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How did you get here? STX, STT, STJ ... I'm curious to know

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STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

I'm always interested to learn about how people have arrived here. Born (bahwn) here, moved from someplace else, where did you move from, why did you move, how was your experience upon moving? What were your first impressions? How long have you lived here?

I don't know if there's a previous thread that includes this info, but I really love hearing about peoples stories about their lives here, previous and current. It certainly was a life altering experience for me.

~Jill in St. Croix
http://jillslifeinparadise.blogspot.com/

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 3:30 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

I was a chef in Denver and responded to a craiglist ad for a chef job on StX. No PMV, just studied this board and made some calls. That was September of 2007 and I've since met my fiance, switched careers, and adopted an island clunker. Cheers

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Posted : January 27, 2010 5:58 pm
Marty on STT
(@Marty_on_STT)
Trusted Member

Airplane.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 6:15 pm
li2stx
(@li2stx)
Advanced Member

we are from long island, came to stx in 1985 to learn to sail. vacationing there ever since. bought some land 3 years ago and built a house

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Posted : January 27, 2010 6:27 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We moved here - STX - after retirement from long-term state-side jobs in 2003. Now Ric is really retired and I'm working a couple of days a week.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 7:05 pm
Uuaww
(@Uuaww)
Advanced Member

Graduated college and applied for government jobs. After interviews and whatnot they offered me a position in either St. Croix or Baton Rouge, LA with 24 hours to decide. Being from California and never east of the Mississippi, I wiki'ed both locations and chose St. Croix. Expected to be there within 3 weeks. No PMV, just packed my 2 bags and left. I have been here about a year now it was tough at first but in the last 4-5 months or so I have really started to love it. I have good friends, play ultimate, and eat ALL the time (I am a champion on STX restaurant reviews). I doubt I'm a lifer and may only be here a few years or so, but I don't plan on leaving unless I get a good reason to.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

My Great Great Grandfather and his brothers came to the Virgins as they called it in 1868, They were fisherman up and down the east coast from Newfoundland to Brazil. They attempted farming sugar cane and hated it, they tried cow's and hated that even more They had homes and farms in Florida, SC, NJ, NH, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and ST Croix. My summers were spent as a kid on St Croix with my Grandfather. My father his brothers and cousins sold off all the farms to include the ST Croix farm. My father kept a small house on ST Croix, when he died my Brother and I sold it. I bought a Condo on the island (STX) when I retired, My children and grandchildren spend their summers and winter school breaks on St Croix. There is more but you will have to buy the book.:D

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Posted : January 27, 2010 8:48 pm
STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

ChefNoah - Cheers to you, it sounds like you're no longer a chef? Wondering what your career change was, if you don't mind my asking? No PMV, that's a bold move ... many people find that hard to imagine. You're clearly someone who probably adapts easily to whatever you set your mind to ... or were just meant to live on an island in paradise. I love that story!

Marty on STT Airplane ... didn't see that coming! 😉 Me too!

li2stx - 1985 ... wow, a lot has changed since your first time here I bet ... or maybe not! And you built a house, congrats! I've heard all sorts of stories about building your own home here. Congrats to you :-:D

Linda J Congrats to your husband for being "really retired", and it sounds like you're almost retired ... what a great place for that, huh?

My story:

I moved here 8 years ago from Oregon ... a longggggggg way from my former home-sweet-home. I visited for a week, then came back a couple of months later, during my sabbatical from Intel, to 'practice' living here for 7 weeks. It went very well, so I went back to Oregon, gave my notice at my job, sold and gave away my stuff and moved back. Having only lived in Oregon for my entire former life, it was a little scary. But, my fiance/future husband was living here, so that was my inspiration for moving.

I arrived here on November 14, 2001 with a few boxes of stuff, my faithful canine pal, Shilo, and my feisty cat, Stinkers. It was quite an adventure to move such a long distance with an old dog and cat, but they thrived here for several years - I think the warm weather helped to extend their life span!

I've learned a lot since moving here, and one of the most memorable moments happened at the old Pueblo, which is now Office Max. I'd gone there grocery shopping and was somewhat dismayed that people weren't very friendly. I told my fiance/husband-to-be, who had already been living here for several years. He laughed, and told me you don't say "Hi" and smile, you say "GOOD NIGHT". I told him that sounded like a load of crap and he told me he'd prove it. We went back to Pueblo and he walked several yards in front of me. The first person he came to, he said "Good night" .... the man grabbed his hand, and nearly hugged him! WTH? I thought it was some sort of joke, but it wasn't, he didn't know the guy! It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen ... and seeing is believing.

What I love most ... there are sooooooooooooooooo many things: I can grow flowers and orchids AND a garden all year long ... oh how I LOVE that. In Oregon, I'd buy plants and they live for 3 months during the summer, then freeze and die and I buy more the next year. They can live FOREVER here! And I see plants in the yard that I call houseplants back in Oregon ... it just makes me smile seeing that. I remember when I first moved here, I'd point to plants in the yard and around the island and tell my fiance/husband-to-be "In Oregon, that's a houseplant!"

