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Family of 6 Relocating to St Croix from New England

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East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Licensing for nurses is through a nursing board within the Health Department. As I said earlier, you need to talk to someone from JFL. I am pretty sure you won't get $52 an hour. However, for the lower salary (and full-time work) you will get some of the best health insurance the government can buy. When you come for your visit, stop by some physician offices and visit with them about availability of work.

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Posted : December 23, 2016 11:02 am
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

Thanks everyone.
I absolutely have the nursing license paperwork handled. I have applied for several in the past and it is just paperwork. I have been recruited by the hospital over 4 times in a year because I showed interest last September. Their current state and immediate future state is concerning a bit. Time will tell how that goes.
As for the advice about STX, it has been equally mixed thus far. I have had people on the phone (from the island) tell me it is a great place to bring my family and that we would likely really enjoy it and then others that make the island sound as if it's a plague to be avoided. It's definitely confusing and it does deter a bit. I dont have an affinity for HI at all. I've never visited because it has never been attractive to me. I would need to begin my research and start from scratch. I don't necessarily have tunnel vision about USVI but out of the American owned islands, it is a collection I have enjoyed being to and learning about. I am hopeful despite the short stay that my family and I will know more when we visit.
The kids will be home schooled btw. Private and public school is not an option we were interested in. That is one of the major life changes that would happen along with a change in career for my husband.

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Topic starter Posted : December 23, 2016 11:23 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Here's the link for DOH.

http://doh.vi.gov/about/employment/index.html

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Posted : December 23, 2016 11:25 am
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

As for the advice about STX, it has been equally mixed thus far. I have had people on the phone (from the island) tell me it is a great place to bring my family and that we would likely really enjoy it and then others that make the island sound as if it's a plague to be avoided. It's definitely confusing and it does deter a bit.

This is not uncommon and why the regular contributors here stress making a PMV as a major and integral part of the relocation research process. Some people adjust very well to island life, others don't. I know many couples who have relocated to islands in the Caribbean only to find out that one of them loves the lifestyle while their partner simply can't stand living on an island. Far better to find that out BEFORE you spend your hard earned money to make the move than AFTERWARDS.

So far it looks as though you've done a lot of research (and that's good) but most of that has been based on what you've been able to read or what others have told you. The next step to "first hand" experience - thus a PMV for as long as possible (or 2 or 3 shorter ones).

The thing is you need to recognize (and put into perspective) what I call the "Yeah, buts" as when you learn what some may consider a negative aspect of island life you justify a positive spin with something like "Yeah, but the weather's near perfect and the views are tremendous" or "Yeah, but I can put up with that just to be able to sit under a palm tree on a beach in my off hours" - you get the idea.

It is from clear your posts that you are in a comfortable financial situation since both you and your husband earn good salaries. Neither I nor anyone else here can give you any assurances that you'll be able to earn that same amount (or some thing close to it) if you relocate to the USVI's. All one can give you is some idea of salary ranges and, quite honestly, those will only be educated guesses (goes to the comments I made in an earlier response about "estimates"). You'll have to contact potential employers for actual numbers.

One other thing to consider, while you might find a certain position offers what you deem to be an adequate salary there's no guaranty you'll find the job itself to be as fulfilling as the one you have now. You might end up with a wonderful boss or a tyrant you can't stand - it's the risk you take when switching jobs.

I'll leave others to counsel you on the pros/cons/difficulty/ease of homeschooling as it's been well over 35 years since I had school age children.

Keep up with your research, I'm sure after a while the decision to relocate or not will become clear.

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Posted : December 23, 2016 1:40 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

Again my opinion only, but if I had a family with small children and could to chose to live in Hawaaian Islands vs U.S. Virgin Islands, I would pick Hawaai hands down.

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Posted : December 23, 2016 3:04 pm
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

We have our dates set...Jan 30-Feb 3. Rental car in place, realtor tour being scheduled, family to play with and now starting research for a list of things to do to prepare for relocation while on site. 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : December 23, 2016 7:00 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

Been to Maui and Oahu. Geographicly speaking, they are dead center of the Pacific and the most furthest removed from any mainland. Everything is shipped in as it is here, but from further away, hence in most cases, more expensive.
Housing and taxes, are far more expensive in Hawaii. More like St. John.
Oahu, with its larger population, has its poverty, drug issues and related crime, I think similar to here.
The Caribbean Sea around these islands has far more beauty to it due to reefs.
It's closer to the east coast U.S. where most of our family is, and It's far less expensive to fly back & forth.
Moving with 4 young kids sounds like a massive undertaking though (to anywhere), and keeping a steady, solid income will certainly be a challenge.
Best of luck!

