Family of 6 Relocat...
 

Family of 6 Relocating to St Croix from New England  

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Taken3112
Posts: 22
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Hello!
I may have double posted so I apologize if so.
My name is Hollie Barclay. My family (husband Paul and 4 children) and I are considering a move to St. Croix from Providence, RI area next year but want to spend a week with the kids first to explore island living versus vacationing. The best time for us to travel is in late January/early February. We would be relocating as early as August this year and as late as July next year (for school purposes). I am a Maternity/Nursery RN, IBCLC also certified in Reiki II. I am hoping to work at the hospital on the island. My husband is in business now but hopes to enter a more holistic career before relocating.

Residential setting desired-
Quiet and comparable to any small town living known in New England (people generally friendly, helping each other, farms and agriculture), widely spaced homes (in comparison to local real estate on the island).

Way of life desired-
As a nurse, I am accustomed to only working 3 days per week maximum. My husband will work about the same and we will do what's necessary to avoid child care/day care (outside of occasional babysitting). We could easily enjoy the beach and playing outside and in as we are accustomed. We don't require much in the way of needing public places to entertain us despite the fact that we live in a city and we anticipate slowing down even from what we do now. (Occasionally we go to a McDonald's play place or public playgrounds.) We plan to live with a small environmental footprint and participate in holistic modalities and activities (Reiki, yoga, meditation, etc). I love helping families so being involved in the community as a mother baby nurse and lactation consultant is important to me. I own a business in MA called Mother's Nature that I stopped operating for profit and is volunteer only. www.mothersnaturema.com
I would want to continue my volunteer efforts however possible anywhere I go so knowing programs or places in need are great tips!

Random questions I can't find answers to online:
What kinds of bugs/animals/wildlife are there? Any dangers in light of that subject?
How is the internet for streaming things like Apple TV, Pandora, computers simultaneously?
Verizon phone service? Is there a different service needed?
How much on average monthly is electric, gas, utilities in general? Cost of living rent-wise is actually less than we pay now.
Nurses pay rate (9 years experience) and availability in my specialty?
Reiki/Yoga/Holistic presence on Island? (It is rapidly becoming widely embraced in New England. Organic living, healing with Eastern medicine modalities, etc)
Newcomer rate and acceptance level? Do residents generally welcome new families or does it take a bit to break the barrier?

Our children are ages 7, 4, 3 and 20 mo. Only 2 will be attending school; 2nd grade and kindergarten. We have been seeing a lot of chatter about crime and poor public schools on the island. I am wondering if you can speak on that from a resident point of view and if could you please recommend reputable resources to prepare for residential life on the island as a young, large family?

Thank you so much for your consideration. The little, obscure things are important when relocating 🙂

57 Replies
Taken3112
Posts: 22
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Thank you!
I will have to google some of those bugs! My goodness 🙂
I'm not planning on any more children at all and I work in mother baby now so I absolutely understand and currently deal with Zika. Thanks for the valuable information. We try to maintain realistic as much as possible. Even if we are unable to maintain a similar lifestyle in the way of work and income, we have decided not dealing with New England weather/attitudes/way of life and getting a change in surroundings we so desperately need is worth the move. We plan to use STX/USVI as a catalyst to living abroad.

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Afriend
Posts: 479
(@afriend)
Advanced Member
Joined: 13 years ago

With the exception of price estimates (just about everything goes up in price - hardly ever down), the information you find in the dropdown menus and from older threads in the archives hasn't changed much. That's why many of the regular contributors here will often tell you to start your research by reading everything here. As Alana33 says, things don't change much here - just the people. A great many who come don't stay very long.

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. You'll want to find out what type of apartment/house you'll be able to get for your particular housing budget. Don't be fooled by rents, housing prices, photos, descriptions you see/read on line. You have to actually see (in person) what a particular dollar amount will get you. When it comes to housing what you picture in your minds eye may not be anywhere close to what it actually is. That "quaint little cottage on the hillside" may be a tiny shack with plywood walls and a leaky corrugated tin roof.

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.

Good luck.

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Taken3112
Posts: 22
(@Taken3112)
Advanced Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Excellent advice. We were just weighing options of childcare so we can go and explore ourselves. It will only be for the short time mentioned but the only way to get there prior to a move. We can't take off work any more than that right now. I'm glad to get the advice for no kids so we will be working on our options!

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Alana33
Posts: 12153
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 7 years ago

Best to leave kids if you can to optimize your limited time on island to do what you need.

I'd suggest contacting a realtor, buying the local AVIS newspaper, checking out the weekly, free Crucian Trader, distances between possible jobs, schools, and rentals, setting up a mail service, visiting schools you might be interested in, check out grocery store prices, look at car prices, etc. Don't treat it as a vacation but a fact finding mission. This means work.

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Alana33
Posts: 12153
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 7 years ago

If you're interested in Reiki, check the community board on the forum list at top of page.
There's also a classified section and you can check Craig's List.
http://virgin.craigslist.org/search/apa
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?8,271841

Bugs are part of life in de tropics.
You learn to deal with them.
No place will be 100% critter or bug free with or without a pest control service.

I use Terminex, every other month, at $55 per service.
I also have rat bait traps as I live in an very tropical, lush location that's off the beaten track but close to where I need to go to shop, bank, get mail, go to beach, etc. I still see a spider, ants, etc. from time to time, however
I leave my screens and doors open most of the time as have pets.
Most would say I live in de bush. ((STT)

The other thing is that we don't have the type of neighborhoods that you're used to, stateside. I live on a dead end road, with 5 homes and a couple rentals, gorgeous lush, tropical, ocean views. I know all my homeowner neighbors. Tenants come and go.

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