I remember how shocked I was that people don't have a heater or furnace here. WHAT? How is that possible? What about winter? I LOVE having the doors and windows open alllllllllllllllll year long. I LOVE winter! I love to say "In some places it's snowing" ... and here I am sweating and wearing flip-flops and shorts! I feel bad for the peeps in America shoving snow and fighting storms, but dang ... this truly is paradise.

I love that people are helping to control the pet population here. When I first moved here I saw 4 or 5 dead dogs along the side of the road in one day; I was in tears and very, very upset. I don't see that any more, I do believe it's getting better. The mistreatment and abuse of animals is one of the most difficult parts of living here, for me. It breaks my heart, but I think it's getting better.

My least favorite part of living here is being away from my family ... I miss my Mom & Dad, and I know my Mom was really worried when I packed up and left. They come to visit and now understand why I'm still here ... this life suits my husband and I. I miss my friends and I actually miss my job at Intel ... sometimes. I learned what a really great place it was to work, after I left. 😀 Working here is ... different.

We love it here, and going back to America to visit our family and friends is always a treat ... and coming back ... that's the best part of going away!:D

I truly enjoy island life. It's a different world ... and it seems people either love it or they hate it. You generally know within the first couple of months. I don't expect to live here forever, I still have a house in Oregon, but who knows ... time will tell!

Life is good!

~Jill~
http://jillslifeinparadise.blogspot.com/

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 8:58 pm
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

Got married Aug. 1st, (almost 6 mo!) in San Diego.
Aug 2nd my husband got a call from a friend about a job opportunity... his dream job really - and in STX at that.
He started the application process while we were on our honeymoon!
He interviewed in mid-September, Got the Job 2 weeks later.
We arrived on Island just before Thanksgiving.

I think he's more concerned than I am about my career situation. I was working 2 jobs/6 days a week in CA and I loved it! Those jobs don't exist here unfortunately - so now I'm doing other things to keep me busy.
Everyone keeps telling me that I'll find my "place" or the "right job will come along" - funny, but I'm not complaining about where I work or what I'm doing here.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 3:23 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Moved here in 1975 after working a few years post college - had never been here before- came with a suitcase - chose STT because it was warm and American - easier to get a job or invest w/o a citizenship issue here than in other islands then -started a small business the 3rd day - it was an easy entry and a very different era and island in the 1970's - I am still here.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 3:56 am
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

Went on a cruise with friends 9 years ago...fell in love with the caribbean so when I got home I started researching. Two weeks after getting home my company had a massive lay off. My friend and I kept our jobs but all of our promotional opportunities went up in smoke so we really started talking about moving. Researched about 6 months and decided that it had to be the USVI then narrowed it down to STX. We had gone to STT on the cruise but it was way too busy for me. I sold most of my stuff (kept the house and rented it out), packed 2 suitcases, 1 golf bag & 1 bag of SCUBA gear and got on a plane. No PMV - it worked for me. My friend only lasted 6 months but it's 8 years later and I'm still here!

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Posted : January 28, 2010 10:26 am
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

My career switch took me out of the restaurant but still working with food. I'm a sales rep at Quality Food. We distribute to all restaurants on island.
I didn't really have the time or money to do a PMV so I just moved. I'm happy anywhere I go. I love (and miss) the snow but I've grown to love the beach.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 11:44 am
li2stx
(@li2stx)
Advanced Member

true a lot has change, but at the same time it is still the same. as far as building, we used all local talent. from the draftsman to the builder, all crucians and it could not have worked out any better. the house was built on time and on budget and we are very pleased.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 11:55 am
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

moved here due to the refinery (hess at the time) 91. when gallows bay was gannets etc. only good thing my EX did for me was move me here. ....thank you "EX" !!!:D

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Posted : January 28, 2010 12:31 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Began vacationing here in 1973 for a week or two just about every year. My 2 sons came as babies and one lives here. Started woking in the Caribbean, DR and PR in 1992 and used STX as a place to hook up with my family. In 1983 while playing golf at the REEF on the 6th hole I hit into the bush. I found my ball directly below a sign advertising lots for sale so I wrote the number on my scorecard and called later. We ended up with a nice lot that had a great view and nice breezes. At the time I was building and remodeling in Maine and just the dream of the lot and building someday made tolerating the cold easier.

1999 we moved to STX for a year so that my son could get away from a bad situation and finish High School. He excelled at the Academy of the West Indies and went on to college. Then in 2003 I was DX'd with MS and my mother died so we came for 6 months and just limed.
My oldest son, a big wave surfer, move to Oahu. Then my youngest followed with his girlfriend and they soon had a son. So in order to be with them we wintered in HI from Oct to MAY. As an old surfer I was in hog heaven hanging with my boys and surfing the north shore
.
We found HI kind of expensive, without the possibility to buy property at a reasonable price so we came back to STX in 2005. I had no intention of leaving but my SO still had to return to New England to help care for her dad. I found a good job and built our little house in Caterina's Hope, we call Giege gi's fancy on Sugar Mountain. Now STX is my home and eventually my SO will stay longer as the family situation works itself out.