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Posted : December 23, 2016 7:36 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

If at all possible, try to spend more than a week on your Pre-Move Visit and you'll probably learn more if you leave the children at home this trip. At their ages (7, 4, 3 & 20 months) they won't be learning much and you'll end up spending more time catering to their needs than you will learning about life on the island. When you do come DO NOT stay in a resort. Instead take a short term rental in an efficiency unit or condo so you can actually experience "real life" not being on vacation.

Spend your time checking out schools, grocery stores, banks, housing, etc. rather than going to the beach or visiting tourist attractions. Since you expressed a desire to grow your own food try spending time with local farmers to find out what growing crops really entails. You'll want to do all the everyday "life" things since that's what you'll be doing if you relocate to the islands.

I would really reconsider and do at LEAST a 1 month PMV before you even start to save the $50k it'll take.

If you can't handle roaches, spiders the size of your hand and rats... I'd reconsider completely.

The above advice is spot on.

A week isn't even close to enough time to do a true PMV. What you're considering here -- moving a big family with small kids to a remote, tropical island -- is a BIG deal, and, as such, you owe it to your kids to do some real due diligence. The first few weeks, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will be hopelessly stuck in the Honeymoon Phase. You'll be so smitten by all the cool, new things the island has to offer that you will overlook the negatives even when they're right under your nose. It took me over a year to really "see" the island as it truly was. What's quaint and cute in the first month can become a total pain in the ass after awhile. I remember the first time a contractor blew off an appointment, I thought "No worries, he's on island time." and it didn't bother me that much. Fast forward five years later, and spending an entire day sitting in my house waiting for a guy that never showed up made me want to punch him in the face. Same with power outtages. The first time, I thought it was kinda neat because it was so different. Now it makes me want to scream.

As for moving to Hawaii, I've also spent a great deal of time there on all four of the major islands and I can tell you that, other than the tropical climate, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Hawaii is a state and is much closer to what you're used to at "home". It's cleaner, safer, better roads, better jobs, much bigger, much more variety and stuff to do. But, it doesn't have the "feel" of the Virgin Islands. It's hard to put into words, but the people and social vibe of the VI is what makes it special, and Hawaii can't even compare in that respect.

Bottom line: The USVI is completely and totally unlike any other place in the world, much less the United States. Sometimes, I think people get fooled into thinking there will be some similarities since it's a US territory, but nothing could be further from the truth. The USVI is a different world unto itself. Compared to the states, the USVI is dirtier, more run-down, has a much more fragile, unreliable infrastructure, has way more crime, more bugs, less selection of goods and services... and yet, it's also the most amazing goddamn place in the entire world if you're the right type of person. That's the real question here: are YOU the rare type of person who will thrive in the USVI? Most aren't, but, for the lucky few, the USVI will be a place that makes you fall in love and never want to leave.

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Posted : December 23, 2016 7:46 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

IMHO, do not go on a realtor tour. If you are staying in a apartment/condo (and you should), spend your time doing what you would do if you lived here. Go to grocery stores, go to banks, go to children's playgrounds, go to the hospital or clinics. Drive around and see if the environment suits you. Ask people in similar lines of work for opinions and referrals. Network. I think a realtor will put a rosy spin on life and you definitely don't want to buy anything- at least until you have lived here a year and everyone in the family is on board with staying.

As Nug says, the USVI, while being somewhat America, are not America. In big ways and small ways, you will find yourselves in upside-down world. Some people adapt and some don't. If you were a single 20 something, we would all say, great, come try it. But because of the tribe you have tagging along, be careful. Don't burn your bridges back home.

When I moved here, the other option for me was Hawaii. I found it just too remote. Although I loved the flowers...

