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Old 01-28-2011, 11:10 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, VI
9 posts, read 20,546 times
Reputation: 14

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Prices in the VI indeed approach Manhattan-style levels...it's terrifically expensive to live here if you want to be in a semi-decent place...the people I have found for the most part to be friendly, but there are a cross-section of real a$$holes to deal with, both West Indian and stateside. It's a lot like everywhere else, there are good parts and bad parts, nice people and bad people, but I'd say the biggest challenges are gainful employment and being able to make a good living here.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:44 PM
 
8,848 posts, read 2,906,179 times
Reputation: 3140
#1 How developed economically are the USVI really?

The USVI is somewhere in the middle. I suppose one may refer to it as 2nd-world overall.

#2How bad is violent crime in USVI?As a young woman here in STT, I generally feel safe, but violent crime does exist. There are areas that should be avoided like anywhere else. For example, I would not go walking through areas of Savan at night. Generally speaking, you should use common sense - like anywhere else.

#3 What is the attitude towards continentals, especially whites from the US Mainland? It depends on the person. Plenty people are indifferent toward continentals. You either live here, or you are a visitor. Some people are quite rude. They may make a comment about you being white, but if you weren't, they would find something else to talk about (like you being Santo or from down-island). Basically, when they are rude, they are rude. LOL.

#4 I have not found anything about the political future of the islands. The VI will likely remain a territory.

#5 What are the demographics of the USVI really like? if we were to simply lump everyone into the most common US Mainland categories...Non-hispanic white, black, hispanic, asian, mixed, other. What would the ethnic/racial composition of the islands look like? What are they on each island?

The VI is majority of African descent, but I'll speak specifically about St. Thomas. Most African descendants on the island are West Indians who trace their roots to plenty other islands in the Caribbean - BVI, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Anguilla and going on down to a lesser extent. A minority are generational Virgin Islanders. There are also Haitians and a minority of African-Americans (Black Americans). That in itself creates significant cultural diversity.

Most Hispanic/Latinos are of African descent or mixed African/European descent, tracing their roots to the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) or Puerto Rico. Honestly, Though some people from certain places may have a look, you may not be able to tell what language people speak or where they are from until they open their mouths - English, Spanish, Kreyol/Patois etc.

There is a local "white" minority called the Frenchies, that originally come from St. Barths. They are just as St. Thomian as anyone else. There are Palestinian (& other Middle Eastern) and South Asian minorities, a few of whom are West Indian from other islands. There is a small minority of other Asian groups here (Vietnamese etc). Of course, there is minority of White Americans here as well. There is a small Jewish community here too.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:05 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,972 times
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I have spent the majority of my life in West Texas working in the agriculture, ranching and oil industries. There are no majestic views here unless you enjoy mesquite trees and weeds of every variety. The closest thing to a view here is the stars in the sky on a clear night. To earn a living, I have worked many weeks in excess of 100 hours making minimum pay. Here an employee is a tool to be discarded as any other when it is no longer useful. Times are hard and methamphetamine use has turned the once quaint small town image into a truism of toothless, worthless people who only live here because the cost of living is so cheap in comparison to city living. After the oil bust in the 80's and the downfall of the small farmers in the 90's, most decent people left here and moved elsewhere seeking a better life. I couldn't say if they found it but I've yet to see but a few return. As for me, I'm a 44 year old single man who toiled endlessly for many years only to tear up my body in the process. I have had one major back surgery, three knee surgeries, numerous broken bones and injured joints and am due 5 more surgeries of the back, hip, knees and a sports hernia of my upper abdomen. Not good by any stretch of the imagination and quite depressing considering I'm as young as I am and have so many years left to live. Arthritis is my biggest foe. It takes a beating with the weather changes prevalent to living in West Texas. Long have I dreamed of living somewhere where the temperature is consistently warm.

In 1996, following my divorce, I celebrated by taking the only vacation I've ever had in 25 years in the work force by spending a week in Negril, Jamaica. I loved it!!!! However, my cousin who went with me hated it. He thought the people were rude and the two of us found each other at odds over it because my experiences were just the opposite of his. I made a friend with a local and spent most of my vacation with him being shown the islands from a different viewpoint i.e. nightclubs with a member of the military standing diligent as well as some truly magnificent views I'll never forget. In other words, I saw the good, bad and the ugly. That noted, I found that my time there was so rewarding because I was openly kind to people and they reciprocated. Unlike my cousin, I didn't act like I was better than Negril's "third world occupants" (as he put it). Instead, I understood from the get go that "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". This served me well during my visit and I was able to leave with many great memories from my vacation time in Jamaica. Over the years since then, when life would get me down, I would often close my eyes and let my imagination take me back to the beautiful sunsets and clear blue waters of the Caribbean. My escape from reality so to speak.

