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Old 10-29-2008, 02:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 174,244 times
Reputation: 14

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I'm moving with work to St. Croix, I roughly make 30-40g a year will that suffice? I keep reading that most people have to have multiple jobs to stay afloat with all the high costs of island living.

Also if I find a place close to my work, is it really going to be an inconvience not owning a vehicle? I come from Minnesota so I mean we don't mind walking around during the middle of the summer but when it comes to our cold it's impossible to live w/o a vehicle.

I was thinking about the possiblity of buying a personal watercraft (sea-doo) would that be practical to jet around the islands and what would the docking fees look like?

I have more so if someone answers these that would be terriffic!!!!

Thanks!!!
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
Presuming you're single, 30-40K will get you by. Yes, you will need a vehicle. Even if you find a place close to where you're working, that place likely won't be close to grocery stores, PO, banks, etc. - nothing is in "neighborhoods" that you're probably used to.

Are you thinking of a sea-doo as a means of transportation? You say, "jet around the islands" but there are no islands close to St Croix. There are restrictions on where you can operate sea-doos and you would have to check with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources on STX. As a means of transportation they aren't viable. The very few people who own them on St Thomas use them as purely recreational vehicles and truck them to the water. Let's just say that they're not very popular with the VI community in general...

Just out of curiosity, are you being moved to STX by a stateside company or are you making your own way down here to take a job that's been offered you, and have you ever visited the islands? Cheers!
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:45 PM
 
11 posts, read 174,244 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for your quick reply! I'm moving down there because I saw an opening for a position down there within the company. I hate the cold and wanted to move somewhere that never gets cold. I thought st croix would be a beautiful place to live and warm! I am also a person that has an adventure side to me also.

So I must get a vehicle, would a jeep wrangler be ideal with the roads there?

Also how does the ferry to pureto Rico work?

After reading some of the forums and the VI guide for a couple days I understand that you're somewhat stranded. I am just looking for somewhere new, I live near the ghetto now so I also understand how to act.

Idk what else to say maybe you might have a little more light to shead for me and that would be great!!

Thanks!!!!!
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:47 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
A Wrangler would be fine. If you're thinking of shipping a vehicle that's a possibility, otherwise there are usually plenty of new and used vehicles for sale on island. You may not want to to invest in shipping a vehicle until you've had a taste of island life and decide whether or not you want to stay. Be warned that the attrition rate of newbies is VERY high!

There is no ferry from STX to PR. There is an occasional ferry from STT to PR which sometimes operates over the weekend but people commuting between the USVI and PR do so by air. There is a ferry between STX and STT currently operating but this operator (as several before) is having a difficult time making it viable financially. The choice of transportation between STX and STT is seaplane.


"Stranded?" I wouldn't put it quite like that but we're certainly isolated if, for instance, a hurricane is coming as there's nowhere to go and nothing to but deal with it... But, as I said, the attrition rate is very high as many people find that island living just isn't their cup of tea.

Dispel all thoughts that living "near the ghetto now" is in any way going to help you fit in. The population is predominantly black but not "ghetto."

Does the company you work for have other workers such as you who have made the move? Have you consulted with them? Is the company helping you with moving expenses, temporary housing?

One word of advice - whatever the circumstances of your employment, bring enough money with you for a return ticket home. Cheers and good luck!
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:31 PM
 
11 posts, read 174,244 times
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Well I have a hard time to say I'm wrong so that's why I'm investing so much time into finding out what its all about down there. So once again thanks so so so much for doing this for me.

First of all with the comment about the ghetto I was reading about how there is drugs available at anytime and cheap and also the one person who wrote about their dad getting whacked with a pipe. So what I mean by that is I know when to just keep the head down and keep about my business and not go out looking for trouble.

Being isolated on the island what are some of the activities, besides drinkin rum (lol jk), do you on STX?

What is the usual issues people run into living on an island that they want to move back to the main land so bad?

The company isn't helping with moving expenses or the temporary housing, though I have found a few condos for rent, and saw some temporary housing things on the VI moving guide websites, what are your thoughts on that? Also I haven't found anyone that has done this in the company....

What would be some of the reasons why someone would want to go to STT or PR? Also are seaplanes or airfare to PR expensive?

Also when it comes to TV/Cable/Dish what are you looking at for costs and options down there?

I will cut it off at that so I don't overwhelm you but I really really really do appreciate all of this!!


Thanks
Jon
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:52 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
There are drugs available everywhere in every country in every place and your basic perception of the drug problem being somehow "special" in the VI is off-base. As far as the poster who wrote about his father "getting whacked with a pipe" I've no doubt it happened but bad things unfortunately happen everywhere and the VI is not immune.

As far as extra curricular activities are concerned, all the islands offer great swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing and generally sea-related activities. All islands also offer cultural activities encompassing local theater, ecological meets, beach clean-ups and a myriad of other community activities from the Humane Society to the local Orchid society. If that doesn't sound like fun then you might not fit in! You make your own way here and can either live a fruitful existence joining a community of good people or indulging in the bar scene which will get you exactly where you should be.

