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Advice, please!

 
taylorkeller
(@taylorkeller)
New Member

Hello!

I am a soon to be college senior, looking for an exciting plan after graduation! My boyfriend and I are itching to move somewhere tropical for a year or so before the real world hits us.

Has anyone else ever done this? Any advice would be really appreciated!

Thank you!
Taylor

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Topic starter Posted : June 24, 2015 3:09 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Lots of people do this all the time but it depends on your expectations, job skills, savings and adaptability." Island life is not for everyone."

Read thru the various posts to get an idea of what's what, come back with specific questions.

If you've never been here, plan a vacation to explore your options.
Winter season is busiest and prices higher for accommodations so "Off Season" better option for this type of visit.

Which Island are you particularly interested in?
All are different and offer different things.

Do your homework.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 3:30 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

The USVI is just as much the 'real world' as anywhere else although there are some interesting twists involved with island living for sure.
You will have many of the same real world issues, rent, transportation, jobs, groceries and bills to pay - just be doing in in perennial 80'F weather with a more casual dress code.
It can be a rather expensive short term stay for a year or less or you may well fit in and find a career here that works for you and never go back.
If you are already saddled with debt post graduation I agree it may be an exciting year but may have financial repercussions that may affect you both for a long time and turn out to be a reckless choice and it is notoriously hard here on Boyfriend/Girlfriend relationships.
You are both young - it could be a great time to experience new adventures in the VI and it could turn out to be the best decision ever - just do some more research on the reality of the move.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 4:28 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Why don't you just plan on being here for season rather than "a year or so". Lots of people in your situation do that, coming in around September/October and getting jobs in the hospitality industry as waitstaff, bartenders, boat crew, etc., and planning on leaving May/June as season winds down.

Don't forget to read all the information in the drop-down menus top of this page!

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Posted : June 24, 2015 4:47 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I wish I had discovered St. Croix long before I finally moved here. Now that I've been here for 11 years, its unlikely that I will ever leave.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 5:38 pm
monogram
(@monogram)
Advanced Member

Kind of insulting that apparently the VI is not "the real world." Far too many people move here with that mentality and it pisses off a lot of natives. The comments that it's harder for people in relationships is not true. It's actually the young, single people who are often most miserable, because the dating scene sucks for college-educated, non service industry folks. The vast majority of people move here with a significant other.

As a millennial, I think you should consider starting your career. Don't give the greedy baby boomers more ammo to accuse us of being lazy by avoiding the work world.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 9:47 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

monogram, one of the major issues which newcomers have when they settle in here is the slow realization that this is not Anytown USA. I believe the OP was referring to the "real world" in the sense of knuckling down to a "career" and that the inference was not that the USVI per se is not the "real world".

Nor do I agree with your dismissal of the comment about relationships. Statistically I'm absolutely sure after over three decades here (but sans any scientific documentation as I don't believe any such data has ever been compiled) that young newcomers have a very high incidence of relationship breakdown. It's extremely common that one of the parties loves living here and the other dislikes it equally passionately. Relationships are difficult enough but moving to an entirely new environment is an additional stress on them and can be a deal breaker.

The year or so between college and career is often the time when young people take the opportunity to explore the world outside the (usually narrow) confines previously known. As a recent graduate you might consider it yourself.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 10:02 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Because it's so expensive to live and get settled here, very few college graduates come here straight from school, because they can't afford it. Most work a few years to save up money for the move, and then take the plunge.

A lot depends on your skills, too. Many of the active excursion companies are always looking for capable, dependable employees, because many of their workers work for the season.

Concordia, the eco property on St John, may be a good place to consider. Check their website for employment opportunities.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 10:20 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

If you want to work at the edge of the world! Seriously, it's way out on east end of St. John and extremely hot without AC this time of year.
There are better options, IMO.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 10:25 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I suggested it because I think lodging is included. Concordia has employees now, so some people manage to work there regardless of location and heat.

Let OP decide.

Feel free to suggest other options.

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Posted : June 24, 2015 11:15 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Something like Concordia is a great option. There's a vast difference between someone planning on coming here with the expectation of settling and someone like the OP and her boyfriend who are looking it as an adventurous break to explore something different. I've enjoyed the company of scores - maybe even hundreds - over the years who fall into the latter and they've had a wonderful time, storing up memories to last a lifetime!

There are plenty of apartment/house share options and they don't need a ton of money to settle in as their needs are minimal. Most of them don't even go through the hassle of buying a car but rely on friends, public transportation and hitching to get around. They hit the pavement to find jobs,work hard to make enough money to get by and play hard - and make a whole lot of new friends in the process.

Go for it, Taylor! Just set aside the money for the return ticket! Good luck! 😀

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Posted : June 24, 2015 11:45 pm
monogram
(@monogram)
Advanced Member

monogram, one of the major issues which newcomers have when they settle in here is the slow realization that this is not Anytown USA. I believe the OP was referring to the "real world" in the sense of knuckling down to a "career" and that the inference was not that the USVI per se is not the "real world".

Nor do I agree with your dismissal of the comment about relationships. Statistically I'm absolutely sure after over three decades here (but sans any scientific documentation as I don't believe any such data has ever been compiled) that young newcomers have a very high incidence of relationship breakdown. It's extremely common that one of the parties loves living here and the other dislikes it equally passionately. Relationships are difficult enough but moving to an entirely new environment is an additional stress on them and can be a deal breaker.

Good points! Though there's probably a high fail-rate in many young relationships these days--regardless of where they live.

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Posted : June 25, 2015 5:31 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Good points! Though there's probably a high fail-rate in many young relationships these days--regardless of where they live.

Exactly what I meant by the last sentence, viz, "Relationships are difficult enough but moving to an entirely new environment is an additional stress on them and can be a deal breaker."

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Posted : June 25, 2015 9:23 am
G-Dub-Ya
(@G-Dub-Ya)
Advanced Member

Taylor,

My (now) wife and I did exactly that in 2005 after she graduated from nursing school. We were on vacation in STT in July and thought it would be a good idea for her to interview at RLS hospital...she was offered an immediate permanent position. Long story short, we returned in September, purchased a condo and the wifey started work at the hospital. I spent my days renovating the condo and eventually took a position in the tourism/boating industry.

I understand that our story is different because we had housing and employment lined up but it is certainly doable. The service industry is flooded with people just as you describe yourself.

And to weigh in on relationships... the first 3 words of this post explains it all!

Good luck and enjoy your adventure!

Gary

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Posted : June 25, 2015 1:37 pm
kakalee
(@kakalee)
Advanced Member

Do you have a whole year before student loans start coming due? I ask because you can cover a lot of ground in a year if you have cash rather than debt, but it is harder to cover ground if that ground is water. Now if speaking English & avoiding TOO much culture shock is an issue VI could be a really good choice if you don't mind the possibility that your year could possibly be cut short by the prices here.

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Posted : June 28, 2015 1:26 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

If you are not looking in your field, I say go for it! Many waitresses and bar staff make more in season than recent grads. Be willing to do hospitality jobs and you'll meet lots of young people and get lots of experience and have memories for a lifetime and have a ball doing it.
I'm an old 64 y/o now but so wish I'd done that after I graduated from college than taking the route I took! Good luck and have a blast!

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Posted : June 29, 2015 8:14 pm
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