I recently went through 2 years of bare existence due to my injuries which have left me permanently disabled. I can still get around and be useful to a large degree. Living where I have, I have learned a lot of skills that have served me well in many situations. I can do almost anything short of lifting heavy weights or running, jumping etc. As for my personality, I am one of the most laid back, down to earth people you'd ever meet and have been told so all of my life no matter where I have been or how long I have known the persons telling me as much. My short time in the islands was the only time in my life that I felt like I fit in with the world around me. I've long desired to return on a permanent basis but never had the means to do so. Now that my disability has come thru, I have a little nest egg in the form of back disability pay to go along with a fixed income to subside on. For months, I have researched the USVI and have been considering relocating there. In fact, I've planned it to happen sometime the next couple of months. Heeding the advice I've read so often, I planned to visit the USVI first for a period of a few months and then if I like it, stay there on a permanent basis. I myself am caucasian in appearance but a Heinz 57 in reality. I have never been prejudiced towards any person based on their skin color. I prefer to look at people individually instead of lumping them into a category based on race, religion or sexuality. That said, I'm a straight male sexually but I intended on moving to USVI with my best friend who is African American. Both of us are tired of the rat race and just want to find some place in this world where we can have some peace. Between raising kids and working ourselves to death, we've both had enough of life in West Texas.

Until I read through this forum, I was convinced that my destiny was to move to St. Croix and spend the rest of my life in peace and harmony with nature and the people around me. I don't think I'm better than anybody else and neither does my friend. We don't want to be Texans living in the USVI, we want to try and fit in and belong without stepping on anybody's toes in the process. Both of us understand that life is too short to spend it stressed out and with nothing to show for our time here but hardships and worries. That said, neither one of us is so naive that we believe everything about island living is all good with no bad. Yet, I never expected what I have read here. Sure, I knew there would be good and bad spots to visit or not to visit. Such is the case anywhere one chooses to live whether it's in America, Egypt or Timbuktu. However, the last thing I want or I want for my friend is to experience open hostility towards us at every turn just because we're not "native born". That is such a stupid concept in my opinion. We're all just living here on this Earth on borrowed time. So many people want to put tags on others whether it be rich vs. poor, native vs. outsider, or the color of one's skin. If I have one peeve towards others it is that I don't buy into that way of thinking. I like everybody until they give me a reason not to. I'd like to think I can move anywhere and fit in as long as I'm polite and try to live right as a human being.

In conclusion, I never expected life to be perfect if I moved to St. Croix but after reading through this thread, I am seriously questioning whether my dreams of a life of peace and tranquility can be found there even if I keep to myself. I never imagined so much negativity from so many angles as I experienced reading this thread. That's sad! I'll probably still come for the visit just because I have planned it for so long but I also know from years of working in the oil industry, if someone is an a**hole towards me, I won't put up with that for a second before I come unglued. Nobody has the right to treat others like that. I don't care whether they're from a rock in the middle of the ocean, NYC, LA or anywhere else. What comes around goes around in my world and I can give as good as I get. I would hope I would never have to endure that. I never have anywhere else I've been but I never was anywhere else long enough for something like that to come into play. In my heart, I would like to believe that if I'm nice to people, they'll be nice to me but if that's not the case in the islands, then the islands are no place for me. This thread was a real bummer by the way but maybe I needed to have my bubble burst and that's why fate led me to it. So thanks I guess. Or not.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:12 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,607,597 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyryan69 View Post
For months, I have researched the USVI and have been considering relocating there. In fact, I've planned it to happen sometime the next couple of months. Heeding the advice I've read so often, I planned to visit the USVI first for a period of a few months and then if I like it, stay there on a permanent basis.
You're making an awful lot of assumptions resting on a few negative posts. I wonder where you've been "researching for months" if one thread on what is quite frankly a very sparsely-attended USVI section of a forum and contributed to by only a few people should be sufficient to detract you from your dream. What's to stop you from coming for a few months and seeing if the life suits you? Very few people move here with the intention of staying forever, and those that do are usually the first to leave!

Bring what you need to get by on. It's usually recommended that you leave all the "big stuff" at home (in storage if you can't bear to part with it) until such time down the line that you decide you might be here for a few years. Not all furnishings do well in the tropical weather and shipping big things back to the mainland is prohibitively expensive (one of the reasons islanders can make out very well in yard sales!).

Travel light and you could stay for a few months on both big islands to see which might better suit you. They're quite different from each other in both location and topography.

As far as other factors you've mentioned, your health issues and those future surgeries would be much better dealt with somewhere other than here. There is only one hospital on St Thomas and one on St Croix and their ratings consistently go up and down. As far as your arthritic issues are concerned you can't take it for granted that the climate here will be more beneficial. I have a friend who's lived here for about 10 years who's leaving to return to Reno as his arthritis has become much worse here and he's found very obvious major relief on trips back there.

As far as your "nest egg" and a fixed income, I'm sure you know that the COL here is very high. Our electricity rates are the highest under the US flag and we're currently paying over 0.50/kWh and this of course not only reflects on basic living costs but on general costs in all areas.

Only an extended stay can be your deciding factor where living here is concerned. Good luck with whatever you opt to do!
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay`·.¸¸ ><((((º>.·´¯`·><((((º>
4,533 posts, read 6,769,930 times
Reputation: 13502
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
You're making an awful lot of assumptions resting on a few negative posts. I wonder where you've been "researching for months" if one thread on what is quite frankly a very sparsely-attended USVI section of a forum and contributed to by only a few people should be sufficient to detract you from your dream. What's to stop you from coming for a few months and seeing if the life suits you? Very few people move here with the intention of staying forever, and those that do are usually the first to leave!