The usual issues that people run into living on an island is that they mistakenly presume that because they are living under the US flag, life here will be as they know it but with beautiful weather, lovely vistas to drool over and the beach just sitting there awaiting. That's the fantasy. The reality kicks in when the fantasy wears off and you realize that the cost of living is very high and that your projected $30-$40K annual income is only going to provide you with the mere basics. Along with that comes the realization that you might be lucky to have one beach day a week.

I could go on endlessly but them's the basics!

Airfare between STX and STT runs I think about 150RT and between either STX or STT to PR about 200RT right now.

Yes, the islands have cableTV and Dish. Unlike the US, if you subscribe to DISH you not only have to be in an area which can catch the satellite transmission but you have to buy your satellite dishes. The smaller 48" dish will give you pretty much what you really need but if you want a whole bunch of PPV options you have to also get the larger dish in conjunction with the smaller dish. The small dish will cost you about $600 and the larger dish is close to $1K. If you're looking at a rental condo it's more likely that you'll have basic Cable TV which will probably run you about $50 max a month.

Since the company you work for is giving you no assistance at all with anything and nobody else in that company has made the move, are you nuts?

There may be a crucial point that you aren't aware of which is that any recession in the US takes a year to 18 months to filter down to the USVI. The recession/depression in the US has hit the VI big-time in the past six months and the downward spiral continues.

Hoteliers here are looking to November as the worst figures they've seen since 9/11. Old-established businesses on St Thomas are laying off people, small businesses are closing - it's not a pretty picture and I'm not exaggerating at all.

If you still want to come to the islands, bring at least $10K - and a return ticket - and take your chances but, as a 25 year resident, I honestly think you'd be better off staying where you are for now rather than become just another island casualty. Cheers!
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:54 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
SamIAm, dear moderator, wherefore art thou on this one and are you just going to leave me as the sole sane respondent???????
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:10 PM
 
11 posts, read 174,244 times
Reputation: 14
First of all why 10k? The buisness I'll be working for will be Sprint. I am guaranteed my position in the company and worse case scenario I will have to move back to the main land.

Really the idea of how I imagined it was a bit more slow, relaxing, WARM, and just overall simpler life. I am 25, I will really never have a chance to do this again, and right now all I do is work, come home, read/do homework (online), and relax.

With the recession, wouldn't be an optimal time for a person in my shoes? I have a guaranteed job, could take advantage of possibly buying a house from someone little less fortunate in this situation, and possibly turn it for a profit 2-4 years down the line?

Also dish situation? Sux lol.

With going between the islands, is there really a point besides going shopping? I have family and friends (especially my mom) who is willing to ship anything I can not find on the island. So not super worried about that with the exception of some foods.

Comming from minnesota I'm very very familiar with the water (just not actual warmth or sea) lol. So I do enjoy fishing, I would like to help with the humane sociaity and would LOVE to get into SCUBA diving.

Pretty much I am gettin the jist that I wasn't completly off on the idea of me working my 40-45 hrs/week and having two days off, one to shop one to relax, maybe sit on the beach do homework or do something fun like SCUBA or finding a new activity!

Also lol kinda odd question not knowing your age, but is there a group of people near my age? Would a transplant from the main land find any luck with the ladies also? lol

Btw that dish thing? Still sux

Idk you got me thinking but I'm a little bit stubborn and also someone who likes to try new things, if I do take the job, I really really do not want to be a person who regrets it so that is why I owe you so much thanks for doin this for me.

If you have any more info its always great to read it!

Jon
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
Jon,

$10K isn't too far off base. You're usually required to cough up first, last and one month security for a rental, plus a deposit for WAPA (electrical service) and telephone service and cable TV service. As I said before it's very hard to get around without a car so you're looking at a few thousand for that, plus insurance, etc. $10K doesn't go very far.

As far as going between islands is concerned, if you're going to live here you'll certainly want to explore. St Croix, St Thomas and St John are very different from each other - and then of course there are countless other Caribbean islands to visit!

You should also consider that even Sprint may start laying off people as the recession continues. Your job may be guaranteed in that the particular position is here if you want it but that doesn't mean that things will work out. As an example, the Wyndham Resorts corporation in Florida just laid off 500 employees. One of their employees was only in the last few months re-assigned to St Thomas and is now out of a job. To be laid off in an area with which you're familiar is one thing but if something happens with your job here you're going to be pretty much at the bottom of the food chain where finding something else is concerned so you should plan on having a good emergency financial buffer.

As far as investing in real property you are, I think, going to be in for a bit of an eye-opener where prices here are concerned and any real estate speculation at this point should be investigated with a fine tooth comb. With housing prices falling by the day there could well be buying opportunities but real estate is expensive to maintain and there's no guarantee that you might realize a profit in 2-4 years time. Insurance is very expensive - we've been relatively lucky in recent years where hurricanes are concerned but St Croix was quite badly hit a few weeks ago when Omar came through and power is still not restored in several areas while general damage was quite substantial. St Thomas and St John were barely touched in comparison to St Croix but one never knows.

I think that's answered most of your current questions. Cheers!

As far as social life and dating is concerned, there are opportunities for meeting singles in your age group but one of the major comments from newbies such as yourself is that it ain't easy and there's not much available that's worth much effort!
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,628,390 times
Reputation: 26569
Just curious, Guzjon66, since you haven't responded for a while. Are you still going to move to STX? HAVE you already moved to STX?

So many come and go and so many never get to hear why others left. Some feedback?
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