My wife and I are thinking of moving down to the USVI for a while. We want to get away from the rat race, at least for a couple of years and we saw that St. Croix was on islands.com "Best islands to live on" list for last year. We have been on the USVI's but only St. Thomas and St. John... the cruise ship we were on didn't go to St. Croix.
We want to start off slow and small. Maybe find an apartment or a condo near the beach that takes dogs. One question: how bad are hurricanes, the heat and the bugs?
Thanks in advance for all your replies.
I don't really think stt has more job opportunities right now with tourism so bad. We're not as dependent on it. That being said you want to have enough savings to tide you over for which ever island you pick. I would hope for two months but be prepared for four.
Hurricanes a fear you just have to be prepared for. Pick a well build place with shutters. Get a generator. Have supplies every hurricane season. Anywhere you live has something. Whether its tornados, blizzards, wild fires, etc... no one gets away free from Mother Nature.
Depending where you are coming from the heat might be bad, but its usually the humidity that bothers most. Most adjust in a couple of years and end up chilly in winter. Everyone feels the heat during the worst of summer. But you sit in front of the fan and your usually fine. So far this summer has been very mild.
Mosquitoes are the worse pest, but like the heat they don't usually bother you as badly once you've been here a while. They bother some worse the others. As far as things like centipedes you just hire a pest service to spray your house/apt for about $35 to $45 a month. They ya got no problem. I don't recommend going without but its a personal choice, many do.
Most condos do not take dogs. In fact its a bit harder to find a place with pets. I have dogs and I prefer to rent to people with dogs, but most landlords do not. So just be prepared to have to work a little harder and maybe not be too picky. Because most of the places here are much simpler then stateside but cost much more.
THE POINTS YOU QUESTIONED ARE NOT VERY MAJOR. IF YOU ARE WORKING ABOUT BUGS, THE HEAT AND A PLACE TO STAY WITH DOGS THEN DON'T COME. SIMPLE AS THAT.
UNLESS YOU ARE RICH AND DON'T NEED TO WORK THEN YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING AT THE BEST LOCATION. STX IS MORE RURAL THAN ST. THOMAS. JOBS ARE A TOSS UP. THERE ARE FEWER JOBS ON STX BUT YOU MAY STAND A BETTER CHANCE IN GETTING ONE AS JOBS, UNLESS YOU WANT TO WAIT TABLES ARE HERE IN STT.
THE SUGGEST THAT YOU DO A PMV IS THE RIGHT ONE. COME DOWN AND SPEND ABOUT 1500 OR SO. LINE EVERYTHING UP FROM JOBS TO LODGING. THEN GO HOME AND PLAN TO RETURN. IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE 1500 THEN DON'T COME. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU. YOU WILL NEED ABOUT 4-5000 TO GET STARTED. JUST THE RENT WILL BE FIRST, LAST AND ONE MONTH SECURITY PLUS YOU WILL NEED A SECURITY FOR THE DOGS. ON THAT ISSUE MANY APARTMENTS WILL NOT ALLOW DOGS. SO YOU WILL HAVE REDUCED YOUR POOL OF PLACES.
Thanks for all the good comments! 😎
We are in our late 50's, and semi-retired and we are moving because primarily of health conditions. We both have minor hypo-thryroidism and the heat does us well. Plus we have always liked the idea of being on a Caribbean island too.
I understand that St. Croix is rural and after growing up in Wisconsin and then living in San Fran, LA, DFW, & NYC, we have both gotten to the point that we do not want the big city feel at all. A couple of years back we did a driving tour of St. Thomas and we really liked Magen's Bay. Is it still really nice?
I do have a question though and after reading the "Guns" convo, I'm not quite sure if I want to ask this. We are a married lesbian couple. I understand that the "marriage" term is a misnomer, but we have been together for over 25 years and love each other dearly. How accepted will our relationship be or is that we will just be in a situation that just can't show any PDA. Thankfully I don't think we look like the stereotypical lesbian couple.
Maybe this question should be saved for a realtor, but are there any Active Senior communities? Again, I'm have no preference towards a paticular island.
