 18 months.
The lack of change of seasons drove them crazy!
Con: Some people find living there very boring after a while, rum is cheap and one thing leads to another.

Unless you're thrilled about the great outdoors and not being cold it's probably quite easy to get bored. The total population for all the American islands is probably 110,000.

Con: Sports fans might feel very isolated out there as I don't know if there'd be any popular American sports events to attend. (like besides maybe golf tournaments and boat racing) At least in Hawaii I know they also have college football.

Hawaii, especially with Honolulu would probably be less boring, which might help you not notice the "isolation."
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Missouri
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We honeymooned in the Virgin Islands last year. Honestly, everyone in St. Thomas was pretty rude. They close up all the stores early. There were local, young adults loitering about the streets and they made us uncomfortable. We talked to a few other tourists who agreed that the locals did not seem to like us folks from mainland U.S. very much - the locals were much nicer to other islanders, even if they were from totally different islands like Jamaica.

St. Croix and St. Johns were much, much nicer.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
562 posts, read 926,133 times
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Originally Posted by summer's best View Post
Hi,

Since this is US territory, I thought this might be the spot to ask. Has anyone had any experience of living in the Virgin Islands? St. Thomas in particular as that's where the college is located.

Could you go through any pros and cons? Thanks!
My room mate is from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Let me tell you that they do have a heavy accent complete with their own set of slang terms. However, the difference is that they are easily able to speak, as my roomie calls it, "normal English." I couldn't really understand her at first when she would have her accent going, but after about 2-3 months of living with her I could understand fairly easily. And they can speak without the accent if needs be.

I'd be careful about where you live though. The areas of tourism will be expensive and not at all representative of the rest of the island. I'd suggest touring the non-tourist areas in order to really know how it is there. I can tell you that they have, on St. Croix at least, a very big nightlife in non-touristy areas. I hope you like to groove! :-) Also, they have yearly festivals and such which are very colorful and exciting. Let me know if you have any other questions and I can ask my roomie. Good luck! Man I wish I was moving there! So sick of the Northeast.
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