Considering moving from S FL
My husband and I considering moving to St. Croix with our one year old son in the next year or two. We currently live in South Florida and have become tired of increasing overcrowding the busy lifestyle now that we’ve had a baby.
We plan to visit in March to get a better feel for the island. We are used to a lot of elements related to Island living (My husband was born and raised in Jamaica and we visit for extended amounts of time frequently). My concern after reading a lot of posts listed here is that St. Croix has less amenities than other islands we’ve visited. I’m unsure if the posts are from recent years but, I’m curious if electricity and internet are reliable. My husband works in the medical field and I’m a Pediatric Speech Therapist; I may be able to work remotely given the Internet is reliable on the island.
We currently live in one the best school districts with A rated neighborhood schools. From what I’ve read private school is a better option while living on the Island. Does anyone have any recommendations?
We want our son to grow up experiencing island life in a safe place where there’s a sense of community. We are hoping St. Croix is the place.
Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!
1) What do you plan to do about health insurance? There is no private health insurance in the VI.
2) Are you prepared to pay over $10,000 a year for school ?
3) Can you afford the rent and electricity?
I’m curious if electricity and internet are reliable.
The electric grid is poor so outages are frequent. Many people have back-up systems, generators or solar systems (often with batteries). As long as the power is up our internet stays up, we had solar installed earlier this year. As for internet performance, ours seems sufficient for streaming movies or multiple Zoom meetings as well as the more typical email and browsing, although the system specifications are far below what you would expect on the mainland. Works fine however for our family.
My concern after reading a lot of posts listed here is that St. Croix has less amenities than other islands we’ve visited.
It seems about right for an island of 50K people. We’re long-time seasonal residents of Martha’s Vineyard and the amenities on St. Croix are much better with things like a Home Depot, Cost-U-Less (like a Costco), fast food restaurants as well as many very good fine dining establishments. St. Croix does have a very different vibe than Martha’s Vineyard, in a good Caribbean way.
If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle, St. Croix isn’t a good choice.
I’m curious if electricity and internet are reliable.
Although we have electricity and internet, they are far from reliable. You'll have to get used to paying the highest electricity costs in N. America for poor quality power and unreliable service. Your generator will become your savior. Likewise, although Broadband VI is the best internet provider on island, you'll never achieve the speeds you're used to on the mainland and you'll pay twice as much or more for the privilege. You'll need the internet because there is very few retail shopping options left on the island and almost everything you'll want/need will come from Amazon or similar. You'll get used to going to the cargo warehouse on Thursday to retrieve your orders. As CruzanIron wrote, be prepared to pay $10,000 to $15,000 per child per year for private school because you'll definitely not want to send your kid(s) to what's left of the public school system. Be sure to bring an SUV with robust suspension. Anything less will quickly deteriorate as the pot holes will wreck havoc on your vehicle's front end and suspension. Keep in mind that everything related to government services takes 10 times as long as the mainland and often requires friendship with insiders to cut through the reams of unnecessary red tape and delays. This is just a small list of the excitement you can look forward to when you trade your busy S. FL lifestyle for island living.
From what I’ve read private school is a better option while living on the Island.
While our children are now adults your conclusion is correct, the private schools offer a much better education. The Public School system has a number of challenges which will take years to correct, providing the Government delivers on its intentions, which is always a risk.
If private school is a workable option, that’s what I would do. My wife and I have always believed we only give our children two things, values and an education, so it’s always been a top priority for us.
You will know if it's for you if you do a nice long visit. I am not super familiar with STX but I was educated in STT private schools are they were wonderful. The school I know on STX was Country Day. The cost for private school is pretty typical for private school in the US. It's actually much less than where we live now in Nashville and MUCHHH less than in NYC, SF or LA. The private schools are diverse with great college advisors and I had an amazing childhood and now moving back to give that to my sons. 🙂
You will know if it's for you if you do a nice long visit.
Yes, this is a must. It’s important to separate reality from imagination, it’s not like a vacation.
As an SLP, you should be able to find work on island. You won't be paid what you are getting in Florida, but you will be needed. As an aside, of the people I worked with in the medical/allied health world who left either in the Irmaria exodus or earlier, the majority went to Florida. They are, for the most part, much happier. There are good prospects for most jobs in the medical field.