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Posted : December 23, 2016 8:32 pm
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

I'm looking for remote Lol
We aren't buying. He offered to show us examples of rentals in our price range in the areas we are looking at primarily. It isn't for purchasing. He knows this is our first PMV, we plan to have 1-2 more and aren't relocating until at least Aug. This is something I am working diligently on and remaining open minded to the fact that it may not be right after all. That's fine. We have our expectations and we live with purpose. I have confidence we will know what is right when the time comes to make the decision. This is preliminary but detailed. Thanks everyone for the concern. I'm sure you have seen people come and go very often. We are aware we may not like it. 6 mo is not long enough to assess a place in our opinion so we would commit to a year as long as employment is sound. We anticipate leaving after 1-2 years but we will see. If the island surprises us, we would absolutely stay longer but we have a certain way of life for our family in mind and it is to live as off grid as possible but remain in society for the sake of our kids. We love community feels and are such people persons...We don't need to be away from humans, just more involved with nature and respecting the planet is our goal.

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Topic starter Posted : December 23, 2016 8:43 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

As for moving to Hawaii, I've also spent a great deal of time there on all four of the major islands and I can tell you that, other than the tropical climate, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Hawaii is a state and is much closer to what you're used to at "home". It's cleaner, safer, better roads, better jobs, much bigger, much more variety and stuff to do. But, it doesn't have the "feel" of the Virgin Islands. It's hard to put into words, but the people and social vibe of the VI is what makes it special, and Hawaii can't even compare in that respect.

Bottom line: The USVI is completely and totally unlike any other place in the world, much less the United States. Sometimes, I think people get fooled into thinking there will be some similarities since it's a US territory, but nothing could be further from the truth. The USVI is a different world unto itself. Compared to the states, the USVI is dirtier, more run-down, has a much more fragile, unreliable infrastructure, has way more crime, more bugs, less selection of goods and services... and yet, it's also the most amazing goddamn place in the entire world if you're the right type of person. That's the real question here: are YOU the rare type of person who will thrive in the USVI? Most aren't, but, for the lucky few, the USVI will be a place that makes you fall in love and never want to leave.

Yup, Hawaii is nice, different, even different across the major islands, and within. On Big Island you can go from desert, even moon like on the west side ancient lava fields to rain forest, sand to snow. Expensive yes. Being that it's larger there is more choice/selection in the stores compared to VI. And you can still vote for president. But some of that may be what you are trying to get away from. We've vacationed there several times, not lived there. And we'll be back there again next month. But instead we have our condo on STX. Hawaii is for visiting. Yes, very different from the VI. Maybe I'll bring back some Plumeria cuttings they have for export for the condo:-) Oh yeah, and I've not yet had anything stolen from the car in the VI but have in HI. Not that it doesn't happen in the VI.

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Posted : December 23, 2016 11:56 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

NugBlazer,
Your Hawaii / USVI comparison was far better than mine. Spot-on.

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Posted : December 24, 2016 5:20 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Compared to the states, the USVI is dirtier, more run-down, has a much more fragile, unreliable infrastructure, has way more crime, more bugs, less selection of goods and services... and yet, it's also the most amazing goddamn place in the entire world if you're the right type of person. That's the real question here: are YOU the rare type of person who will thrive in the USVI? Most aren't, but, for the lucky few, the USVI will be a place that makes you fall in love and never want to leave.

WELL SAID! <3

Such a weird feeling to loathe so many things about here but absolutely love it so much at the same time lol!!

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Posted : December 25, 2016 4:26 am
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

just more involved with nature and respecting the planet is our goal.

It'll be easy to do BUT I do warn you, after the honeymoon is over you will really be depressed that a large part of the population seems to have ZERO respect for the island. It makes me murderous, sad, hopeless as I fill scuba bags with fishing line and trash and pick up so much litter down mahogany rd. and off the fsted beach. I tear up when I see starving dogs and horses. I'm forever sad that west end is so overfished, seeing 1 parrotfish is exciting. I do believe HI is more eco conscious but I've only been to Kaui and that was 10 years ago. Sorry to make it sound so bad, I truely love it here so much but the honeymoon is way over and seeing things you want to fix and can't is REALLY hard.