I still love the end of August in Maine with the cheap lobster, blueberries, corn and the apples and try to get back there or to HI every year
I'll be here as long as it's enjoyable but if I ever become more handicapped with the MS I can see myself living either on the North Shore Hawaii or in Honolulu, I'm done with the other 49 states.
I love how it is so easy to turn aquaintances into friends and having friends of all races. It seems that every year your network grows expotentially. I feel blessed for all my good fortune and to live on a beautiful island with some of the best weather and people in the world.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 2:25 pm
stephyjh
(@stephyjh)
Advanced Member

After my friends on STX spent almost 3 years trying to convince me to come visit, I finally came for a week back in August, and I fell in love with the island. I'd considered the possibility of moving here before, particularly last winter when the snows were so much nastier than we were used to in NC, but the visit clinched it for me. So I spent the next 3 months looking for a job here, but finally decided to enroll at UVI on St. Croix. So here I am, one of only 2 white students living on campus that won't be going back to the states at the end of the semester...and the other's going back to STT. Plus, I'm not Christian, so I've had to deal with a lot of bigotry on campus. Love the island, hate living in the dorms.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 3:00 pm
lovestosail
(@lovestosail)
Advanced Member

Great thread you've started, STXjill. I sure have enjoyed reading all the "Hows" everyone got to the islands. My husband and I are looking to move this year. This site has a lot to offer in information, but like the stories from the folks. Gives us lots of ideas. I'm a nurse and hubby is in food business, like chefnoah.
I'll continue to read.
Thanks, Deb in KY

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Posted : January 28, 2010 6:39 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

My wife and I came to STX on vacation in 2004. We'd barely heard of STX before that. While here, I read, "Life In The Left Lane," by Emy Thomas (see the ad at the top of this page), and it occurred to me that we could live here. Back in NJ, I mentioned the idea of moving to my wife. She was up for it. We were tired of cold winters and paying high property taxes in NJ anyway. Through networking, we got positions as caretakers at a vacation rental villa in STX. We moved here in 2005. We brought our self-employed work with us, which we had been doing by telecommuting. So with housing and jobs covered, it was fairly risk-free.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 11:15 pm
STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

I LOVE reading these stories, thank you all so much for sharing. Everyone has their own adventure, and I truly love reading about how and what inspired people to move here. Please keep your arrival and reasons for moving here coming.

~Jill~

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Topic starter Posted : January 28, 2010 11:45 pm
jefgar
(@jefgar)
Advanced Member

Came in 1986 for an extended Memorial Day weekend; spent five days lying on the beach, snorkeling, and drinking rum. In 1998, after three years in St Petersburg, Russia, we returned and bought an acre of land for our retirement. After three winters of -40 degrees, we decided to retire where we'd never have to shovel snow. My family's from central Florida, but it's too damned full of people, so we decided to retire here -- it's under the US flag; our rights (particularly as property owners) are protected, and our US government health insurance is good here. I retired in Jan 2006; my bride retired three months later, and in June we moved into the house next door to our acre; we'd bought the house two years earlier to save ourselves the hassle of building.

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Posted : January 28, 2010 11:52 pm
brockettfamily
(@brockettfamily)
Advanced Member

What a great thread!! I love hearing everyone's stories about moving to the VI. My husband and I are considering relocating there within the next 2 years with our 2 year old daughter. We will be making our PMV some time next summer and I am soooooo excited about it. I think the only real question left is which island to move to... STX or STT?? Thanks to everyone on here for sharing your personal stories with all of us! 🙂

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Posted : March 16, 2010 12:20 am
jerrydcs
(@jerrydcs)
Advanced Member

first came to island stx on cruise ship 10 years ago then came back 2 years ago me and my wife loved it was only there 3 weeks we came back the next year for 3 months only stayed away a month and was back again we have a long term lease option to buy a condo there now .still own business in states so i have to go back to washington state a lot but hart is in stx all the time

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Posted : March 16, 2010 5:48 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

dragged kicking and screaming

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Posted : March 16, 2010 10:58 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

We came to STX on vacation in mid-2004. We went back home to NJ and discussed the possibility of moving to STX. We were self-employed and worked at home via phone and Internet, so we could live anywhere, and we were getting tired of paying high property taxes in NJ. I did a quick solo PMV, we lined up a caretaker position (that was mostly luck), and we moved here in mid-2005.

It took most of that intervening year to fix up our house to sell, find a buyer, and get rid of most of our possessions so we could fit into the 1 BR caretaker's apartment.

We came for the weather, and after a few months we discovered that there is a great social scene here. Our old social life made us look like hermits compared to here. Others have said similar things about their old and new lives. People are here to enjoy themselves, and you run into the same people again and again, so you have to introduce yourselves eventually.

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Posted : March 16, 2010 7:30 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

A good looking man with a sailboat.:@)

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Posted : March 16, 2010 7:39 pm
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