Clear all

Leaving Island

Posts: 684
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Hello All,

Well, we are packing up and leaving island. I am exhausted from crying and anxiety over leaving, but we know it is the right decision. Living here is hard, but I don't discourage anyone from moving here. I have gained so much in the last two years from living on STT than I have gained in 10 years on the mainland. I do have a few thoughts for newcomers (hopefully only a few...)

Don't believe every rumor you hear. I believed that getting a post office box was hard, I believed that getting your driver's license was hard, I believed that getting your vehicle past customs was hard, I believed that men following me around was harassment (I must say immediately that they were just trying to get a taxi fare), I believed that locals didn't like white newcomers, and I believed that filing taxes was impossible. I believed all these things when I moved here because that was the rumors that I heard. For all these beliefs, not one turned out to be true....that is as long as you don't have a bad attitude. What I mean by 'bad attitude' is not having patience, being irritated by things you don't understand, having a quick temper, and not allowing yourself to learn (in other words - not having an open mind). Everything including registering to vote, can be done easily if you just talk to people and learn from their experiences. If someone has a bad experience - try to understand where they went wrong. I bet they ran out of patience. Even though I advise talking to people, I don't mean quizzing them to death. Just talking to someone and simply saying, "I am headed to the hospital to get my health card" can lead to a conversation about the easiest way to go about it. But quizzing every other person you see may make people avoid you. If you understand what I am saying that you are on your way. If this sounds confusing, you are trying to hard. Just accept a laid back attitude balance it with a little common sense and add a bit of wisdom and you will find your way thru things on island much easier.

I came to island with a plan of attack. I had to get the kids in school, get my house in order, find groceries, find the DMV, find out about customs (forget it I just hired someone to do it for me...hee hee), find my way around town, and find a way to relax. I wished I had just relaxed first and then allowed things to happen. If I had a half hour conversation with a friend of mine in the beginning, I probably wouldn't have had to run around town like a mad woman trying to figure out how things worked. First of all, forget figuring out how things work. Just do what gets things done.

I think what I am trying to say, visit the islands, move to the islands, or dream until you do. Don't be uptight and don't come with expectations other than you will learn a lot about yourself and life. It was definitely worth moving here, I am just sorry to say we have to move on. Another adventure elsewhere awaits!


Posted : July 29, 2006 4:30 am
Posts: 3919
Famed Member


I hope you continue to monitor this board. Your experience with bringing young children to the VI is so valuable to others.

Good luck whereever you land.

Linda J

Posted : July 29, 2006 7:24 am
Posts: 384
Reputable Member


You will be missed. Your comments/experiences concerning how to get things done and attitude are right on and are appreciated.

However, you start out by saying "living here is hard"....could you elaborate?


Posted : July 29, 2006 3:05 pm
Posts: 178
Estimable Member

We will always be greatful for the day in April 2005 that you spent with Mike & I on our PMV. To be shown around and have that day (with another Kansas Citian, no less!) was invaluable. You are correct, 'living island IS hard' - its so different than how most of us normally operate. Your encouragment has made our first year on ST Croix a great experience.
Mike & I wish your family the best in the future-

Posted : July 29, 2006 4:24 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Teresa: I am awfully sorry to hear this news. 🙁 You have been so open in your description of the time you and your family have spent here. I think that newcomers will learn a lot by searching your posts about settling in, decisions and dilemmas. (Under search- put Teresa as author) You have really touched a lot of people- some who have not met you. I wish you much luck in your future.

Posted : July 29, 2006 5:39 pm
Posts: 463
Reputable Member

Hi Teresa,

I always enjoyed reading your posts and felt that you offered a lot of great insight and advice. Even though you are leaving the VI, I hope that you won't be leaving the VI Relocation Message Board.

I wish you and your family all the very best.


Posted : July 29, 2006 6:39 pm
Posts: 545
Honorable Member


I'm so sad that you are leaving, but am glad that you are at peace with your decision and will remember your adventure here fondly (even the rough parts). Your contributions to this board, from the day I started reading about your pre-move activities and planning, right up though the awesome advice you made in this post, have been invaluable (and will continue to be for as long as this board exists). I, and I'm certain there are many others, who can't thank you enough for sharing an honest and well-detailed account of your experiences and the lessons learn from them, good and not-so-good alike.