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Posted : December 25, 2016 4:39 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

When I see the way the residents abuse the dumpster sites and the amount of appliances, furniture and random large pieces of junk dumped around the dumpsters I am disgusted and embarrassed by the sight of it. Everyday!
trying to change the mindset of the population here to be anywhere near ECO conscious is an ongoing futile job when we all see the dumpsters as ugly as they are on a daily basis.
I find the dumpster system to be workable and useful if people would use it as intended and they are emptied regularly - but disposing of these large unsightly pieces surrounding each dumpster is a ridiculous abuse perpetuated by every segment of our society.
sadly I can offer no solution that is easy to implement - rigid monitoring and enforcement is unlikely to be instituted by our Waste management authority and their piecemeal efforts and fee structure changes are not working at all.

Sorry to post this in such a good moving thread discussion - but any prospective new residents should realize that an ecological perspective of the reality of island life is very different than any stateside community I have ever seen.

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Posted : December 25, 2016 3:53 pm
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

I felt everything you said...So sad.
I feel like if we intend to live there only about a year or two, we will likely still be in the honeymoon phase 🙂 there is a silver lining

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Topic starter Posted : December 25, 2016 6:57 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

When I see the way the residents abuse the dumpster sites and the amount of appliances, furniture and random large pieces of junk dumped around the dumpsters I am disgusted and embarrassed by the sight of it. Everyday!
trying to change the mindset of the population here to be anywhere near ECO conscious is an ongoing futile job when we all see the dumpsters as ugly as they are on a daily basis.
I find the dumpster system to be workable and useful if people would use it as intended and they are emptied regularly - but disposing of these large unsightly pieces surrounding each dumpster is a ridiculous abuse perpetuated by every segment of our society.
sadly I can offer no solution that is easy to implement - rigid monitoring and enforcement is unlikely to be instituted by our Waste management authority and their piecemeal efforts and fee structure changes are not working at all.

Sorry to post this in such a good moving thread discussion - but any prospective new residents should realize that an ecological perspective of the reality of island life is very different than any stateside community I have ever seen.

Yeah it wasn't bad yesterday, but they need to figure it out. They need to recycle the appliances, maybe pay $ to bring it to a central location, crush it and ship to a stateside recycler, even if it's a break even proposition

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Posted : December 25, 2016 7:48 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Yeah it wasn't bad yesterday, but they need to figure it out. They need to recycle the appliances, maybe pay $ to bring it to a central location, crush it and ship to a stateside recycler, even if it's a break even proposition

We have that, it's called Peter’s Rest Convenience Center, they take "white goods" aka appliances (residential only).

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Posted : December 25, 2016 8:44 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

Didn't know that. Good to know. Was at Cotton valley an hour ago, dump site is a mess again. The Landscapers are definitely part of the problem. There's 5 40 yard containers full and the usual appliance's building up again. Uggh

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Posted : December 25, 2016 11:14 pm
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

Funny this topic has surfaced since my husband deals with appliances for a living.

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Topic starter Posted : December 25, 2016 11:57 pm
shanekuhlmann
(@shanekuhlmann)
Active Member

Hi,
We have many yoga classes at our fitness studio in downtown christiansted.

www.thecourtyardstx.com

thanks

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Posted : April 19, 2017 2:53 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I wonder what happened to the OP....

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Posted : April 19, 2017 8:38 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

According to her facebook page, she sold a bunch of stuff in February and a friend of hers posted that she recently moved to STX. It would be interesting to know. So many post about moving, then you never hear from the ones who do. They could give a lot of insight to those thinking about it and give advice just as they once wanted advice.

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Posted : April 19, 2017 9:58 pm
Taken3112
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member

Lol
Thanks for checking in. I'm alive and well. Moved here 4/4/17. Living south shore. Got my ID badge for the Hospital today and will be on L&D. Thanks for all the help! Feel free to friend me on FB. I also brought my business here www.mothersnaturema.com and I'm offering services at Ha'Penny. Check it out 🙂
Many Blessings,
Hollie

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Topic starter Posted : April 19, 2017 11:15 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Hollie: Welcome to the jungle! It is always fun to hear from folks who actually go through the process of moving here. Tell us about your settling in period and your perspectives on living in the VI.

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Posted : April 20, 2017 12:21 am
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