I was well prepared from all the research so there weren’t many real surprises. Reading the posts on the Moving Message Board over many months was very helpful for both the positive and not so positive points made about island life in general and St. Croix specifically.
I’m going to admit that it was not love at first site. I went with an open mind and determined to keep it that way for the entire visit. Honestly, the first couple days I had many times that I thought maybe this is just too big of a change. I had to remind myself “no decisions during the trip either for or against a move”. By the end of just my short week I didn’t want to leave and had to again remind myself “no decisions that week” but for different reasons 🙂 After all I was going to have to actually work after any move – it wouldn’t be endless days of diving, exploring, and mango rum daiquiris. 🙂
I loved the hilly terrain although some of those blind curves were a little scary for a first timer. Driving slow was good advice. Finding my way around was difficult at first but the main roads become familiar after a few days. The ocean views were breathtaking. I found the people very friendly.
Is St. Croix, or any island life for that matter, for everyone? I doubt it. It quickly became clear that tropical living would be very different than stateside living. Even though I’ve visited Grand Cayman many times this was the first I’ve given real consideration to a move off the big continent.
Is it for me? I believe it is and I can’t wait to get back there in October. Is it forever? Who knows? Life changes too much to worry about forever. Does that mean I never question this decision? No. For me, it’s like starting all over. Selling most of my “stuff”, leaving a good salary and comfortable lifestyle and not knowing exactly what lies ahead. It’s both exciting and scary at times. I know that regardless if this is for a year or a lifetime I’ll never regret it. I would, however, regret it if I decided not to experience it.
Lessons learned, let’s see…..don’t schedule a layover in PR that is less than 2hrs. Too much chance of being late and missing your connection. On time arrivals seem rare and over-bookings appear to run high (was 15% on one flight of mine). I spent an unexpected night in PR on the way to St. Croix. Coming back to the states we were at least an hour late leaving as the airlines dealt with their over-bookings; and this was the slow season. Then again, if you have the time, chances are high you could get a free ticket for giving up your seat! All in how you look at things.
Other thoughts…do searches on this site (VIMovingCenter.com) – there is a LOT of information for anyone considering a move to the islands. Personally, why am I moving? Over the years I’ve fallen in love with diving, Caribbean waters and tropical weather. I’m ready for a more laid back lifestyle. I like the fact that St. Croix is part of the U.S. for the freedom that represents, me being a U.S. citizen. Also, to me the diversity the islands is one of it’s charms.
I better go do some sorting and tossing. This is the hard part. It is amazing how much stuff I still have that I never use even after many moves and downsizing from houses to apartments!!