Bring what you need to get by on. It's usually recommended that you leave all the "big stuff" at home (in storage if you can't bear to part with it) until such time down the line that you decide you might be here for a few years. Not all furnishings do well in the tropical weather and shipping big things back to the mainland is prohibitively expensive (one of the reasons islanders can make out very well in yard sales!).

Travel light and you could stay for a few months on both big islands to see which might better suit you. They're quite different from each other in both location and topography.

As far as other factors you've mentioned, your health issues and those future surgeries would be much better dealt with somewhere other than here. There is only one hospital on St Thomas and one on St Croix and their ratings consistently go up and down. As far as your arthritic issues are concerned you can't take it for granted that the climate here will be more beneficial. I have a friend who's lived here for about 10 years who's leaving to return to Reno as his arthritis has become much worse here and he's found very obvious major relief on trips back there.

As far as your "nest egg" and a fixed income, I'm sure you know that the COL here is very high. Our electricity rates are the highest under the US flag and we're currently paying over 0.50/kWh and this of course not only reflects on basic living costs but on general costs in all areas.

Only an extended stay can be your deciding factor where living here is concerned. Good luck with whatever you opt to do!
I agree with STT. You can't judge the islands from just a few comments here . There is much more than what is being expressed here. Different persons have diff points of view, looking at the same thing.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:08 PM
 
34 posts, read 58,943 times
Reputation: 45
Question Lost along the way

New Guy here. I started reading the OP posts and got into reading all of the replies over the years (like 4+) and wondered where did lentzr go? She never came back here to fill us in.

Did she follow her heart and finish the NP doctorate and is slaving away at some free clinic in STX whilst staring at the beautiful water?
Then, I remembered you could do a search for a person's posts and saw she had numerous ones over the years and has been heavily involved in NEW JERSEY!! forum among others.
She did make a cruise to STT (I think I saw) sometime in 2010, but without reading through all thousands of her posts, WTH happened?
So, lentzr, what's the story?

Last edited by Sunscape; 08-10-2013 at 06:16 AM..
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
19,571 posts, read 20,350,213 times
Reputation: 50506
Might try to DM her and ask.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,607,597 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by motormaker View Post
Might try to DM her and ask.
Probably the best idea. This isn't unusual at all. People have interest in living in these parts but very few of them actually make it and those who do often stay for only a short time. island living isn't for everyone, that's for sure!
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:00 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,073,909 times
Reputation: 1356
WesleyRyan, I am from St. Thomas and I will be the first to admit that we have our share of problems down there in the U.S Virgin Islands. There are all kinds from crime to corruption to plain old passiveness and lethargy, however, there seems to be a general live and let live attitude down there. If you are not looking to the government to assist you with a business or coming there with a "white privilege" attitude (which you seem not to have), then, most people just ignore you and go about their business. In fact, I would say that most folks would be courteous to you if they see it coming from you.

I should add though, many people recently lost their jobs on St. Croix due to the recent abrupt closing of the Hovensa oil refinery. This means that many people are probably in a funky mood so be aware of their pain at the moment. Also, St. Croix has a dark history of a period in the 60s and early 70s when white southerners came to the island to work as bosses at the newly opened Hovensa refinery. Some of them brought their racist attitudes with them. Others came from other parts of the states and eventually set up an insular community that made locals feel like strangers and trespassers on their own land. It came to a boil. As a result, there MAY still be some Crucians who might still carry some bad blood so making sure NOT to repeat the mistakes of previous visitors will go a long way to saving you some trouble. Don't be surprised if SOME (I am sure a small few) who might still harbor some suspicions. Just figured I would give you a heads up on this. Outside of this, many people who have settled on St. Croix and stuck it out seem to hold fond memories and I am sure you can create yours too. The island sis also large enough to give you space but it appears folks are generally kind and peaceful.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,972 times
Reputation: 25
To STT Resident and Annie of Oldsmar:

Perhaps with my style of writing, I was taken out of context. Truly, I would never let a sole opinion deter me from anything. I would prefer to experience it myself and make up my own mind. As for researching the USVI, I've done all that I know to do short of coming there. I've read the various USVI sites and various discussions on forums such as this. I also have had conversations with an ex coworker who lived on St. Croix for 13 years. Undoubtedly, I am still clueless but at least I'm trying to prepare myself.

Thank you for your input to the inquisitive aspects of my post. Best wishes!

To InsaneInDaMembrane:

Thank you for your input to my post. I can definitely relate to some of what you mentioned about Southern wanna be's stomping in like they own everything. I've had to deal with those types all of my life. As far as racism goes, my best friend is a different skin color than me. The color of one's skin does not decide what kind of person they are. I don't stereotype or play the racist card whatsoever. I have enough problems being me without having to worry about what anybody else is doing. All I want to do with the remaining years of my life is chill out and be happy. Good people, good intentions and good living.

Best wishes!
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