I love living in the VI because...
I have been reading the posts on this message board for quite some time and I have found the information shared to be very informative and interesting. I’ve read about many disheartening things as well, such as shockingly high crime rate; rampant gang and drug activity; ineffective public service; and corruption in local government. So why stay? Despite all its flaws, the good things about the islands must outweigh the bad. I thought it would be refreshing to hear about the good stuff. Is it that besides a few bad apples, the people on the island are warm and welcoming, with a good sense of community? Or is it strictly the fabulous beaches? Let’s hear about the things you love most about living on the islands.
The land and ocean
Proximity to other islands
Temperate climate (not Florida hot)
But most of all: the dress code.
Life overall is simpler - there is very little 'Keep up with the Jones' materialism - most of the neighborhoods are integrated racially and economically - the relaxed dress code applies to many facets of living here, you are rarely judged by your clothes, car, occupation etc. - the small town atmosphere promotes many friendly and helpful interactions - a smiling "Good Morning, how are you today" greeting starts every conversation and many people are much more willing to help you with a friendly start to the meeting - the inefficiency of some offices promotes a patient and calm demeanor once you realize that it is Island Time and separates the wheat from the chaff in short order.
Yes the beaches are beautiful and the weather is pretty darn nice but it is the attitude that makes it all worth it for me - When you see a friend who says " I'm off to the beach to play a little volleyball, take a swim, have a Heineken and lime awhile" you say "great, have a good time" -- in the States people would say " Don't hang out with them, they don't go to work, drink a beer in the morning and must be on a downward path" -- it is a much more accepting society here with much less emphasis on possessions and social status and more oriented towards personal integrity.
My job moved me here. Personally I moved here to pursue a career opportunity which is not a normal reason to be here. In the process of doing so I've met some great people and had some really fun times though. For me its all about the bottom line at this stage in my life, if opportunity is better elsewhere I will go elsewhere. For now (as for the last 7 years) I'm here though enjoying the good and trying to minize the effects of the bad.
As usual, I think Exit Zero hit the nail right on the head. Couldn't agree more.
We moved here like everyone else with stars and moons in our eyes from a decade of Caribbean vacations, before this message board was ever around. It's not like vacation. It is not simpler, if anything living here can be INFINITELY MORE COMPLICATED. Getting the simplest things done can be a major pain in the a$$. But for the most part it is not a materialistic society as majority of the island is not rich on STX. If you are you definitely DO NOT flaunt it. I always laugh at the idiots that bring down luxury cars, because they make themselves a target. People are friendly to new comers but you may not be accepted right away. People come and go so quickly that the turnover can make us all a little jaded. For us it ended up being like Sean's story. My husband career was definitely fast tracked and I can easily work for myself here. We will not retire here but we've still a long ways from that.
The good things are extremely obvious, the weather, the beaches, little traffic, mostly kind people etc... The downsides are often not as apparent. High cost of living, lower wages, high housing costs, high food cost (that get higher as gas does), high crime, extremely prevelent drug community, gangs, hatred of statesider or any outsider (some not all and not a race issue), etc... Like any place you can either hack it or you can't.
It's just another place to live.
Because I Can!8-)
That is actually the number one perk making statesiders jealous that don't know better. All you have to do is post one picture on facebook and all your friends back home will hate you in the best possible way.
I would rather be where the temp range year round is only about 25 degrees (high 60's to low 90's) and never have to deal with snow, ice, or the 4-5 month long NE Ohio winters. 16 years of vacationing here before the permanent move convinced me.
Because the women are easy, the booze is cheap,and the government is all F'd up. Oh yea I forgot... I like a constant breeze 🙂
Great posts folks. Thanks for responding. I know it's not perfect - no place is. Looking forward to spending A LOT more time on St. Thomas!
Have a great Memorial Day everyone. Thanks to all the veterans out there!