family move to STX
I remember when Native Son said that women from the mainland have a harder time adjusting here than men, and it struck me as correct. I’ll make a guess as to why this is so. It has to do with the way boys and girls are brought up in Western societies. I hope I won’t be accused of stereotyping. These are only broad generalizations.
Many men can live in a house that’s a pigsty (you should see my apartment!), eat TV dinners every night, and walk around in dirty clothes. Most women would never live this way and tend to discourage such behavior in their husbands. They have to have an environment that’s just so. If the environment a woman lives in isn’t close to her ideal, she’s likely to be upset and unhappy. Men are taught to be tough and not to complain when things aren’t perfect. There are aspects of living here that are less than ideal. Men have been taught since they were boys not to make a big deal out of them. Girls tend to get less of this training.
So, did you say you were a psych major in a past life?
I think that is pretty close to a lot of it.
For me personally I like things that make my life easier, like the internet. Others like super walmarts. As long as I have my internet and can go shopping on it 24/7 I don't need the mainland. In fact my ideal way of living is the islands, that's why the mainland mentality is drving me INSANE! LOL
Now, as for the messy apartments, welllllllllll that is not something I can loose control of. That is a definite GUY thing! 😉
But I really don't think it matters what sex you are, some people just cannot handle change very well. I know men that have a hard time when their wives change the living room furniture around. And it's not because of the placement of the tv either.
So, for Teresa, I'm soooooooooo glad that she found she missed the island and that she realized she is adjusting. There is so much to offer living here and I hope she continues to enjoy it!
We looked at STT but want to stay away from the tourist and crowds and STJ because of the expense and limited things to do. However, we are open to looking again if those of you out there think it is worth it. Which has the best (and affordable) schools.
We´ve lived on STX for 18 months. We like it a lot, but we dont have kids with us, so our situation is idifferent than yours.
Since I jumped in...Tom, my husband frequently travels to St. Croix for work and tells me that I would most definitely like St. Croix better. I don't know for sure since I have not ventured over there just yet. St. John is quite expensive, but if I could I would live there. Some of us on the board have described the three US Virgin Islands this way - St. Thomas is the city, St. John is the suburb, and St. Croix is the country.
Not a lot of people live on St. John that work there. Many live on St. Thomas and ferry over to work on St. John. So it isn't a place to jump in and look for work - unless you are just lucky like that. The main reason I have not thought about moving to St. Croix - other than work being here on St. Thomas is that I like being able to take a ferry over to St. John and hanging out on the beaches. I don't know though - since I have been told that the beaches on St. Croix are wonderful too. The other thing is that there are more harbors and boats on St. Thomas than you can count. You might look at job availability on STT as opposed to STX, but if you have your heart set on St. Croix - I don't think you will find STT more appealing. Again, just my two cents.
On the subject of wives again, I too am friendly and make friends easily which is why I thought in moving here I would have no trouble making friends. It didn't work out that way. I have met a lot of people and made friends, but you don't see the same people on a regular basis like you do in the States. Really hard to describe I guess. Anyway, just file it away under your research, and since everyone's experience is different down here - you and your family may love it from day one and never look back. You can never predict these things. 😉
Teresa: I think that people here are reserved toward newcomers. They have seen so many people come- and go- that they tend to hold back from all-out friendship. If you stay, you will see it change over the years. Someone asks, (and isn't it always fairly early in the conversation?): "How long have you been here?" If you answer 20 years, they will respond differently than if you respond a year. If you were here through a bad hurricane and in the aftermath, you get extra "points." These are the things that equalize the old and new timers...
And to Tom: the entire island of St Thomas is not overrun with tourists and crowds-yet! There are quiet little corners. I, too, know folks who could, and often do, have homes all over the world, but they come back to the Virgin Islands as their special spot!!!
Thanks East Ender! You are very insightful. I won't lie about how long I have been here, but at least I understand! Funny how I didn't think of that myself. All conversations do seem to start that way. I guess when I start asking people how long they have been here then I will know I have been here a while. 😉
Well, Tom, there is quite a boating community on St. Croix, and we have excellent, uncrowded marinas like Green Cay and the St. Croix Yacht Club for example. I agree that the boating around the St Thomas area is more scenic, but lots of guys with boats on St. Croix will boat over to the St. Thomas area on weekends. It's only 40 miles, for crying out loud!
