[Sticky] Living in the Virgin Islands Experiences & Survey
Over the years, our site’s members have asked questions like “do we know if many of our readers have actually moved to the Virgin Islands”, or “do we know why they moved”, or “why they left”.
We asked our readers these questions over the last year through a survey.
The replies are brief, but collectively provide a great deal of insight through personal experiences and through tips. By sharing them it is our hope that you discover questions about island living that you need to research before making the move, that the VI community learns something about itself from the experiences of those that gave their dream of island living a chance, and to help new residents learn about the VI community that they are joining.
We will share a few replies each month.
If you want to participate in the survey, please do. It is applicable to those that considered moving but did not end up moving, those that did move and are still living on island, and those that came to the VI and moved away. Go to “Living in the USVI Survey”.
Thank you & Enjoy.
These are the experiences of VIMovingCenter.com readers related to living in the Virgin Islands.
"I lived in St. Thomas for 6-10 years. I went to the island on vacation, met a man that lived there, fell in love, married, and eventually we moved back to the states for our careers. We left because it was just time for other opportunities. My take away and tip for others is that most people dream of living on an island and leaving all their problems behind. They don't realize that living on an island has its own set of problems and challenges. The beaches are beautiful and the culture is intriguing, but jobs are scarce and the cost of living is outrageous. It is a balance, just like anywhere else."
"I lived in St. Thomas seasonally, for under a year. I made the move for a seasonal job and for the climate, nature and water sports. First round I was there solo, on the second round I moved with a girlfriend. There are many challenges to living there: high cost of living, limited career opportunities, lack of non-vacation-rental housing, transport, environmental degradation, unsustainable ecological practices, increasing hurricane frequency and strength, summer heat, terrible government bureaucracy, lack of national democratic engagement, and unreliable tax system. There is a large gap between vacationing there and living there. Unless you are wealthy and can afford a vehicle, real estate, frequent airfare, etc., then daily life on island requires a lot of inconvenience and sacrifice. Remoteness and isolation from mainland family, friends, current events, etc. further complicates things. I also witnessed more than a few who, for lack of discipline, could not manage the work-party balance, fell on substance abuse, and spun out of control. In spite of it all, there was much to love about the place: access to incredible experiences in nature, healthy community organizations, and a sense of potential for improvement."
"I lived in St. John for under 2 years. I moved with a friend and headed to St. John looking for SUNSHINE! I found an apartment that was available right in town before I moved. Having an affordable place to stay when I got there was what convinced me. One of the reasons I left was that I was not prepared for the animosity that exists between the 'ex-pats' and the natives. Tip for others: Finding a place to live is difficult on St. John."
"I currently live on St. Croix, and have for 3+ years. I moved there solo but with pets. I like the peaceful nature and friendly people of the island. I was tired of states, of the traffic, noise, air and light pollution. I don't believe island life is for the masses as many prefer a more hectic (happening) lifestyle."
"We currently live in St. Croix and have for 11+ years. We moved here because we like the weather, people, and the views above and below the water. We visited the island and area many times before deciding to move here. Tip: If people are not running away from something then moving to the island can be a positive choice."