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PassShepherd
(@PassShepherd)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7
March 30, 2014 3:41 am  

Hello Thread,

I'm continuing the research - have posted here before and read every word on this website. Just wondering if I could get a quick Top 5 from folks. I'm wondering the Top 5 things/tasks to accomplish once you step foot on the island. Feel free to keep it brief. I figure I can get a good variety.

I'm a 28 yr old lawyer. I'm shooting for an October move. I want to be around boats, sun, and warm weather. If anyone has any project boats I'd love to volunteer to help when I get there. Contacts before I arrive would be great.

My first post received nothing but helpful tips. Thanks again.

PASS


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AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2290
March 30, 2014 4:03 am  

Be Nice
Be Patient
Be Open Minded
Bring lots of money
Enjoy the Beauty


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noOne
(@noOne)
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Posts: 1495
March 30, 2014 9:52 am  

Wreck diving.


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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Posts: 8792
March 30, 2014 10:41 am  

i love aanda's post.

BRING YOUR VEHICLE/buy vehicle-register this right away-get drivers license

open LOCAL bank account but keep a stateside-lots of people do not agree with me. but when you pay someone with out of state check it could take more than a week for that to clear, sometimes people need the money right away. not fair to the people that do work for you.

get a job unless you are independently wealthy

make friends

stock the fridge


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stx2020
(@stx2020)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 119
March 30, 2014 1:52 pm  

1 try a dark and coke
2 try a rum punch
3 try a painkiller ( rum drink )
4 try a crucian confusion
5 enjoy


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Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 518
March 30, 2014 2:17 pm  

If you can't move around, you will be dead in the water... Make sure you do proper arrangements for transportation... Bring yours, rent, or buy an "island car", find a good place to call home, as mentioned a local bank account is highly recommended, a local area code phone also if you are going to do job hunting, BBVI for net services (if you get a strong signal), bring money, plenty of money, and then some more.... Then follow AandA2VI list faithfully so that you can do some of stx2020's list..

Reinforcing... Be patient, very patient... Normal laws of physics do not exist in the VI's... the place has its own time zone and things happen much slower... A nice sunset will help you later make sense of everything...


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JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1341
March 30, 2014 2:23 pm  

For me it was:

1. Don't listen to the naysayers and people that are out to frighten you. Be aware, but find your own way. Choose happiness.

2. Find friends, like speee1dy says above. People work together and help each other out, and a good support base makes a huge difference.

3. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be friendly, be respectful, smile, and you'll get a lot of information and help.

4. Try everything. Taste everything. Go everywhere.

5. Slow down, like Rowdy802 says. Don't get frustrated with a slower pace. Relax and smile and know that we only get one trip around the sun.


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Alana33
(@Alana33)
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March 30, 2014 4:43 pm  

Which island? Each one is different.
If you wish to be involved in the boating community, each island also has its own yacht clubs.


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ms411
(@ms411)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3554
March 30, 2014 7:53 pm  

1. Apply for fed jobs here in VI. No need to take/pass VI bar.
2. In addition to #1, contact VI Bar Association for study materials.
3. Consider working as paralegal until bar passed. Check craigslist VI for jobs.
4. Lee Rohn on St Croix and Tom Bolt on St Thomas are always looking for associates. They are controversial, but good for newbies.
5. Volunteer where you are with national organization like Red Cross, AARP, Salvation Army because they have a presence here. Those recommendations could be very valuable here.

No more free advice from me.


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PassShepherd
(@PassShepherd)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7
March 31, 2014 12:31 am  

Great stuff. Thanks so much! Dark and Coke is dark rum I'm assuming? I'm a Coke Classic guy through and through, live in Atlanta. I'm all for adding alcohol to it. ha.

Here are some of my own checklist items:

1- Get vehicle registration accomplished - will definitely be shipping my jeep.
2 - Visit yacht clubs
3- visit VI bar in person to secure volunteer work or paid work - I will want to volunteer legal service part time at a minimum to keep sharp.
4- Say "Hi" around the island. Meet some folks. Learn some names.
5 - Enjoy a double Dark and Coke.