St. Croix offers a good compromise between the hustle and bustle of St. Thomas and the relative seclusion and quiet of St. John. The real estate is cheaper and more plentiful, you can find lots of single-family dwellings as opposed to St. Thomas where there is less land area. I live on two wonderful acres in a three-bedroom/2 bath house in the "country". Sometimes deer wander through my yard, along with peacocks. Yes, St. Croix has a large deer population.
Not knocking St. Thomas, I love the island...but it is a bit congested. Definitely more dynamic than St. Croix though. I think that, as a builder, you may be interested in looking at some of the custom houses being built on St. Croix. There is quite a bit of residential construction going on, as more people discover that St. Croix is ideal in a lot of ways. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
As far as schools, St. Croix Country Day school averages over a million dollars in scholarship offers each year to a graduating class of about 24 students. Good Hope does well also. We've had kids receive full scholarships to MIT. People may talk about the public schools, but the fact is that the kids at the Educational Complex are very proud of their school. St. Croix also has the wonderfully spacious University of the Virgin Islands St. Croix campus, where people will often gather during summer to fly model airplanes, kites, or just walk around. There is an ambience here that you will not find on St. Thomas or St. John. We also have the free sunset jazz concerts, the free jazz vespers concerts, the annual Triathlon in which thousands of International athletes compete, and the elusive green flash at sunset.
Well written! You have peeked my interest - what is the elusive green flash at sunset? I plan to visit 'your' island soon and am looking forward to it. My husband loves it and says that I will too. Thanks for sharing and Tom if that doesn't make you want to stick with St. Croix, I don't know what will. 😉
Although I know that each person is different, my move to stx is scheduled to take place on February 1 and I am getting a bit worried about adjusting after reading your messages. I have felt confident from the beginning that my husband and the kids would be fine, but I knew that it would be harder for me than them because I don't work, and as a mom you always look to your families welfare before your own. That being said, what would you recommend doing, bringing, whatever to make the adjustment easier? Is there anything that you would do differently if you could? Is there anything you would have brought to make you feel more comfortable? Or places you would have checked out sooner that you feel would have helped you adapt more quickly? I know that every experience is different, and I am an outgoing person, but it will be different there where the culture is different from what I am used to. If you could help me in any way I would appreciate the input. Thank you so much!
wisconsin mom wrote:
That being said, what would
> you recommend doing, bringing, whatever to make the adjustment
> easier? Is there anything that you would do differently if you
The most important thing to bring with you is an open mind. It is important to collect around you people who are positive ans supportive. If you latch on to a chronic complainer, such a person may make things seem worse than thay actually are.
Your home is definitely your castle here. Get into a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a good association and people who look out for each other. Remember that you are coming to a place that has decidedly different demographics from Wisconsin, so your comfort level may take some time to get readjusted.
It is difficult, there are no easy answers. There is quite a difference between St. Croix and Wisconsin, and only by being here will you know how you really feel about it. I have found that wives have a difficult time adjusting. You may be accustomed, for example, to finding a certain item in a certain type of supermarket. You may be used to a bewildering array of fresh fruit and vegetables. You may like the feel of a shiny, well-kept supermarket filled with people who look just like you. There are many factors. However, you are not coming to the third world. We have most of the modern conveniences. The islands affect people in different ways, and I sincerely hope that your experiences are pleasant 🙂
> Native Son,
> Well written! You have peeked my interest - what is the
> elusive green flash at sunset? >
The elusive green flash is sometimes seen just as the sun dips below the horizon in Frederiksted. You have to have the right atmospheric conditions for it to happen, but when it does it is breath-taking.
Wow, What a lot of great conversation. Thank you one and all. I can't wait for my trip Jan 24th. I do wish my wife was making the trip (so does she!!!) but for this first look it has to be just one of us ( kids in school) and I got the go ahead from the boss. And yes, I have speant time at home with the kids during school while she had a couple of nice vacations with her freinds in the past. Speaking of vacations, that is one of our concerns. Travel away from the island for 5 of us will really be expensive.
