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Lots of Questions

(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
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Topic starter
 

I'm 23 years old. I have always dreamed of living in the Virgin Islands. As of now I am a college student and I will be graduating in December 2016. I've began saving money for a long term trip to the VI. I've done lots of reading and read over and over again how island life gets boring/isn't for everyone. As of now, my current plan is to move to the VI for a month or so after I graduate and see how I like it. My question is, what is life like for a 23 year old living on the island by himself? If I actively search for a job while I'm there (if I plan on staying longer than a month), what types of opportunities can I expect to find that aren't completely dependent on the tourism business? Will having a business degree from a good school have noticeable benefits while searching for a job? I'm a very positive person generally. I just have lots of problems with the superficiality that exists on the mainland and being sabotaged by the media. I'm fine with living slowly and relaxing and I've never needed much stimulation to be happy. Thanks in advance for any answers and information you may have for me. I appreciate it!

 
Posted : April 5, 2016 9:24 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

Honestly, a business degree but no business experience won't count for anything. Unless you have some kind of marketable skill to offer, your chances of finding anything other than something to do with the tourism sector is very, very slim. And even in that arena, if you've no experience you're going to have a very tough time competing with others who DO have some mileage serving and bartending and a couple of good references to back them up.

If you're having, "lots of problems with the superficiality that exists on the mainland and being sabotaged by the media (whatever that means)", I'm not sure why you would think that moving here would make that disappear. Living here is no more slow and relaxing than living anywhere else and, without marketable skills, it'll be very difficult to get by without two jobs. If you've really done some research you know that the COL is very high here. You need your own transportation to get around and those beautiful vistas and lovely beaches will mostly be what you see on passing them by on your way to the next shift.

If you can swing a month here without exhausting your savings and have enough money to fund a return ticket, then make that plan. You'll just have to see for yourself whether a longer stay and being able to support yourself is feasible. That said, good luck!

 
Posted : April 5, 2016 10:06 pm
 NJoy
(@NJoy)
Posts: 46
Eminent Member
 

Zhaakkonson2 with “Lots of Questions.”

I am a new comer to reading the forum. Not relocated yet to USVI, but like you I also dream of moving there soon.

Everyone has to start somewhere.

Between your studies, before you graduate, I would urge you to do a great deal of research on what businesses are operating on the Island, who’s hiring, and bookmarking job boards you can find; make a list of local newspapers that frequently have a Employment section. Websites that list employment openings on the Island. Visit them often to notice trends in what types of jobs are hiring.

To put things into perspective. If you will be a new graduate in your home State you will be under the same pressures of finding a new job with little to no work experience post – graduation. So, doing it in USVI will be the same “process” yet in a different place, in a smaller market than your home State may offer.

Are you working now while attending University between studies?

If it takes little to make you happy, this in my view is positive and a great character attribute to have no matter where your travels take you.

Best of luck with school! Congratulations. Sounds like you’re almost done by Dec 2016.

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 3:44 am
(@mtdoramike)
Posts: 955
Prominent Member
 

If you are handy and can do a little carpentry, plumbimg and such, a handy man can always find work on St. Thomas especially on the Northside of St. Thomas. Also if you have a couple of good weedeats and don't mind a bit of labor, cutting bush is always needed there as well. I know my wife's relatives are always needing a little work done and with all the rentals, you can always find something to do. The best thing about it is most folks in the Islands aren't looking for perfection like they do in the states, they are more about function. I'm sure someone could make a full time job of just repairing window and sliding glass door screens as well as replacing the runners on the sliders (which most don't work properly and stick after a short while) and not to mention doors, which I haven't seen many that don't stick do to the swelling and humidity.

If I were 30 years younger, that is what i would be doing. If you are any good at it, word of mouth will spread quickly and you could have more work than you need unless you over price yourself. Then you could work your own hours and do the things that you want to do while living in the Islands.

mike

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 11:21 am
(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks to everyone for your answers so far. Especially NJoy. I will take these things into consideration. I'm just trying to be realistic. Although I would like to think I'm a pretty ambitious person and could make it work, I don't want to be someone who falls completely flat on their face after moving to the islands. Back to your question NJoy, Yes I am currently working at a car dealership. Honestly, I have lots of experience as I have worked in the automobile industry for 5 years now. I just came in with the mindset that my experience in the auto industry may be somewhat pointless on the islands considering the experience itself is not related to the service and mechanical side of vehicles. That being said, Thanks again for your guys' input. If I had to work two jobs I would be okay with it but this is something to consider in the future.