I wish nothing but the best for you and your family as you start on the next part of your journey. Like mell said, I'd love it if you could find a way to stay part of our little community and will let us know where you land and how things are going. You and eve were the first friends I made here, and you both have been so very supportive of and helpful to me. I can't help but find it both sad and ironic (not the right word, but it's all the tired brain can pull up right now) that eve and Mark are making their long-awaited arrival just as you are preparing to leave. Anyway, I'm so sorry we never found a way to meet in person before you go, but that sure won't keep me from remembering you as a dear and trusted friend. Be well and keep on being your positive, wonderful self!


Posted : July 29, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

Are you a fellow Kansas Citian? How about Teresa? We are in Lee's Summit looking to move our family down in a year or two...any and all advice is appreciated!

Posted : July 29, 2006 11:56 pm
Posts: 372
Reputable Member

Get blasted on Seablaster! Woot!!!
Ashley and I wish you the best.
Where are you moving to?

Posted : July 30, 2006 12:10 am
Posts: 582
Honorable Member

Hi Teresa,

Sorry to hear you are leaving - I always enjoyed and found your posts to be very helpful. I wish you nothing but great things in the future - wherever life takes you, you are such a positive, friendly person that wonderful things will find you 🙂


Posted : July 30, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 859
Prominent Member

Hey sweetheart! Although we're in touch off the board, I just wanted to add something for potential newbies. It's something that you've written about most eloquently but still needs to be drummed home to many.

Living here is NOT living in Paradise. As much reading and research as you do and as many questions you ask and which are answered in all honesty, once you settle here and try to make a living here, you'll discover the non sugar-coated reality of everyday living which probaby won't suit you. I say, "probably" because the attrition rate of newbies (discounting young snowbirds) is huge and has always been thus.

I think the statistics which applied when I relocated here over two decades ago are probably still true. If you make it through six months and are still content you'll probably make it through the next six months. Big turnover at 6 months and a year, then it sort of segues into two years, then to five and then to 7, to 10 and then a larger gap thereafter to 15. By 15 years you've probably developed so many twitches and idiosyncrasies that the "real world" either has no appeal for you or the people in the "real world" don't want to deal with you.

F.I., you asked Teresa to comment further on her, "living here is hard" comment but if you read all her posts you will understand everything that's been difficult for her, and her experiences aren't uncommon.

I have many friends and acquaintances here who are comfortably able to not only own property here but also stateside. They live here during the inclement Stateside winter months and then leave for Stateside during the Stateside summer season (which of course correlates to hurricane season here). Fortunate enough financially to have the best of both worlds, and with all due respect to them, they're not what I consider to be Virgin Island residents. They have the good fortune to be able to have the best of both worlds. Yes, of course I envy them in many respects.

While I'm at it, I've been searching for several years now for a 99 year old multimillionaire with heart and prostate problems who will leave the kids with their trust funds, fall desperately in love with me, want to marry me, sign over the rest to me in a prenup and with the caveat that there'll be no nookie before the wedding night. A triple dose of Viagra, the most wonderful night he could dream of and - well - kaboom - he's gone out with an enormous smile on his face and I'm left with enough money to allow me to live in the manner to which I would very much like to become accustomed.

Now THAT'S a fantasy! Serious relocation to the Virgin Islands requires more than an illusory fantasy. Hedge your bets, keep your stateside options open, put your belongings in long-term storage and do whatever else you have to do to ensure that, if island living isn't for you, you have an easy out.

Love you, Teresa! XXXX

Posted : July 30, 2006 2:32 am
Posts: 501
Honorable Member

Teresa, you've been a very well-informed source of information to all. You have generously provided honest , graciously optimistic, determined and hopeful experiences - at the least I know your impact here on this board. I regonize and "SHOUT OUT!" now!;

Your "Chin Up!" attitude has always inspired me; including your posted "Get UP!" / "STAND UP!" for your rights - subtle as you are. Mother of children, encouragement to all perspecive and resident islanders. You've made an impact to several lives. Your overall perspective - your detemination. I leave it up to the full time residents to confirm that you have contributed and raised awareness to your community. And, I wager, that the community you are leaving is all the better for having you in their midst.

Posted : July 30, 2006 3:40 am
Posts: 484
Reputable Member

I have sent you a PM and will follow up with an e-mail. Chris, as you know was among the first real "connections" I had as a human on the island (after Ronnie of course), thanks to you who was off-island at the time but reading this message board. I value the friendship I shared with you guys and your family........and stil have photos of Chris and that house we looked at overlooking Havensight.

