When I moved to St Thomas, I expected I would stay for a year. That year turned into 25, kinda like a Jimmy Buffett song. But for me, at least, the time has come to leave the second best view (because everyone else says they have the "best" view) and return to Big America. They say you regret the things you don't try more than the things you do and I do not regret taking this road. Living in the VI exposed me to customs and mores I would never have experienced. Not that I agree with all of them, but I will miss the custom of greeting others with a hearty "Good morning!" and especially, "Good night!"
I lived through Marilyn, when I really thought I would die. Then in Irma, I was just plain mad that life was changing. As you get older, it gets more difficult to get your equilibrium back. I do have some guilt that I won't be participating in the recovery. Lucky that there are always new people ready to take on the challenge of rebuilding!
The worst thing one can do is start pointing out all the flaws in a system they have tolerated, yet most people who leave do just that. I won't go down that path. If you live in the VI, you know them, and if you are coming in, you will learn. LOL
There is a concept I learned early on: a person is either on island or off island. If you talk to someone, they will determine which of these categories fits. If you are "on", your concerns might be entertained. If you are "off", you don't really exist, like object permanence.
So, like several from this group over the years, I am now off island. Enjoy the sunsets and the beautiful skies. I will always have a Caribbean soul.
Very few of us will live in the VI forever. Although I still have a few years left "on island" I too will be leaving in the not to distant future. We already own a nice home outright on the US mainland, but, am uncertain if we want to live there or elsewhere. Its exciting to think about the future and I'll only be a little sad to leave the VI. Adios East Ender, but, keep us posted on your post VI experiences. Those of us behind you are definitely interested in your perspective.