I've pretty much narrowed it down to St. Thomas. I'm ready to call it home. Hope to meet some of you nice people in the very near future.

Thanks again.


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Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
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March 31, 2014 3:13 am  

Great stuff. Thanks so much! Dark and Coke is dark rum I'm assuming? I'm a Coke Classic guy through and through, live in Atlanta. I'm all for adding alcohol to it. ha.

Here are some of my own checklist items:

1- Get vehicle registration accomplished - will definitely be shipping my jeep.
2 - Visit yacht clubs
3- visit VI bar in person to secure volunteer work or paid work - I will want to volunteer legal service part time at a minimum to keep sharp.
4- Say "Hi" around the island. Meet some folks. Learn some names.
5 - Enjoy a double Dark and Coke.

I've pretty much narrowed it down to St. Thomas. I'm ready to call it home. Hope to meet some of you nice people in the very near future.

Thanks again.

Excellent! Best wishes!


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ms411
(@ms411)
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March 31, 2014 11:00 am  

Um, saying "hi" is not considered good manners in most of the Caribbean. Good morning, afternoon, or night are appropriate greetings.


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mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
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Posts: 955
March 31, 2014 2:32 pm  

I think you are going to have one hell of a blast. Take it one step at a time, don't sweat the little tings mon. But I would be careful letting people know you are a lawyer by trade. It's funny how many friends you make when you tell them your a Doctor or a Lawyer. You will be beseiged by what if's and what should I do's constantly. I think everyone loves free legal advice. My main warning would be not to stray off the beaten path especially alone until you get islandized a little bit.


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PassShepherd
(@PassShepherd)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7
March 31, 2014 5:36 pm  

Thanks, mtdora. I get those questions now, haha. By "not to stray off the beaten path" you mean "avoid bad areas" I assume. I agree. I'm pretty smart and cautious by nature, hence my overwhelming amount of research in this move.

I really can't think of a reason not to go other than "fear" of not finding a job - and I'm open to all kinds of jobs. I'm smart with money, have some saved, and if this fails I can always go back to sitting in an office for 10 hours a day.

Thanks again for any response. This board and website are invaluable.


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mtdoramike
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April 1, 2014 12:08 pm  

Also, one last thing to keep in mind when you are standing in line at the DMV or Usave and someone cuts in front of you, YOU ARE A MINORITY on the island. I'm not talking racial either, I'm referring to being a statesider versus an islander. So some times it's better to side step an issue rather than move head on into a confrontation.


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Alana33
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April 1, 2014 2:09 pm  

I normally just say "Excuse me but I was here first" and everyone around me agrees. Personally, I don't care if they don't like it as they could have asked. If they don't, too bad. Get to the end of the line.
If I am in a store and have items to check out and someone only has one item, I'll tell them they can go ahead in front of me unless I have to drop something off for the ferry and am limited on time.


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mtdoramike
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April 1, 2014 4:45 pm  

I normally just say "Excuse me but I was here first" and everyone around me agrees. Personally, I don't care if they don't like it as they could have asked. If they don't, too bad. Get to the end of the line.
If I am in a store and have items to check out and someone only has one item, I'll tell them they can go ahead in front of me unless I have to drop something off for the ferry and am limited on time.

You are preaching to the chior sister, I'm from Florida where we have the "Stand Your Ground Law" and use it. But when all said and done, is it really worth it to stand your ground? Especially on the islands where you are already looked at as a yankee person from the states who has come to the islands to steal jobs and land from the locals as well as running off with their women and men. I'm guilty of the last one and we are still married after 40 years:)


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Beaches2014
(@Beaches2014)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 16
April 3, 2014 4:03 pm  

The answers provided to this post are very interesting and relevant, so I'd like to chime in with a request for more details!