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 12:25 pm
(@STTsailor)
Posts: 699
Prominent Member
 

Sounds like you want to take a long break after graduation.
Why did you set your heart on USVI?

If you saved some money you could go to Asia (India, Thailand, Vietnam) and live on $20 per day hanging out with like minded people without the need to report to work on a daily basis.

I am not trying to discourage you to come to VI but rather challenge you to consider other options.

Speaking to several young (mainland) people in VI they told me that they have to generate $3000 $4000 per month to get by. That take a lot of work effort in paradise when you can expect $15 to $20 per hour. I would rather save $6000 working in US and go to Asia for 6 months exploring sites.

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 1:58 pm
(@speee1dy)
Posts: 8871
Illustrious Member
 

i know someone who went to vietnam and loved it and could not get over the prices-cheap

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 2:17 pm
(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter
 

I suppose the biggest reason USVI appealed to me was the fact that it was a US territory. And I could attempt to find work without having to jump through the hoops of being a foreigner trying to find work as well as the language barriers that go along with it. I do need a long break after college and I'm lucky that my parents have helped me with school so I have no debt. I have considered Mazatlan Mexico as well because I know the living expenses are not extremely high there (given I wouldn't be staying in resort-like places). But then again there is that language barrier. Overall, this would just be a month to myself to check out VI.

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 4:41 pm
(@speee1dy)
Posts: 8871
Illustrious Member
 

come down and have a good time

 
Posted : April 6, 2016 4:59 pm
 NJoy
(@NJoy)
Posts: 46
Eminent Member
 

. Back to your question NJoy, Yes I am currently working at a car dealership. Honestly, I have lots of experience as I have worked in the automobile industry for 5 years now. I just came in with the mindset that my experience in the auto industry may be somewhat pointless on the islands .

I would say this is significant work experience, and a transferable Skill / Work Experience. As I mentioned before I have been reading the forum for a while and a recurring theme I read is frequently about Cars:

"Cars for Sale"

"Should I purchase a car on-Island?"......."Can I go without a Car?"

"Should I ship my car?"

"How much does it cost to ship a car?"

So people are busy here thinking about their CARS!

I am sure you can find a creative way to address that if interested. I have some ideas, but I'm not in the Car Industry like you. I can help you brainstorm ideas if interested.

Have a great weekend

 
Posted : April 8, 2016 5:24 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

If you're just planning on moving here for a month, it might be hard to find anything other than a part-time job. You're best option might be to find a room share situation on East End/Red Hook area where there are lots of beaches, bars, restaurants, resorts, marinas, shopping, ferry to St. John, etc., or stay at Rhoda's located at Tillet Gardens. Those locations have access to the $2 safari taxis and bus service and may be easier to get around without your own wheels.

Try Craig's List for room shares and rentals, possible jobs.
Don't put money down on something sight unseen.
http://virgin.craigslist.org/

At 23, you're foot loose and fancy free, so take a chance while you can and enjoy.
Bring $$$$$$$ as it's expensive to live without a job.
Good luck.

 
Posted : April 8, 2016 10:51 pm
(@AandA2VI)
Posts: 2294
Noble Member
 

Speaking to several young (mainland) people in VI they told me that they have to generate $3000 $4000 per month to get by.

What? Why? Do they have a serious coke habit? Sorry its late and I've had some wine after not drinking for a few weeks. 😉 Seriously though, It doesn't take near that for monthly living expense especially for a 23 year old who's just gonna hook up and hang out lol.

OP I suggest you get with the "live in my van" dude who recently posted and you guys come together and rent a place in Red hook. You could rent a car for a couple months and split it if you needed to.

I do agree that spending 6 months in a place where you don't have to work and can check out a totally different culture sounds awesome too lol.

 
Posted : April 11, 2016 3:57 am
(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for all the information. I literally spent all day yesterday (in shitty Minnesota) doing more studying about making my move. I'm extremely excited. I'm sure I will have more questions soon and I'm sure you guys will be able to provide me with more anwers.

 
Posted : April 11, 2016 4:38 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

AandA2VI could be that in your relatively short time here you just haven't come across that younger "entitled" generation. The entitled title has cropped up as something new in the last year or so but theyve been around for centuries.