The questions you posed are not unusual and your concerns are not really "major items" with the possible exception of "hurricanes". They do occur from time to time but there's not way to predict when, where or how often one will have an effect on the island you select for your relocation. You should know, however, that the odds of any one particular storm stricking a particular island are small. You can research how many major storms have hit the Virgin Islands (or any Caribbean island) at www.stormcarib.com. Go to that site and scroll down to the climatology link. Go to the particular island you are considering for relocation and you'll find records of every hurricane that has afftected the island during the past 150+ years. You'll see data on storm strength, how often, what times of year, and how close the storm came to the island. The data will put things in perspective to you.
Bugs are another matter, it's the tropics and there are bugs. Mosquitos and no-see-ums are the ones most people are concerned about. How many you encounter is more a matter of location and recent climate conditions. They are more prevallent after periords of prolongued rains and/or when there are no breezes. You find more near salt ponds and other standing water and the tend to "come out" more at dusk along the beaches near where the vegetation meets the sand. You can lessen your exposure to these little creatures by avoiding those locations and conditions and by limiting the use of perfumes, colognes, scented hair sprays, etc. as the sweet smells act as an attractant. We also have our share of water bugs, centipedes, spiders and a variety of other inscets. Consider getting a monthly Pest Control Service for your home if bugs become a problem.
Heat and humidity are a fact of life in the Caribbean. You learn to adjust by "dressing lightly" and moving slower.
I was intrigued by your comment " We want to get away from the rat race". I'm not sure that will come to pass. You see, unless you are independently wealthy, the rats still race in the islands - it's just a different race in a different venue.
You'd be wise to make a Pre-Move Visit before deciding to move to the islands permenantly. Come for several weeks, staying not at a resort but in a "housekeeping unit". Live like a local rather than a tourists. Do everyday chores like laundry and house cleaning, find out what it is like to shop for groceries and other staples (routinely going to 3 or 4 stores to get all the items on your list - assuming, of course, there are no shortages that particular week), see what it is like to pay utility bills, commute during rush hour (yes we have that here), learn what it is like living on a small island where some people get "Rock Fever" because there's really no place to go once "you've seen it all", check out housing costs and other living expenses first hand. If you need to work check out employment opportunities and pay scales for your chosen field, compare that to your anticipated living expenses.
Lastly, read through the relocation stories on this website, get a copy of The Settler's Handbook and read through the questions and answers on this forum. There's a wealth of information that's your's for the taking. Use it wisely to make an informed decision.
Living on an island is not necessarilly better or worse that where you now live - it's just different. Do yourself a big favor - take of the rose colored glasses - see things as they really are and decided if moving to an island is right for YOU and your partner.
Good luck in following your dream.
Thanks Afriend and everybody else.
The thought is that we will keep our house where we currently are. Our son is going to be moving in and taking care of it. We have so memories here I think it would break my heart to have to sell this place. But we will be doing the pre-move visit in November if we can get a little villa lined up. For our 20th we rented a lovely little villa in Mykonos (Greece) and it was just our little spot away from the tourists but we could walk to the markets and the sea was right there too. Hopefully we can find something like that and stay for about a month or so and go back in time for Christmas.
The first thing you need to understand, is that living here is not like living in the states. It might even seem more foreign than Mykonos. 😛 Come spend some time here and find out for yourselves. You mentioned a small villa, that might be nice, but it could be rather expensive, even in November (low season). When we first came to St Croix we stayed at the Southgate Courtyard for a few months. They are one bedroon condos that have a local feel. they are clean, safe and pleasant. Call Donna at CPMI 340 778 8782, she rented to us and probably has a unit for rent at a "reasonable" monthly rate. Remember it is off season, so let her know you want the best price possible. Expect to pay at about $2000 a month for a shorter tem rental.
Being a lesbian couple probably won't even be noticed by most people here. My daugher is a lesbian and I have a legal daughter in law... her wife. We hope you are able to do that too some day, if you haven'r already. Some of the old island ladies might give you a look, but most everyone else will just say hi. Come on take a look, but be prepared for " different than you expected".