Several of you said 'bring money.'

'MORE money.'

I realize there are probably posts related to the cost of living, but in general terms, can you say what type salary you need to survive on St. John?

Obviously rent/mortgage, eating habits, etc. would vary, but give me some feedback...

$70K salary?

$80K?

$100K?

$250K?

do you need to have millions to 'live comfortably' there?

I have a technical job and my plan is to keep it and work remotely from my the USVI.

Thanks!


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gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 427
April 3, 2014 4:12 pm  

The answers provided to this post are very interesting and relevant, so I'd like to chime in with a request for more details!

Several of you said 'bring money.'

'MORE money.'

I realize there are probably posts related to the cost of living, but in general terms, can you say what type salary you need to survive on St. John?

Obviously rent/mortgage, eating habits, etc. would vary, but give me some feedback...

$70K salary?

$80K?

$100K?

$250K?

do you need to have millions to 'live comfortably' there?

I have a technical job and my plan is to keep it and work remotely from my the USVI.

Thanks!

Well, it's hard to say since none of us know your lifestyle. Let's just say that after living in the Caribbean for 8 years, I would estimate that it costs close to double to sustain a similar lifestyle. The only thing that I see that is less expensive are the taxes, both income and property.
Everything else costs more so be prepared. The income taxes that I mention are related to the VI and not the Federal which are exactly the same.


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mtdoramike
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April 3, 2014 6:17 pm  

That's a BIG NO, you do not need to have millions to live there. My wife and I were married there and lived there for several years on what we like to call love, wine & Johnny cake. But it all depends on the lifestyle you want. If you look at the locals, they live in at the most a two bedroom house, some even a one bedroom house and had 8 children. People from the states like to go to the islands and build big sprawling 4-8 bedroom homes that takes up an acre of property. So yes, if that is your lifestyle then you will need millions to keep it.

But if you are very modest and only need the minimal trappings to survive and enjoy life, then you can live comfortably with a lot less. A person making $30,000.00 can live on island MODESTLY.


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Linda J
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April 3, 2014 8:13 pm  

We lived comfortably, modestly, on about $60,000. Utilities (especially a/c) and travel back to the states are killers.


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JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1341
April 3, 2014 8:27 pm  

I was about to say what Linda said - what people who are living in the "modest" range seem to miss the most (outside of paying bills) is the ability to return occasionally to the States to visit family/friends or just for fun, as tickets can be expensive or just not fit in the budget. For some people that makes a difference.


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divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
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Posts: 887
April 3, 2014 9:41 pm  

I've heard it said that the billionaires are kicking the millionaires out of St. John.

You just really need to learn to adjust your expectations. You learn to live with less (less square footage, less furniture, less clothing, less "stuff") and you can survive on smaller incomes.


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mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 955
April 4, 2014 2:40 pm  

I was about to say what Linda said - what people who are living in the "modest" range seem to miss the most (outside of paying bills) is the ability to return occasionally to the States to visit family/friends or just for fun, as tickets can be expensive or just not fit in the budget. For some people that makes a difference.

That is a fact. You would think since the summer is OFF season, airline tickets would be cheaper, but they are not. It seems they are still cutting the amount of flights into and out of St. Thomas to just a couple a day. So booked planes equals higher ticket prices.


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C_Ray6
(@C_Ray6)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 141
April 4, 2014 7:17 pm  

One of the reasons I decided to visit STT this June is I found Spirit Airlines flights to STT out of Ft. Lauderdale for around $150, less if you travel with just a back pack. Anyone try this no frills airline? Not sure if that was just a special. Be advised that though no frills, they do generate more complaints than any other airlines. I am single and plan on staying that way I really think I can live affordable on STT. I love the art of being frugal and would relish the challenge in paradise. I too would want to fly back to the states at least once a year to visit friends and family and also see this as a major obstacle. Low airfares anywhere seem like a bubble about to burst.


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