May God Bless you on your life's journeys, and may they take you to wonderful experiences from which you grow, love, share and fulfill your hopes and dreams.

Posted : July 30, 2006 1:01 pm
Posts: 249
Estimable Member

HipCrip is right that this is an ironic situation. I remember all of the posts back and forth between the three of us on this journey. What can I say though. The week we close on our property and its the week you move away. I was so looking forward to meeting you one day on STT. Someday, somewhere! Give more info if you please when you are settled into a routine and keep visiting us here at the board. Your advice and comments will continue to be valued and from a real world perspective. Good Luck 🙂

Posted : July 30, 2006 1:53 pm
Posts: 684
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Hello All,

First of all I will definitely be back on this board! We are moving to Atlanta, GA or suburb nearby where milk is like 5 cents a gallon (just kidding of course, but it kind of feels like it) :). We are looking for a rental currently. Our first job offer was from Honolulu, Hawaii which I thought was awesome, but we really didn't feel our lives would be better in an even higher priced neighborhood, another cultural change, and schools with their own sets of issues. Of course there is the argument of Atlanta being a cultural change, but one that is similar to our lives pre-island.

Thank you all for your kind words. I sometimes feel I am too candid about island life. I want people to be informed, yet I don't want to be a bubble burster. Sometimes when moving to island you have to have that excitement and energy to endure the challenges. Thank you HipCrip and Eve, I look forward to hearing your future stories and exciting island lives. We are already planning a vacation to STX since I never did get to visit. Thank you Linda J, F.I., travelwoman (I remember that day on STT fondly), EE (wealth of knowledge), mell, Nikki (good luck and many of us Kansas Citians will give you advice that hopefully makes your move successful), Island Ed and Ashley (miss you talk to you soon), piaa (wish we could have talked more, but of course you are clear over there on STJ:)), STT Resident (wow, we will have to email to get all the words in...), FL Barrier Islander, and of course Island Paul(keep painting and I pm'd you).

As far as 'living here is hard' sentiment, as always it is hard describing life on island compared to anywhere. First, you really need money. How much? I don't know, but the more you have the easier it is to live here. What I do know, is that no matter how much money you come with, you definitely leave here with less. I think that living here would have been easier if we could afford private schools (even though I really want to contribute to making public schools better), air conditioning, and plane tickets to get off island at least twice a year to feel renewed. That is just me of course. Many people live here on less and are happy. It is something you really have to experience to understand. The silliest thing yet is the fact that we get our furniture back! We left a lot of antiques and home furniture in the states and now we get to have our stuff back! I am not good at this advice giving right now as I am packing and selling and giving stuff away, but if anyone has specific questions for me - pm me or start a new thread. I will be checking in often. Now I have to go pack, cry a little, and pack some more.


Posted : July 30, 2006 4:12 pm
Posts: 184
Estimable Member


"..Sometimes I feel I am too candid about Island life." You have been a shining beacon of truth

about island life. This website is the VERY BEST when it comes to helping people move to the US Virgin Islands.

People like you who are willing to share a piece of their lives with others, make it possible for others to

understand what it takes to move and adjust to island living.

All of us have a dream, a goal, or a plan, and moving to an island is often tops on the list. You came ...

you really tried. In a lot of ways you were a success. You certainly helped others to better

understand what island living is all about. Along with many others, I wish you a wonderful future and want you to

know that you have been very helpful with your "candid" views on island life.

Posted : July 30, 2006 9:52 pm
Posts: 249
Estimable Member

amen stxer and teresa, I will PM our info because we will have a couple of cost saving rooms for you, hubby and kids on a vacation from the mainland to StX.

Posted : July 31, 2006 4:21 am
Posts: 193
Estimable Member


All the best to you, your husband and family. Getting to know you was fantastic, and we wish you guys all the best in your new adventure.

Email me and we'll compare milk prices 😉 (and fresh produce....and time to go through a drive-thru....and.....)

Take good care!



Posted : July 31, 2006 12:46 pm
Posts: 983
Prominent Member

Teresa, I am really sorry to see you go! However, I can totally empathize and understand. This year, ok, this week, is a good one for me here, but there are days, ok, months, that I am ready to hop on the first flight to JFK.

Have fun shopping, wearing sweaters, seeing first release movies, buying organic produce that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and.... 😉

Have fun in Hotlanta!

Posted : July 31, 2006 1:55 pm
Search this website Type then hit enter to search
Close Menu