Living here in the manner to which you're either accustomed to or would like to become accustomed to isn't a walk in the park - just as it's not anywhere.

 
Posted : April 11, 2016 6:21 pm
(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter
 

I've read many times over that showing up for work and working hard alone will give me a leg up on other people on the island. I'm not necessarily deducing from that that people on the island are lazy, however I've worked full time throughout college and attendance, punctuality, and hard work are always things I've felt I've embodied. That being said, I have no impressions that this would be a walk in the park for me. I just really feel like I do have something to offer for the islands and that attitude alone is promising for me.

 
Posted : April 11, 2016 6:26 pm
(@watruw8ing4)
Posts: 850
Prominent Member
 

I've read many times over that showing up for work and working hard alone will give me a leg up on other people on the island. I'm not necessarily deducing from that that people on the island are lazy, however I've worked full time throughout college and attendance, punctuality, and hard work are always things I've felt I've embodied. That being said, I have no impressions that this would be a walk in the park for me. I just really feel like I do have something to offer for the islands and that attitude alone is promising for me.

I have heard that so many times from a number of employers, I believe it's true. One told me "the bar isn't set very high here".

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 12:56 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

I have heard that so many times from a number of employers, I believe it's true. One told me "the bar isn't set very high here".

I think it's a generality anywhere when you're employing mostly people at minimum wage level. Employers higher up the scale can be and are more discriminating in their hiring practices.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 2:05 pm
(@Zhaakonson2)
Posts: 10
Active Member
Topic starter
 

One thing I must say that I appreciate about posters like OldTart and Alana is that you guys never try to sugar coat the aspects of life on the islands. I think its very important and also beneficial to prospective movers to play the islands down; possibly even more so than the reality so that people have realistic expectations.

Also, does anyone have information on the prices of pharmaceuticals on the islands? I'm on thyroid medication and this is something I'm interested in.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 2:55 pm
(@BeachcomberStt)
Posts: 1018
Noble Member
 

Also, does anyone have information on the prices of pharmaceuticals on the islands? I'm on thyroid medication and this is something I'm interested in.

You can shop around for the best price. There are plenty of pharmacies, including Walgreens and Kmart on Stt.

www.viphonebook.com

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 3:17 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

Fortunately I don't rely on any long term prescribed medication but on the few occasions I've had to have a 'scrip filled, KMart is the absolute choice. The smaller pharmacies are shockingly overpriced and Walgreens is also higher than KMart (learned that a few months ago after major surgery!). You can call the KMart pharmacy at 340-777-3854 to see what your meds would cost.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 4:04 pm
(@watruw8ing4)
Posts: 850
Prominent Member
 

One thing I must say that I appreciate about posters like OldTart and Alana is that you guys never try to sugar coat the aspects of life on the islands. I think its very important and also beneficial to prospective movers to play the islands down; possibly even more so than the reality so that people have realistic expectations.

Also, does anyone have information on the prices of pharmaceuticals on the islands? I'm on thyroid medication and this is something I'm interested in.

We were shell shocked when we got here and saw the prices of the 3 Rx's my husband takes daily. One doubled in price! But none are for thyroid, so it's hard to compare. And now that he's on Medicare, his RX coverage has higher copays here. It's one thing that we never considered, and anyone with a chronic illness needs to research.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 5:19 pm
(@speee1dy)
Posts: 8871
Illustrious Member
 

a number of years back, kmart participated in giving discounts to those without drug insurance. at the time it was a card you printed from the internet. not sure if the actual card is required or if their prices are just that good.

I can not remember the name of the site or the card but it was a program that originated in georgia and went into florida and then here.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 6:50 pm
(@JohnnyU)
Posts: 465
Reputable Member
 

As you are < 26, You should be able to get on your parents policy and get the prescriptions mailed to you.

PS If you find Minnesota shitty, you might want to alter your expectations

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 8:27 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

They have a prescription plan that costs $10 per year at K-Mart and their prices are better than elsewhere on island for most meds.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 9:09 pm
(@Spartygrad95)
Posts: 1885
Noble Member
 

$3-4k or a single person seems high. Now if you have a family you better be closer to $5k minimum to not just scrape by.

 
Posted : April 12, 2016 9:21 pm
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