We just spent $1700 to fly our family of five to Mississippi and that was the cheapest tickets we could find! Use your vacation time to visit nearby islands and make family and friends visit you! 😉
Don't be too nervous. Do reverse logic. Like tell yourself you are moving somewhere that only has coconuts and bottled water to eat and drink, and then you will be pleasantly suprised at all the 'modern' amenities you will find. A huge part of disappointment when moving to the islands is due to expectations. We are so geared to find that name brand cereal to eat or having a billion choices in the grocery store, that in coming here it can be a shock at first. I have said before, the island has everything you need to get by, just not everything you want. It is true. We buy diapers for our youngest and I don't think I have been able to buy the same brand three times in a row yet. Either you stock up when it is in or you do without. Like others have said - have an open mind and try not to come with high expectations (of people as well - many are nice, some rude, others just different - open your mind and think positive).
I try not to compare the island to the states in a negative way. It gets depressing sometimes thinking about all the conviences back in the States - so I think of the beautiful scenery on my way to the store for the third day in a row or that I will never have to turn on the heat and that back in Missouri - they are without electricity because of an inch of ice coating everything. Makes me happy to be here. 😉 Anyway, as much as I have complained about not adjusting - there are many things I have done to lift my spirits and made me appreciate my home here on the island. We take a weekend day to go to the beach and just relax or drive around and explore. You need to take time and do things once in a while that are kind of 'touristy' in a way or just pretend you are on a vacation and do something fun. You just have to find 'your thing' that makes the island your home. It isn't so much physical things as it is mental. In fact I think I could do with less and trust me - I have given up a lot of things! I brought too much with me and am still getting rid of things. You just don't know until you have been here what it is like and how you will deal with it. I really have to quit rambling. Any questions answered here? 😉
Thank you so much for your input. I have been trying to psychologically prepare myself for these differences. There are so many things here that I know I will be without down there, but there are many things down there that I am certainly without up here. I guess I am just hoping that if I prepare myself for the the most drastic changes I can imagine, things can only be better than expected. One of the hardest things for me at this point is going to be moving from a nice sized house to a small apartment and not having room to spread out when the kids are driving me crazy. As far as name brands, I am not usually a loyal customer, although I like to use brands that I am familiar with. I guess that will take some getting used to. I am sure that I will be able to adjust, I just was hoping that there was something that would make the adjustment process easier. Thanks again and I am sure as things get closer I will be asking a lot more questions.
I was happy to hear you're feeling more comfortable with your (family) decision to relocate to USVI. I check this message board frequently because we're still considering moving. You were less thrilled with the relocation recently, which was somewhat discouraging. In any event, glad to know things (attitude?) are changing for the better.
Good to hear from you! Well, sorry about the 'downer' conversations. I kind of decided to be more real and less fluff. About the fourth month, I was wondering if this whole thing would work out for me. I just had to re-arrange, re-adjust, and realize that I was more set in my ways than I had originally thought. I saw my family at Christmas and realized that I missed them more than I let myself know. I also kind of felt that things may 'fall apart' back home without me. Nothing fell apart and everyone is fine. That lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I think of it as 'Paradise Guilt'. I didn't feel that I deserved to be on the island more than anyone else and kind of made myself miserable by not following thru on my goals here. So, we made new goals and have decided to place the kids in public school. Most of my issues had more to do with the fact that I gave up a career in moving here. The shock of drastic change and not having a 'real' job kind of caught up with me.
The good news is that I have really bounced back. I am enjoying life on the island a lot more now. The weather has been cooler which helped a lot. Apparently I came at the hottest part of the year. I was thinking that I would melt away when finally 'winter' came around and made things very pleasant. 😉 I sort of regret sharing so much with everyone, but in some ways I think everyone deserves to know that it can be tough living here. In the end, I stuck it out and am glad I did. I really don't have any complaints now. My wonderful husband has been very supportive, which kept me here. 😉 I do hope you are encouraged to still move here. The experience is worth it - good and bad - and then there is the beautiful days that make it really seem like paradise. 😉
No need to be apologetic about your "negative" comments. Speaking for myself, I prefer to hear the truth, always. I am looking for honest advice and perspectives, so I appreciate your candor. I'm sure the thoughts and feelings you had, and may have again, were and will be shared by many during their adjustment periods. In any event, it seems you're perspective is changing, for the better, given your situation. I wish you luck.
We're still no closer to making any decision to move there or anywhere in the immediate future. I'm pregnant again, so focusing on other things. My husband still wants to move there, yesterday. I'm the one with reservations. Believe it or not, one of the biggest drawbacks of STT was lack of flat, safe, and convenient running "spots". There are a lot of benefits, however, they we're continuing to mull over.